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Good things run in small packages

Good things run in small packages

Horsham retailer Neil Smith is probably a Jaguar man deep down. After all he owns three including his Series One XJ6 family car with its unique overdrive manual transmission and a 1964 e-type Jaguar which incredibly he won in a $2 raffle.
But Neil’s pride and joy is his Morris Mini.
While studying mechanical engineering at university Neil owned a 1963 Mini 850 with a supercharged 1100 engine. Neil loved the way his Mini handled and continued to buy the brand, owning a Mini van with an 1100 engine during his first years of marriage.
So 10 years ago Neil bought a 1966 Morris Mini Deluxe with Cooper S running gear from a Polkemmet farm. But he only started work on the vehicle two and a half years ago when time allowed.
The car had more rust than Neil first realised so a lot of preparatory work was required and he started by replacing the floors including the boot floor and a rear mudguard.
Neil said he repaired a total of eight panels because of rust.
“”I also replaced every nut and bolt on it,” he said.
“There is no trouble getting parts for Minis because they were still making the body until 2000 and the engine for just as long.
“A lot of the parts come from England but there are plenty of distributors in Australia too.”
Neil said the reason behind the Australian fascination with the Mini is simple.
“They are just awesome fun to drive. It’s like there are no bends in the road because they handle so well,” he said.
“They have won so many competitions too. People forget but in 1966 they took out the first nine placings at Bathurst and won the event outright.”
Neil has only travelled 100 miles so far in his reconditioned Mini but he plans to use it on club runs and attend shows. He is very happy with Mitton Upholstery’s interior work on the car which features back seats with red piping.
But he is also happy with his car’s response and handling.
“It’s lively and feels terrific,” he said.

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Posted on Jun 25 2008

Posted by on Jun 25 2008. Filed under Motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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