reader report

Pimped up shopping basket

20:14, Nov 29 2012
My 1981 Leyland Mini
INTERIOR: All I did is line the floor with insulation/sound deadening.
My 1981 Leyland Mini
THE BODY: Will get shinier with lots of new chrome bits.
My 1981 Leyland Mini
FAMILY PROJECT: Luke Goleman's son helps on the Mini.
My 1981 Leyland Mini
ONE LADY OWNER: Luke Goleman's 1981 Leyland Mini 1000.

My 1981 Leyland Mini 1000 was purchased brand new here in Christchurch in 1981 and had one lady owner before I bought it.

No, seriously. It was owned by a local woman who drove it to work and back, and to the shops. That's it, for 30 years this little car was looked after by this lady and its only purpose was a shopping basket.

Now, this is my third time around owning a Mini.

The first one, my first car, was a 1969 running on widened steelies and a 1300cc engine, twin carbs, massive exhaust, 96db stereo that was loud enough to blow the back windows open.

The second was a 71 Clubbie, called Project Lemon as it was yellow and rusty as an old tin can. Needless to say Project Lemon was a huge flop. Now 20 years after the first Mini experience, I am back in.

This one, sold new in New Zealand, had done 140,000km and was always garaged and serviced. It came with all records, including original sale agreement and manual. It is in great shape for a long-term project. I paid a mint for it but I'm happy.


Now here is what I have done to it ... I know, not very original but I love a look.

The body -  13x7 Minilight wheels, original Mini Sportpack arches, super fin/spaced drums (front and rear), hi-lo's, coil springs, adjustable gas shocks, adjustable tie rods, adjustable camber front and rear. Paint will stay as is, just get shinier and lots of new chrome bits. Mirrors, window washers and sill trim.

Engine - Stock standard but, I have serviced everything. Oils, filters, belts you name it, I've looked at or replaced it. It still leaks a little but its a Mini - they came like that from the factory.

Interior - Factory. All I did is line the floor with insulation/sound deadening.