ON THE JOB

With stan­dard looks and 1380cc power, Gary Carr’s ‘74 Club­man is a true sleeper.

Mini Magazine - - Contents - Words Mar­tyn Collins Pho­tog­ra­phy Adrian Bran­nan

Cum­bria-Based Gary Carr blames his dad and grandad for his in­ter­est in Clas­sic Minis — as they both owned them. Then, when he was 17, he was lucky enough to take over own­er­ship of his grandad’s black 1098cc Club­man es­tate. By this time, he had the taste for Clas­sic Minis, as this Club­man was sold to fund a Mini Chelsea project.

A cou­ple of Mini Club­man Es­tate projects fol­lowed, but Gary never seemed to have the time to do them, so sadly they were sold on. A lim­ited edi­tion Mini Side­walk came next, but still a Club­man fan at heart, he found a Club­man saloon, which he had for years and was fi­nally fin­ished with a fully su­per­charged 1380cc just in time for the IMM in Bel­gium last year. But it wasn’t to be, as it was writ­ten off on the way home from IMM.

Then one day, one of the mem­bers of his Mini Club rang him, telling me he was ser­vic­ing a boiler and had found a Club­man Es­tate un­der some du­vets in a garage. It turns out that he lady who owned this Mini would sell it and be­cause Gary re­ally wanted a Club­man Es­tate again, he went with a friend to check it out as soon as pos­si­ble!

When he got to look at it, he couldn’t be­lieve the con­di­tion — all the wood trim and chrome was per­fect, along with the in­te­rior. Sadly though, it didn’t run, but Gary could see that it was all there and the lady was ask­ing just £500. He ended up go­ing ahead and buy­ing it for £300, on the pro­viso that he would never sell it and when it was fin­ished he’d take her out in it!

Gary now has an en­vi­able Mini fleet that in­cludes a turbo’d Club­man, this Club­man es­tate, a Rus­set brown es­tate project and an ABS Freestyler Mini-based buggy kit.

What first at­tracted you to this Mini?

Af­ter my grandad passed away, I al­ways knew that I wanted to own a Club­man Es­tate again.

Can you tell me more about this Mini, do you know much of its his­tory?

The lady had bought it in a re­stored state a cou­ple of years be­fore, the orig­i­nal plan af­ter be­ing laid up for all this time, was for her son to re­store it, but she knew he’d never get around to it and of­fered it to me.

What was it that got you start­ing to re­build it?

Af­ter we got it home and run­ning, we could tell it had some filler in the rear doors. We started to take a bet­ter look and found rot ev­ery­where, so we de­cided to fully re­store it. The orig­i­nal plan was to paint it black and make it like the one my grandad had back in the day.

How far have you got?

So far, it has needed new wings, a scut­tle, end pan­els, a new bonnet, in­ner and outer sills, rear quar­ters and rear door pan­els. Un­der that new bonnet, I’ve fit­ted a brand­new 1380 en­gine with a cross-pin diff, servo brakes, brand-new four-pot cal­lipers and vented discs. Af­ter all the pan­els it has also re­ceived a full re­spray on the out­side, with a new New­ton Com­mer­cial head­lin­ing and door­cards, new car­pets from cover dale, new old stock clocks and top and bot­tom dash rails on the in­side. Fi­nally, all the wood trim has been pro­fes­sion­ally re­stored by Sticky Fin­gers De­cals.

What is the next job?

Well, it’s nearly done now, so there are just a few small jobs to the in­te­rior and some very small jobs to wiring, and then it will all be fin­ished.

Is there any body­work still to do, what was it like at the start?

All body work is now done now, when I got it had been badly done, with filler ev­ery­where. There’s no filler now!

Not re­ally, as I’ve had some great help from some good Mini friends.

What sort of style are you aim­ing for with this car?

An orig­i­nal-look­ing lit­tle sleeper!

Has it been re­sprayed in the orig­i­nal colour?

Yes, it’s had a full re­spray in the orig­i­nal Damask Red.

What wheels are you go­ing to run?

I can’t de­cide on wheels, as I don’t want to run arches and the D1s on it stick out a bit!

Have you made any mod­i­fi­ca­tions over stan­dard, or will you be mak­ing any?

The first thing I did was to sell the orig­i­nal 998cc en­gine to a young lad in our club for his Mini. I then re­placed it with a brand-new 1380 en­gine, with a fully re­built gear­box — but I didn’t go for straight-cut ’box or drops, I just wanted a nice driver. The en­gine’s got a MG Metro head and cam, plus a cross-pin diff. I’ve up­graded the brakes to match with a new servo and four-pot vented discs. It’s also fit­ted with a Man­i­flow ex­haust sys­tem.

Do you think your bud­get is go­ing to dic­tate what you’re go­ing to do with this Mini?

Ha bud­get, what’s that?! It went out the win­dow years ago!

Have you got any ideas for any other spe­cial parts that you’ll fit to this Mini?

No, all the parts have been bought now.

How of­ten do you plan to use this Mini when it’s done?

All year round and hope­fully to plenty of Mini shows!

Do you have any wor­ries with this re­build?

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