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Minis at the Mint
Page 2

Broadcast dates : 18th September 2005
24th September 2005


To celebrate the 46th birthday of Sir Alec’s creation, the Mini Club visited the Mint in Midrand in late August, after gathering at the Kyalami racetrack.
The event was open to all Mini drivers, new, old, club members or not. As usual some rare cars arrived, such as this pair of Mini Marcos sports machines, built in kit form in the late ‘60s. And the oldest Aunty Austin Seven was there too, keeping a watchful eye on shenanigans.

Like the Volkswagen beetle, Minis are completely classless cars. 
They were bought by district nurses, as Issigonis had envisaged, but also by some of the world’s top celebrities.

Head Beatle John Lennon owned a Cooper S, as did Lord Snowden, and Peter Sellers of Pink Panther fame owned a Radburn model, with an interior trimmed to Rolls Royce specs.

Club racers, station wagons, pick-ups and long-nosed examples, like the Clubman and 1275 GTS all headed for the mint. And many of them were in mint condition.
The sight of over 250 Minis on the Ben Schoeman highway warmed the hearts of car fans on a cold blustery day.

The sheer numbers and variety of the righteous assembly made all the organization worthwhile.

And even for 250, parking was never going to be a problem.

Sunshine Minis, Moonlight Minis, Mini tug-o- war competitions – for the Mini crowd there was one reason for being there. 

To celebrate a car that was in production in South Africa almost unchanged for over twenty years. 
The variants of the Mini theme seem endless, such as a Van den Plas special luxury model, now mostly consigned to the mists of time.

Mini pick-ups are becoming sought after and even more rare is this Mini… err … ummm.. trailer?

The Mini Workshop on the East Rand specialize in squeezing turbocharged Toyota twin cam engines into Mini’s. 
With over 200 kiloWatts on tap, and an overall weight of less than 700 kilograms, the performance of this car is said to be stupefying.

And the beat goes on. How many people remember the Wolsely Hornet and the Riley Elf, more radical examples of BMC’s badge engineering expertise?
The Mini Moke is a Jeep-like Mini, originally conceived for military use. But for most Miniphiles, army-like discipline takes a back seat to fun.

For sheer rarity value, the car of the day was this genuine four-wheel-drive Mini. 

Built by Leyland in the UK, it was never put into production.

The Mini Ant has a tilted back engine to accommodate the low-range transfer case for the four-wheel drive system. 

As for the interior, comfort is not in the BMW X5 league.

Back to Minis at the Mint page 1

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