A Mini Gathering of Massive Proportions

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A while back, I spent an evening on a photoshoot with a Morris Mini belonging to a good mate of mine. After we wrapped up the photos, he threw me the keys and let me take it for a spirited drive around the backstreets of Perth. It was surreal reconnection to a classic car that I think we all have experienced at some point in our youth.

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So after a post advertising a small gathering and swap meet popped up on the Perth Mini Drivers page on Facebook, I couldn’t look past another opportunity to experience the Best of British once again. I got in touch with the organisers who were more than happy to have Garage Journal come along and join in the fun of the day.

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Arriving about 25 minutes early, I was greeted by half a dozen grinning faces and a few stalls already set up ready to go. I took this opportunity to set up the cameras and watch a cascade of Minis roll in. with an internet favourite leading the charge; a VTEC-swapped Leyland Clubman complete with flip nose and widened track, sporting a set of chunky wheels and flares.

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Buyers and sellers appeared thick and fast, prospective owners looking for that hidden gem or a bargain, and sellers looking to offload unwanted projects or some of their weird and wonderful parts. By 10:30am the carpark and selling area were fully loaded, with scores of people crowding the coffee vans to fuel up on Java while prospecting the purchase of new toys.

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Held at an undisclosed location at the organisers request, the event team started inviting some of the cars inside the workshop for the opportunity to go up on their hoists. One of the first cars in was the tidy Honda-swapped Clubman. Avid followers of the Perth Mini Drivers Facebook page would be very familiar with this build, and having it jacked up on the hoist gave all those curious a chance to inspect how they crammed the Honda power-unit into the cramped chassis of a Mini. The challenge is not only massaging the engine into the bay, but also upgrading almost every other part of the car so it can handle an additional 100hp over the factory.

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By 11am, almost every generation of Mini was there in attendance. A variety of versions including Coopers, convertibles, custom utes, and even a panel van with wheelchair access. A bunch of German “new age” Minis were hidden away in the corner of the event, proving that although they aren’t aren't everyone's cup of tea, the Mini name is still going strong!

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As the stalls started to close up, and the coffee van poured its last latte, the team invited as cars many back into the workshop and up onto the hoists as possible, for a new group photo for the club. With 12 cars on the hoists and a couple more packed onto the warehouse floor, it was an amazing celebration of eclectic automotive passion to wind down alongside like-minded Mini fans!

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Thank you to the event organisers for putting on a spectacular day - Definitely the first of its kind in Perth and I don't doubt it won't be the last.