Practical Classics (UK)

‘The subframe was bent; I bolted it to a wall and applied a trolley jack!’


Ken elected to build his own wiring loom: ‘They are all available, but this had the rally dash and switches already in situ, therefore I enjoyed doing my own thing!’

The 1275 engine has tappet covers in the rear and was found to be in decent condition when Ken came to check it over: ‘The bores only needed honing before I fitted new pistons, bearings, a fast road camshaft, cam bearings and followers. Several sets of cases, flywheels and other parts came with the car, which helped the restoratio­n enormously.’

The brakes were all rebuilt but some old, now unobtainab­le, parts were reused. Carrying out some serious braking tests, Ken discovered that the rear wheels locked up. ‘The car is very light and with the rears locked it was difficult to feel which wheel was off the ground and which hedge the car was going to flick into. Luckily new rear brake limit valves have recently been remanufact­ured and having fitted a new, fully functional and correct valve, the braking is now superb if you are not airborne,’ he chuckles.

According to Ken, the headlights are ‘pretty useless’ and still need somework, while the majority of the brightwork came with the car.

‘It had some MKII badges on it but the MKI badges and other bits and bobs were all in boxes. The MKI bumpers, overriders, corner bars were also taped up in the boxes as well, so they were cleaned up and fitted by myself.’

Nowadays, with the Mini finished, Ken likes to lend a hand at the nearby Lakeland Motor Museum and really enjoys being amongst the people there, museum staff and other enthusiast­s. ‘The atmosphere is terrific. I am lucky to live nearby. It is good to see younger enthusiast­s bringing their motors to the regular events. Talking to them about their cars can be very educationa­l for me.’ That said, Ken did let on that he and his son have recently picked up a Lotus MKII Cortina, for restoratio­n. ‘Well, it’s just another project!’ ■

 ?? ?? Mini certainly looks the part.
Mini certainly looks the part.

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