Basil the Mini

A New Journey Begins!

After the years of struggling of the idea that I am just drawn to the classic automobile, I have decided to make the big move.  I have move on from the love of my life, a 1995 Mazda Miata (aka The Blue Potato) and now venturing into new charted waters.  Something has always drawn me to the classic mini.  Not sure if it is its style, its simplicity, its heritage or its origins…..but the idea of owning an icon like the mini just stirs my soul.  I came close once…I bought a 2002 Mini Cooper (Black with Tartan Red interior) that I loved dearly….named ‘Pooper’.  It was a fun car and having owned one of the first in Atlanta, got a LOT of attention.  I even started a new job with a small aftermarket company here in Marietta ( where we started to carry a full line of Mini accessories – it was such an exciting time.  But for me, I could not help notice that division between the new MINI owners and old Mini owners.  It just seemed so odd and I finally figured it out why.

Before you knew it, I sold my ’02 and just became content that one day, I would experience the true unity of a vintage mini.  Fast forward 9+ years and here I am today – about to take a trip of a lifetime.  For about 2 years I searched and searched for a nice example that was to become my canvas for my vision.  Sure – I had been here before….I started a similar dream with my 1995 Miata.  It started with an image in a Japanese magazine, Road&Ster, and saw this beautiful Miata with a vintage body kit.  I had to build one.  And today, I am up to my neck with that passion once again.  It may have started with a small image from a magazine (last pic scanned of grey/gold mini from the 2006 Mini Jack coverage in Japan) or a program that I am addicted to (Wheeler Dealers in the UK) or a Pete The Cat painting that my wife gave me a few years go – all these things have lead up to my new project.

So what did I end up with?  I wonderfully sorted 1974 Mini that has had a ton of work done to it as well as engine and suspension.  Lightly modified, she looks like a proper runner and ready for a new home.  So I found her through a guy who is well established in the mini community named Big Al – the Mini Mover.  Now Al is a great guy and has been shooting straight with me from the start.  He reached out to me with a mini that he had in storage from the brutal upstate Ny/Canada weather and gave me all the info on it.  And in fact, I ironically found the previous owner and got all the details from him on the car.  This was a nice find and one that I could start with.  Sure, I wanted a 60’s era mini, but with a 74, you get fairly close on the details and one you can modify (more on that in another post).

View Canada or Bust – A journey for a Southern Classic Mini in a larger map

For now, I love they way she looks and a nicer deposit later, I have her ready for pick up… Canada.  Yes, Canada.  I should have thought about this one better….but all is not lost.  Al has been super helpful and even offered to help trailer the little guy into OH where I will depart on my journey south.  A bit daunting and a bit scary – I hope she makes it back home to her garage in sunny GA.  I had been tossing around the idea to possibly trailer her from Louisville on south, but the cost is just too high.  This is something that I am struggling with at the moment.

So assuming all goes to plan….what is in store?  Well, if you look below at that wonderful Mk3 Tweed Grey mini, that is the vision I am going for.  Planned for the future is a full body respray, new wheels (2 pc. gold of course), a roof rack, a vintage stereo and just little enhancements.   Stay tuned for a full run down of all the mods that are already done to the car – as there is a long list.

Get ready to motor!