BUY­iNG TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Nec Show Star Driven -

1 is THere rUsT?

Sills and floors are the most com­mon struc­tural ar­eas to go, so check­ing un­der the car­pets is an ab­so­lute must. Some Mi­nis have also been sub­jected to ‘over­sills’, where the rot­ten metal is es­sen­tially cov­ered with a new panel; they don’t re­ally solve the prob­lem and are struc­turally mar­ginal at best. Fa­mil­iarise your­self with what a Mini sill should look like so you can avoid th­ese cars.

2 GiVe iT a sHake

While it is a more com­mon fault on 1275cc cars, all Mi­nis have a weak­ness at the up­per en­gine steady mount. It can be dif­fi­cult to visually in­spect this steel bracket, be­cause it’s buried among the clutch an­cil­lar­ies, but a force­ful push and pull on the en­gine should soon re­veal any prob­lems. If it rocks more than the tini­est amount then some­thing is clearly not right.

3 is iT all THere?

One of the best points of any Mini Thirty should be its in­te­rior, with the half-leather black and red up­hol­stery one of the high­lights of the car. This does mean that bits are some­times taken for other cars how­ever, so make sure that you have a com­plete set. You can buy ev­ery­thing but the steer­ing wheel from new for­tu­nately, due to the cross­over with the Cooper, but it won’t be cheap.

4 sTay­iNG syNcHrONiseD

Reg­u­lar oil changes are es­sen­tial to the health of the A-series, due to its gear­box-in-sump de­sign that means any wear in the en­gine will lead to de­bris in the gear­box and vice versa. Check the pa­per his­tory of the car – ev­ery 6000 miles is ideal. Crunch­ing on the way in to sec­ond gear (and jump­ing out of it) are clas­sic first signs of a gear­box re­quir­ing work.

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