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#1 MiniMike72

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:46 PM

Dear all,

 

This is my first topic, so please forgive any naivety. From the little I have read and seen, if I want to get myself a 70s Mini as a daily driver, it seems that I would be better off buying a restoration job and fixing it up myself as opposed to a finished car. Is there a consensus on this?

 

Cheers!



#2 Northernpower

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:03 PM

An older classic Mini as a daily will require constant on going maintenance. You need to find the best one bodywise you can afford because this is what will take the time and cost you the most.

#3 MiniMike72

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:19 PM

Hi 7-port, thanks for the reply. From what I can see about a thousand buys you a decent project car. One that is structurally sound is a must though yes. I drove Mini's every day for years and didn't find them too high maintenance. Not compared to the Moggy's I've owned anyway!



#4 surfblue

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:51 PM

70's Minis are all almost 40 years old now , the oldest 48.

I do not realistically believe that they will make a sensible, everyday car nowadays. They will need maintenance much more frequently than a modern car.

Even the youngest Mini's are now 17 years old and although the latest cars are more complex they may be more suited to daily use.

If you are mechanically competent there is nothing you cant fix but constant maintenance and rust prevention need to be kept on top of to ensure reliability.

As a second, fun car for a nice weekend drive it would be ideal.

Only my opinion, I'm sure others will offer their views.

 

Edit: Id say buying a restored car, done properly is by far the cheaper option than starting from scratch and doing all yourself.


Edited by surfblue, 13 May 2018 - 01:53 PM.


#5 cal844

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:25 PM

Minis aren't high maintenance if they're restored well

#6 Cooperman

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:37 PM

I would certainly never consider a classic Mini as a daily car. To buy and properly restore one costs thousands and for that one can buy a really nice modern car. If you buy a £1000 project, expect to spend up to a further £6000 to get it fully restored to a decent standard. Look in AutoTrader to see what £7000 will get you (BMW 5-Series, Lexux, VW Passat, Audi A4, for example)

Routine maintenance on a Mini is high compared with moderns, like an oil change every 2500 to 3000 miles, regular brake adjustments, the need to grease many grease points manually regularly, poor H & V, etc.

They are fantastic and great as weekend classics for a retro-drive experience, but not for daily use now. After all, we are talking about a 60-year-old design here.



#7 cal844

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 03:44 PM

I use mine daily, yes they do require regular and higher maintenance than modern vehicles but parts are alot cheaper than modern cars

#8 CityEPete

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:58 PM

I don't see any reason why a good example can't be used daily, people managed it for many many years and that was before decent rust proofing and good upgrades are available.

I'd avoid modified cars, 70s cars are next to become expensive in fact anything good and unmolested is expensive compared to your average Corsa or Clio etc but I'd aim for a nice 80s Mayfair or city in mint condition, waxoyl it until it drips from every hole and get everything tip top mechanically.

#9 Boycie

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 07:02 PM

My pal uses a 70s Mini on a daily basis- and that includes through the winter too.  I honestly don't know how he can tolerate it.  Poor wipers, poor ventilation, misted up windscreen, ice on the insides, locks frozen... yadda yadda yadda!

 

The silly thing is, we did of course use these cars all year round, it is possible and I have always enjoyed reliability on all of my Minis.  The difference is nowadays, a modern car is such a massive leap forward in usability.  The comfort, safety, performance and security is a million times better, even on, for example, a £300 Astra or Focus!  There's just no need to put a classic Mini through the rigmarole of everyday use when something (much) cheaper will do the job much better in every single way.

 

OP, I have had a 1976 Mini for many years.  I use it any day of the year apart from when there's salt on the roads.  But... I'd never want to rely on it.  It's a fun toy for an evening blast through the lanes, or a weekend's trip to the pub with friends.  Having said that, I sometimes commute in it during the summer months.  I shudder at the thought of using it as something that I'd have to rely upon.

The early Minis, up to 1976 are not easy to live with.  They have solidly-mounted subframes, which bless the car with amazingly responsive steering, but also transmit a lot of noise and vibration through the cabin.  They have drum brakes (unless you have a sporty one!) which are only just up to modern motoring and need regular adjustment.  They have seats which don't adjust or support your back.  Just a couple of things that would eventually be changed in the mid 1980s onwards.

A later car is much better, eg disc brakes, better seats, more insulation but still no match for your £300 modern banger!

 

Definitely go for a 70s Mini, I love mine and it really does put you back to a simpler time, but you'll grow to hate it as your only form of transport...



#10 Moke Spider

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 07:44 PM

Daily Driver or not - it appears that MiniMike72 has enough experience with classic car ownership to work that out for himself.

 

In regards to a model to look for, I'd suggest something post April 1973 as that should have a Rod Shift Gearbox, which is better for obtaining parts for and simpler to look after.



#11 MiniMike72

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:08 PM

Dear all,

 

Many thanks for all your replies, lots of food for thought there.

 

I do prefer the option of buying a complete car, so I'm glad to hear that that has been voiced as being preferable. I do have my 'normal' car I could call upon too, but in actual fact I am able to cycle to most of the places I go to, so the 'daily driver' thing is a bit of a misnomer. I really mean I'd want something I could call upon at any time.

 

Thanks to all your responses I now know where to start. Just buy a decent 70's Mini - I've decided my cut off is 1978 due to the free tax - and get on with enjoying it!

 

Cheers!



#12 CityEPete

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:14 PM

I really like the basic 70s models, I think we'll see a sharp rise in values in standard ones with 70s colour schemes, brown with orange seats, excellent!

#13 ukcooper

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:19 PM

my 10 pence worth... as long as you have tools and a permanent garage to keep the mini in . a push bike or a second car , knowledge of working on old cars and money galore say 150/200 a week every week for the mini ya do just fine, if not forget it as a project will can run you up a 20k bill easy might as well get a house . best tip is get a good magnet if it sticks it metal = good if it don't sick it filler = bad don't buy from a young lad who sez it all original = crap trying get his money back ..use the magnet , don't buy a mini cause it looks the ******** buy a **** one that's all in one peace and made of steel not filler , never see a car project stick to a budget as I know some tight ass owners not just mini.... 



#14 MiniMike72

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

Exactly what I'm after City E Pete! I just love the colour schemes that were common place when I was a kid.

 

Yes I have a few projects under my belt ukcooper, and I know they always cost far more than you plan them to. That is why I'm very pleased to hear folks recommend me buying a complete car. I don't have money galore - far from it - so one of the things I'll be doing is buying one that is completely sound and solid. Looks like I won't get much change out of 8k for a nice 70s one. I can live with that, though for the next year or so I won't have a garage for it. I'll just have to be assiduous when it comes to keeping it clean up top and underside.

 

Cheers!



#15 miniireland

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:57 PM

You could import a lhd car from somewhere foreign and have it converted to rhd for well within your budget




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