Basil the Mini

The fire starts with a spark

So as many of you out there who have followed me over the years with the development of the Blue Potato know, it all starts with something.  Like the last project I did, for me it always starts with something small.  Maybe a scene, a memory or even an object – and in this case with the Classic Mini, it is an object that literally fits in your hand.  Much like my beloved Miata shift knob, I scoured the globe looking for one I saw in a Mini World magazine article….and talk about timing, I found that rare beastie!

Many moons ago, I had seen one for sale that went like a tornadic bidding war between a few lads in the UK and I thought to myself, oh well – guess will just never see one again.  Then like a shot in the dark, I saw one on ebay for sale out of the UK with a fairly sizeable starting bid.  To sum it up, it came down the wire in a bidding match with some guy out of Germany and in the end, I won.

The Moto-Lita Rallye Monte-Carlo knob (if I have my facts straight) is really rare and cannot find any info on this knob coming on an actual Rover or Austin model but know the knob was an aftermarket part in 1994.  It appears to be threaded for the standard mini shifter and will require a nut to center it in place once I put her on.

The knob was in perfect shape with just a couple of small nicks in the soft metal.  It was in need of a good polish and I went to work on Friday night in my now empty garage/workshop.  Note to self, I need to name my workshop something cool and vintage…more on that in the future.

I spent about 30 mins on the polishing that you can see in the pics below, but I think I will continue to buff later.  I am really thrilled that I have made my first purchase for this mini that I have yet to take possession of, but that will be happening at the end of March and will update that story later.  Stay tuned….for now, enjoy the progress!

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