The Morris Mini is the golden retriever of cars, instantly recognized and adored by the masses for its playful demeanor. Its introduction in 1958 was a precursor to the British invasion. Over the following decades, the unapologetically British runabout has had its identity seeped into the public view like Earl Grey tea on tooth enamel. In America, its diminutive size and largely untreated sheet metal left it vulnerable to to rust and Roadmasters alike, and the ones that haven’t been flattened or decayed wind up over-restored to a price tag no Mini should bear. This one is still guilty on several counts of rust (they all are), but should have enough grunt to escape the current breed of American road predators. And it’s cheaper than any of those P-cars in the background. Find this supercharged 1986 Mini for sale in Raleigh, NC for $6,500 via craigslist.
Imported to America just 18 months ago, this Mini is as fresh to American roads as the concept of a roundabout. Technically, roundabouts have been around here for decades, but our approach to them makes them as foreign to us as a presidential birth certificate. All of the importation paperwork (we’re talking about the car again) should be in order, if you can trust the seller’s word.
Little information is given about the power plant. It’s “built,” which could mean truly anything. The belt-driven supercharger is an aftermarket piece that should bring horsepower up from the lower double digits to middle double digits. That is, if the engine is the original 997cc A Plus-series engine. If it’s the larger 1275cc mill, and “built” well, breaching 100 horsepower becomes a matter of boost. But in a 1,300-lb stick-shift toy, even 75 horsepower would be a hoot.
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