The Exterior of the Mini 30
Below are some standard features to look out for, to tell if the mini you're looking at is an original Mini Thirty or a maroon coloured Mayfair!
What to Look Out For
The original eight spoke alloys on Mini Thirties have the wheel nuts in line with the spokes meaning part of the spoke is cut away. Aftermarket replacements and other styles of later minilites have the wheel nuts placed in between the spokes. The alloys look similar to those used on later model Coopers, as when Rover decided to relaunch the Cooper (which had been very popular 1961-1971 and reached great fame for being a giant-killer after being successful in many rallies) they based it on the Mini Thirty.
Above: the re-launched Mini Cooper
The back. The sticker in the rear window is one from the Silverstone event and reads "Mini Thirty Years- You never forget your first mini" which was the catchphrase for the Mini 30 adverts.
The area underneath and around the windscreen is known as the scuttle panel and is an area very prone to rusting in the corners. The windscreen wipers were matt black in colour as standard, although many owners replace them for Chrome ones -but watch out for cheap ones which look snazzy but are utterly rubbish at clearing the water from the windscreen as they're not strong enough, so beware!
The above picture shows one of the sills, looking from the front to the rear of the car. These are the parts that run the length of the underside of the car, below the door. These sills are still the original ones as they've been kept very dry and clean, however they are a common part to be replaced on Mini 30 and you will often see a little rust especially at either end where muck is flicked up from the wheels. The hole you can see is where the mini jack is inserted and wound up in order to raise the car, although these are a bit unsteady and many people prefer to use scissor jacks instead! If you replace the sills on your Mini 30 you must make absolutely sure you fit proper sills with the drainage vents, and not have it bodged by covering over with oversills, otherwise the problem of the rust will actually get a thousand times worse! Oversills are welded on top of the existing bad sill and don't have any vents, just raised, closed-off square bumps to fit over the vents. Because the original vents have now been sealed shut, there is no longer any form of drainage so the rust and water trapped from the old sill cannot get out and will be locked underneath causing the poor mini to horrifically rust unchecked, and probably spreading to further areas too. A proper sill is about 4" wide from the outside flange, whereas an oversill is about 9" wide and extends down onto the horizontal part of the floor. This means it also overlaps the floor pan so any water trapped cannot escape and this further adds to the problem of accelerated rotting...
Above: Correct & Original mini sill
Look out for about 4" wide, open vents you can poke your fingers into
Above: Oversills- JUST SAY NO.
Look out for those oversills about 9" wide with closed bumps that extend onto the floor pan.