I’ve been bitten by the Mini bug and the effects are really ramping up. After leaving behind the world of pre-war American hot rods, I headed in a completely different direction with the purchase of a mint 1979 Mini 1000 a little over a year ago. Things have only gotten worse since then with the purchase of a Japanese ‘91 saloon and now, a 1974 van.
This thread will document my progress as I take a somewhat scrappy, mysterious van and perform a ground-up bare metal rebuild. Along the way, I’m hoping to get answers and advice from the community with regard to many aspects of the vehicle.
I purchased the car from a fellow Mini enthusiast in Tennessee. From the very start of my fascination with these wonderful, freaky little cars, I’ve really had an interest in the vans and the trucks so when I discovered this one for sale fairly close by, I had to check it out. It’s not without its flaws however I deemed it solid enough to purchase... besides, condition aside, very few vans come up for sale here in the States.
Once I got it back home I started crawling around it, taking pictures and getting familiar with all it’s quirks. I still have more to investigating to do but already I’m left with a number of questions;
- The roll up window doors with lift-up exterior handles are clearly Australian however there are no other obvious (at least to me) details that would suggest that it was manufactured in Australia. A book I purchased states that Australian Mini vans featured round nose front ends with Mk1 saloon style grills as opposed to the stamped steel units usually seen on vans. However I was recently told by another member that Australian Mini vans featured Clubman style fronts. Not sure what the real story is but my van does have a round front with a Mk1 style grill.
- The VIN of XA2S2xxxxxxxA, according to a guide on MiniMania’s website, would suggest it’s a 2 door saloon with a Clubman front end however the commission tag starts with 20V, the code for a van. Neither of the tags appears altered nor do they appear to have been transferred from another vehicle.
- The battery is located under the bonnet however the support tray was either crudely welded to the inner wing as part of a previous owner’s improvements or it is a poorly welded repair of a unique feature.
I have no history on the car but it’s been repainted (crudely) at least once in its life and there is evidence of some sketchy repairs made to portions of the cargo floor. It’s certainly possible that someone replaced the doors with Aussie units while other “improvements” and repairs were being made.
IMG_7457 by vudufl, on Flickr
IMG_7556 by vudufl, on Flickr
IMG_7486 by vudufl, on Flickr
IMG_7499 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]vudufl, on Flickr
Edited by Vudu, 13 January 2019 - 06:06 PM.