Engine of a Mini Seven racing Mini
Photo: Copyright © 2009 Eelke Blok

Mini-woes and AutoRAI

Every time I wash the Mini (and that's about once every two weeks, lately), it gets me depressed. The last few times I have found a new little peck of rust (just a really small brown dot in the white) every time when being so close to the car. In fact, I have now decided to try and not run the car for another winter next year and keep it stored dry and warm somewhere (and sorting out the few little bits that have gone wrong before it really is too late).

Of course, that means two things:

  • I need to find storage for the car, preferably a private garage where
    I could put some other stuff and to the occasional bit of work on the
  • I will at least need a replacement car for winter.
    I'd rather get something I can run as a daily driver all year, though.
    I haven't decided anything yet in that respect. One option is another
    Mini, since I know and love these little cars. Finding rust is probably
    going to be a lot less depressing if you didn't shell out on an
    anti-rust treatment and a full paintjob and actually expect it to rust.
    Other options include a more sensible (BORING),
    modern car (less prone to rust), an old Land Rover (get through Winter
    in style), or some other nice classic. Well, we'll see.

We have some progress on another issue with the Mini; the stuck
throttle. I had another bad case of the throttle being stuck open at a
highway cruising speed, meaning that releasing the padle didn't have
the slightest effect, and the engine would rev to max revs as soon as I
depressed the clutch. This time I actually took the bold move of
turning of the ignition (don't turn too far as it would lock the
steering wheel -argh!) and stopping to the side of the highway to check
it out. The throttle actually was stuck, and the throttle disc spindle
of the carb seems to have quite a lot of play. I actually had to apply
quite a lot more force than I would have liked to close the throttle
again. I need to check out whether this really is the carb, as
suspected, or possibly the throttle cable (then again, the spindle did
seem to have a lot of play). I actually have a good feeling that when
the vacuum hoses have been replaced and the carb situation is sorted
out, it's going to be a lot better.

Lastly, on a much more positive note, Demelza and me visited the
AutoRAI on Monday and had a great time. It's always nice to see these
new shiny cars, sit in some of the more affordable models, and dream
which one I should get as a daily replacement for the Mini (Mini Cooper
S Works anyone? Or rather an MG ZR 160?). We spent a good four hours
there and then went to town centre to have a look around Kalverstraat
and later visit a nice little place that serves strictly no-meat food
(and a lot of it not just vegetarian, but vegan even). It's called Green
Planet, is located on the Spuistraat 122 and actually has some very
nice dishes. I enjoy a good piece of meat, but you'll be amazed what
can be done without having to kill an animal.

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