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I am in the market for a mid to late 90s mini. JDM, manual (wife wants auto), AC (another wife requirement), left side preferred but right will work too. I have been on FB groups looking and someone told me to get in touch with my local mini group so I can get more familiar with them before I buy one. I have never driven or ridden in one and of course never owned one. But for the past 5+ years I have been enamoured with the styling and uniqueness. My wife promised me she would get me one for my 50th birthday which isn't that far away. So my question is, would I be able to stop by at a meet, check out some minis, and get some advice. I live in Winchester, VA so I am about an hour or so away. Maybe meet someone who is selling one locally that I can actually go see. Everything I have seen lately is a flight away.


Thank you,


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I am happy to help get you pointed in the correct direction, this group is predominately focused around the BMW owner re-launch of the MINI. There are a few of us that also own classics. 


I would recommend joining the "Capital Mini Registry" on Facebook as that is the discussion group in the DMV area for classic mini owners.

        - Asking to attend one of their events would be a good start to get exposed the classics.

        - They are also a wealth of knowledge, on what's available out there, to include unofficially for sale stuff


Unfortunately a mid 90s JDM example can be a bit harder to find, and often people have a bit of a delusional idea of the value. You am want to look into importing one, as you are looking for an automatic there will be less completion as most people are looking for manuals. There are several businesses that specialize on importing from JDM and handle the paperwork.  This maybe the a more cost effective option and give you better choice.


I will say the ac is a temporary amenity because once it breaks you likely will not be able to source parts to fix it. 


Left-hand drives would have to have been converted from the Japanese market, and there are good conversions and bad conversions. So have been properly switched over, but most have basically a drivers ED car kit on them.


The biggest thing to avoid is rust in the body, the rockers, A panels, and boot are common trouble spots. Fixing mechanical is not big deal, but replacing rust on classic minis is something most shops are not interested in getting involved it and if they are you can easily rack up a bill thats half what you paid for the car.




1975 Mini 1000, 998cc A+ w/ K&N air filter, 10" Mamba wheels

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Posted (edited)

Thank you. I had just sent you a quick message about the Creamery Run. I did find a 1998 Mini Paul Smith Edition and it is on it's way to me. I couldn't pass up on the price even though the automatic transmission will need a rebuild eventually. The car is rust free from all of the pictures that I have seen. I am excited to start this new journey.

My wife wanted the AC especially if we are driving it in the summer. Hopefully it will last and if not I can bandaid it as long as I can. Fingers crossed on that. Of course if I really start having issues I will go back to my original plan of a honda swap. More money, but I am saving my pennies, quarters, dollars for that one.


Question for you, since you own a classic. I see in your signature you are running a K&N air filter and 10" wheels. Cold air intake or just a K&N filter. And where did you source your wheels? I believe mine will have 12", but I want to go down to 10" with maybe a wider tire for when I get a wide body kit.


And thank you for the advice about joining capital mini registry. I will look into that group

Edited by tommyboyiceman
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