My Italian Job Special Edition Journey started when I had just finished a few jobs on my son Matthew’s red Mini Cooper replica, whilst simultaneously restoring my MG Midget. We had bought my sons first Mini from Adam Lawrence, a friend of a friend, who has a car repair business and had a bit of a thing about classic Minis.
Lurking around at the back of his unit was a very Rusty and not so Red, 1992 Rover Mini Italian Job, this was a limited edition of only 1750; a mixture of Red, White, Blue and Green that were manufactured to celebrate the original “Italian Job” film. Matthew and I decided that it would be a quick project for us to do together and then sell, to make him some money. This was back in 2006; the mini had been of the road since 2002 when it failed the MOT.
It was rough in all the usual mini places, for those of you who don’t know these are; the front panel, wings, A-panels, inner & outer sills, rear quarter panel, boot floor and rear valance. These sounds like a big list, but all parts are available and minis are relatively straightforward to work on, well for a keen mechanic!
We started with me working on the MG and Matthew cutting off the rusty parts of the mini, we then ended up with an even sadder looking mini minus its front end. Then disaster struck, the barn we were renting was being repossessed and we had to move both cars out urgently. The MG went into my garage at home, which then led to a frantic search to find somewhere to store the mini; fortunately we found the corner of a barn at a local farm.
This however, meant we were unable to work on the car and therefore the MG took precedent. The Italian Job took an even further back seat when the lack of progress was assisted by Matthew discovering alcohol and girls. Wine & women were taking their toll, so I bought the Mini from Matthew in 2009/10
I finished the MG in September 2007; however, progress on the Italian Job Special Edition Mini had slowed down to a halt, as we acquired a 1983 Mini for my daughter Sarah that needed some work. I started in earnest on Italian Job late in 2009; I had to buy further replacement panels as most were used restoring Sarah’s Mini!!
I had set myself a time scale to get the car together and painted by the summer, fortunately I didn’t specify which summer!! I finally completed my Italian Job in August 2011.It Looks fantastic; so selling my pride and joy is on hold for now, want to do some Mini car runs especially ‘Preston to Blackpool’ and ‘London to Brighton’.
I am still searching for the previous lady owner from, the Hitchin area, who had the car before Adam, as when he bought the car from her, she implored him not to break her beloved car for spares. I would love to show her that the car hasn’t rotted away in a corner and that I have restored her Mini to its former Glory.