Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Drive-it Day Special The 50 Greatest Drives -

1 The Rot­ten Truth

The Mini has plenty of mois­ture traps in its body, all of which can har­bour cor­ro­sion. Known grot spots in­clude the boot floor, head­light sur­rounds, the bot­tom of the doors, the rear wings be­low the win­dows and the weld seams around the head­lights.

2 Does It Han­dle?

The steer­ing on any Mini should feel ra­zor-sharp and im­me­di­ate. Any sen­sa­tion of play, or vague­ness can point to worn bushes, and the sen­sa­tion of the steer­ing briefly not feel­ing in tune with the cor­ner­ing is likely down to worn teeth on the steer­ing rack. Lis­ten out for a click­ing sound on full lock too, which is a clas­sic symp­tom of worn CV joints.

3 fak­ing It

Cooper homages are com­mon in the clas­si­fieds, but don’t pay over the odds for them. Do your home­work be­fore buy­ing – and punch a prospec­tive pur­chase’s de­tails into the DVLA’s on­line data­base to see what it throws up about the car’s iden­tity. It isn’t un­usual for Coop­ers to have non-stan­dard ac­ces­sories, too – who spot­ted the wooden dash­board trim on our test car?

4 NO smok­ing, Please

The A-Se­ries can take big mileages if looked af­ter, but look for ev­i­dence that a car has been ser­viced reg­u­larly. Check the oil filler cap for signs of white sludge and be­ware blue ex­haust smoke.

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