Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Eye of the Tiger: 1982 Austin Mini VTEC

This next car pushes the acceptable limit of money you'd want to spend on a modified car...but it does offer a certain degree of classic charm, modern powerplant, and wheel roasting potential.  The best part is that nobody will expect you are driving something from the year that Survivor had their break out hit Eye of the Tiger.  Find this 1982 Austin Mini offered for $20,500 somewhere near Worcester, MA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

 From the seller:

1982 Austin Mini 
condition: excellent 
cylinders: 4 cylinders 
drive: fwd 
fuel: gas 
odometer: 41000 
paint color: white 
size: compact 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
type: coupe 
I'm putting my 1982 Austin Mini up for sale. It is right hand drive, RHD Classic mini. 

It has a full Honda VTEC conversion using a 1998 Acura Integra GSR motor: B18C1. This is a JDM motor. Has a lot of power and is a lot of fun to drive. I've been driving it a lot over the last few months and it hasn't given me any issues. I've probably put about 300 miles on it already this season. 

The body has been completely shaved of all gutters and has a full flip front end. Really nice looking car from all angles. 

Minitec subframe with LS 5-speed manual transmission and Quaife limited-slip differential. Custom-tuned ECU, Blox cams and new stainless Blox Headers. Aluminum radiator. Increased-capacity fuel tank and custom 3” exhaust. The engine is said to have about 41K miles on it and put down around 190hp. The swap was done about 8 years ago and I have never dyno'd it personally. This is a well build engine that is ready to try to kill you. 

The suspension is a Minitec B frame kit with front coil springs, HiLo adjustable suspension in rear. Willwood pedal assembly and SuperBrake kit. The ride is pretty firm and the brakes stop the car very well. Recent bushings and tie rods done around the front to tighten things up and the drive is so much nicer now. With 13×7” JBW alloy wheels with black centers and polished rims. the lips aren't in the best shape and could use a refinish, but the tires are all brand new just installed the end of March 2019. 

Pending sale price the car will come with 2 sets of wheels. a set of 13x7 mini lites that are on the car and a set of 12' starmags with tires. 

Interior is pretty basic and has wind down windows and a nice little stereo with black front seats and carpet. I have an extra interior I will include with sale if the sale price is right that has a new headliner, carpet, new seats, and new door cards front and back. It has not been swapped in yet. 

At this time is the speedometer needle has stopped working. This was working when the car went into storage at the end of summer 2018. I will most likely see if I can get this working, but I wanted to be honest. Additionally the alternator belt is squeaking. Outside of this the car runs great. Starts up every time and drives great. Never left me stranded. Really can't beat the reliability and power of the honda engine. 

Here is a short video I made with a GoPro Hero 2 so it's a bit shaky:

Looking for $20,500 or best offer. Clean title in hand. Car passed Mass state inspection March 2019! this beast is road ready. 

Open to trades as well, but cash is preferred. 

let me know if you have any questions.

See a better way to drive the Rye or the Kaiser?


  1. Bee Gees Massachusetts -

  2. Cool? Yes. Very. 20k cool? Don't think so.

    1. Don't be a wet blanket my man. The cheapest decent *stock* Coopers out there start around $10K and go stratospheric from that point. From what I see here, the Quaife LSD and the other performance goodies I'd hazard a guess that some real effort was put into this. This is turn-key too; life's too short to build one (for likely more $) with the months that entails - unless you like building them.

      Cheapest *stock* Cooper on Hemmings as an example:

  3. This Mini and that video; clearly drawing on the two extremes of talent on the first sunny day in God only knows how long.

  4. I went down the Internet rabbit hole looking into these things a couple years ago and from what I recall this is a screaming bargain assuming of course that you are interested in a Honda powered mini.

    A left-hand drive 1975 or earlier LHD car makes a lot more sense in California although I guess on a mini left hand drive versus right hand drive doesn’t really amount to much difference considering the car is so narrow

  5. This has to be a ton of fun and a huge core workout. Those seats with no bolstering and a slick surface could easily result in the driver landing in the passenger seat if they drive without being buckled up. This with a cage and proper race seating would be a hell of a fun track toy.

  6. I like these so much I put one on my short list. By short list I mean the cars that I dream about owning but will not come to fruition. The short list is very long.

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