British Mini Club

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Flickr
Saturday, 19 July 2014 20:56

Rare Mini Beach Up For Auction in USA

We were recently contacted by Robert Forbes from DrivelineAC.com over the water in the USA regarding what is possibly one of the rarest classic Mini's in the world, The Mini Beach, a very small number were produced in the UK at Longbridge mainly for the US market to try and create interest in the Marque. One of these incredible Minis will be auctioned at Bonhams. We have no idea how much it will sell for but it's rarity and uniquness could very well produce a high price.

Robert takes up the fascinating story below:

 

"Your members might be interested in knowing about the 1962 Mini Beach Car that will be auctioned at Bonhams Auto Auction at the Quail Lodge in California this August 15th"

 

"Mini Beach Cars and their history as you know very rare; rarest of all Mini variants.  Per the Longbridge production records 14 were built as described and of course the brown tan one in RHD purportedly used by the Queen.  As that car exists, call that the 15th.  There were a few maybe 2 or 3 with Elf back ends done that I have seen photos of so call it about 17 or 18 Beach Cars in total with the 14 like mine in LHD. Quite rare"

 

 

 

"These 14, per Kjell Qvale the original owner of our car and founder of San Francisco British Motors, were sent to the original U.S. BMC Mini Franchise Dealerships as “display cars” to generate interest in the U.S. introduction for Minis.  Our car was SF British Motors’ and Kjell’s car.  It resided for a while at the dealership on Van Ness Drive in San Francisco then Kjell took it to his ranch for a while up in the wine country.  It was repainted dark green, so we went back to the Surf Blue.  Kjell brought it back to the upstairs of the dealership and it sat there some twenty more years.  He gifted it to a Mr. Keith Simon a long time manager of Kjell’s real-estate holdings in about 2000.  We bought it from Mr. Simon.  Kjell says mileage is accurate and correct at some 11k miles now"

 

 

"I updated the transmission to a full syncho box taking great effort and machining to retain the “magic wand” old style s-shaped shift lever buy machining what we call the “nose” to fit the newer style full synchro box.  (Original gear box goes with the car.)  We have the Heritage Certificate and I have furnished a copy for you and a few  pictures also.  Engine is not rebuilt but runs like a top. And is of course an 850cc.  Subframes were refurbished as the dry-suspension cones were pretty rock hard after forty some years."

 

"There are several other articles you can Google about the Beach Cars that are worth a read."

 

We posted an early spoiler to this article on July 17th and within a few days it had reached over 96,000 people, also shared an amazing 740 times. A number of people who own one of the very few Austin Mini Beach also posted images of there very own car. See the images at www.facebook.com/britishminiclub and look for the photo album entitled #throwbackthursday 

 

Published in Mini News
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 13:58

Mini Included in Top 100 Gadgets

Well known Tech related magazine 'Stuff' has created a list of the 100 best gadgets ever. Although we could probably have come up with a few more the list is ver comprehensive and includes things like:

The Sony Walkman of course, The Casio Databank watch, Scalextric, Polaroid SX70,  The Swiss army knife, The ZX Spectrum, Nokia 3210, Apple iPod, Game Boy, Spotify and as always the game changing iPhone.

However in this list it also includes the greatest car of all time, The BMC Mini from 1959, in which Stuff magazine say 'It looked like a toy and handled like a go-kart, the fuel efficient pocket rocket was a revolution' We certainly can not argue with that one. 

The Mini totaly changed the way cars were looked at and designed especially the tranverse engine.

Unfortuantly Stuff magazine have not posted the list on-line so we have copied a page from the Sun for you below.

Published in Mini News
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 18:35

Aaltonen To Drive Mini At Festival Of Speed

Finnish Rally icon Rauno Aaltonen set to drive a Mini Cooper S and head a stellar line-up of cars on the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Skoda Forest Rally Stage on June 26-29 to help celebrate the 'Birth of Stage Rallying' at Goodwoods Festival Of Speed.

The flying Finn, who famously won the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini, will get behind the wheel of the ex-works car, in which he finished seventh on the 1964 Monte, on each day.

Aaltonen won the European Rally Championship in 1965 to follow-up a pair of domestic titles, and further fed his addiction to winning in circuit racing, taking victory at the 1966 Bathurst 500 in another Mini. He remains the only Finn to have won the gruelling event, which is now runs to 1000km as the centrepiece of the Australian V8 Supercars season.

He will be backed-up on the gravel rally stage by another Cooper S, owned by celebrity chef James Martin and formerly campaigned by Paddy Hopkirk.

Joining the Minis in the ‘Birth of Stage Rallying’ celebration will be a selection of fast Fords with illustrious pasts. Not only will the very first Mk1 Escort RS1600 feature, but it will be joined by the car in which Roger Clark won the 1972 RAC Rally.

A pair of Mk2 RS1800s, campaigned by Ari Vatanen in period, will also join the fray. The car in which he captured the 1981 World Rally Championship will be joined by an earlier machine, taken to victory in the 1975 RAC Rally by Timo Makinen.

Fiat will be represented by examples of the two cars that achieved its 21 WRC wins, the 124 Abarth and 131 Abarth, while an ex-works Datsun 240Z and Opel Kadette GT/E will add more international variety to the entry list.

Cars campaigned by two British heroes of the era, Russell Brookes and Tony Pond, will also be present; a Sunbeam Lotus campaigned by two-time British Rally champion Brookes, and an ex-Pond Vauxhall Chevette completing the line-up.

Published in Motorsport
Monday, 02 June 2014 09:07

Mini Dealers Training Video 1978

The Mini in 1978 was trying hard to beat the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the Renault 5. Maybe the sales were struggling a little bit against this competition. With a little bit of a refresh the Saloon and Clubman had a slightly better spec incuding a parking ticket pocket in the visor and a hand brake grip. Incredible to think what spec is available today with the new F56 for 2014, that includes rear cameras, head up display, Green and Sport driving modes, stop/start and more.

In 1978 Leyland released a video for dealers describing the 1978 Mini, narrated by Raymond Baxter from the BBC Tomorrows World programme.

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

Published in Mini News
Friday, 30 May 2014 08:44

Footman James To The Rescue

 Long time British Mini Club show sponsors and recommended Specialist insurance broker Footman James has announced the launch of a brand new breakdown policy for classic car and bike owners. The new policy can cover up four of your Classic Mini's as long as they are 20 years old. Which at the moment is pre 1994.

Aimed specifically at the classic car and bike market, the breakdown cover has been developed in partnership with Axa Assistance to service the 1,400,000 classic vehicles that are 20 years old and over and on the road today.

Andy Fairchild, Managing Director of Footman James, said: “Research indicates that many ‘traditional’ breakdown service providers may not cover vehicles aged 20 years and over and we are concerned that classic owners are driving around in their pride and joy relaxed in the knowledge that they are covered should they breakdown, when in fact they are not covered at all!”

The breakdown cover, which is already available to existing Footman James customers who have taken out insurance on their classic, was launched on 22 May.

Classic owners are now able to purchase the breakdown cover online for £65 and covers up to 4 vehicles.

Andy continued: “Although they generally cover less miles than today’s modern equivalent, classic cars, can be more likely to breakdown simply due to the fact that they are older.  It is, therefore, essential that classics’ owners have adequate breakdown cover in place to ensure that they are not left stranded should the worst happen.

“The Footman James breakdown cover was developed specifically for classic vehicles.  If you should breakdown and your vehicle cannot be repaired at the roadside, you can choose to have your pride and joy repatriated to a garage of your choice.  So if your preference is for a specialist repairer to take care of your much-loved classic, the Axa Assist team will be happy to oblige.

He continued: “With many classic owners turning to specialists for all kinds of help, the new breakdown cover should be a welcome relief for them and we are delighted to be able to extend this fantastic cover to non-Footman James’ customers for the very first time.”

Click the logo for details of the Footman James / British Mini Club Insurance Scheme

Published in Auto News
Monday, 26 August 2013 09:05

Happy 54th Birthday Mini

Happy 54th Birthday today to the Mini. On August 21st 1959 Hawaii became the 50th US state, while the classic Mini was officially presented for the first time just five days later, on August 26th 1959.

Revolutionary, trend setting, copied but never bettered by others, World Rally winner, Saloon Car winner. Loved by Celebrities and the media, and more popular today than it ever has been.

The Classic Mini is still used by advertisers today. We recently saw an advert in a Little Chef roadside diner  which included the original Mini. It just keeps growing and growing.

Modified by many for Drag Racing, rear engined, Vauxhall engines, Honda engines. The list is endless.  Unrestored Barn finds fetching an incredible £40,000 at auction, when will it end? Hopefully never.

The birth of the classic Mini 54 years ago saw the start of one of the automotive industry's most spectacular success stories. The small car created by legendary designer Alec Issigonis astounded everyone with its creative use of space that maximised room for passengers and luggage without compromising the Mini’s compact proportions. The classic Mini pioneered design principals which impacted generations of small cars, with a transverse mounted engine, front-wheel drive and wheels in all four corners remaining part of the MINI DNA today.

33 EJB Its sporty qualities soon paved the way for success on race circuits and rally tracks all over the world, and the little car's subsequent racing career was crowned with three victories at the Monte Carlo rally. This success was widely acclaimed, achieved with apparently simple means and with a vehicle that was charmingly modest and unassuming compared to its competitors.

The current MINI product range also offers reliable companions for such a lifestyle. The MINI Countryman has already attracted a large number of fans in Hawaii since its market launch around two years ago. In addition to its standard roof rails, which make it easy to mount a surfboard rack, it has one particularly useful modern feature: the all-wheel drive system ALL4, which it shares with this year's newly launched model, the MINI Paceman. Thanks to the precisely controlled distribution of power among all four wheels, the MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman offer remarkable stability and control not just on loose sand near the beach but also in the tropical mountain regions in the interior of the islands. And thanks to cutting-edge engine technology it is able to explore completely new territory, where this is permitted. As a result, the fun of driving and the pure joy of living are brought together once again, with many a perfect beach now that much easier to get to.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MINI from all of us at the British Mini Club and here’s to many more

MINI in Hawaii

Published in Mini News

Forever Young - The Classic Mini says congratulates Porsche 911 on it's 50th birthday.

In September 2013 the flag-bearer of the German sports car fraternity, the Porsche 911, will celebrate its 50th birthday. And among the hoards of well-wishers will be MINI, not least because its model history also includes – in the classic Mini – a similarly compelling work of art characterised by a similar reluctance to abandon the exuberance of youth.

It may be the fundamental differences between the two cars (e.g. the Mini has its engine in the front, the 911 at the rear) that dominate at first glance. But there are also a number of factors – over and above their shared cult status – that lend particular empathy to MINI’s birthday greetings.

Both models made their name with an eye-catching turn of speed. At the end of the austere 1950s Mini was the ground-breaking new kid on the block, generating sales figures that mimicked the upward curve of its acceleration. The 911, as the successor to the Porsche 356, was born with speed in its blood.

Only a handful of cars can claim to have endured over such lengthy time spans, retaining their unmistakable identities despite all the nips, tucks and updates along the way.

When major landmarks like a 50th come into view, it’s traditional to look back over the birthday boy’s childhood. Although the Mini and Porsche 911 may not be cars you would instinctively compare, there are one or two striking aspects of their history that have brought them together over time – a less than straightforward christening, for example. The 911 came into the world in 1963 initially as the Porsche 901. However, the rights to using a zero in the middle of a three-digit car designation had already been snapped up by French manufacturer Peugeot. Which meant that when this legendary-sports car-to-be eventually arrived on the scene a year later, it was as the Porsche 911. It is unlikely the use of the number one to fill the gap was a coincidence. Fittingly, it remains the no. 1 in its class to this day; now in its seventh generation, the 911 has sold over 800,000 units – a figure beyond the reach of any segment rival.

The Mini, by contrast, saw the light of day as twins. On 26 August 1959 the British Motor Corporation (BMC) unveiled the fruits of its endeavours to develop a revolutionary new small car – introducing the public to not one but two new models: the Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Seven. Everyone now knows which name ultimately made the cut. As for the classic Mini’s sales figures: by 2000, when the curtain came down on production, 5.3 million units of Britain’s best-selling car had found homes.

Scroll down for a gallery of these two motoring icons

It’s tempting to wonder how different history would have been without the creators of these two successful cars. Neither Sir Alec Issigonis nor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche had any inkling that their designs would come to be considered immortal icons of modern times. Indeed, you would have needed a very clear crystal ball to see that Porsche had just dreamt up the most successful sports car of all time and Issigonis the “world’s only cool small car”.

The parallels don’t end there, either, the classic Mini and Porsche 911 displaying a similar aversion to resting on their laurels. Both cars made a point of keeping their finger on the pulse and appealing to the imagination more effectively than any rivals. Not that every modification enjoyed universal praise – take the switch from air cooling to water cooling at Porsche or the extra focus on comfort and luxury of the first MINI built by BMW. Ultimately, though, these two pillars of the automotive community have continued to thrive, their sound genes underpinning looks that remain remarkably true to their respective originals. The two companies have also demonstrated an open mind to adding new models to their ranges – and a successful approach to executing those plans. In many respects, the Panamera and Cayenne broke through similarly symbolic boundaries as the 

Countryman and Paceman.

 

What hasn’t changed is the “regal” sense of driving pleasure on offer in both brand’s cars. In 1960 Lord Snowdon, then husband to Princess Margaret, used his influence to arrange an opportunity for his friend Issigonis to demonstrate the small car’s talents to Queen Elizabeth. Settling in next to Issigonis, Her Majesty allowed the Mini’s creator to chauffeur her around the grounds of Windsor Castle. There is also a quasi-royal element to Porsche’s heritage, albeit in the spelling of a famous surname rather than the person of the British monarch; the slate grey 911 driven by Steve McQueen in the film “Le Mans” – and later owned by the Hollywood star – has earned a deserved place in automotive eternity.

 

The Mini, by contrast, saw the light of day as twins. On 26 August 1959 the British Motor Corporation (BMC) unveiled the fruits of its endeavours to develop a revolutionary new small car – introducing the public to not one but two new models: the Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Seven. Everyone now knows which name ultimately made the cut. As for the classic Mini’s sales figures: by 2000, when the curtain came down on production, 5.3 million units of Britain’s best-selling car had found homes.

 

It’s tempting to wonder how different history would have been without the creators of these two successful cars. Neither Sir Alec Issigonis nor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche had any inkling that their designs would come to be considered immortal icons of modern times. Indeed, you would have needed a very clear crystal ball to see that Porsche had just dreamt up the most successful sports car of all time and Issigonis the “world’s only cool small car”.

 

The parallels don’t end there, either, the classic Mini and Porsche 911 displaying a similar aversion to resting on their laurels. Both cars made a point of keeping their finger on the pulse and appealing to the imagination more effectively than any rivals. Not that every modification enjoyed universal praise – take the switch from air cooling to water cooling at Porsche or the extra focus on comfort and luxury of the first MINI built by BMW. Ultimately, though, these two pillars of the automotive community have continued to thrive, their sound genes underpinning looks that remain remarkably true to their respective originals. The two companies have also demonstrated an open mind to adding new models to their ranges – and a successful approach to executing those plans. In many respects, the Panamera and Cayenne broke through similarly symbolic boundaries as the Countryman and Paceman.

 

What hasn’t changed is the “regal” sense of driving pleasure on offer in both brand’s cars. In 1960 Lord Snowdon, then husband to Princess Margaret, used his influence to arrange an opportunity for his friend Issigonis to demonstrate the small car’s talents to Queen Elizabeth. Settling in next to Issigonis, Her Majesty allowed the Mini’s creator to chauffeur her around the grounds of Windsor Castle. There is also a quasi-royal element to Porsche’s heritage, albeit in the spelling of a famous surname rather than the person of the British monarch; the slate grey 911 driven by Steve McQueen in the film “Le Mans” – and later owned by the Hollywood star – has earned a deserved place in automotive eternity.

 

Motorsport occupies a key chapter in the histories of both Porsche and Mini. The 911 in its track-tuned permutations is the most successful racing car ever built. Practically every race of any note has been won by a 911 on one occasion or other. And no memory of the 1960s can be complete without images of the MINI Cooper S roaring into view. The darling of the sixties avant-garde was not only something of a phenomenon on the road, its class victory in the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of Finnish driver Rauno Aaltonen kicked off a peerless run of success on the motor sport scene that reached its pinnacle with three overall wins in the Monte in 1964, 1965 and 1967.

 

Several decades later – in 2010 – David and Goliath were to go head-to-head “for real” when Jim McDowell, then MINI’s top man in the USA, challenged Porsche to a race-off at the Road Atlanta circuit. The proposition would see a 184 hp MINI Cooper S lining up against a 345 hp Porsche 911 Carrera. So to make it a worthwhile match-up there had to be a twist; instead of using the full circuit for the race, the two cars would do battle over the smaller infield track. Extremely tight and twisty and lacking any long straights, it offered a chink of light to the MINI with its insatiable appetite for corners. The 911 still managed to maintain an advantage of around two seconds over its plucky challenger, but trackside boffins calculated that each of those seconds would cost a Porsche driver 38,000 US dollars given the disparity in purchase prices. And, for MINI fans that took some of the sting out of its defeat in this not entirely serious race.

Published in Mini News

A few months ago MINI announced it would start to build the new MINI in Holland in response to world wide demand.

Recently employees of VDL Nedcar in Holland started the restoration of one of the first Minis built in Holland. This Classic Mini - one of the oldest Minis in the world - was assembled in 1959 by Miller's Automotive Factories in Amersfoort and is now in being completely restored by a team of five employees of VDL Nedcar. The VDL Nedcar employees were selected from the 1500 employees who will also produce  MINIs  at the VDL NedCar factory . From the second half of 2014 MINI will be the only (volume) car brand to be produced in the Netherlands.

Mini built in the Netherlands

This is the second time this British icon is to manufactured in the Netherlands. From its launch year 1959 to 1966 importer JJ Miller's Automobielbedrijven assembled in Amersfoort over 4,000 Minis. In 2012 BMW Group Netherlands began a quest to find one of the Netherlands built  Minis.  After the discovery of this Classic Mini, VDL Nedcar responded enthusiastically and suggested the restoration team. This is managed by a project manager and includes sheet metal workers, a painter and an engine specialist. These five employees are temporarily moved from the factory to work on this project. Before the end of this year, the Dutch built Classic Mini will be reborn in the same factory where in late 2014 a new generation of Dutch MINIs will be produced. To follow the restoration visit The Dutch Facebook page  of the MINI, who will also be closely following the launch of the MINI production at VDL Nedcar. This Mini - officially recognized by the international 1959 Mini Register as one of the oldest Dutch built Minis-  will be placed in a prominent place in the Dutch car factory in honour of the 1500 workers.

Judging by the images in the gallery below it looks a massive job. Very similar to one of the recent barn finds in the UK. We wonder how far they will take it towards orginalty and sourcing the correct parts and panels. Certainly interested in seeing the Mini finished in the not to distant future.

Published in Mini News

If you managed to visit the British Mini Clubs event at Himley on the 12th may 2013, you would have seen the Mini rallying legend Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams and his MK1 Cooper S. During the day our very own Danny managed to interview him. Barry first got into motorsport in 1957 and a few years later moved into the Mini. with which he managed quite a bit success.

The Mini Cooper S on show, owned by Barrie, was the won the 1964 International Welsh Rally outright. It then competed in the Swedish in which Barrie was the first British driver to finish a Scandinavian Winter Rally. It was 1st in class on Geneva International Rally and 2nd overall on the Manx International. It competed at also at Circuit of Ireland, in the RAC Rally as part of the maufacturers team. The 1965 Welsh Rally, and many club, national, autocross, auto tests and hill climbs. It stands today as a still competitive race car.

 

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

 

This article appeared in the Daily Telegraph in 2002 about Barries life http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/2718040/Autobiography-Barrie-Whizzo-Williams.html

Published in Mini Events

MINI and Goodwood Festival of Speed are like peas in a pod, a charming mix of history, heritage and heart-beating, pulse-racing fun. This year, Goodwood celebrates 20 years of being the world’s biggest motoring knees-up.

MINI wants you and your classic Mini there, sharing centre stage with MINI UK. The winner’s beloved gets the honour of being the only classic Mini on the stand.

What you need to do

Entering’s easy. Just tell us in 40 words what gets you doe-eyed and craving more with an Ode to Mini. Have you got a favourite drive? What’s that just-me-and-my-Mini feeling you get behind the wheel? How long have you been together?

If you and your pride-and-joy are available from 9th – 16th July 2013, upload your ode and a picture of your Mini by 11th June to the Goodwood competition tab at www.facebook.com/MINI.uk   Our judging panel will shortlist 10 entries for MINIacs to vote on. Will your Mini woo the crowds at Goodwood? It’s showtime.

From 22nd May head to facebook.com/MINI.uk and find the Goodwood Competition tab for full competition details.

What winning means

Your classic Mini centre stage on the MINI UK stand

Two tickets for Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July 

Lunch on Saturday 13th July 

Sponsor wristbands

Accommodation in a local hotel for two people (based on two sharing) on Saturday 13th July

Loan of a MINI for the period of the festival, with a petrol allowance

Car transportation (pick up and return of your Mini, where appropriate)

Full car valet on site prior to podium reveal

Key Dates:

  • Competition entry: 21st May – 11th June
  • Shortlist top 10 by judging panel: 12th – 14th June
  • Social community voting on top 10: 15th – 24th June

 

Terms and conditions: Competition open to UK resident’s only aged 18 or over. A maximum of 1 entry per Facebook account. MINI are searching for a classic Mini to display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th July 2013.  The winning entrant and their Mini will need to be available from Tuesday 9th July 2013 to Tuesday 16th July 2013. Participants entering with a new or modified MINI will not be shortlisted to the voting stage. Full terms and conditions on the competition tab at facebook.com/MINI.uk.

Published in Mini News
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>
Page 1 of 4

Classified Ads

Event Signup. Click here