Really want to get a mini, they're cheap, parts are everywhere in comparison to other classics, and the price of insurance is (I'm not kidding) £4200 per year less than other cars that I've been looking at to restore but the huge problem I can see is the engine and transmition if I do get one. How many hoops would I be expected to jump through to register a mini if I put another non-standard engine in with other modifications down the line like better brakes, suspension and axles etc? The DVLA website is pish at explaining it and just directs me to look at form after form after form.
I've heard of people needing to do an 8 hour road worthy test, but that isn't mentioned anywhere on the DVLA website, just stuff about many different inspections... to make sure that the wheels aren't on backwards I assume.
Thanks for any info, this red-tape is a nightmare to deal with.
Why do you think that the engine and transmition is "huge problem"?
The block might need a re-bore and the crank might need a re-grind, but all the parts go together like a Lego toy (OK, like Meccano).
Unlike restoring bodywork, they aren't rusty and don't need welding or painting.
Apart from the 'Traffic Lights Grand Prix' and overtaking, you cant use 120 Bhp in a mini. On our roads, 80Bhp is sufficient and you have to be quite skilled to make full use of 100.
If you have set your mind on a CLASSIC car, the more you do to it, the less classic it quickly becomes. There are subtle things that you can do to the suspension, maybe enhanced front brakes or an anti roll bar, which are easily reversible, but once you have skimmed 1/8th" off the head, you can't put it back.
If you can manage on a 110Bhp pittance the transmition is perfectly adequate and the larger bearings of a 1275 Gt engine leave it unstressed if lightly supercharged with the standard cam, and there is all that lovely extra torque.
A bonus is, that like adding four pot alluminium calipers, a supercharger is a "bolt on goody" that can be easily removed.