Part supplies can really dictate ownership experience of classic cars. With my unique old ’80s Mitsubishi Montero, I’ve become painfully familiar with the feeling of dismay when met with the dreaded ‘No Longer Available’ designation while hunting for the last little part to complete a job.
I first discovered the car while mindlessly wandering through the internet, pounding in Mini-related search queries in a never-ending hunger for Mini photos for my archives. The little yellow Mini seemed to sit a little bit lower than the rest, and a local SoCal shop name was emblazoned on the windshield, but for years the car remained a mystery.
Though the Mini came to life under the guise of an affordable economy car, the influence of a few determined enthusiasts gave birth to what would become a long history of motorsport wins. The small stature, light weight, and revolutionary suspension came together to win races on long distance rallies and short circuit sprints alike.
Sir Alec Issigonis never dreamed that the small little car that he sketched on a napkin would go on to dominate races and rallies throughout Europe. Throughout the Mini’s design process, decisions were made solely out of utility. Issigonis was tasked with building a car that could transport four grown adults and offer fuel efficiency that could compete with the German bubble cars that were gaining in popularity following the Suez Crisis.
Two three gallon air tanks, a pair of Viair 444s, a VU4 valve manifold, the Accuair management ECU, two water traps, and a collection of 1/4″ airline all neatly packaged into the tight confines of the MINI Clubman hatch thanks to the AccuAir eXo-mount. The compressors hum quietly away atop their vibration damping mounts as you fill your tanks in anticipation of playing with the switches. The rocker switch and touch pad give off a soft glow in the driver’s quarter.