1980 Mini Clubman Estate Special
|Odometer reading||2,200 miles|
|Estimate||£10,000 - £16,000|
They say that good things in life are worth waiting for and ‘Subby the Clubby’ is certainly no exception. The story starts with the motive force behind this project and someone with no better qualifications than the editor of MiniWorld, Karen Drury. After an extensive search, she acquired this practical Estate back in 2004 through the Clubman Estate Register, still in its original ‘Snapdragon Yellow’, to use in conjunction with her other turbocharged Mk. II Mini saloon.
And so began the ‘MiniWorld project car’. It was decided that everything should be taken apart and, by 2009, the shell was placed on trestles so a full assessment could be made. A number of panels were replaced including the entire floor pan, rear doors, sills, front panel, bonnet, and inner and outer wings followed by a full re-paint in Ducati Yellow with hand-painted, black side stripes and black roof. Later, the front subframe was strengthened and seam-welded to handle a more powerful engine, the suspension uprated to include fixed negative camber bottom arms and Mini Sport adjustable tie bars. The engine bay was inspired by the water-cooled VW scene, where wiring and unsightly hoses are hidden from view and, most importantly, the bulkhead has been given a smooth, uncluttered look by removing redundant holes and tags. Eventually the 1330cc A+ engine was fitted into the engine bay followed by a new bespoke wiring loom. A 2.95:1 ratio final drive, ideal for modern traffic, with cross-pin differential with a matching helical gearbox and internally, the crank was extensively modified and balanced with a lightened flywheel which helps to give it great acceleration. Third gear becomes your friend on the twisty A-roads, especially running on 10” wheels, and the engine pulls cleanly from low down with its AC Dodd RS camshaft. The heavily ported head and brand new SU twin HS4 (1½”) carbs have been matched to a custom-order stainless-steel inlet manifold with Pipercross air filter, and complete stainless steel exhaust.
Wheels are original Dunlop D1s with bespoke centre caps. An early development for the interior was the choice of Corbeau Classic bucket seats which were a custom order with yellow piping and matching headrests. The rear seat was also retrimmed by Corbeau to match the black cloth on the front bucket seats. Additionally, one of the initial design features chosen during the bodyshell reconstruction was the modification of the dash rails meaning welding over the demisting slots and the ashtray holes, fitting a heated windscreen creating a clean, uncluttered atmosphere. Additionally, an Alpine stereo head unit with a pair of coaxial speakers have been fitted in the minimalist dashboard along with sound deadening material to minimise road noise.
Dials were also simplified with a single digital multi-function Smiths gauge on view behind a dished Momo steering wheel with the column lowered using a billet alloy bracket to hold it firmly in place. The braking system uses Cooper S specification calipers at the front and stainless steel pistons and stainless braided hoses, EBC pads and high-spec TAROX discs. It then went to Classic and Race and Southam Metro & Mini Centre for rolling road sessions and some enhancements to the fuelling.
The Estate’s first outing was the 2018 London to Brighton Mini Run with the engine “spinning up very nicely” enthuses the editor of MiniWorld. Huge fun combined with a modern take on the classic Mini Clubman. In 2019 the car was displayed at a number of events celebrating the Mini’s 60th anniversary and won a second-place trophy in the Modified and Custom class in a prestigious Mini concours at the British Motor Museum.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.