Just being ME


Please say hello ... I love comments!



04/01/2008


my photos

mini skirts and mini cars ...

Beeswax has posted a photo of her with her gran and the new Mini her grandparents had just bought and as Kath so rightly said 'all the rage in the 1960s'. Seeing it had me hunting for this photo of me and my brother taken at Easter 1969, with my dad on the left and my uncle on the right (if you look closely in the background you can just see the roof of my uncle's VW Beetle, one of many he owned). Dad had a succession of Minis throughout my childhood, racing them in hill climbs and sprints across the country. Still to this day I don't know how my dad fitted in to a Mini, as a young man he was quite broad and tall, he does laugh about it now, there was certainly no extra room to manoevre, that's for sure! I am sure many of you have memories of Minis, I certainly have lots.



My first car was a red mini, the very one pictured above in a local newspaper advertisement for sale, must have been the best one on the forecourt at the time! My parents were by no means rich but they delivered their promise of a new (secondhand) car for both me and my brother for our eighteenth birthday presents on passing our driving tests, what an incentive, we both passed at seventeen. My first test didn't go too well, the examiner had to apply the emergency brake at a set of traffic lights. I only drew the short straw for the most notorious examiner at the test centre, I remember him frightening me to death at the time, it was as much as I could do to read out the number plate, let alone to be competently driving a car! I passed on my second test in this little car above.

Any driving test or Mini memories out there?

25 comments:

Beeswax, said...

Adorable photo Louise, I remeber it was you who inspired me to go in search of my old photos, remember! it was the xmas table with your brother at your grans house... so glad you did that post, I now have a collection of all my old childhood memories..I thank you for thatLouise, it lifted me up just when I needed it..will post up some more over the next few posts..
I wonder if you could help me with something Louise?
How do I link just your name to my post without it all coming up with the http/ part, I have lost the note which reminded me how to! and then lost my marbles, so no hope in finding it now!!lol...:)So with you on the remebering things and where have I put it!....
Would love to meet you, and Michele(cowboys%custard}for a great day talking and maybe taking in some amazing sites or or sounds down by your way, hopefuly sometime this year, it would be great fun...
Much Love Louise,
Kath x

Beeswax, said...

Yes , Louise I've done it again!!!
My first car was a MG metro, a little sporty job, with rocarro seats in red and black leather, I loved it so much..I failed my first test at 18 just before moving to France, so never bothered on my return to re sit it, in fact I was 32 before I took the plunge again, and thanfuly passed 1st time, so my treat was my little MG, and have since loved driving all types of cars, mostly my fathers, who liked the larger styles, they were a joy to drive, at one point he had a beautiful Jaguar daimler, I borrowed it frequently as you can imagine, but now we have a Volvo V40, which is a great car but being a y reg is now ready for a trade in , I keep telling hubby, but he won't listen as it is a perfectly good car, and is all paid for, so can understand his reasons ...
Love Kath x

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Louise, fantastic photos.
We didn't have a Mini until I was in my teens, but somewhere I have a great photo of me aged 4 in a pink coat and bonnet sitting in our navy blue Morris Minor. Aaah - those were the days!
Lucy x

ChelleBez said...

Minis have recently become the "in" thing here in the U.S. Pretty much ever since that movie a couple years ago where they used minis to steal some guy's gold fortune (can't remember the name of the movie right off). For the longest time people had to get on waiting lists just to get their hands on one. I don't know if its still that way. I always found it interesting that in a world of "Bigger is Better" that people would dare to drive such small cars and put them up against the monster trucks and SUVs everyone else feels inclined to drive here. (I personally drive a car. Don't think I want to try to drive something larger.)

I love your pictures.

Love,
Michelle

nikkipolani said...

Ah, yes, driving test memories. The first examiner said she wasn't even going to complete the test, that I should get more practice in and try again.

Those old time pics are terrific :-)

Flighty said...

I learnt to drive in a Mini, passed first time and went on to own several ,and drive just about every model, over a period of years.
I've lots of, mostly fond, memories of them. I'm over six foot, and big with it, so there was never much room in mine either!
I went for a ride, and drive, in a modern one recently and wasn't much impressed!

OhSoVintage said...

I had a mini too. In 1978 we left for our honeymoon in it, our relatives and friends had plastered it with graffiti and attached tin cans etc. to the back bumper. A week later my new husband broke his collarbone playing football and I had to drive him to the sick bay (navy) in the mini with 'Just Married' still written all over it. You can imagine the comments on how he'd become injured!!

Lesley said...

My first car was a 1956 Landrover called Maud. It snowed inside as the roof didn't fit! After two more LR's I bought a mini from a little old man who'd had it for 10 years from new, drove 5 miles a week and kept it under a tree. it looked a mess but was the best fun to drive. I can still see my Mum and I careering through the Warwickshire lanes headbanging to Black Sabbath .....
I'd have one right now if we didn't have to have the sensible family estate car!
My friend wrote hers off sneezing. My other friend wrote hers off driving into the back of amilk float whilst temporarily blinded by low winter sun. My first proper snog was in a mini!! My cousin rebuilt one complete with extra wide wheels and monster engine that frightened the life out of any unwitting passenger!
See, you've started me off now - could go on and on and.....
Lesley xx

Pretty Practicals said...

Hi Louise, I too learnt to drive in a mini, my father had a beautiful black mini Clubman (like a mini estate with two opening doors at the back instead of the little boot), it had wooden panels down the side of it like the really old Morris Travellers (which he owned before the mini). I passed my test first time in that little car on a cold November morning in 1980 in Bristol. I'd hate to try to take my test in central Bristol nowadays! I now drive a suitably robust and old 4x4 which is perfect for tackling our mountain roads in the rain and snow that mid Wales offers us. Chat soon, Liz

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Louise, I'm back to tell you that I've given you an award, do pop over to my blog to pick it up. p.s. how do you get the frames around your pics - do you do it in blogger or before you upload them?
Lucy x

Lynda said...

Happy new year, Louise! I hope 2008 is full of wonderful things for you. ~ ♥ Lynda

Cowboys & Custard said...

I am afraid I can't share any memories of driving a mini.. oh yes I can!.. I have just remembered that my older brother (by 10 years) tried valiantly to teach me to drive in his treasured 1970 mini.. very flash with electric windows. Well the lesson ended in tears.. mine! I kangarooed all along our lane until my brother ordered me out of the car.
My driving days were short lived.. after passing my test 3rd time at the age of 35 years old.. I never drove again.
Just think how much safer the roads are without me!
Michelex

Beeswax, said...

Hi Louise, just to say thanks again for the help in linking, after a few go's I think i have it, I will be taking a little breather from posting as I think i have burned myself out , have to catch up on my work for Easter,but will be back soon,mixing all the late nights and a kidney infection has taken it's toll, but will pop in on your posting to catch up with all your days..
P.S. I also meant to add that my car the MG was an old oA reg it only cost me a couple of hundred pounds at the time, but that was a lot ot me, I think they were called MG rover or something like that but they were based on the mini metro, great wee car when it worked!!
yes, I have a lovely sister,3 years older. Will look out some for the next ime, but for now I will take alittle back seat at the posting, speak soon Louise
Lotos of love Kath x

He who has power tools said...

Happy new year.Didn't know your dad raced mini's,knowing him all these years and it not been mentioned.My 1st car was a mini (clubman)not a patch on the bikes but safer (so i'm told).

Gina said...

Classic photos Louise. We had 2 VW beetles growing up and we lived on a small island between Tasmania and mainland Australia and I have memories of Dad zooming up and down the beach tracks and sand dunes.. not very environmentally responsible but it sure was fun..
Your first car being a red mini is so cute! It took me 3 attempts to pass my driving test! I only had an automatic to practice in! Gx

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS ... said...

I now know who you are ... he who has power tools! Your nickname does make me chuckle, but it is so appropriate. Well now you know, and something you can talk to Dad about now, when we meet up next Christmas! I remember your Mini Clubman, can you remember my second car, a black 1275 GT! Happy New Year to you, Caroline and the girls. x

Rhondi said...

Hi The first car we bought was a white mini. We had just spent 6 weeks touring around the UK in a rented Mini and liked it so much that when we got back home to Canada we decided to get one. I wish we had a picture of it. We also had several VW's. One we named Penelope!

Katherines Dream said...

My first car was a Mini Countryman...have you seen the new one?
It is funny, they managed to fit so much in the cars back then. My Dads car had a roof rack and when they went on holiday the roof rack was piled so high it doubled the hight of the car!

Steve said...

Many Mini memories, good and bad! My yellow Mini was in great condition and remember going to buy it even now. The polished alloy Wolfrace wheels added a little bling! I also fitted a nice sounding Blaupunkt Radio. But they required so much maintainance compared to modern cars, the ball joints were forever needing greasing and adjusting (unheard of today) and the exhaust was always coming undone at the manifold. Remember the XBY Mini too, and getting it resprayed before we sold it, it looked great - for a few months. When we saw it a while later it had deteriorated again. I had completely forgotten the black 1275GT apart from a distant memory that it has 12" wheels over the little 10" we had on KPO202J :) As for Mini derivatives, my friend's brothers used to run around in tuned up Mini Pick Ups - I can't see BMW making new versions of those like they have recently with the Clubman Estate can you? Or maybe they will!!

Steve said...

We should try and find pictures of all our Minis incl the Cooper S (incl. He Who Has Powertool's Mini) and make up an archive :) I have just bought one of the last of the old shape John Cooper Sport cars. needs a bit of work doing though all the usual stuff!

Lesley said...

Those minis are so cute! We never had one but i remember being driven along in my friend's brother's mini with the music on full blast! When we were old enough to drive my friend had a bit of an incident when she borrowed it. We were approaching the barrier to a car park and as she was reaching out to get the ticket from the machine her foot slipped off the clutch. We bunny-hopped through the wooden barrier breaking it right off! My friend was mortified but it was very comical! Especially as there was a long queue behind us! The mini survived with minimal scratching! :-)

My driving test is another story... I had put the car into first gear, checked my mirrors etc and was about to pull off when the examiner said 'Don't you think you should turn the ignition on, I don't fancy pedaling today.' God knows how, but I still passed!

BumbleVee said...

I've never owned a mini.... but did have a brand spanking new MGB for two whole years. Til some idiot ran right over me in a big Ford pickup...while I was waiting for the guy in front of me to turn left...and I mean right over...when I looked up I was under his stupid truck. It was the end of my beautiful little car...and took me a year to get over the injuries. If ever I find that guy.....

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Love your old family photo!! Minis are one of my favorites! We want a Mini Cooper realllllly bad! And I fit in one, too! ha! I drove a VW Rabbit GTI for 10 years and remember complaining that I was tired of my knees rubbing against the steering wheel. I gave up VW's for Volvos - the Swedish are more accomodating for us tallies! Fun post Louise!

xo
Becky

Steve said...

Rabbit = Golf in Europe for the uninitiated! :)

Steve said...

Lou I just posted a pic of my Mini Cooper Sport here :)

http://stevecoulterperformancecars.blogspot.com/2008/01/rare-mini-john-cooper-sport.html