Streetside Classics - Nashville
6000 Reliance Dr
With vintage looks and handling, this beautifully preserved 1984 Austin Mini is a great opportunity to own a great example of the car that started it all. Essentially every front-wheel-drive compact car that followed duplicated the Mini's groundbreaking design, although very few, including its modern namesake, have ever managed to duplicate its combination of endearing personality and go-cart-like handling.
Mini production continued for decades in England mostly because the cars were consistently popular. As a result, this slick blue Mini is instantly recognizable anywhere it goes, thanks in large part to the Union Jack proudly displayed on the roof. And while you may think the current Mini is small, this one is positively tiny, which is the whole point. Similar to other British makes, Minis can rust in the most demonic ways possible, but since this one benefits from decades of development and instant-collectable status, it has never really seen inclement weather and only has 70,300 kilometers on the clock. The doors fit nicely, the hood gaps are tight, and the trunk seals up nicely, all suggesting a high-quality car that has always been properly cared for. New chrome and rubber seals were used throughout, and the slender chrome bumpers fore and aft look great, as does that iconic horizontal grille with dual fog lights up front. We think you'll find that when you see this car in person, you'll have a hard time resisting it, which is all part of the charm.
Inside, the diminutive external dimensions are stretched to their limits in every possible way, resulting in a surprisingly comfortable passenger compartment, particularly for front seat occupants. Updated gray cloth upholstery with orange piping forms the foundation of the utilitarian passenger compartment, but neatly fitted carpets and matching door panels soften the look and offer reasonable levels of noise and heat insulation. The sporty-nostalgia Moto-Lita steering wheel is, of course, on the "correct" side despite its British origins, and there are big, round gauges ahead of the driver. And that's one place you'll see updates that reflect this car's 1980s production: a more modern steering wheel, standard 1980s Euro-style gauges, a kickin' AM/FM/CD stereo, and modern switchgear that's a bit more familiar than the early cars. A 4-speed manual transmission sticks up directly from the transmission tunnel and offers decent action and positive gear selection. In back, two passengers will be perfectly happy for a cross-town jaunt, but if you're going farther than a few miles, it's best used for storage, although the trunk itself is surprisingly roomy as well.
The engine is a gutsy 998 cc inline-4 that runs superbly. It's not detailed for show under the bonnet, but with good maintenance throughout the years and only 70k kilometers on the clock, it has many fun years ahead of it. Ever since their debut, gearheads have been squeezing more performance out of the diminutive Mini's various engines, because the unique chassis with its conical rubber springs practically begged for more horsepower. This one, however, remains quite stock and doesn't really seem to need more power, because it's just a joy to drive. It starts easily, idles well, and pulls the little car around with genuine enthusiasm. The suspension offers a reasonable compromise between ride and handling, with the conical springs offering a modest amount of damping, so the shocks themselves don't need to be too stiff to do a good job. The low center of gravity combined with having the wheels pushed out to the very corners of the body give it instantaneous reflexes, a feeling enhanced by the Minilite-style John Brown wheels and relatively fat 175/50/13 radials. Yes, those are 13-inch wheels!
Minis are beloved for many reasons, but perhaps most of all for their combination of utility and performance. Call today!
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