Latest variant of the almost unending chain of Minis, Super-Minis and Cooper-Minis, is Paddy Gaston’s Gaston-Mini-Minor, a “Weberised” conversion for the standard Mini costing as little as £23 15s. The actual modifications include a new inlet manifold, a single twin choke Weber carburetter and a Gaston-designed extractor exhaust manifold embodying a 3-branch pipe. R.P.M. is claimed to be increased to a stage where double valve springs are really a necessity (the 0 to 60-m.p.h. time is alleged to be cut by 13 sec.!), and to cope with the extra power front disc brakes are available at an additional cost. Another development of interest to Mini owners is the recently introduced Olyslager handbook for both Minis and Austin Sevens, which is available from local bookshops or direct from the publishers, The Sunday Times, at 4s. 6d., an excellent categorisation of the ADO15 but sadly lacking in fault-finding information.
That “willowy wand” that suffices on the Mini as a gearlever can now be substituted by the “Major Change” remote-control unit which is marketed by S.P.Q.R. Ltd., of 20, West Street, Haslemere, Surrey, at £12 19s. 6d. This brings the gearlever into a floor-mounted position just forward of the front seats. The linkage mechanism, similar to that used by many “special” builders, utilises the first 6 in. or so of the original lever and thenr is transmitted, by means of a double linkage, to the short, stumpy replacement lever. Because of the large amount of lever movement at the gearbox end it has been necessary to cover the linkage with a rather large metal cover which renders the foot-operated dip-switch inaccessible. To overcome this an organ-type angled dip-pedal is supplied. We hope to test both these items on some future occasion.
And a club for Mini owners: Secretary of the recently formed Mini-Seven Club is Russell Miller, 14, Lynton Crescent, Ilford. Essex.