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Mini Clubman Classic Car Hire
We purchased this car 7 years ago when the car was painted in Vermillion Red. The family and I have taken it in 5 Dutch Mini Rally's and even though it is now painted in a colour which is perhaps not my favourite, the wife's choice, it is still one of the most fun cars I have ever driven. If you were considering giving car hire to the wife as a gift this is probably the one I would recommend. I have driven most Minis over the years even the new John Cooper Works model, which is stunning. But this one is still a real surprise. It is nippy, practical frugal and a lot of fun. It's secret? In my opinion it is because it is the last of the cars on 10 inch wheels. This makes it low to the ground. Although not good for the exhaust system it is endowed with the handling of a go cart.

The Mini Clubman story started in 1967 when the stylist Roy Haynes, who was responsible for the Mk 2 Cortina, was charged with making an upmarket Mini to replace the Wolsey Hornet and Riley Elf in order to streamline the Mini range and reduce production costs. The main differences were an improved interior and a longer nose in the same style as its big brother the Austin Maxi. He wanted to make the rear end into a hatch back but was not allowed to. Had this have been allowed it would have been way ahead of the enormously successful Ford Fiesta launched in 1976. He believed in style over function, the opposite to Alec Issigonis the Mini’s original designer.

The new nose was aerodynamically inferior to that of the original though it does make working in the engine bay considerably easier. Some Mini fans may pour disdain on the Clubman that eventually emerged, disliking any distortion of the original car's shape however after 10 years of the mini it was time for a facelift. Mini Clubman saloon production ended in August 1980 to make way for the Metro although the estate lingered on – renamed 1000HL – estate until 1982. For years the clubman was the poor relation to the original design and they were not so prized. The irony now is that a good Clubman is more difficult to find now than its sibling.

Our little Mini has been painted a cheerful shade of pink and benefits from a rear roll bar and bucket seats. Although the seats are extremely pretty, comfortable and supportive they are not best suited to large individuals so it is worth trying the driving position before committing to this vehicle. We may be able to fit a pair of original seats if required but this would have to be done by prior arrangement. The handling and low height of this little car make it seem twice as fast as the speedo would suggest. Driving this little car will enable almost everyone, who can fit, to understand the magic and appeal of the Mini.

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