Your article in the November 1975 issue, “The Mini Revisited”, brought back some varied memories, not all of them pleasant. Like C.R./J.W., I too ran a fairly early Mini and like them, the temptation to modify it could not be resisted. Some of the modifications were essential for simple, self-preservation such as the lowering of the steering column and more comfortable seats. With a smaller, leather-rimmed steering wheel and a rearward cranked gearlever, the car became almost comfortable. It was a delight to drive. With wider wheels and tyres, stiffened suspension and the fitting of a mildly tuned 1300 engine and “S” disc brakes, it had a level of responsiveness I have yet to encounter in any other vehicle. It could be chucked about like a Yo-Yo and yet never get out of hand. It is the only car I know that needed setting up for a corner about 50 yards before reaching the apex (it was even more fun if you were hurrying). But, like C.R./J.W., the joke had to end. The ride was a farce, even shouted conversations became impossible above 50 m.p.h. and it constantly needed attention to keep it running properly (though it rarely left me stranded), Finally, “H A”, as she was known, snapped her crankshaft for the second time and she had to be retired. I was sorry to see her go because, although her successor, an MG-B, is a tough old nail, it is far too stodgy and dull to be much fun. “C.R.” has a compelling interest in matters technical (I think) and he communicates it marvellously.
Thank you for the only magazine that is worth re-reading when it is no longer current.
Southport GARETH RHYS