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Mr mini has a great time

Mr mini was such a lovely little car, and during that first year my son learned so much about general running, servicing and maintenance. He also learned an awful lot about the way that cars, like people, can worm their way into your subconcious and before you know it you have a feeling and attachment for the car that is almost indefinable. It's almost as though it becomes a very intrinsic part of your life, and you think about it a lot. There are those people that say 'That's just sad', but then there are women that spend thousands of pounds on shoes or a dress....

MOT time

Well, before we knew it, the time had come for Mr mini's MOT. It was then that we were in for a nasty shock, as the tester said not only had he failed, but that we should scrap him. His sills were completely gone, and the edges of the floor weren't much better. There was also a fair bit of hidden rust once we started really digging, and so it very soon became decision time, and we had four options: Scrap him, sell him for parts, sell him as a restoration project, or rebuild him.
It was my son's decision in the end and he decided to rebuild him. I think that was the key ingredient in my son's motoring education that really made the difference.

We know a bloke called Bill, who has a number of cars, and is a true enthusiast. Ho works out of his garage at the side of his house, with never enough room, and the place is always full of stuff, but he has a heart of gold. We asked Bill what he thought of doing the major welding work that was necessary, and he agreed to do it for us. What a bloke.

 

mini rebuild

This is a photo after Bill the welder had done his magic trick of turning air into metal. The gap between the door and the floor was big enough to let a cat in, and even I know that's not allowed in any normal MOT. Bill did a fantastic job and sorted out all the really bad stuff, and opened my son's eyes up to just how ruthless you have to be if you're going to restore a car properly. This gave him the very best possible start, as it meant he wasn't trying to work with thin or rusty metal.

Over the next couple of months or so my son spent all his spare time working on the mini, making sure the repairs were as good as he could get. It was a brilliant way to learn, not only how to do the various jobs, but how a car was put together, what made what work, and how all the various parts worked in conjunction with each other. It was a great learning process.

 
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