Due to excessive viewings of the “Italian Job” (both the original and the remake), I’ve developed a taste for Mini Coopers. I drive a 2015 Mini and I aspire to get a classic one, but I have less-than-stellar coordination. This lack of coordination isn’t an issue when driving an automatic: put it in drive, press the gas and point the car in the direction you want to go. My dad described driving an automatic as “point and click,” and I agree with this sentiment.
I can drive a manual transmission, but there won’t be any heel and toe dance, plus I might damage the clutch slightly during normal driving. Without a grading curve, I consider myself a B- manual transmission driver and if I had to pilot a right-hand drive car, I can imagine that I would be in the D+ range. Cs get degrees but low grades lead to a fried clutch. Of course, a vintage Mini that was converted to a left-hand drive configuration will cure any misgivings I have about driving a standard with my opposite hand.
The Pick of the Day is a 1992 Rover Mini that’s been converted to left-hand drive. This newly LHD Mini is listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Stratford, Connecticut. (Click the link to view the listing)
According to the listing, the previous owner performed an extensive restoration and converted the driving configuration of the Mini. It received new factory floors, rockers and sills. The body is finished in green with gold striping, rear fender “British Open Classic” decals and features a power sunroof. Going by the pictures in the listing, the exterior appears to be in good shape, with genuine Mini Cooper badging being added.
It’s powered by a 1,300cc four-cylinder engine with a 1.5-inch SU carburetor. The selling dealer advises that a compression test was conducted with the results indicating 165-170 psi in each cylinder. The engine is paired with a four-speed synchromesh manual transmission.
I hate to paint with a broad brush, but I rarely hear positive sentiments in reference to the electrical system in older British vehicles. Maybe it’s a stereotype and faulty electrics aren’t a reality for cars manufactured in England, but the seller took care of any possible trepidations.
“Being wary of British electrics,” the listing states, “I had my guys do a lot of rewiring and improvements….adding two large modern fuse blocks using push in plastic fuses. No better way of ensuring reliability that adding fuses (old Minis used just two fuses….one fails and so does half the car) and doing away with the old-style British fuse blocks and glass fuses.”
The dealer is asking $19,900 for this 1992 Rover Mini and, since it’s already received an LHD conversion, it’s ideal for me or any readers with my level of coordination.