Posts Tagged ‘Austin Mini’

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:


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Nevada City Adventure 2009 Gallery!
Mini Mania NCA 2009!
Mini Mania Funkhana!
Green Mini on the Dyno!

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This is on our schedule for Northern California- Can anyone add the rest of the country??

March 7-8 – Thunderhill Raceway Park Willows CA- HMSA
March 18 – Laguna Seca- Hooked on driving
March 20 –Thunder HillHooked on driving
April 3-5th Infineon Raceway Sears Point CA Annual 1st EventCSRG
April 17 – Thunder Hill – Hooked on driving
April 21 – LSR Track Day- Laguna Seca – HMSA
May 1-3 – Reno Historics HMSA
May 2-3 British Extrvaganza- Buttomwillow- VARA
May 6-7 Thunder Hill- Hooked on Driving
May 15 – Thunder Hill – Hooked on Driving
May 16-17th Thunderhill Raceway Park Willows CA Rolling Thunder – CSRG
May 29-31 – Wine Country Classic – Sears Point – General Racing
And much more!
June 2-3 LSR Invitational Laguna Seca – HMSA
June 6- 7th – Thunder Hill – Hooked on Driving
June 27-28 Brairneard Raceway Mini Can-Am Challenge
July 4-5th – Sears Point- Hooked on Driving
July 10-12 Portland Historics HMSA
July 18-19 Golden State Classic – Fontana- VARA
August 14-15 Monterey Historics – Laguna Seca- General Racing
The year of the Mini Cooper- 2006
September 5th – Reno-Fernley– Hooked on Driving
September 19yh – Thunder Hill – Hooked on Driving
Sept. 25-27th Infineon Raceway Sears Point CA 6th CSRG Charity Challenge
October 16-18 Saltman Memorial- Las Vegas, VARA
October 30th Thunder Hill – Hooked on Driving
October 31 – November 1 Thunderhill Raceway Park Willows CA Fall Finale CSRG

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Overstock Sale!

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