PART OF HIS­TORY

One of the rarest Minis ever made, we take a priv­i­leged look at Rhos Jenk­ins’s Lim­ited Edi­tion 1000 ‘Stripey’.

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

Think Clas­sic Mini spe­cial edi­tions and you prob­a­bly think of pop­u­lar ones across the mar­que’s 42-year his­tory, such as the De­signer, Thirty, Bri­tish Open Clas­sic, Ital­ian Job, Tahiti, Side­walk, Equinox, Paul Smith, Forty and the Cooper Sport 500.

But if you thought the first Clas­sic Mini spe­cial edi­tion was the 1979 1100 Spe­cial, you’d be wrong! Why? Well, three-years be­fore it, in Jan­uary 1976, Clas­sic Mini spe­cial edi­tion DNA was cast, with the

launch of the first lim­ited build Clas­sic Mini based on the stan­dard 1000 – called the Mini Lim­ited Edi­tion 1000.

Out­side, at first look, it was dif­fi­cult to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the Lim­ited Edi­tion and a stan­dard 1000. The only colour choices were Brook­lands Green (ac­tu­ally an MG colour!) and white. In fact, Brook­lands Green was used on the 1999 John Cooper Lim­ited Edi­tion, but the colour of this later Sport Packed Mini, was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent shade. On top of the colours, it was fit­ted with sub­tle gold coach lines un­der the win­dows, plus a pair of chrome mir­rors.

It was eas­ier to tell the dif­fer­ence on the in­side, with the Lim­ited Edi­tion’s big­gest change be­ing the MGB-style orange striped brushed ny­lon trim. If that wasn’t spe­cial enough, this spe­cial 1000 also gained face-level air vents and spe­cial car­pets.

This was such a rare Mini Spe­cial Edi­tion, that I have to ad­mit I’ve never ac­tu­ally seen a pic­ture of it from out­side – just that stripey in­te­rior. It’s not even a Mini I’ve ever seen at a show!

So, an email from South Wales-based Clas­sic Mini col­lec­tor and fan, Rhos Jenk­ins, piqued my in­ter­est, as it turns out he was a proud owner of one of these Spe­cial Edi­tion Minis in orig­i­nal,

un­re­stored con­di­tion. With such a sig­nif­i­cant Mini, we had to head to Wales, take a closer look and find out more from Rhos.

MINI EMPIRE

I reckon Rhos must have Clas­sic Minis in the blood, as he tells me he bought his first when he was just nine-years-old, which he re­built as an auto grass car. Since then, Rhos reck­ons he’s owned 100 Minis and still has a col­lec­tion of seven to­day — in­clud­ing a Van, Pick-up, turbo’d Club­man, Shorty, this Stripey Lim­ited Edi­tion and two shells, one of which he’s cur­rently build­ing up. “For years now I’ve been col­lect­ing Minis and I ei­ther re­store or break them. My Mini­van and Shorty hav­ing been fea­tured in mag­a­zines be­fore.”

Any­way, back to this 1000 Lim­ited Edi­tion. In July 2017, a friend told Rhos of a Mini for sale lo­cally. He didn’t hes­i­tate, and ended up go­ing and see­ing it the next evening. Turns out this Mini was in a small garage, cov­ered with a dust sheet, with gen­eral garage equip­ment on top of it – Rhos ad­mits it was hard to see just what he was look­ing at! He ex­plains: “Af­ter a quick look over it, I was sur­prised how good it was — con­sid­er­ing it had been off the road for 28 years. Some cool pe­riod parts were still on the car and it turns this Mini was owned by some­one who had passed away a few years be­fore.”

Af­ter a chat with the fam­ily rel­a­tive and some hag­gling, Rhos ac­tu­ally made the tough de­ci­sion to not to buy this Mini, as he didn’t have any room to store it. Only to change his mind the next day, af­ter sleep­ing on it!

So it was pulled out of the garage and trans­ported it to Rhos’s house, where he took a few pic­tures and a plan was hatched to get it back on the road and

“I was sur­prised how good it was — it had been off the road for 28 years”

maybe even­tu­ally sell it on! How­ever, af­ter he posted some pic­tures on so­cial me­dia, he re­alised he might have stum­bled on a rather spe­cial Mini, as the com­ments went crazy! “Un­known to both the pre­vi­ous owner and I, it was a very rare Mini, be­ing the first Lim­ited Edi­tion. I started re­search­ing it that evening, with peo­ple con­tact­ing me with in­for­ma­tion and of­fers to buy it. At that point I de­cided I’d be keep­ing hold of it!”

Not much is known about these cars, but Rhos reck­ons that these Mini 1000 Lim­ited Edi­tions were mod­elled on the MGB of the time, with the op­tion of Brook­lands Green paint and the orange striped in­te­rior, as both were first seen on the MGB first. “Some of these spe­cial fea­tures would go on to sub­se­quently ap­pear on the 1979 Se­ries 1100 Spe­cial mod­els, but the ‘Stripey’ has to be one of the rarest of all Minis,” Rhos ex­plains.

Al­though un­re­stored, Rhos’s Mini 1000 Lim­ited Edi­tion is a charm­ing and very orig­i­nal car, with the dealer-fit­ted ra­dio and speaker all work­ing, and all the Lim­ited Edi­tion’s spe­cial fea­tures still in­tact, along with that dis­tinc­tively retro wind de­flec­tor on the driver’s side and even a pile of tax discs on the dash!

“This car came with no his­tory, just the V5, so I spent hours search­ing for in­for­ma­tion, but as it was never reg­is­tered as a lim­ited edi­tion, the search only showed as a 1976 1000. I con­tacted the DVLA to get an owner search, but sadly with no luck,” Rhos ex­plains.

UN­MO­LESTED

He has since found five other 1000 Lim­ited Edi­tions or ‘Stripeys’ on a few fo­rums and Face­book. “Some are

mod­i­fied and some are projects. I spoke to a gen­tle­man from Rut­land Minis who said he has one, but is keep­ing hold of it, as the last re­stored LE sold for a whop­ping £15,000 at auc­tion back in 2010. Af­ter a con­ver­sa­tion, we couldn’t put a price on what I had, be­cause this Mini is un­mo­lested – it’s as orig­i­nal as could be,” says Rhos.

So in Fe­bru­ary this year, Rhos got this Mini into his garage and started the recom­mis­sion­ing. He ex­plains: “I only found it needed two small bits of weld­ing on the rear valance, so I patched it to keep the orig­i­nal pan­els. The car has been Ziebart wax­oyled from new and ev­ery­thing was cov­ered. New cylin­ders, pipes, flexis and flu­ids for the brakes were all changed. Af­ter fit­ting new spark plugs, points, leads and fresh fuel it started. The fuel tank was very rusty, so I filled it with Cit­ric Acid and wa­ter, then left it for three days, but the re­sults were ex­cel­lent! I’ve put an in-line fil­ter in just in case. I could have changed the tank, but it has a new ex­haust sticker from 1979!” Other new parts fit­ted in­cluded a new wa­ter pump, a full flush through of the cool­ing sys­tem and fresh coolant. Then, the ball joints and bear­ings were over­hauled and greased. New tyres were fit­ted next,

“Un­known to both the pre­vi­ous owner and I, it was a very rare Mini”

along with new wipers, a look over the electrics (sur­pris­ingly they all worked, with no work re­quired!).

Fi­nally, Rhos gave this Mini a quick but care­ful clean, so as not to take any­thing re­ally away from the orig­i­nal look and then it was off for a MoT. “Be­ing MoT ex­empt, the tester ap­pre­ci­ated what it was, but I still wanted him to have a good look over it and I’m pleased to say that he found very lit­tle to cause a prob­lem. In fact, noth­ing was found, and for a 40-year-old car, it’s in very good shape,” smiles Rhos.

So now this spe­cial Mini is road wor­thy, I ask Rhos if he has any fu­ture plans for it — like maybe light restora­tion, so as to not lose the al­limpor­tant pe­riod patina that this Mini oozes. “I won’t be touch­ing the look of this Mini. Most re­cently, it was se­lected by Mini Sport for their Top 25 Cars dis­play at Mini Ac­tion Day at Cas­tle Combe race track this year and the feed­back was great — peo­ple loved its un­touched looks.

“I have made a show board to put next to the car, to give peo­ple an un­der­stand­ing of this car’s his­tory, as with its patina, to those that don’t know, that it looks like a shabby and unloved Mini!”

GET­TING OUT

So far Rhos has cov­ered around 400miles this year, and he tells me that de­spite this Mini be­ing off the road for such a long time, it hasn’t missed a beat! Al­though, with the Mini’s 60th birth­day, he ad­mits next year is go­ing to be a big one for the Mini. So, he’s hop­ing to get to a few more shows and get the fol­low­ing for this lit­tle Mini it de­serves. Then, by us­ing so­cial me­dia such as In­sta­gram (@rhos.j), he plans to let peo­ple know more about this car and tell them what shows it’s go­ing to. “With the IMM in Bris­tol next year, it might be the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to get it no­ticed.”

Sadly, be­cause Rhos ad­mits he’s got too many Mini projects on the go, plus not enough dry stor­age, this rare and spe­cial Mini may come up for sale in the fu­ture. Till then Rhos will carry on en­joy­ing this rare Mini, and we say why not!

“Its patina looks like a shabby and unloved Mini!”

Unique MGB-style orange striped brushed ny­lon trim.

The 1000 was only avail­able in Brook­lands Green.

Dis­tinc­tive orange colour-scheme.

Gold coach­lines stand out against the green hue.

That strik­ing, stripey in­te­rior.

Dealer-fit­ted ra­dio and speaker still works.

Orig­i­nal gauges still in place.

Stan­dard 998cc A-Se­ries power.

Boot is taken up with the orig­i­nal spare wheel.

Orig­i­nal air­box with Uni­part sticker.

Orig­i­nal beauty, com­plete with tax disc.

Mini 1000 badge: A very rare sight.

Such an un­mo­lested car, you’d be for­given for think­ing we were in the ‘70s.

Stan­dard 10-inch steel wheels.

Wind de­flec­tor is a rare sight on any car.

The lucky owner, Rhos Jenk­ins.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.