There are several types of models of Classic Mini's Some of the following are:
Round Nose Mini, deluxe, coopers, cooper s etc...
Clubbie Mini (Clubman), leyland etc...
Mini Pickup (ute style & rare)
Mini Cabrio (rare)
Mini Van (cheap)
Mini Moke (for the eccentric)
They come in the following makes, not too much difference in the makes:
BMW new mini (won't cover this type)
Where to Start to Buy your First Mini? There are still heaps around Australia, you can even import. A decent one will cost around $5000 to $10000, while you can pick up a project car for around $500 or less.
Dont rush in, buy a copy of Mini World magazine, at your local Borders. Join a mini club in your state to meet other mini maniacs. This will give you an idea of the Mini scene. Research & make your budget.
Decide on the type of Mini you want. A excellent comparison of different models can be found here: http://www.miniresource.com/guide03.php
Most early mini's dont have disc brakes (except Cooper S), they have drums & it's worth noting that conversions can be expensive ($1000+), decide on what you want.
Also most early mini's have carbie engines, the newer ones have EFI. So if you choose carbie you will need to use lead replacement as well as Premium Unleaded.
Decide on an Engine 850, 970, 997, 998, 1071, 1098, 1275 850's doesn't cut it today unless your after an original mini.
Do you want original or modified? Theres not too many original ones out there, many have been modified. You can modify it yourself or modify it to original specs or have a specialist do it.
Where to Look?
Newspapers & online classifieds
Google your Local Mini Club (There's one in all the states) They have classifieds there & are from enthusiasts who care for there cars.
Shannon's & classic car auctions
Unique Cars magazine
What to look for?
Body & condition, how many owners. If it needs work & how much.
Engine: Take a test drive, bring someone who knows about cars & mini's would be good.
Brakes: Most mini's have drums so check theres no sliding at high speeds.
Interior: Clean, tidy, any rust inside
History: Check if it's had a engine rebuild or is it still running on the original one, check modifications etc...
VIN: Check the chassis & VIN match on the plate on the engine bay.
Mini's are Mod's heaven.
Make it a Rally look a like or a race one.
Go crazy with stickers (check ebay for good decals)
Make it original as possible
Do whatever, one I have seen has Pink fur all over it, make it yours & dont forget to honk at other mini's.
Check ebay for lots of parts & spares you can put on your mini!
Mini's make people smile, you'll notice this as you drive along.
Some good resources (Copy+paste link as external links are not allowed on eBay
VMCI Club Links (helpful Mini stuff): http://www.mini.org.au/controller.php?page=Links.html
Mini Exp Aussie Magazine Links to Mini specialists: http://www.autofan.com.au/index.php?id=52
Aus Mini Forums (Ask q's & check out 4 Sale): http://www.ausmini.com/forums/index.php
Silly's DIY Guide (for modding your mini): http://www.niksula.cs.hut.fi/~mdobruck/siililand/mini/diy/index.html
Mini WWW Directory (history & listings of clubs & guides) http://www.comp.glam.ac.uk/~Minis/minilinks.htm
Email me for a complete links lists to Australia Mini Specialists & Classic Mini Dealers
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