This Mini is very special indeed. Such that a brief history is needed in what has to be the most iconic car ever made…
The Mini 1100 Special LE was released in 1979 to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Mini production. Billed as the ‘most lavishly-equipped production Mini ever’, it was initially scheduled for a production run of 2,500. However, the Special generated so much enthusiasm amongst those that saw the prototypes that the grand total was boosted to 5,000. It topped the Mini range price list at £3,300!
It was produced in two exclusive colour schemes: metallic silver grey with a black vinyl roof and rose metallic with a beige vinyl roof. Both came with shaded-band stripes and 10” Exacton alloy wheels with 5” rims and wide tread 165/70/10. It was the only round nose Mini to be fitted with the 1098cc engine (previously only in Clubmans) and also came with the long-range 7.5 gallon fuel tank. It additionally featured the deeper rear Clubman bumpers to the front and rear.
Internally, it boasted the 1275GT triple gauge instrument binnacle, a centre console (housing the radio, speaker, a clock and cigarette lighter) and an under-dash bin. Key colour for the upholstery was blue for the silver version and beige for the rose.
The proud owner of this car, bought “Rose” in December 1996, not only was it her first car but also the very same car she passed her driving test in. The family also own one of the silver specials too. To say that these cars are part of family history is an understatement. Lovingly cared for and dry stored, these cars have always been given the utmost attention to detail. Over the years, Rose has undergone a full paintwork restoration, various engine mods and most recently a new vinyl roof.
The car has always been hand washed and polished, but the customer felt that the bodywork could do with that professional touch. Never have I seen such pride of ownership but alas, the customers knowledge of car care could only take the mini to a certain level. The car has never been subject to professional machine polishing, so Dream Detail were proud to offer a full bodywork detail to bring the best out in rose.
After a gentle wash to remove garage dust and grime, the car was given a full clay bar. The rear of the car had signs over over spray, quite alot in fact, but small dots that were enough to go unnoticed previously. The bumper also had signs of paint splatter. The roof lining had glue residue from the recent refit too. Under our lighting, you could see the extent of the scratches, caused from wash technique, age and hand polishing.
The car was given a full 2 step polish. Being quite an intricate car, it was important to use the correct tooling. The usual 6 inch polishing pads were only good for larger areas, the machine polisher was stepped down to a much small 4 inch pad to work those tighter areas safely and with the same results as the larger panels, as seen in one of our gallery pics. The car was then finished with a hybrid wax to really bring out the glorious paint finish but give good durability when dry stored. The glue residue was safely removed from the roof and then it was treated with a silicone oxide dressing, the bumpers polished and the wheels cleaned and treated. The glass was given a good clean too. Exhaust pipe polish and wheel arch dressing was the last items to be done on this exterior detail. The customer was thrilled with the results.
This car was an absolute pleasure to work on!