Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
The Mini Cooper is, it goes without saying, a timeless and appreciating classic. They're appreciating like crazy in fact, so much so that it would be an act of sheer madness for a company like Great Escape Cars to put one on their hire fleet and allow the general populus to muck about with it. Wouldn't it...?
Well, yes, of course it would. So they haven't. What they've done instead is to restore a classic Mini from the ground up and infuse a little Cooper flavour into the mix. Clever, eh? All the fun, none of the sleepless nights. So what we have here is a proper old-school Mini that's been torn back to first principles and fully rebuilt, finished in the classic combo of Old English White with a black roof. It's got racy Cobra buckets and red carpets for that retro sixties go-go flair, and there's all sorts that's fit-for-purpose when it comes to mischief-making - the Italian Job spotlights, the Cherry Bomb exhaust, the front tyres with the soft grippy sections on the edges... built for fun, this.
Sorry, I know I pandered to the Mini cliché and mentioned The Italian Job there. I sort of had to. There's a 'Croker & Bridger' sticker in the back window, you see. And having driven the thing, you really do feel like one of Charlie Croker's getaway drivers, ready to splash across a weir or barrel-roll through a sewage pipe. It's a darty, precise little thing, tight as a drum and eager for rev-happy thrills. Just, er, don't actually drive it through a weir. The guys will get really cross.
Effusive thanks to Great Escape Cars - check 'em out here.