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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:04 pm

Back in around 1971/72 I used to run a 1964 Mini Cooper S 1,071cc. It was Almond Green with an Old English White roof and I still remember the reg. 267WYC. I remember rebuilding the engine, having the block rebored etc and then taking it down to Benidorm via Andorra and back via Barcelona.

Indulging my nostalgia trip I looked up a few figures and compared them to the current Mini Cooper S (in brackets). On the right of the brackets are the figures for a current Mini One

Length 10ft (12ft 7ins)

Width 4ft 7ins (6ft 4ins)

Height 4ft 5ins (4ft 7.5ins)

Engine CC 1,071 (1,998) 1,499

Power (PS) 71 (195) 103

Torque (lb/ft) 62 (206) 140

Kerbweight (kg) 686 (1,200) 1140

PS per tonne 103 (163) 90

lb/ft Torque per tonne 90 (172) 123

0-60mph (secs)  13.5 (6.8) 10.3

So the current Mini hatchback is 30 ins longer than my old car and 1ft 9ins wider, but this might partly be mirrors adding width. There's just 2.5ins difference in height.

The modern engines are much larger with the current S having nearly twice the cc and creeping towards three times the power. The comparison of torque is even greater with my engine only producing 30% of the grunt of a modern S.

However my car weighed nearly half as much as a modern Mini and whilst the modern S romps away at 163PS per tonne, the current standard Mini manages less PS per tonne than mine. The 0-60 times really put the cars in perspective though. My S taking 3 seconds more than a current base Mini and almost twice as long a today's S.

Of course today's Mini is a totally different thing to the original, despite all the design cues refined and refined again by BMW. No sliding door windows, no funny door handles, no SU fuel pump under the rear nearside, that needed a rap with a spanner every so often, no distributor that lost it's spark in a deluge, no heater tap that emptied water over the engine bay. Oh the joys of '60's motoring.

Would I have one again? You betcha.
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:14 pm

Are first mini had the starter button on the floor next the the driver front seat frame.
Usually a few minis for sale in the Mathewsons car sales auction in Thornton le Dale ( maybe closed until further notice) if you fancy a trip back in time.
I don't I would fit on one now. Take a shoe horn to get me out.
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Post by Flyingv58 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:50 pm

My wife had a mini clubman estate around 1977. We went camping to Oban. Woke up the next morning to water pouring into the tent. Decided to abandon and chucked everything into the mini. Turned the key and.....nothing. Didn't know much about cars back then and nobody was coming out in the pouring rain to help us. Ended up walking for about 2miles to a phone box. Felt a right idiot when the AA guy sprayed some damp start onto the distributor, turned the key and it fired up first time. Loved the car until it fell to bits. Don't miss faffing about underneath it though.
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Post by Dave 418 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:05 pm

My car history makes me realise what young and daft really means. In 1973 I bought my fathers MG Midget with money I had saved during my six months stint in Northern Ireland.
I drove that back to Germany with no breakdown cover and a fuel pump that wouldn’t start working until I hit the floor with a hammer. The clutch blew up whilst chasing my mates Ducati round the Nurburgring . I hitched back to camp and borrowed a three toner to get it back to camp.
After sorting that out I bought one of the last Hillman Imps from forces car sales, it was silly cheap. That blew the head gasket every time I came home on leave. It didn’t like doing more than 65 mph. On the Autobahns that was not fun with trucks howling past you.
After three years I payed off the finance on the Imp and bought a Datsun 160J SSS. That car that 250,000 miles on it before kids arrived.
I only took out breakdown cover when I became an AA patrolman.
Given the choice of car again I would have another Datsun, maybe a 280Z. Of course I would make sure I have some sort of breakdown cover.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:07 pm

burlingtonboaby wrote:Are first mini had the starter button on the floor next the the driver front seat frame.
Usually a few minis for sale in the Mathewsons car sales auction in Thornton le Dale ( maybe closed until further notice) if you fancy a trip back in time.
I don't I would fit on one now. Take a shoe horn to get me out.
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Ah, the old Cooper S had key start, rather than the floor button. It also had the remote gear lever, rather than the long lever of the standard car. IIRC the original Mini also had pull cords to open the doors, rather than handles.

Mmm and maybe you're right, I was a few stone lighter back in the '70's.
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Post by Paulmold on Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:24 pm

I was looking forward to the new car museum due to open at Easter near Belper. All British cars but obviously it won't open at Easter now. My first car was an Imp, that also blew head gaskets every couple of months.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:27 pm

My Dad had an Imp for a while and I remember the exhaust falling apart.
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Post by bikeralw on Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:31 pm

The heading of this thread brought back fond memories of my first car, I was 14 years old.
 An old MG saloon bought off my brother in law for £30. I paid my dad back by labouring on the family farm. My mum used to send me out to the next village 6 miles away for fish and chips.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:48 pm

My first car was a 1938 Morris 8 4 seater Tourer called Daisy. Used to chew half shafts like they were liquorice. I lusted after a neighbours white MG TA but never got the chance to own it.
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:08 am

Flyingv58 wrote:My wife had a mini clubman estate around 1977. We went camping to Oban. Woke up the next morning to water pouring into the tent. Decided to abandon and chucked everything into the mini. Turned the key and.....nothing. Didn't know much about cars back then and nobody was coming out in the pouring rain to help us. Ended up walking for about 2miles to a phone box. Felt a right idiot when the AA guy sprayed some damp start onto the distributor, turned the key and it fired up first time. Loved the car until it fell to bits. Don't miss faffing about underneath it though.
Good ole Rocket 40 (WD40). ,I'm still using it on both vehicle engines.   up!
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:15 am

Paulmold wrote:I was looking forward to the new car museum due to open at Easter near Belper. All British cars but obviously it won't open at Easter now. My first car was an Imp, that also blew head gaskets every couple of months.
Funny enough Paul, our Singer version of the Imp ,did the same on the way to Glasgow from Livingston , fortunately the wife Dad was of duty and towed us back home.
Must have a look at this Belper car museum too.   up!
I've had some buckets in my time, I used to go to Kinross car auctions and get them for sweeties and clean them up and sell them for beer money.
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Post by Dave 418 on Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:57 am

My Dad had the Singer Chamios Coupe version of the Imp. No opening back window and four headlights with carpets and decent seats. That was recovered back from his walks in Scotland several times. He re-painted that with some special car paint you could buy, it was sort of battleship grey with streaks and brush hairs stuck to it. We could get the engine out of an Imp in about half an hour, we had plenty of practice.
The rest of my car history gets boring including Astras and Cavaliers untill we got to a couple of nice Saab,s, family cars I suppose. Then it went silly again with a couple of Landrovers. After that it was the Duetto and the Rienza and a Polo for management.
In my late fathers desk drawer were all his old tax discs going back to a Ford 15cwt van in 1951. 
If we go to a car museum or show I always find cars  have broken down at the roadside. If I make the mistake of talking to some one about them management walks off.
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Post by roli on Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:01 am

Bileralws' photo of the MG brought back a memory.   The 1st time I saw one was amazed by the Smiths Jackall System (Hydraulic) on it which allowed you to jack 1 or more wheels up with without needing to get jacks out
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Post by Askit on Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:33 am

I saw an original Mini cooper for sale in Glasgow, it was around 1970. The owner was a flamboyant guy who owned a hairdressers on Great Western Road. When I went to see it he flung me the keys and told me to try it out. It had a bucket seat and a small steering wheel fitted. No matter how I tried, my 6ft 2in frame would not fit in the car  shrugg  

I got a VW Beetle with a 1600cc engine instead  think_smiley_46

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:52 am

I fitted seat runner extensions so I could fit.
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:54 am

Askit wrote:I saw an original Mini cooper for sale in Glasgow, it was around 1970. The owner was a flamboyant guy who owned a hairdressers on Great Western Road. When I went to see it he flung me the keys and told me to try it out. It had a bucket seat and a small steering wheel fitted. No matter how I tried, my 6ft 2in frame would not fit in the car  shrugg  

I got a VW Beetle with a 1600cc engine instead  think_smiley_46
1602S would that be Tony, I got one from Kinross and the wife drove it back to Saline, couldn't catch her in my MK 4 cortina 2.1 Pinto.
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P.S maybe should be a 1302S ,with a twin port engine


Last edited by burlingtonboaby on Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by bikeralw on Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:56 am

roli wrote:Bileralws' photo of the MG brought back a memory.   The 1st time I saw one was amazed by the Smiths Jackall System (Hydraulic) on it which allowed you to jack 1 or more wheels up with without needing to get jacks out
And I used that quite frequently in the few years I owned it Roli. It was an amazing system!
The top hinged wind up windscreen was another brilliant idea.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:10 am

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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:24 am

Car Nostalgia Morris10

Home in the North East for the weekend to collect a new bonnet from the scrapyard - yellow paint applied on return to Bletchley. £50 from a chap who had recovered it from a scrap yard.  The fog lights, wing mirrors, indicators, aerial and seat belts were added by me.  Front passenger seat folded to nothing and could get a keg of beer in its place. When travelling north in the winter I had to put afghan over my knees to combat drafts through the bulkhead. All over the country for three years and I think three engines in that time ( I remember once the crankshaft broke across one of the webs on the A1 near Pontefract, engine still ran but what a noise for the remainder of journey south).  Front wheels kept dropping off (always just pulling away from a junction) etc etc. My landlady's brother was Sargent in Bletchley police so my yellow peril was hardly the anonymous transport a 17 year old would prefer!

I bought a Triumph Spitfire for £35 MOT failure and Motorola Radio was probably worth that.  My brother provided the labour to refurbish the Spitfire in exchange for the Morris and he ran it for another three years.
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Post by Askit on Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:22 pm

burlingtonboaby wrote:
Askit wrote:I saw an original Mini cooper for sale in Glasgow, it was around 1970. The owner was a flamboyant guy who owned a hairdressers on Great Western Road. When I went to see it he flung me the keys and told me to try it out. It had a bucket seat and a small steering wheel fitted. No matter how I tried, my 6ft 2in frame would not fit in the car  shrugg  

I got a VW Beetle with a 1600cc engine instead  think_smiley_46
1602S would that be Tony, I got one from Kinross and the wife drove it back to Saline, couldn't catch her in my MK 4 cortina 2.1 Pinto.
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P.S maybe should be a 1302S ,with a twin port engine

That was the model, it had been owned by a bank manager as the reg started LSD. He decided to sell it after decimalisation. It went like the clappers.

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Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:52 pm

I sold it 3 days later to a Marconi engineer who built beach buggies, GRP moulds, sounded great with the Baha exhaust,
I put a Baha exhaust on my first Bay window van, we stayed in Port Bannatyne at the time, the wife could her the van leaving Rossie.
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Post by Dave 418 on Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:59 pm

Apparently my Dads Fordson 15 cwt van belong to a local news paper printers. There were no front seats. Instead it had two stacks of newspapers and a plank. He fitted seats from a Ford Pilot his mate scrapped.
If we went on trips out my Grandparents sat in two arm chairs in the back and my sisters pram was fastened to the inside handle for the back doors. They were held shut with a piece of string. Me and our dog ran about wreaking havoc.
Fords of that time had a transverse rear spring with a securing pin to the body in the middle. If the pin snapped the body would slide across the spring, not good if you were cornering at the time.
During my time at the roadside I saw rapid changes to cars some of them were a nightmare to sort at the roadside. We were always trying to figure out ways to get around some of the oddities and faults. It didn’t surprise me that the British motor trade failed sadly.
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Post by daisy mae on Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:02 am

My first car, was a Vauxhall Victor Estate FB, Alabama Gold with an Alaska white roof. reg no 8633AT was 3 years old belonged to a local vicar, kept it for 11 years,a friends boyfriend bought it from me and blew up the engine within two weeks.Had it before I had passed my test, was having driving lessons with a school, also went out in the car, with a friend who had a full licence for a few weeks. luckily passed test first time.

I have very fond memories of that car, of taking the children out on picnics with a friends children , holidays to Norfolk twice a year, camping, etc. roads were so much quieter then.

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Post by Silver Tourist on Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:04 am

First car was an Austin A35 which I hand painted the body bright green and the bonnet and roof black, seem to recollect that there was a "button" on the floor near the clutch pedal that with a dab of the left foot put the headlights onto main beam! Long time ago so memory could be playing me tricks. Next car was a Mini 850 Reg 7802 NU? the only car that I have sold and made a profit on. Many more cars over the years and I guess like most people we could write a book about our car escapades. Present vehicle is a Subaru Outback, good motor.
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Post by babian on Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:43 am

first car was a mini clubman 1971 1100 GJU700L.  mate at collage had a dad who did drag racing. He gas flowed my mini's cylinder head ( you could nearly get your hand in the ports!! when finished) fitted larger su carb, straight through RC exhaust system . The car was a flyer after with the mods. I use to race a 1275GT  mini home down the A5 after collage, always won. Owner used to ask why mine was so fast ? I said " because mine has no REV counter" . 
oil light kept coming on at the end so sold it on.
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