Last time I drove a classic Mini Cooper, it was late in the summer of 2019, during Monterey Car Week, and it’s still one of my favorite drivers of all time; through Big Sur and across the Bixby Creek Bridge in a ’65 Mini Cooper S. Ironically, the Mini I drove, which is one of my all time favorite cars I’ve ever driven, had partaken in the Monte Carlo Rally back in its day. Which is why this new video from Cars.co.za stood out to me, as it shows off a passionate Mini owner who built her very own dream car — a Monte Carlo Rally Mini.
Nadia Viljoen bought a classic Mini and decided to completely restore the whole car, despite having very little experience actually wrenching on cars. She bought a workshop manual and got to work, learning on the fly and figuring it all out as she went. She must be a fast learning because the car looks great. She didn’t do absolutely everything; the engine was restored by a professional, the wiring was done professionally, and she sent the bare metal body out for rust repair. The rest of it, though, was done by Viljoen.
More importantly, not only did she restore it, she took it rallying. Viljoen wanted the car to resemble the iconic Monte Carlo Rally car and not only does it look like a rally car but it is one. It may not be the iconic Monte Carlo Rally car but it’s a rally car nevertheless and it’s probably an absolute blast to drive.
The downside of this video is that now I’m going to waste my day scouring the internet for beat up classic Minis to restore, fill up a car with parts for it, and plan on blowing most of my money on turning a classic Mini Cooper into a rally racing Mini. Thanks a lot, Viljoen.