The Mini Family Workshop

The man-cave is a mystical place for men with hobbies. A quiet place all to himself, the man-cave is the masculine equivalent of J.K. Rowling’s gender-neural Room of Requirement. Depending on the chosen hobby or passion of its owner, the man-cave can either be a place of quiet, wood-panelled and leather-wrapped contemplation, a home-based mecca of sports or a place where the man is free to craft, with his hands, what his mechanical imagination designs.

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What we have here, then, is one very fine example of the man-cave. Or in more equalised terms, a workshop of a very high calibre. Continue reading

The Mini Family

Among the many Minis present for the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the small car, were a few tough Minis from the Move Over racing team. In the group was one that drew particular attention: a blue Clubman with a very unique engine setup. A few days after the event, a message popped up in our inbox. Soon after that…

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…we had a gracious invitation to the home of the supercharged Clubman’s family.

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Ten Feet of Britain: The Mini at 55, Part 3

We last left the Mini’s 55th with a pair of luridly painted and decorated Minis, proving that there really is no sullying the Mini’s good looks. This time we take a look at what happens when you decide to prioritise function over most everything else; we’re starting off with some Minis that were built to go hunting.

The team name is pretty accurate.

The team name is pretty accurate.

Strung between two tents was this banner, announcing the presence of the Move Over race team. Continue reading

Ten Feet of Britain: The Mini at 55, Part 2

When the Mini started selling in 1959, BMC soon discovered a problem with the car’s sales: there was hardly any profit to be made at the price they were selling it at. To be sure, this was no fault of the car, but of the staff in BMC’s finance office. Perhaps they should have taken a far closer look at the car’s engineering before deciding upon the car’s selling price. Soon though, BMC had no choice: the Mini had become such an icon that they couldn’t afford to not sell it.

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Ten Feet of Britain: The Mini at 55

In December of 1956, Britain was in quite a fix: a not-insignificant political indiscretion dubbed Operation Musketeer involving the Suez Canal resulted in an embargo on oil shipments to both France and United Kingdom. This prompted the return of fuel rationing to the country and ruined British car sales; overnight, German microcars like the Isetta and Messerschmidt became the cars of choice, being more frugal than anything the British had on hand. BMC (British Motor Company) was particularly concerned, both because they stood to lose a large chunk of market share and because chairman Leonard Lord reportedly took personal offense to the German “bubblecars”.

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Enter the BMC Mini.

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Ingress: The Mini 80 Club Celebrating the Mini’s 55th

One does not simply have a car show. A lot of logistics is involved in putting together a car show, even one in a wide-open space. After the obvious bureaucratic hurdles of finding and reserving a space for your show, there is of course the matter of the cars that will be in it. Where do you put each of them? How do you make sure that they enter the show area in an orderly fashion? Well, for one thing it helps a little if the cars in the show are small.

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Or, in this case, mini.

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MIAS 2014: The Final Hall, Part Two

We ended the first half of our overage of MIAS 2014’s final hall with the King Spyder, a grey homebrew convertible built out of a Civic with a mishmash of parts from other vehicles.

In this part we’ll explore the other half of the hall, filled mostly with vintage Japanese iron plus a few eccentric occidentals.

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MIAS 2014: The Main Show Floor, Part Four

Now that we’ve finished with all the manufacturers on the main show floor of MIAS 2014, let’s take a look at the rest of the exhibitors on the floor, plus the surprises that lined the back wall of the main hall.

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