In New Zealand Classic Car Issue No. 313 Dean Foster shares his story of how he came to love and cherish the Mini marque, and became involved in keeping them alive all these years.

His first car was a 1974 Leyland Mini, which he bought through good old Trade & Exchange back in 1996, with money he’d saved up from his first job. It had been fully customized and souped up with a worked 1330cc engine, a lumpy cam, and a 28/36 down-draught Weber. It had been painted red, with a white roof and Cooper stripes.

Fast forward 12 years to 2008, and Dean decided to work towards the goal of attending the Mini 50th celebrations, in October 2009. This was a good excuse to get his current Mini out of storage for a quick strip-down and repaint. The strip-down turned into a slightly larger job when he made the call to get the shell acid dipped, and a full restoration ensued.

Have a look at a few additional photos that didn’t make it into the feature in the January issue of New Zealand Classic Car (Issue No. 313) — grab your copy here to read the full story.