The classic mini. The Legend. The car that made small cars a "Thing". There probably isn't a single person on the planet that doesn't love the Classic Mini. Mr Bean had one. Paul Smith has his own design on one. The Beatles, one of the biggest bands at the time, had one, EACH. The plucky little mini stormed onto the scene and into everyones hearts in 1959, and stayed there, all the way up until 2001, where Rover had taken over and the last classic Mini before BMW ownership was sold. For over 40 years the mini was in production. That may sound like an epic feat, and it is don't get me wrong, but it doesn't come without its problems..
You see, as with every car, there are also the car "enthusiasts", the people who like to change a car and make it their own, modify, customise, whatever you want to call it. The classic mini does too, have an enthusiast following. Problem is however, its quite a large following.
Large to the point where by the year 2000, 5.3 MILLION classic minis had been sold worldwide. So you could imagine the things being modified by the enthusiasts. Near enough everything under the sun had been done to the mighty mini, and that is where the problem lies.
In a world where so many things have been done to one car, how do you stand out?
It is a challenge indeed. With so many variants of mini to start with and endless mods, its as easy to fall into the trap as it is to stand out, so what does it take to make a sought after classic legend, even more legendary?
Well, if anyone is going to know the answer, anyone has to be named Chris Denn, and also has to own a mini named 'The Purist', and oh boy, is this car pure.
Pure Crazy! Behold one of the coolest, most detailed mini builds you'll probably ever find on the roads, Chris' mini well and truly is one of a kind and the details and finish speak volumes. Purchased in 2010 as a sight unseen (Hey MCM!) unfinished eBay project, it has taken a ridiculous amount of time and effort to get the car where it is today.
'When I got it I was a pleb (Actual words) and knew nothing about working on cars, so for 3 years I restored it with the help of my dad who taught me everything I know'
'We did everything in the garage, including bodywork and paint, I had it on the road for a year, before long it had cracks in the filler, and I realised the engine was rubbish'
That being said Chris then gave the mini another (3 year!) crack, this time planting in a 1275, smoothing the engine bay and tubbing the car. With new knowledge and a more confident approach, Chris sorted all the body work out ready for paint.
'This time I sent it to a bodyshop who made a bit of a cock up of it really.' Well. Thats great news!
Second rebuild round the 1275 engine also packed in, however after being sent off to get rebuilt by KAD, it came back to Chris fresh and ready and probably pretty damn reliable, well compared to a normal A Series engine anyway. After completing a few shows throughout the years Chris decided it was time to rectify the paint job mishap, so the front end was stripped and sent off to a painter who corrected and finessed the final product. The clutch and brake master cylinders were also relocated with the aid of a OBP pedal box.
As everyone knows (if you don't you should, girls should 100% already know this) Shoes make an outfit. Chris opted for 13x8 all round, however the front wheels are Force Racing TF turbos with Image Billet 19s finishing the rear, Idlers tyre graphics complete the look as they get tucked nicely under original McClean Bros arches (The OG mini stance guys in my personal opinion). The engine has been left mainly stock, sporting a hif44 carb, KAD camshaft and a lightened flywheel, perfect for reliable miles.
Apart from the monstrous noise of an old mini, sounds are also taken care of with the use of JBL 6" speakers and tweeters in the dash and 6x9s in the parcel shelf, the boombox is a JBL 1800W sub mounted to the rear seat bench. the exhaust is a manifold straight through system which is, in Chris' words 'Loud as F***'
The real epicness of this build really does lie in the details, the tyre logos, the sticker set up, the lego additions to the carb and master cylinder reservoirs, the dash board made out of 70's pub coasters from his mothers collection that she had been collecting since her school days! Even down the to black rear lights and indicators, the twin pipe exhaust system. Personally, here at The Street Kids, We live for the details, we live for the time and effort people put in to make their dream come true and different from the masses. We appreciate the small touches and Chris has definitely added a flair like no other to a car modified by hundreds and thousands.
An incredible build, built with a fatherly bond and taken to eccentric measures captured here for us by the amazing Simon Sugiura Goodier, showing the great aspects of this build and the length Chris has gone to, just to make this mini a literal one in a million. Enjoy the collection of photos captured by Simon and be sure to meet us here soon for another epic TSK approved build.
Chris - @Chris_RD92
Simon the bad ass photographer - @S.SGoodier
Us - @TheStreetKidsGarage
This car took my heart, not a bullet in sight (haha.. no? ..Okay.)