Somewhat consoled by Mr Duncan-Brown’s sorry tale of an Austin Se7en Countryman, I feel encouraged to recount my own “Diary of a Mini” :—
Nov 1960; Morris Minivan, loaded with extra, delivered.
200 miles: Five inches cut off water hose to allow heater to function.
300 miles: Fuel pump replaced: 1st gear almost impossible to select: clutch removed.
900 miles: Oiled-up clutch removed: oil seal and clutch plates replaced.
1,600 miles: Stop-light switch replaced.
2,000 miles: Second-gear synchro-hub replaced (it took a month to get this part from the factory): rear door “keep” disintegrated.
2,300 miles: Exhaust pipe replaced.
2,850 miles: Another 2nd-gear synchro-hub fitted.
3,000 miles: 4th gear ceased to function (in the depths of Surrey at 6 am)
3,880 Miles Second fuel pump failed: car Sold to dealer at £60 loss.
Apart from these “regrettable causes for complaint” (as BMC styled them in their stereotyped replies to my letters), the car leaked badly; the bonnet was fixed with a miscellany of nuts with flat washers, nuts with spring washers and nuts without any washers; the fuel gauge was wildly pessimistic; the mixture was hopelessly weak and the timing about 15″ out on delivery; and the gear-lever at all times had a tendency to stick fast in neutral and refuse to budge in any direction (excruciatingly amusing in London rush-hour traffic).
The only bright spot in all this is that the agents leaned over backwards to put things right, whereas BMC could only repeat ad nauseum, that “no doubt at my convenience (!) these matters could be put right.”
I now own—can you guess ?—a 1954 “People’s Wagon.”
I am, Yours, etc.,
TJ Bosnian. Wimbledon.