1978 Rover - Austin Mini Reviews

1978 Rover - Austin Mini Clubman 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership1993
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance89000 miles
Previous carCitroen Visa

Summary:

Love/Hate relationship

Faults:

Oil line split and painted the engine compartment black.

Three front wheel punctures.

Steering column broke on a mini-roundabout.

Passenger floor and foot-well rusted through. You could see the road through the hole in the carpet.

Alternator broke.

I gave up replacing the head gasket, it broke so often.

Battery box rusted away - had to build a new one out of fiberglass.

The brakes were abysmal when newly replaced, but kept on working even when there was no lining left on the pads at all.

General Comments:

This car was a lot of fun to drive, but completely unpredictable, even in the dry.

It had the wide 16cm alloys, which did mean it took longer to reach the break-away point. However once the car started to slide, it went very violently.

The engine was wonderful. The power after my previous Citroen was fun. However I had to stop replacing the head gasket (it was getting to the stage of me doing it every 3 months) and simply glue it shut and tighten the bolts.

Until I permanently fixed the head gasket problem, I was replacing over a liter of oil a month... no need for oil changes when you own a mini.

The brakes were interesting. Basically, you had to push the pedal and wait for something to happen, which often took a second or two. Emergency braking required first gear and the handbrake.

The club-man just looks so much better than the normal mini shape. Also the black and white checked roof is much more unusual and stylish than the white bonnet stripes on a cooper!

I wouldn't touch another mini. I wouldn't recommend buying one to anyone I cared about, because they are dangerous as anything on the road. I am happy to have had the experience though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th November, 2004

20th Jan 2005, 17:39

I have had most of these dramas too! It's just a car I LOVE TO HATE. I am presently doing a complete restoration, including a change of engine, suspension, interior, dash, brakes, chassis and all body panels (incl the roof!)

Garth,

Jamaica.

1978 Rover - Austin Mini 0.85 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership1993
Engine and transmission 0.85 Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance79000 miles

Summary:

Superb!

Faults:

Brake master cylinder leaking.

Electrical short on the blower switch (nearly a fire!)

Choke cable stop broke (used a clothes peg).

General Comments:

THE ideal first car. Peanuts to run, peanuts to insure, mechanically bombproof and more fun than you can imagine.

Nothing handles or steers like a Mini. Thankfully nothing is so uncomfortable or brakes as badly, but what the heck? A brilliant little car which oozes character. I still miss it ten years on!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2001

1978 Rover - Austin Mini 1000 1.3 MG Metro transplant from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.3 MG Metro transplant Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired83000 miles
Most recent distance91000 miles
Previous carMitsubishi 1979 RWD Colt Lancer

Summary:

Massive fun on four wheels - I want it back

Faults:

Head gasket x3.

Front wheel fell off (but did hit an Escort so that's OK!).

Oil leak.

Spark plugs broke down.

Throttle cable fell off while doing 95 on the M6.

Lights stopped working (bad connection at the fuse).

General Comments:

I loved this car. Something went wrong every two weeks, but it was brilliant.

Handled superb, went like stink with the new engine, was great fun and everyone loved it. Very noisy but that's just Minis and added to the fun.

Biggest mistake was running lead replacement petrol - this is what blew the head gaskets. If you buy a Mini run unleaded with proper additives - LRP is crap. Massive improvements in performance as well.

Most the problems I had were down to my poor mechanics skills when I put the MG engine in and modified it all round. It had disc brakes which were good and 12in Minilights all round. I want it back!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2001

1978 Rover - Austin Mini Moke Californian 1.3 A+ from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.3 A+ Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 kilometres
Most recent distance50000 kilometres
Previous carHonda CT 110 Postie Bike

Summary:

A car full of excitement and performance!!! Will rope you in like a magnet!

Faults:

Hmm.

* No Rust as rust proofed.

* Old (original) engine (998cc) overheated and warped head, therefore upgraded to a late model 1275 A+ with Cooper S Pistons and 1 & 3/4" SU.

* Brakes have failed a few times. Have since added a brake booster from an old Valiant.

* Steering thread has stripped rendering the steering useless as the steering wheel would turn, but the front wheels wouldn't. Quite scary that!

* Overheating problems.

* Electrical problems.

* Starter motor problems.

Just to mention a few but I love the car (Rej) to death!!!

General Comments:

Rej (my Moke) is seriously quick for a 23 year old car with a 1.3 litre engine (top end speed of around 140km/h) and handles like it's on rails.

The most enjoyable and lovable car in the world. Excellent fun all year round but is interesting in the winter(it doesn't snow in Wollongong (NSW Australia) luckily).

I have had my moke for four years and I still look forward to jumping into it and driving it every day!

A must for absolutely anyone!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2001

5th May 2001, 05:55

You said it all mate

cheers

avi wolf

Israel.

27th Nov 2001, 20:17

I hired a moke on Magnetic Island Australia and I had the time of my life, I just wish I could of taken it back to England. I am definitely going to have one! Can't wait!

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 4 reviews