MINI 1275 GT

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Brit Ragtops For £5k - RICHARD BAR­NETT MAR­KETS ED­I­TOR

There are a fair few Mini lovers who re­ally don’t have much time for the Clubman GT. It didn’t have the raw­ness, get-up-and-go or the fizzy per­for­mance of a Cooper or a Cooper S. And then there’s the squared-off front. Well, it’s not re­ally a Mini is it?

But plenty of peo­ple liked it when it came out, and I can ( just about) re­mem­ber its launch. Steve, a friend of mine at school, had a black T-plate GT, and back in the early 1980s it was a pretty cool way to get to the pubs in Eton.

I’ll ad­mit I do like Clubman GTs, and this cheer­ful ex­am­ple with a full-length sun­roof – so it is an open-top clas­sic, hon­est – took me back to those mort­gage-free, de­gree-do­ing days. OK, it wasn’t con­cours but that’s not what I’d want any­way. But for blast­ing around the Welsh hills while not break­ing the bank, you’d be hard­pressed to beat this.

BUY­ING TIPS

WATCH THAT ROT Check the bot­tom of the doors, the boot floor, the bot­tom of the A-pil­lars and the area be­neath the rear win­dows care­fully for cor­ro­sion, be­cause all of these are prone to rot. Have a look be­neath the footwell car­pets too for any signs of holes.

A FOR EF­FORT BMC’s A-se­ries unit is a hardy unit that can cover fairly hefty mileages if it’s looked after. But be­ware cars with a scant ser­vice his­tory or ones that emit blue ex­haust smoke. It’s rare to find a Mini that doesn’t drip a lit­tle oil, but cars with big pud­dles be­neath the en­gine bay should be avoided.

DAMP COURSE On Minis with af­ter­mar­ket roof con­ver­sions it’s im­por­tant to check the qual­ity of the con­ver­sion and to look for po­ten­tial leak­age points from tired joints, frayed edges or rips. Look for signs of damp in the cabin, too.

ONE WE FOUND

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