Modified 1980 Mini Clubman Estate
Nick Klee loved tinkering with an array of cars, often fitting full-on ICE systems, but hadn’t engaged in a rebuild until a 1980 Clubman Estate came on his radar. “I didn’t go out looking for a Mini,” recalled Nick. Apparently, the owners were moving house and the Estate, which had been rotting on a driveway for two years, was surplus to requirements. For just £50 he became the new owner. “I started stripping it down and I was left with an awful lot of bodywork.”
OWNER AT THE TIME: Nick Klee
He sent it off to Southern Mini Centre and it was at this point he realised that because so much work would be replacing, that he might as well go down the show car route.
He chose to paint it in Chrysler Viper GTS Blue. He also got the rear side window surrounds chromed, which looked very smart indeed. Nick considered fitting a bodykit but instead opted for modified Sport Pack arches and began gathering all the new components required. That meant that he had barely enough room left in his garage for the freshly restored and painted shell when it returned.
Items like the subframes were powder-coated. He found it difficult to source a good-condition replacement that it too could be powder-coated. Inside the Estate a decent sound system was at the top of the list and he fitted a fibreglass dashboard supplied by Southern Mini Centre. “I wanted ‘modern and comfortable’ but with elements of Mini to it, such as the switchgear and so on.” He had it painted body colour but found it susceptible to scratches and it produced glare on a sunny day. He decided to trim it in black leather himself, using a conventional sewing machine. The result was very impressive. Cobra recliners in blue and black complemented the colour scheme well and gave Nick a comfortable ride. However, he tended to trailer the Estate to shows rather than drive it as the 1293cc engine was a bit lumpy.