Crapwagon Outtake: 1994 Rover Mini

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
crapwagon outtake 1994 rover mini

I’ve not yet had the pleasure of driving a classic Mini. Residing in Ohio, this isn’t altogether surprising, as the climate has not been kind to many older cars. Also, there’s the problem of not being able to actually fit. Someday, though, I need to give it a try.

With a production run spanning six decades, there are likely many Minis still seeing use as daily drivers in the UK. Like any other ubiquitous car, then, these are subject to the whims of the owners looking to give their rides some additional personality.

As it seems there are no Pep Boys in England, questionable modifications must come from other sources.

Today’s 1994 Rover Mini has been treated to an unusual rhinoplasty, using a donor grille and headlamps from an older Mercedes-Benz sedan. It’s in England, though the eBay listing is in US dollars. And it’s too new to import here, though I’m sure some enterprising lunatic might try to bring it over anyhow, thinking it’s some oddball limited edition worth a pile of cash.

After all, the brands of the former BMC/BLMC have been through so many hands that Daimler might have had some corporate ownership at some point, and we’ve just forgotten. The old-new Mini (R53 generation) had a engine built in a BMW/Chrysler joint-venture in Brazil, and Daimler owned Chrysler for a time. This could have been a result.

Or some bloke found some cool bits in a scrapyard and fitted them to his daily driver in an attempt to stand out and get more money on resale.

My admittedly dreaming thought is a compact tribute to the legendary “Red Pig” Mercedes-Benz race car of the ’70s, as shown above. Call it a “Red Piglet” or something. Needs more AMG decals, though.

[Image: Mini, eBay user mountainminis; Benz, By Jiří Sedláček (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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  • Spike_in_Brisbane Spike_in_Brisbane on Mar 07, 2016

    I had a work colleague who was 6'7". He owned a mini and said it was one of the few cars he could comfortably drive because the drivers seat just kept going back and the straight arms/legs driving position was not compromised by this. P.S. The mini was a great car compared to the Hillman Imp.

  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Mar 07, 2016

    Daimler cars were built in the UK prior to WWII it was a UK company.They just licensed the Daimler name. Queen Elizabeth used to schlep around in a Daimler DS 420 Limousine. Daimler double six was a dressed up Jaguar XJ12 and was built by Leyland who also built the mini. It does look awful!

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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