New Guy Fly n Buy

Started by downingflames, May 04, 2019, 07:12:24 AM

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Good Evening from Darwin, Australia...

Back in 2003 I would wash classic minis and Jags down at British Motors in Orange County CA just for the chance to sit in em. Now, many years later, I will have the cash to buy my dream car after lusting for such a long time. I'm currently 'deployed' to Australia (I consider it more of a shindig than a deployment, the food is solid and everyone speaks English...and Ive yet to be shot at), and have been spending most of my time combing through minimania, ebay, and a few brokers stateside to find my next bad idea.

My last job was as a ship's engineer (mechanic), so I'm no stranger to wrenches and rust. The plan is to find the car (rust free, RHD, VTEC for 20k or classic for 12k), fly there after I'm done here, and drive it to the port of Long Beach CA to get it shipped to Hawaii--where I'm currently stationed. I have heard these cars can try a mechanic's patience, but if I were to build a kit of tools and spares for a cross-country road trip, is there a place to start? I don't need to take it to the crank, but I've done head gasket swaps on bikes by the side of the road.

Any and all help is appreciated. I'm youngish, dumbish, and newish. All heavy on the ish. Thank you for your time and consideration.   


Glad you made it over. The usual BS is not over here. We all like minis in their various ways. Several have both new and old. There are vtecs here also.


I would not fear the Vtec, if done well, but many backyard specials are not - so find one done by a good shop or do it yourself. John McGee has several (that's his specialty) so I feel comfortable sending you to him for a Vtec Mini - he has several right now I think. McGee Custom Minis on Facebook.

One of our members has a Vtec Pickup that he's done near 35K miles on since he got it and it's still going strong.

I may have a "normal" Mini for sale in your price range soon - how soon are you looking to get a car?

Lastly, one of our members has a fully rebuilt virtually brand new gorgeous Mini for sale on BaT, the auction ends Monday but the car is brand new inside and out - that car would be an ideal candidate for a fairly trouble free Mini ownership - go check it out....

Oh, and welcome to the forum! One of our members just relocated from Hawaii to Ventura Ca, but I think there is a fairly active Mini group in Ha, you'll have to seek them out.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad


Willie thank you for the steer. I like the stripped down feel of this forum. Saw that beautiful car on BaT while trolling the for sale ads. What a beautiful piece of art!

The classic scene is alive and well in Hawaii, but the mini specific scene is pretty sparse. There's one project for sale for about 12k out there, but I havent seen one on the roads in Oahu. Allegedly there's a beautiful truck trolling the streets of maui. I was rolling in a s***box beetle in oahu as my beach car and loved it to pieces. Sold it before it would actually rust apart on me.

Cali is home and there's always something for sale, but the cali regs demand a premium. Just across the border is WildChild classics in Arizona, and they seem to do a fair amount of Japan imports. Anyone have experience with them?


I saw that wildchild outfit in Arizona.  Seems to have a ton of automatics for sale. 


I'm staying far far away from automatics. 1 for the driving experience and 2 the only thing I dont really know how to fix is a slushbox.

Jimini II

Quote from: downingflames on May 04, 2019, 09:49:39 PM
I'm staying far far away from automatics. 1 for the driving experience and 2 the only thing I dont really know how to fix is a slushbox.

The autos are not bad it is usually the lack of oil changes (every 1500 - 2000 miles) by the previous owner that kills them and gives them a bad rap.
They are so 1960's though with no computers everything is manual including the kick down rod. Driven manually like an auto stick shift Beetle the later ones with a park feature are surprisingly quick but the gearing is still way too revvy on the highway.


If you're in Australia, why not find a good rust free Mini there and ship it straight to Hawaii?  Better yet, get a Moke.  A much more fun Mini to own and drive!  As for the Mini scene in Oahu, see if you can locate Andy Kaufman (goes by screen name Latka).  He has a Mini and knows other Mini owners on the island.