Films: This Moldovan Mini Cooper Is A One-Man Club
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Made To Drive | S09 E18

This Moldovan Mini Cooper Is A One-Man Club

One Mini that's taking on multiple massive cross-country trips in classic style.
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CANYON
CANYON
4 years ago

My hat and shoes off to maker’s and shaker’s at Petrolicious .. the way you bring- ing stories of the bold,and the old,the blaster’s (where done safely,and considerately) and the slow-well told,pet sharing lively weathered track all into a story that can be treasured thru our history . thanks to this owner ! May your lap always be warmed (case the heater breaks down) and your Mini always making it home !

Javier López
Javier López(@fb_1658287487)
4 years ago

Everibody can look the face of Sergiu when he is driving his little car …… But a english translation should be better . Greetings from Spain .

Robert in LA
Robert in LA(@robert-in-la)
4 years ago

After viewing this video a few times, I realized that I wasn’t really reading the sub-titles, I was listening to Sergiu. And then it dawned on me, that he is probably speaking Romanian or one of the dialects. Romanian, like Italian, is a romance language, and not all that far from Spanish. Almost everyone in Los Angeles speaks some Spanish. It goes with the territory.

I keep looking at Sergiu’s Mini which has been very completely reworked. Almost everything has been touched. The fender flares and wider wheels are nicely done. The red piping on the seat upholstery looks like it could have been original, but must have been done to the owners taste. There are walnut colored wood facings not only on the dash & steering wheel, but these extend to the header strips on the door panels as well. The exhaust is polished stainless and aftermarket, yet is rather quiet.

Someone, or some group of people lavished a great deal of intelligent attention on this car. Yet, it is so well done, that if you glanced at it, you might think that it was a factory ‘works’ car.

Walker in Virginia
Walker in Virginia
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert in LA

As a classic mini owner, his is surprisingly stock actually. All those little details on his car are actually from the factory. Only thing I really noticed was his own personal touches on the interior and the wheels, which appear to be the larger upgraded 13″ wheels instead of the stocker 12″.

Robert in LA
Robert in LA(@robert-in-la)
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert in LA

Walker, is this a ‘works’ model, with fender flares, alloy wheels, and polished stainless exhaust with a laser engraved logo &tc.? I am not a Mini guy. I worked on other English cars of the period, so the Mini were around at time. The original Minis as I remember them were quite plain cars.

* * * *
As I look at the photos of the various Mini series on Wikipedia, I see a lot of variants, and the very end of the series, the Coopers get quite elaborately kitted-out. Perhaps this is one of those cars. Certainly when Sergiu opens the engine compartment, that looks quite stock.

Juatin
Juatin
4 years ago

Nice ride. I thought that Mini Coopers had two fuel tanks.

Robert in LA
Robert in LA(@robert-in-la)
4 years ago
Reply to  Juatin

Yes. One in the left rear fender well; one in the right. Not the best for collisions, but good for space utilization, and balance.
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x259/mk1leg/mk1%20resto/minirestoration1028.jpg

John Wynne
John Wynne(@john_wynne)
4 years ago
Reply to  Juatin

This is the later Mini, not the 60’s original, still very sort after, and go for serious money over on this side of the pond

John Wynne
John Wynne(@john_wynne)
4 years ago
Reply to  Juatin

This is the later version, and yes, the wheels aren’t the standard fit. Reason these are popular is because of the build quality from the factory. Yes they had modern rust proofing, but when they took the shells to be dipped, they had the panels bolted on, so behind the hinges never got coated, and the coating process was flawed. A great many of the later Mini’s just rusted away, but those that survive, are appreciated as much as the original, as they really didn’t change that much over the years

Terry
Terry
4 years ago

great video, great car, great guy
I love that he has a pug too, the Mini Cooper of dogs.

Robert in LA
Robert in LA(@robert-in-la)
4 years ago

First rate. I really love these films about people, like Sergiu Topala, who have truly exhaustive knowledge of their cars, and who are so deeply steeped in the communities and knowledge of the marques they favor. In places like Molodavia and Eastern Europe generally, cars were so very valuable in terms of what ordinary people could afford. In consequence of this they were repaired, rebuilt, and restored until a body of knowledge of them emerged that thoroughly transcended anything that the original design engineers could have imagined.

In California it is often Hispanic mechanics and restorers who have that kind of detailed knowledge. For them a car with 100,000 miles on it, is almost new. These people often develop an empirical understanding of their vehicles that emerges from repeated working virtually all of the component systems in the car that wear to to the point of failure.

This is so different from the collector who drives his cars as little as possible, and who will put only 10,000 miles on a car in his collection during a life time of ownership with it. And while those kinds of collections can be engaging, I am less impressed.