1968 Morris Mini Deluxe BMC 998 cc A Series from Australia and New Zealand
Absolutely advanced for its time, and would be the most, "fun on wheels" today
From memory, not a thing went wrong.
Oh memories. I wish I had "mothballed" my 1968 Mini Deluxe when it became too small to carry all the golf gear and kept it. Imagine the value today. Imagine the fun to drive it again. With Michelin ZX tyres and the hydrolastic suspension, the Mini stuck to the road like superglue. I know it sounds impossible, but I could make the mini oversteer. Yes, oversteer from a front wheel drive vehicle.
Many happy days out on the salt flats (safe and approved) perfecting hand brake turns and getting everything, "out of shape" without the danger of colliding with something.
The pleasure on a long trip to feel a slight hesitation, and stop and lift the bonnet and see ICE around the SU carburettor. Yes, ice around the carburettor in North Queensland. Now that was the sign of a well tuned carburettor.
The loud muffler I fitted was replaced about a week later with a large bore quiet muffler. Fitted soundproofing under the floor mats and under the bonnet. Quite a difference with interior noise.
For the fun of it, I fitted a flexible tube from the air-cleaner to a round, "ram air" scoop behind the grille. Top speed went from about 75 mph to 86 mph. Actually outran a Monaro 6 cylinder model, but I was young and silly way back then.
Sundays at the drag strip. Well, a Mini 998 cc was not a muscle machine, but it held up well against similar smaller cars by Datsun, Toyota, and the early Its-A Bushi's. The unbreakable crankshaft and simple but solid and true engineering saw the occasional 7,000 RPM run.
Best economy was 52 MPG. Worst was 40 MPG. But no strangling emission control way back then.
Comfort, well sort of OK, but the relationship of the steering wheel to everything else was not the best. But, the usual bracket from the, "speed shop" to lower the steering column helped a lot.
For sheer fun driving nothing can beat a Mini I think. But, affairs with two mistresses (a 1965 Triumph 2000 and a 1973 Triumph 2500 TC) showed what smoothness was and still is. A Triumph is not a car, it is a mistress and an expensive one at that.
The only weak point of all Minis back then was brakes. Drums all round and would fade to nil stopping power and burning smells if full on from 60 mph trying to dodge livestock on the roads.
Sold my Mini at 50,000 happy miles and bought a Triumph 2000 mistress to hold all the golf bags and things.
I want my Mini back.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th August, 2015