Looking after them
‘I’m not a good mechanic,’ says Luca, ‘but Minis are so easy that even I can do some of the simple jobs. With the other cars I’m too scared to mess up the job, so I prefer to use professionals.’ Over years of collecting he has developed a network of trusted mechanics, body workers and other specialists. He has also bought complete stocks of spare parts from closing-down dealers or shops and now some rooms of the house are dedicated to storing them. He’s glad he did, because he laments, ‘Today reproductions of just about anything are available. Unfortunately most of the new parts are manufactured in the far east, and are very low quality – worse than the originals, some of which weren’t too good in the first place. They are cheap to buy but are worth even less.’ His stock of parts allows him to be virtually self-sufficient when restoring a car. ‘My mechanics are now so expert in Minis that they can work to a very high standard,’ he adds. He uses the same professionals to work on all his cars, with each one being treated to a change of all fluids every three years at the very least.