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sir trial a lot
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Right,

Some of you may think this is a waste at the moment but basically, im 15 and have a great understanding of trials pushbikes and motorbikes (i can completely strip down and rebuild both inc motors etc.) and want a nice car for when i pass my test. Basically i have a nice pushbike (Zoo Python 2006 with nice spec) and a nice motorbike (2006 Gas Gas 250cc with all the mod cons and extras) so want to start a car project if my dad lets me take part of the garage up. I am looking at nothing else but a mini at the moment as they are amazing cars to look at and amazing cars to work on etc. (as my brother used to do autograss in one). So i have a few questions. Apart from the body and subframes is there anything else that goes wrong on them? I have a fair understanding that the A Series motors are bullet proof. Another reason id like a mini is for the small reason that they look good and sound good standard rather than doing things to it, there easy to get a bike rack on as they have a roof gutter and the tax is free if i get a old enough one. So basically do you guys think this would be a good project for me to spend my money on and to learn about cars aswell as coming out with a road worthy car at the end of it for me to enjoy when im 17. A few more ups to it is that it will be fairly cheap insurence as there not the sort of car boy racers go for and there just little. Also how old does a car need to be to be tax exempt please? Im sure iv missed lots of questions out but ill add them as i think of more :)

Thanks,

John

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Ahhh old cars. I used to have a 1972 MGB GT, with a B Series engine (they popped that into the minis on the Italian Job). Body work and rust is the killer for any old car. I believe 1978 is the cut off date for Historical vehicle classification. Mechanically you can put a mini back together dead easy. Its a piece of p*ss to work on cos its so basic.

I wouldn't worry at all about the mechanics of a car, but really worry about rust and corrosion, there are just so many support groups for Mini's its just not worth worrying about.

As for the engines. just listen to the noise, see if there is any signs of the push rod/cam lifters wearing. Take the tappet cover off and have a look see. Oh and a proper test drive will show up probs with a gear box and transmission.

By the same rational Mini's are dead common, and you see loads of young lads rag the sh*t out of them cos they think its a proper car and it pulls well up to 40. I'd go for something a little different, but thats just me.

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Oh another thing, what sort of money will i have to pay for a mini, i dont mind the engine size but the engine must be good and it must need quite little doing to it. i dont mind the odd spot of rust but the car musnt be rusted through anywhere or running rubbish or nackered subframes etc. so yeah how much for a half decent one please?

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I'd have a look through the projects section on (the FAQ is worth a good look too) www.theminiforum.co.uk. Before I brought my Mini I had a good look through all the mini sites to see what I would be dealing with!

You should be able to get a decent enough one for under a grand, my H-reg cooper was £1200, there was rust around the headlights and on the doors at the time (and a hole on the floor of the boot) but the rest of it is in pretty fine condition. As you already have some experience with motorbikes you shoulod be ok, I had bugger all knowledge about cars when I bought mine and Im getting along alright, the forums are really useful.

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Best bet is to buy a copy of Mini World and Mini Magazine, and look through the classifieds. This will give you a good guide as to the price lines of certain condition cars. Might also bring up a few in your area too.

Have a chat to people on www.minifinity.com as they will tell you what to look out for

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