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A
Mini To Spain.

For those of you that may not have noticed I like to rebuild things.
I am not saying I do it particularly well but I do enjoy the pleasure
of taking something that most other people would think is beyond
repair and bringing it back to life while it kicks and screams in
protest as it is brought back to live just a little bit longer.
Anyone that has worked on old motors knows that they do like to fight
back most of the way, its almost like they begrudge being made to do
more work to cover more miles when everyone else including themselves
thought that it was all over.

My passions for what I rebuild come and go. It can get boring doing
the same type of vehicle over and over again. I mean where is the
challenge in that? As the years have flown by I have rebuilt
everything from motorbikes to Land Rovers and everything size wise
in-between.

What I started with though was the classic mini. Like thousands of
other young men my age at the time these little treasures where
cheap, cheerful and plentiful. You could pick them up for as little
as £20 but they had one inherent problem that was common to all cars
from this era….rust.

Once they came into contact with a bit of rain and salty winter roads
the steel would just chuck in the towel to the tin worm and rot as
quickly as you could patch them up. I don’t think that any classic
mini actually ended its days wearing the same metal it was built
with.

You had to learn to weld quickly to even attempt to keep them in one
piece and the engines though reliable had to be maintained on a
regular basis, every tow or three days, just to keep them running.

This was something I got quite good at over time even if I do say so
myself. I ran a mini, my Wife ran a mini and my friends had minis so
there was plenty of practice to be had keeping my skills honed.

They were a passion. The parts were cheap and you could do any
number of things to make these little treasures your own.
Surprisingly they were not classed as “a girls car” due to their
size. Nope everyone owned one of these things and they were as close
to driving a road legal go cart you could get at the time. You
rallied them, raced them, customised them, fixed them and loved them.
They had a character all of their own and were plucky little buggers
to boot.

It’s important to set the scene on the popularity of these cars
because otherwise you would be wondering “Why the hell would anyone
drive one of these to Spain?” Don’t get me wrong looking back I
still wonder why I did drive one of these to Spain but it was an
adventure and when you are young adventures are the best thing in the
world to do!

So, how did it all start….

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