MINI 1275 GT
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.
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