Reader Submissions: Getting A 1980 Mini 1100 Road Ready in a Day Turned into 20 Years

Getting A 1980 Mini 1100 Road Ready in a Day Turned into 20 Years

By Petrolicious Productions
November 12, 2013

Owner: Bart Mulder

Location: Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Year, Make, and Model: 1980 Mini 1100 Special

Photographer: Bart Mulder

At around 6’4″ (1.96 m) tall, Bart Mulder is a tall man, but he really loves small cars. Especially when they have some oomph. Twenty years ago as a struggling student, he sought out a Mini on a meager budget of around $100. His hope was to find cheap transportation, something he could maybe a year out of, and simple enough he could fix the most urgent problems on his own. Back in the early ’90s, old-school Minis were plentiful in Holland. A quick scouring of the local paper turned up numerous options, but the yellow charmer you see hear is what Bart settled on. Twenty-one years later, he still has what he calls “this little rascal.”

When asked why he still has this car after only planning on keeping it for one year, he confesses the car was far more rotten than he’d expected—he wasn’t able to put it on the road in a day as he’d originally planned. He took on the personal challenge to rebuild the car in his own style and to try to do everything himself. Besdies, after picking up the Mini, he fell into a sweet arrangement where he and a friend shared an Alfa Romeo Alfetta 2.0, removing the need to rush its rebuild.

At the time, the British pound was low compared to a Dutch guilder, so Bart was able to pick up parts cheaply as he went along. With the goal of creating a clean driver rather than a 100% restoration, a number of performance parts were purchased as well. A lack of space combined with other interests meant Bart’s Mini project was stopped and restarted many times over the years, but in 2009 the final steps were made and the car was at last road-ready in 2011.

After putting so much time into his Mini rebuild, he couldn’t bear to part with it. “Nowadays this Mini is not just a car, but feels like a way of life. [It’s] not for sale, like you also won’t sell your arm or leg,” Bart told us.

Since then, on Sunday afternoons, Bart oftens takes a drive in the Polder area close to his house. Because of a new road tax regulations that takes effect next year in Holland, owners will not be allowed to drive cars over 25 years old during December, January, and February unless they pay the high road tax. Bart’s not too bothered by this since he likes to avoid the salt on the roads during the winter months anyway.

Because the Mini is quite noisy, Bart’s wife doesn’t exactly love going for drives in it—fortunately his alternatives include an MGB roadster with a 3.9 V8 conversion, an Alfa Romeo 159 SW and a Smart ForTwo. The Mini gets regular use in historic navigation rallies, hill climb racing, and track days, however. His favorite roads are the small “Mickey Mouse” roads (as he referred to them) in hills, but since Holland is a flat country, Bart has to go abroad to find these roads. Some of his favorite places to drive are the Belgian Ardennes, German Eifel, and Mosel area. On these serpentine roads Bart tells us that his small car competes very well with much bigger cars.

Bart, who has a background in automotive education, is currently developing a 6-speed sequential gearbox for this car—the original housing will be used to accomodate six pairs of gears from a Honda Blackbird motorbike. He believes extreme horsepower isn’t necessary for great performance if the traction and gearbox are right.

Click here to see a video of Bart’s Mini on the road.

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11 months ago

Consider the length of your stay, the vehicle requirements, and the associated costs before making the decision

Hafizul Nizam
Hafizul Nizam
6 years ago

Please do a writeup of my classic fully restored Mini too, I restore most of the parts myself(I’m 19) or with my brother for the bits of extreme stuffs. As a growing youth, I really enjoy the Mini as it offers a drive much better than modern cars.

Bart Mulder
Bart Mulder
10 years ago

Story doesn’t tell, but the Original 1100 engine has been swapped for a 1275 with stage 4 head, MD286 cam, Mikuni PHH44 carbs, LCB + RC40 exhaust system. Brakes are Metro turbo, GAZ shocks etc etc

Nigel McHugh
Nigel McHugh
10 years ago

Great to see this car! My first car was also a bright yellow Mini, an 850cc version. Soon got a 1000cc engine, a Mada-dash (remember those?) air horn and various extra clocks and gauges. And a radio. The tape player came later, and was a separate item.
Also removed the bumpers and ground off the mounting lips.

Good to see the CCC sticker on the window. Was a classic car nut’s magazine.

Future Doc
Future Doc
10 years ago

Very nice, very cool car.

+1 to Petrolicious for having something in the 80s vintage.

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