The Failures

The Lancashire Job – The Mini (Part 3)

It finally dies in this one.

Share this...
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit

Don’t worry, I won’t drag this out any further. Part three sees the end of my once loved, soon hated Mini. Mainly because I keep waking up in cold sweats in the dead of night, haunted by flashbacks of this car. I can’t take much more of that, so on that basis alone I have to wrap this up.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Paul and I had just spent a night in it after hearing monsters in the bushes. And it was a cold night, thanks in no small part to my temper resulting in a *ahem* absent window. WHAT FUN!

Mini, British Leyland, Austin, classic car, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, petrol cutter, scrap, vehicle dismantling, motoring, automotive, car, cars, ebay, ebay motors, autotrader

Obligatory ‘this is better than mine was’ gag

In the morning, fuel was procured and I finally made it home. Pleased though I was to enjoy the comforts of my abode once more, I couldn’t help but feel defeated and then angry, all thanks to the freshly dented, unpopular fat kid of motoring sitting out on my driveway. I had to get rid of it and find something better.

I had an Astra GTE in the garage (remember, we’re at the point where cars overlap now) but at 18, there was no way anyone was going to insure me on it. Plus, a homeless man had been sleeping in it, which meant it was ‘fragrant’ to say the least. We’ll get to that in another post.

I was genuinely at a loose end and the Mini knew this. It could have perhaps used this knowledge to behave and maybe try and win back my affections. It did not do this. Instead, it started shedding parts while on the move.

Mini, British Leyland, Austin, classic car, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, petrol cutter, scrap, vehicle dismantling, motoring, automotive, car, cars, ebay, ebay motors, autotrader

Dropping my girlfriend – the giddy-because-her-boyfriend-had-a-car Samantha – off one evening, I took the usual route meandering through the winding suburban geography of Firwood Park. Upon cresting one bend in particular, I heard a smash, but as I was listening to Limp Bizkit at the time via my crudely installed Kenwood CD player, I simply figured it was part of the angry barrage of sounds coming from Mr. Durst, et al. It wasn’t. I learned this on my return trip when I saw what was left of my near side headlight in a heap by the curb. Yes, my car had ejected part of its own face.

The following day, while four-up and terrorising the streets of Chadderton, the Mini decided to make an attempt on our lives by releasing the bonnet while the car was in motion. Cue four teenage boys screaming in painful harmony while I slammed on the brakes and prayed there was nothing in my path.

Mini, British Leyland, Austin, classic car, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, petrol cutter, scrap, vehicle dismantling, motoring, automotive, car, cars, ebay, ebay motors, autotrader

An artist’s impression of what may have happened

I hated it, and it clearly had a desire to shorten my life expectancy. Annoyingly, because I was 18 and therefor had the net worth of a sock, buying another car was out of the question. But, as it turned out, being given a job complete with a company car was not beyond the realms of possibility.

Mini, British Leyland, Austin, classic car, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, petrol cutter, scrap, vehicle dismantling, motoring, automotive, car, cars, ebay, ebay motors, autotrader

This is how I was rolling in 2001, minus the dubstep number plate

With a 1.0 Lupo on my driveway courtesy of the kind folk at Lookers Volkswagen, a plan was formed in record time to dispatch the Mini, hateful little bastard that it was. So hateful in fact, that simply calling the scrap man to haul it away was out of the question. No, we had to physically KILL this car. Kill it to death until it died from it.

A petrol cutting saw was haired immediately. As in a saw that cuts via petrol propulsion, not a saw used for the cutting of fuel.

Mini, British Leyland, Austin, classic car, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, petrol cutter, scrap, vehicle dismantling, motoring, automotive, car, cars, ebay, ebay motors, autotrader

I think the one I hired was orange, but anyway…

Over the course of a weekend, Paul and I set about killing the Mini. In a fit of prolonged, somewhat cathartic rage, I cut the roof off with tin snips. Don’t ask me how, just believe me when I say I did it. Once it became a low-rent convertible, Paul set about chopping it into little pieces with our rented tool, the plan being that we would turn the back of it into a couch of sorts while the rest would hopefully fit in a wheely-bin, much to the delight of the local council.

Apart from the brief moment of terror brought on by Paul nearly hacking through a fuel line with a power tool (disaster only averted due to the arrival of his brother screaming at Paul in the nick of time), the plan went off without a hitch and the Mini was soon nothing more than a stack or rusty yellow metal residing within a bin.

Mini, British Leyland, Austin, classic car, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, petrol cutter, scrap, vehicle dismantling, motoring, automotive, car, cars, ebay, ebay motors, autotrader

Later that evening, sitting on a sofa cut from a car I was driving mere hours ago (technically, it was a road legal sofa as it still had an MOT), I laughed with friends about how awful it was. Ignoring the fact that such a scenario was akin to wearing your dead pet as a hat while saying how much of a little shit it was, the overall feeling was positive.

We also discussed how I should probably enjoy the benefits of having a company car at such a young age, rather than wasting money on another crap project. However, there was a GTE in the garage which, once freed of its unwanted resident, could be a real beauty.