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1961 Austin Mini: Take Two

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  • 1961 Austin Mini: Take Two

    At the beginning of May, I spotted a Mini on ebay with a nice patina. I have always wanted a Mk1 Mini with patina, and couldn't pass it up. I put my max bid on it and hoped for the best. The seller had posted over 160+ photos of it on the ad, so I wasn't too worried about the condition of the car. I ended up winning the auction and now have my 2nd 1961 Austin Mini, however, this one is actually streetable.




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      • #4
        The seller arranged shipping and had great communication, in the sense, that he always responded, but didn't always do what I asked him to do. I.E. send me certain documents, or give me some sort of update. The shipper he went through dropped the ball big time and the car didn't even ship until Memorial Day. I spoke to the driver and he seemed cool. The driver wanted me to pick the car up from him down at the Manheim Auto Auction in Kent off the 212th exit. He had the car already running when I got there, but to my unhappy surprise, the grill had been smashed, sometime between the car sitting waiting to be picked up and the driver picking it up. I had been assured by the seller and the driver, that I would have no issues getting it home other then spongy brakes.







        Upon leaving the auction house, the car was running hot and the engine wasn't too happy, on top of that, the hood didn't want to stay latched. I pulled over into a gas station and double checked the oil and decided to top off the oil. Then, I attempted to get on the freeway. It made it about a mile down the freeway after the exit before it decided to lose power and then sputter to a stop. Called AAA and they said that the soonest a tow truck could get out there was 2-3 hours. Of course, I didn't want to leave it there so I tried to get it going a couple more times, but with no tools, I didn't have a chance. I had a neighbor friend come pick me up and take me back home, and the car was finally picked up at 10:30 pm. The tow truck driver didn't want to pull it up onto his flatbed the way that I requested, so we did a risky move, after a few failed attempts at getting it up onto his bed. The risky move is that we both pushed it up onto the flatbed, and then I pulled the ebrake and stomped hard on the mushy brakes. He then raised the flatbed and put it into position for towing, with me in the car standing on the brakes. Thankfully it didn't roll back, as when we first got it onto the flatbed, it slid back to less then a foot off the end of the deck.

        Once I got it home, I unloaded it and left it for the night and called it a night.

        Today, I had a chance to poke around it and I am glad that only the grill got damaged and not the front body work. The car itself is way more solid then I hoped and I am hoping that the motor is decently healthy, so I can get it tuned up and have it be a runner sooner instead of later. I am super happy with the car, and the seller said that he would work with me to get the grill reimbursed.

        Stay tuned.

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        • #5
          Wow, Ryan! Nice looking mini...real bummer about the grill. I'm sure you will have it up and running in no time!

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          • #6
            Looks like a pretty nice car Ryan. Is it an 850 or ?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ADO15 View Post
              Wow, Ryan! Nice looking mini...real bummer about the grill. I'm sure you will have it up and running in no time!
              Thanks!

              Originally posted by Andrew.Bertschi View Post
              Looks like a pretty nice car Ryan. Is it an 850 or ?
              It's a 1275, I'm not cool like Fred.



              The plan for this one:

              Keep the body the way it is for now
              Change the flares out for something more period correct
              Put new comfortable interior in it that still goes with the vintage
              Refresh parts of the suspension
              It is in dire need of tires, as the current ones are cracking, and get new wheels as I hate Revos on Mini's
              Other miscellaneous maintenance items
              Get the motor checked out and see if it needs a rebuild (most likely), in the next year it will most likely get a new motor

              This one is going to be my cruiser, the Clubman is going to be the pretty show car.

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              • #8
                1. Whaddaya mean you don't like Revo's on minis!?
                2. Like the car. REALLY like the car.

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                • #9
                  1. Ha ha, Jerry! Just on my own car!
                  2. Thanks, glad it's in better shape than I thought.

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                  • #10
                    Fred's so cool he done blowd er up...

                    If it has a used MM 1275 engine does that mean it's also been converted to a rod change or a remote? (assuming an entire power unit swap)

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                    • #11
                      It was converted to rod change and so far the transmission seems to shift fine.

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                      • #12
                        Hey Ryan,
                        Those flares look like alloy Cosmic flares...pretty period correct...paint them black and run a length of side trim for a works look. You could also paint the Revo centers black...
                        A great find!
                        Tom
                        My Mini is plastic.

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                        • #13
                          Tom,

                          Thanks for the info. I had completely forgotten about the Cosmic flares. Painting them black is pretty good idea. When I first saw them, I kept getting images of the later ugly chrome flares in my head.

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                          • #14
                            Gave it a wash yesterday and replaced the battery with a Optima Red Top from the Clubman.

                            Today, I checked the voltage at the battery and it peaked at 14.3 with the car running, so I don't need an alternator for now. Adjusted the choke cable and idle, so the car isn't fighting to stay running / dying constantly. It is idling a bit high, but I'll deal with that later.

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                            • #15
                              Cooper 'S' disc brakes in the future? What carb? Compression check?

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