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….And HARDLY anyone else does in the Americas!  I talked to a gentleman from Peru A short while ago who confirmed that indeed, hardly anyone there had ever seen another one!  Amazingly, it was a runner, with all the lights and switches and windows still working!  It had suffered a failed thermostat of all things, and overheated, so he was hoping to pack his suitcase with what he needed for it while on a trip to the US!

I’m often amazed by the number of first calls we get from people who either have, or have just acquired a Morris Minor!  They seem to have found their way to every corner of the world!  It might be a rumor, but I’ve heard they might still be building them in India!  I’m fond of saying that just about every small town in Idaho seems to have a couple, tucked into old barns!  There are even a number of right hand drive Minors here in our small town, which means they were likely imported by their owners from when they lived in RHD countries!  These things are like members of the family!   There aren’t many NEW cars one can say that about!!

As such, we have done considerable work to update the MorrisMania part of our site. We have separated the MM part numbers so that all “classic” parts are not lumped together, making searching for parts much simpler.  We have put the entire original Morris Minor Parts Catalog on the site the same way we did our original Classic Mini “bible“, complete with exploded-view diagrams to help folks identify specific items when they don’t know exactly what to call them!  With these relics turning up in far away lands, a picture can go a long way to overcome a language barrier!

I think it should be pretty easy to post a comment or a photo on here.  If you have an interesting story or a Minor you’ve built, including crazy ones with V8s and wheelie bars, post about it, or send me an email to jemal@minimania.com

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That’s a question that most car buyers don’t ask after the fact… unless you just bought a Classic Mini in the United States!  Just about any other classic car, you pretty much know exactly what you got into.  This happens so often, and usually comes as a surprise for a new owner of a classic Mini to find that their pride and joy is not at all what they thought.  I wrote the following explanation to the question posed by a member on the Mini Mania forum:

You really must be careful on a public forum, and if you really did buy the car, not to be too specific…. that’s why some answers seem to beat around the bush.

Hypothetically speaking… Most Minis look the about the same for 42 years of production. At least to the average person. When an oppressive set of government rules exists to keep people from easily having the classic mini they want, there is great incentive to make cars seem OLDER so they can slip under customs import rules.  It is rumored that some people in countries where the cars are plentiful and unloved will replace the VIN plate with one from an older car, so that the “old” car can be taken to and sold in America, where there are lots of willing buyers.  It gets in because the particular customs inspector is NOT a Mini expert, and can’t tell that the car and it’s paperwork did not start out in life together.  It is even rumored that certain unscrupulous AMERICANS and/or CANADIANS have taken part in this practice over the decades, contributing to my opinion that more than half the Classic Minis in the US are such “revins”.

Think about it…. changing the car’s identifying serial numbers is what car thieves might do so that the stolen car is not “found” right away when the “new owner” goes to register it.  Our government then has strong incentive to DISCOURAGE the willy-nilly changing of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to the extent that a suspected stolen or ‘altered’ car can be confiscated and crushed as a way to protect public safety from these evil little cars.  If you don’t want to be the unfortunate owner made an example of in this way, you will not draw undue attention to the possible fact of you car’s identity crisis!!

Our only dog in this fight is to be able to provide you the right parts!  You will NOT be happy if you get all the WRONG parts for your “73”. Furthermore,  you will think that WE are idiots for doing so!   We are supposed to be the experts…. why did we send you all the wrong parts?  In MOST cases, it is because you unknowingly have the wrong CAR!

You can see the whole thread for this topic if you like… the original question and all the comments:

http://www.minimania.com/msgThread/118852/1/1/What_car_did_I_just_buy

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Most days, I talk to people ordering parts that seem mismatched for a particular Mini. Our expertise with these cars enables us to notice when something like that jumps out at us, and often we are able to make a correction that can save the customer a great deal of time and money.
Today I had a gentleman ordering parts for his brother’s Mini in South America.  I noticed it was a rod-change 998 from the engine bearings and shift stub-shaft seal kit. So when the order included the larger Hardy-Spicer axle seals, and the very expensive Pin-drive Cooper S oil pump, I contacted the customer to get the real scoop. I was able to correct the order BEFORE it got shipped to Peru, saving the customer hundreds of dollars, and weeks of delay that would have resulted from getting a few wrong parts!
So many mistakes can be avoided by doing a little homework to properly identify your car, and thus be able to specify the right parts. Our own Chuck Heleker has written one of the most definitive articles for identifying a classic Mini…. Don’t let the level of detail intimidate you, simply scroll through to the sections that make sense to you! This information should enable you to identify just about ANY Classic Mini, and certainly enough to be able to order the RIGHT parts:

http://www.minimania.com/Mini_Identification

I have written a much simpler article that lets you identify which transmission and shift-linkage style you Mini has, which in turn, tells us the era your Mini, or at least it’s running gear came from. This lets us identify the major mechanical parts you need to be able to take care of most maintenance and repairs:

http://www.minimania.com/How_do_I_know_which_transmission_my_Mini_has

I know so much has been written over the years about this topic…. just look at the previous posts here! Still, not a week goes by that I don’t help a new owner figure out what they have, to give them the best chance of ordering the right parts! We want you to feel good about your Mini, and trust us to help you take care of it.

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Tina Racine
Ertola
Language Arts
12-5-07

Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigoniss.

Born November 18, 1906
Died October 2, 1988
Made the Austin Morris Mini.

Tina’s Mini Cooper PictureHe got his inspiration from drawing on a napkin. His friends called him “The Greek God”. He lived in Edgbaston (village of man called Ecgbald, from the old English personal name to Ton “Farm.”) United Kingdom Census 2001 found that’s 20,286 people were living in Edgbaston. Because Alec and his parents were British subjects, Royal British Marines evacuated them to Malta in September 1922, Ahead of the Turkish re-possession of Smyrna at the end of the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922). Following of his father in 1922, Alec and his mother moved to the UK in 1923, Alec studied Engineering at Battersea Polytechnic in London. He failed his mathematics exams three times and subs equinity called Pure Mathematics “The enemy of every creative genius.” After Battersea Polytechnic, Alec decided to enter the University of London External Programmed to complete his university education. He was born in a Greek community of Smyrna now called Izmir in Ottoman Empire. Other cars he made:

. 1948 Morris Mini
. 1959 Mini
. 1962 BMC ADO16
. BMC ADO17
. 1969 Austin Maxi
On Alec’s birthday, Heritage Motor Centre was Held in UK. In later years the car was called the “Mini”.

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