Originally, we had Minis because that's what our parents bought us for our first car each. Well, of course, "The Italian Job" had something to do with it... We were instantly hooked. The best thing for any boy racer is 'personalising' their car, which we did with almost every one we owned.
Here's the pictures - most very poor quality having been scanned from quite old, faded photos...
This first shot shows the last three we all owned at the same time. The black one was mine; the blue one was my twin brother's (Dick) and the white one was my older brothers (Andrew).
Andrew's was a pre-reg 1960-something Mk. I - a very early model. When he bought it, it was 30-something years old, yet only had a few thousand miles on the clock. It's previous owner was a vicar's wife who used it to go shopping once a week.
Note the many oil patches on my parents driveway in the pictures above.
This started life as a pretty tidy 1275, but I spun the big-end bearings so decided to rebuild the engine. While 'shopping' at a nearby performance parts shop - Avonbar - I noticed they had a second-hand 1380 lump for sale and a project was born...
A few return trips to Avonbar later, I ended up with a 1380 with lightened and balanced just about everything. This was installed by me and my Brother-in-law in my Granny's garage.
Notable on that car were the shitty bucket seats I picked up for a fiver each, which I re-upholstered myself using beer towels from various local pubs.
When I got my first 'proper' job, with a company car, I sold this to a friend. He couldn't handle the maintenance (the twin 1½" SUs had to be balanced almost weekly) and swapped it for a 2CV. I never forgave him for that...
This was my first car, but when I (erm, cough) took a year off from driving, I sold it to Dick. He added the wheels & arches, Cooper grill and spots. It started life as 998cc, but Dick picked up a 'Gold Seal' 1275 lump from the local scrap yard and transplanted it.
The engine swap was memorable. When we arrived with a borrowed van to collect the replacement engine, the guys at the scrap yard had simply cut the entire front of the donor car with a welding torch. We stripped off the bodywork, leaving the engine, wheels, suspension, etc. in place on the sub-frame. We then disconnected everything from the current car, lifted the bodywork off it's subframe, wheeled it away and simply wheeled the replacement subframe into position, dropped the bodywork down onto it and bolted it all up again. Nice. As a side-note, this meant that his car gained the 12" disk brakes from the 1275, which is why he had to buy those new Revolutions; the 10" wheels won't fit over 12" brakes.
Other notable modifications to this car were the colour-coordinated bucket seats and the excellent
Innocenti-style dash he picked up on a 'shopping' trip.