Around Easter in 2006 I went to see a Thirty LE that had been off the road for a year. I had been looking at other minis for over a year, but none had caught my attention like this Thirty had.
It was exactly what I wanted colour coded arches and mirrors with alloys as standard. I loved the half leather interior and all the little bits and bobs that make a Thirty so special.
A year later I finally managed to get it and I am currently working on it. It needs its whole front end replaced as well as a sill. It fried the three wires from the starter to the alternator the first time we tried to connect the battery.
However when I replaced those three wires and connected the battery again, after a year and a half of not being started or drove, my mini started on the button first time without any problems. I was able to drive it up and down a lane without a front end on.
Yes I will come across mountains of problems with it and no doubt I will spend stupid amounts of money on it, but at the end of the day it will all be worth it. When I drive it is like being a kid again, you catch everyones attention as you go by and kids just can not help but smile when they see a mini on the road. There will be countless problems, but that is what makes a mini a mini. They are all different and all have their own character and look and that is what I love about them.
I have just got my mini 30 out of storage after 8 years, it has not started as I expected, but I m going to throw good money at it as when I was a student it was good to me!!!
It never broke down in the 4 years I drove it to and from college and never cost me to much money getting her through the 4 mot inspections.
Getting out of my range rover and climbing/falling into the mini brought back great memories, even the damp/leather smell gave memories of 1989 flooding back to me!!!
The mini is history, the mini should never be insulted, the mini is nothing more than a mini and does not pretend to be otherwise.
Yes you have smart cars, corsa, suzuki and a whole new range of small cars out there...BUT...But they will never capture peoples hearts like the old original MINI.
I too am 17 years old, passed my test a few months ago, and my first car is a Mini Thirty. I love it. Reading through these other comments I realise I have been lucky to escape the heriditary defect that seems to haunt all Minis...rust. My little one lived in Japan for most of it's life, this had a few main benefits, one being that it has virtually no rust! The air conditioning is also another bonus, although it does take a while to get going. But I wonder, do these benefits outweigh the £2500 I paid for it?
But what does worry me is that I noticed others had also mentioned a problem with the gear box and possibly wearing out certain gears. One of the only faults mine seems to have is that it seems to 'pop out' of second gear occasionally. Is this common?
I also seem to feel at a bit of a loss as what to do in terms of 'modernising'. I wish to keep the character of the fun old Mini that is so loved; so when I start to think of perhaps adding a sun roof or changing the colour of the roof and updating the electrics I almost feel like a traitor!
Anyway, the main reason for my comment was just to express my love for my little one! I would recommend the car to anyone who can either afford one in good condition, or can afford to have constant repairs. Any advice as to how to look after, and generally take care of my Mini would also be much appreciated :)
I have a Mini 30, which, as yet, has had no rotting problems, and the electrics are perfect still. It has done 110,000 thousand miles and is still clean as a whistle, and the gear box is good still, for that it is a common problem, but can be solved by keeping oil levels good and the engine serviced well; it will be fine.
If you have had a Mini, you will understand the allure it has, and the fact that unlike nearly all modern cars, they have a character and therefore are unlike. Modern cars may have more gizmos and are more comfortable, but if anyone has been in an Audi lately with Sportline pack, they are in my opinion, less comfortable and handle less precisely.