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Mini Scene Dying?

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#1 Green-Chameleon


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 02:57 AM

Morning all,

There seems to be so much less available in the way of customising a mini now than there was 5 or so years ago when I had my first mini.

Is the mini scene dying or am I looking in the wrong places?

#2 matt615


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 06:51 AM

It is declining. I started getting in involved in the mini scene in 2000, and the shows then were on a much bigger scale with many more cars there.

I suppose it was more accessible then, when anyone could buy an old Mini for a few hundred pounds. These days you need to spend thousands, either to buy a decent Mini or restore one.

I don’t think the scene is in danger of dying anytime soon though. There are still clubs and shows going for cars made in the 1920s and 30s.

#3 Moke Spider

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 08:41 AM

I don't think it's 'dying' but I do think it's changing and has been for many years.


Once they were seen as a cheap 'blank sheet of canvas' for customisers, but, the cars are becoming less and less around and more desirable as a collectable, so I think the scene has changed to one more of preservation and restoration (back to more or less 'original').


They are also only going one way in price too.

#4 wile e coyote

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 08:42 AM

Declining - certainly.... there are far fewer cheap cars out there, those that are require ever increasing amount of works and hence cash spent on them  and (with all due apologies to those I'm unjustifiably about to offend!) we're in the consumerist snowflake generation that never grew up with mini's - very few can wield their own tools and instead want instant gratification -  so it's easier to buy a eurobox  shopping trolley....


Shows and the range of aftermarket suppliers will continue to decline - but on the positive side as long as the petrol lasts mini's will always be around - and as a huge generalisation will be in better condition - as it's now financially worth spending the cash....


The mini is still the best supported car for customising - however trend of the last few years has been for mostly pseudo originality..... thankfully haven't seen or heard of a plastic bodykit being put on a car for ages!!

#5 nicklouse


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 09:23 AM

Disagree loads of stuff out there, you just need to know who to ask. Way more stuff available than when I started. But what has changed is there is not as much new stuff and less suppliers but they are doing more.

#6 Archived3


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:22 AM

People with imagination and flair to modify cars are often ridiculed for doing so. People are too concerned with conforming to the norms and getting Facebook style “likes” to take the risk in standing out from the crowd.

I’ve been saying for years that the mocking of people’s cars on this site will eventually have an impact on the scene

Edited by Ethel, 03 February 2019 - 01:58 PM.
altered to less "colourful" vocabulary

#7 mab01uk


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 11:46 AM

Just a quick look through the several full page ads in MiniWorld or Mini Magazine shows the huge selection of standard and modification parts available for the Mini when compared with many other classic cars. Every area of the market is covered from the shiny poor quality imported tat often seen on sale at many Mini shows, to the expensive high end performance and racing stuff sold by specialists such as Swiftune and KAD.

A lot of the stuff available today for Minis we could only have dreamed of when modifying our Minis back in the 1960/70's using CCC magazine & Clive Trickey's and Dave Vizard's books....


The Mini scene is changing as more and more everyday drivers disappear from the roads but events like the London to Brighton Mini run are still sold out and over subscribed and surprisingly if you look closely at the runners there are still many Minis taking part which are bubbling with rust, running roughly, very out of tune and only just hanging on....with their owners I guess on a tight budget or not very hands on!


As has happened with MGB's eventually prices will drop as the generation who owned them first time round 'fall of the perch', demand drops and fewer younger drivers have any interest in a car they don't relate to. The same will happen with the classic Minis eventually but will take longer as they were around much longer, until 2000 as an everyday car for several more generations of drivers who can relate to them.

It will be interesting to see how far the growing interest in early R50 & R53 MINI's as a future classic car takes off with their younger enthusiast drivers and owners in the long term.

Edited by mab01uk, 03 February 2019 - 11:59 AM.

#8 Minigman


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 01:22 PM

I’m not sure the scene is dying, but it’s ceratainly been diluted. Having owned a couple of MINIS which have been run along side our minis, I’m not knocking the BMW version, it has its merits. However, there are a few shows I’ve been to where there is more MINIS than minis and I just can’t find any enthusiasm for them. So I now dont bother with those shows. Bingley Hall was rammed and i hear quite a few people couldn’t get their classic minis inside. However there was stacks of BINIS in there. I wonder how many visitors spent equal amount of time looking at a ‘fresh out the showroom BMWs’ and some lovely classics, I suspect not very many. I’d seen a few at the services on the way up and in Tesco the day before. So I think the scene is evolving not dying.

Edited by Minigman, 03 February 2019 - 01:23 PM.

#9 Dandyer1995


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 01:45 PM

The scene isn’t dying just changing. I’m my personal experience (23yearold) when I first wanted a mini years ago I was planning on buying one for around £1000 with MOT and modding it. Now a few years on and the same car costs 2-3 times more. Imo they’re just becoming harder to get hold of. Plus my generation (in general) are less inclined to older classic cars. Especially with financing on brand new cars being so accessible.

In terms of parts I’ve had a few modified cars and the mini is by far the easiest to get anything you need for it. I’ve not struggled for anything yet. My old Astra was a nightmare to get modified parts for.

#10 Ethel


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 02:19 PM

May be we just started on a high? 


I think Min's still have loads of appeal to youngsters and new drivers for the same reasons they always have.


It was a perfect storm with the end of production heightening interest, "Top Gear" petrol head bubble and the growth of the social media combining.


What worries me is that it follows the model of the UK property market.  People become more interested in the money with dealers cornering the market for cars and pushing up prices artificially while disinterested owners think they have an investment worth hanging on to as cars rust away on bricks and under tarps.

#11 Icey


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 03:21 PM

I think there's a bit of a perfect storm (albeit playing out in slow motion).


The cost of entry is going up. Good, usable Minis are getting quite pricey while to cost of more practical, modern cars is at rock bottom.

There is a general squeeze on wages and rising cost of living; cars are an expensive hobby.

Many modern houses have little/no parking and garages which are impractical for anything other than storing tat, making owning 2nd cars difficult.


But I think more importantly, spannering and 'cars' more generally just aren't a big part of the national psyche.


I work in a very male dominated industry, of all the people I've worked with over the last 20 years I can think of barely a handful that had any interest in cars and even fewer that did anything more serious than change their own brake pads.


The 'snowflake' term was used further up, but I think that's unfair. We're one if not two generations away from an age where it was common for people to service their own cars. You'll now have multi-generation families where no one has touched a spanner in anger - it would be unusual to get into it without having any previous exposure unless you have a real passion for a specific car.


So in the context of hobbyist automotive tinkering, the Mini scene is very healthy. However, more generally there are fewer people taking any interest in cars beyond what they look like. I'm guessing that this has been a trend for quite some time but to me there seemed to be a turning point about 10-15 years ago when 'detailing' became a thing, that seemed to mark a sea-change.

#12 Cooperman


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 05:41 PM

There is no doubt that the market for the classic Mini has changed and is evolving, just as the classic car movement is evolving.


If you consider the reason why people buy classic cars, even that has changed. They are increasingly seen as a good investment as well as being a pleasure to own and enjoy.


Original or period modified cars are best for investment and that is the way it is going. It is not only Minis, the same applies to other volume produced cars such as the VW Beetle


In fact, the best opportunity for acquiring a volume produced classic is possibly to buy one which has been modified in a non-period way and revert it to original. For example, a Cal-look Beetle can be bought and reverted to original and that will increase its investment value. I guess the same applies to, say, a classic Mini with a work needed and a plastic one-piece front which can be bought cheaply and reverted to original.


Whether the way the classic car movement is going is the right or best way is another matter. The move seems to be for cars which give the 'retro-driving experience' of years gone by.


Maybe the time when a classic could be bought and modified to give better performance than a modern, and cheaper, car have gone. You can do as much modification to a classic as you can afford, but it still won't go like a modern car. Take the Jaguar E-Type. In its day the performance was simply staggering, but now a £4000 BMW will easily exceed that performance. So an E-Type is not now bought for its performance, it is bought to enjoy as a retro drive and for investment.


It looks like evolution in classic car ownership will continue and our Minis will be not be exempt from this. However, it is for each owner to decide what he or she wants from his/her classic car.

#13 simplyminis


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 06:52 PM

Personally i think Ebay and MINIS are spoiling shows.

Years ago you could go to a show and pick up a bargain,,, now you go its over inflated due to "some" ebay prices. Some of the rusty parts that were for sale at Bingley the other week was terrible. I know there are some rare original parts people cant find but £60 for a gear linkage and £300 for centre speedos 90mph!!!

I want to go to a show and see classic minis and not brand new or 53 plate BMW Minis!!!

If i can see a car in Asdas car park i cant see why i should pay to to enter a show to see them. 


Im not sure if shows are out pricing traders to attend but shows like castle combe are terrible 


(in my opinion)

#14 nicklouse


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Posted 03 February 2019 - 06:55 PM

oh and the UK Mini shows/events need to change you cant rely on the Traders as with the internet there are no bargains any more.

#15 Moke Spider

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 07:15 PM

Personally i think Ebay and MINIS are spoiling shows.


Years ago you could go to a show and pick up a bargain,,, now you go its over inflated due to "some" ebay prices.


I don't think MINIs are spoiling the scene.


The Classics and their later day name sake seem to mostly attract different people and with differing interests.


I do agree that ebay has made for some 'hype' but not just in our area, but all marketing areas. People see stuff on there, which pre-ebay, was considered junk (old, worn out, rusted bits etc) and think it must be worth something, so once one bid goes on it, the next guy, who did at first see it for the junk that it was, thinks he might be missing something that he didn't at first see,,,, then it snow balls,,,,,


Prices are totally market drive. Anything is only worth what people are wiling to pay, but again, ebay I feel has driven some of this too.

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