Feb 24, 2008 update to the Innocenti Mini Cooper project car

The Italian Job Comes to Classic Motorsports

The latest addition to the family, a 1971 Innocenti Mini Cooper. Yeah, we don’t think that’s the right grille, either. This photo was taken this afternoon; the car is now on four matching wheels and tires.
We fetched the car from Charlotte, not too far from our editor’s parents. The tow rig didn’t fit up their driveway.
We picked up the car over Mother’s Day weekend, so we got to surprise Mom. That’s Matt, our editor’s brother, with Mom.
We stopped for gas a few times. Here’s how the car looks with matching wheels. By the way, the Nissan Titan truck made for a very nice tow vehicle. The aluminum two-axle trailer came from Trailer World. Nice piece.
And no road trip is complete without mascots. B.J. had that monkey, but we have Paige and Aimee. Paige is the one with the ears.

After spending way, way, way too much time debating what classic to get, David, our editor, finally made a purchase: a 1971 Innocenti Mini Cooper. It’s a twin-SU, 998cc-powered car. It’s also left-hand drive, which he figured would be better in the real world.

This was originally a hydrolastic suspension car, although it has been converted to a dry suspension. The engine was recently rebuilt, the brakes are fresh, the interior is new, and the car is in pretty decent condition. It drives nicely, too, once it’s warmed-up.

The car came on its spare, hence the one mismatched wheel. It did come with two new Yokohama A008 tires, and Orlando & Sons here in Ormond Beach, Florida, was able to mount it no problem. The wheel wouldn’t fit on their balancing machine, so we might be upgrading to alloys soon. We’ll keep you guys posted on our progress.

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