1994 ROver Mini Cooper
words and photography by samuel cuthbert for the whole car
Some of you may remember I wrote about traveling to Corsica in a previous post a few months ago. Well, just before getting onboard the ferry from Italy to the French island, I had the pleasure of meeting a local car enthusiast. Luigi runs his local Triumph dealership, is a huge gearhead, and we spent an hour chatting while I shot his son's daily driver in this beautiful Mini. It's something the family worked on together to introduce his son to the world of "analogue" driving that is something that Luigi is passionate about. In his impressive collection of cars lies a cheeky little Caterham, a jaw-dropping '66 Giuila GT Veloce, and he is just putting the finishing touches to his newest acquisition in a restored '67 911 S. Living by the Mediterranean with your family, running your own business, and having a stable of classic cars to choose from on the weekends? The guy has life figured out in my opinion, and yes - I will be endeavoring to get back down there to shoot the rest of the collection in the future.
Anyway, back to the Mini. Based on a 35th Anniversary edition that brought a bunch of chrome bits (grille, door handles, fuel cap etc) and an optional sunroof, the car was then modified to reflect something of a homage to the Radford Mini's of the 60's. If you aren't familiar with the Radford name, they were English coachbuilders who rose to fame for producing posh versions of the Mini. Deep carpets, two tone paintwork, Walnut dash, upgraded leather, that sort of thing. So Luigi and his son decided that they liked the idea and ran with it, with the black and champagne paintwork, upgraded the wheels to 12" items, a new steering wheel, the plush cream leather... it all works nicely to my eye.
You can't talk about the 60's and Minis without The Italian Job coming into the conversation. I had a little look online and some kind soul has edited all the Mini scenes from the original film together, albeit in 240p. Still, I was happy to squint away and relive some of the most memorable car chase scenes on film, so I hope you enjoy it.