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1  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: Today at 07:10:44 PM
Well, I've got her!  Got word last Friday that she had finally been released for pickup.  So I drove down to Galveston Sunday; spent some time exploring the island, which I hadn't seen since my honeymoon there in '69; had a great dinner at Miller's Seawall Grill; then drove to the port, through the fog, to pick her up Monday morning. 
After waiting 45 minutes for an escort, the paperwork there was a breeze.  Only took about 5 minutes.  The Customs broker I'd hired really did her job.  All I had to do was hand the man my release form.  He filled out a short form; had me sign it; gave me the pink copy; and told me to go get my car.
Then the "fun" began!  The little turd wouldn't start.  The battery was flatter than a pancake.  We tried two jumper packs on it and it still wouldn't start.  So we wound up having to push it onto the trailer.  After I got it lashed down, we went back to the paperwork guy and he gave me the yellow copy of my form so I could turn it in at the gate and be allowed to leave the port.
Once back in Shreveport, I gave her a thorough going-over.  The oil was black as coal and so were the plugs.  I put her on the battery charger and, after three hours, the needle still hadn't dropped.  So I bought another battery and installed it -- along with a new set of plugs.  Then, with a little spritz of starter fluid for an extra boost, I cranked her over and she started right up.  After she warmed up, she ran smoothly and had a nice throaty exhaust note.
Now that she's running, I'm going to drag her over to State Police HQ Tuesday morning (Monday's a holiday) to get her inspected.  Then I can go next door to the DMV and begin the lengthy process of getting her taxed, titled, and licensed.
 
     
2  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: February 05, 2019, 06:41:53 PM
Lil Red has made it to Galveston!  The estimated time of arrival there was 4 o'clock yesterday morning.  The actual time of arrival was 3:54 -- 6 minutes earlier than originally projected.  That was a pretty accurate estimate, considering that it was made on January 22nd when she left Southampton!
Now I'm just waiting to get word from the Port that she's been released for pickup so I can hitch up my trailer and head down that way.  I'm hoping to have her back here in Shreveport by this weekend.
Then comes the "fun" of trying to get her taxed, titled, and registered through the Louisiana OMV!!!   I know that's going to be a royal PITA!  I'm hoping that they'll tax her based on the bill of sale and not some arbitrary number that's lurking in the far reaches of their computer system.
3  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Happy 2019! on: February 01, 2019, 11:01:49 AM
Great idea, Jim!
4  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: January 22, 2019, 11:11:41 PM
UPDATE...
The reason it didn't load last month, when it was supposed to, was because it had a fuel leak when it got to the port.  The seller operates out of Hull, in northern England, and ships from Southampton, in southern England.  So his cars have to be loaded onto a trailer and hauled 300 miles to the port.  Everything was fine when it left Hull but sometime while it was either being loaded onto or unloaded from the trailer, the fuel line got snagged and started leaking.  Not wanting to drive all the way from Hull to Southampton to fix the problem, the seller contacted a fellow Mini specialist in Southampton and asked him to retrieve the car, fix the fuel leak, and then take it back to the port -- which he did.  But, by the time he got the car back there, the ship had already sailed.
So we had to wait until the ship had made its rounds and arrived back in Southampton for another load.  The car was loaded yesterday and the ship sailed at 8 o'clock last night, our time.  It's now due to arrive in Galveston in the early morning hours of February 4th if everything goes according to Hoyle! 
5  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: January 03, 2019, 12:16:14 PM
No!  The last word I got was that, for some reason, it did not load on Dec 9th as originally scheduled.  Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping to hear something soon.
6  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: November 30, 2018, 07:31:06 PM
Update...  I got a DHL package yesterday from the seller containing the Bill of Sale and British Registration form.  Today, I got an email from the broker that's handling all of the Customs paperwork and duty fees for me saying that it's scheduled to load in England on 12/9 with an ETA in Galveston of 12/27.  So it won't get here before Christmas but still close enough that I can call it a Christmas present to myself.
Since my initial purchase, the seller has renewed the front and rear brakes -- replaced the radiator -- put new bushings in the engine steady -- repaired some faulty wiring -- and replaced a leaky exhaust.  He's also removed the flimsy "custom" dash and returned it to a normal center pod.  But he's also including the removed dash panels in case I want to try to find a more secure method of mounting them.  All of this was done at no additional cost to me.
Looks like I picked the right guy to do business with!   
7  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: November 08, 2018, 12:56:50 AM
Yep!  Sounds like the same guy I talked to about those same cars back in the late 80s.  It was either take all or take none and I had no place to store all of them here in Shreveport so I told him he was really losing out on money by not agreeing to sell them one car at a time.  He just brushed me off like he knew what he was doing.  WRONG!!!  You know the results of that decision as well as I do!!!

8  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Bitsa, anyone? on: November 08, 2018, 12:34:12 AM
I'd be leery about that one.  It looks sweet in the photos but there are just too many things about it that just don't add up.
9  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: November 08, 2018, 12:23:28 AM
Those sound like the same cars I looked at after I bought my 65 in 86 to turn it into a race car.  I really wanted one of those pickups so I could drop a 1275 into it and use it to tow the race car but the guy wouldn't even think about selling one pickup by itself.  He wanted to sell the whole lot.  Because of his reluctance to sell them one-at-a-time, he let the dreaded tin worm get to all of them and then nobody wanted any of them after that.  Don't know what ever became of them

10  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Bitsa, anyone? on: November 08, 2018, 12:12:07 AM
He calls it a 67 Mk1 but, if it's really a 67, it would be a Mk2.  Plus, the tail lights have an amber top half.  The top half should be red, like the bottom half if it's an early model.
11  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: November 07, 2018, 11:28:31 PM
Thanks, Jim

The seller would have converted it to LHD for an additional $600 but I decided to leave it RHD since the last LHD car sold in the US was in 67 and the last one sold in Canada was in 69.  Since this one is an 81, and it's coming from England, I decided to leave it RHD for authenticity.  I can always convert it to LHD later on if I should decide to do so.  Besides, converting it to LHD might not have agreed with the custom dash.

I've been shopping for a place in proximity to my house where I can store it when I'm not driving it and I think I finally found the perfect place today.  It will fit with room to spare in a 10X15 storage space but the place I found today is out of them for $66/month.  However, they've got a bunch of 10X20s for $77/month.  That's way too big for the little car but it's plenty big enough to hold my pick-em-up truck when I take the Mini out for a drive.  So I think that's the way I'm going to go with it.

For a little more than $100/month, I can insure it for $12K and drive it up to 7500 miles/year as well as keep it securely stored when I'm not driving it.

12  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: October 31, 2018, 04:48:21 PM
Here's a link to the eBay ad with a whole bunch of photos: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1981-Mini-Classic-Mini-/401619153142?nordt=true&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m43663.l10137

JL
13  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Bought another Mini on: October 26, 2018, 09:51:52 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Michael and Jim.  The guy I'm buying it from has a 100% positive rating on eBay, and he's been on there for several years, so he's obviously sent other Minis from the UK to the US and knows what he's doing.  He's already set up everything with the customs broker he usually uses here so it SHOULD be clean sailing when I drive down to Galveston to pick it up in a couple of weeks and then drag it back to Shreveport to get it registered here. 
I've also contacted USAA to see what it would take to add it to my existing insurance policy and they've referred me to American Collectors Insurance which covers cars like this for them.  It will only cost me $326.79/year -- $27.23/month -- to insure it for $12K with up to 7500 miles/year of driving.  Now I just have to find a fully-enclosed, lockable, storage place where I can keep it when I'm not driving it because I don't have a garage and that's one of their insurance requirements. 
As for the extra 1275s, Jim, I don't want to rock the boat.  I think I've already snared a pretty good deal on this car and I sure don't want to complicate the issue!!!  I do, however, have a deal working with a guy in south Louisiana who's parting out a 1275 Mini that he got from Central America.  He's going to sell me the engine and rod-change gearbox for $2500!
14  Technical Forums / Projects / Bought another Mini on: October 25, 2018, 03:55:14 PM
Well, I did it.  I bought another Mini!  Got it on eBay from a guy in England who also has a US business in Colorado.  It's a white-over-red '81 with a 1275, sunroof, custom dash, and leather interior.  It's got a current MOT and all of the paperwork is in order.  He'd set a "Buy it Now" price of $6K but he also had a "Best Offer" option so I waited until the very last seconds of the auction and offered him $5K.  Much to my surprise, he accepted my offer!  Add in $1500 to ship it from Hull, UK, to Galveston and I got it for $6500.  He would have converted it to LHD for another $600 but I decided to leave it RHD -- at least for now.  It'll be a couple of weeks before it gets here so, for now, I'll just have to sit and wait.
15  Technical Forums / Maintenance Issues / Re: Keys for early Mk 1s? on: August 30, 2018, 10:28:18 PM
It sure is a small world, Jim, and we Classic Mini owners need to stick together.  Our numbers are getting smaller every day but some of us still love our Classic Minis, along with all of their potential, and we need to stick together to exchange thoughts and ideas as well as spare parts.  I have a ton of spare MkI and MkII parts here in Shreveport and I know that you have an even bigger supply in your barn in McKinney.  So we need to make those parts available to anybody who might want or need them.
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