Minus Cars Ltd., is a small, friendly operation run in two converted farm workshops by Keith Lain, a man who has loads of specialist car experience working for Team Lotus, Lotus Cars (on the Esprit amongst others) and various Status component car projects. Together with wife Jill, who handles the administration, Keith runs Minus in an efficient, unpretentious way and has given the company real stability with the range of industrial mouldings it makes in addition to the cars. If you travel to Norfolk and visit Minus, you'll be pleasantly surprised by its rural craftmanship atmosphere and impressed by the very attractive showroom and assembly premises.
The Minus is basically a replacement body/chassis unit for any ageing and invariably rusting, BL mini. Performance and economy are said to be greatly improved due to the fact the car sits 6 inches lower on the ground, which also benefits the overall performance. Totally practical, all the traditional Mini virtues remain in a package that will last considerably longer and never rust.
Any Mini will fit the bill provided it is the non-hydrolastic type and has internally hinged doors. Components it provides are the full front subframe complete with engine, gearbox, radiator, suspension and steering, the rear subframe, the doors, the windscreen and all other glass, headlights rear lights,seats, exhaust system, wiring loom, wheels etc. The only changes required during construction are the lowering of the radiator and the addition of several earth returns to the wiring loom.
A mere £850 plus VAT will see your project started with a well finished and very strong all glassfibre monocoque body/chassis unit. Safety has obviously been a prime consideration with the GRP as thick as a 9oz lay-up in some places of extreme stress, and steel frames fitted around the door apetures to provide pillar strength and seatbelt mountings. These frames are then joined across the car by a steel roll over bar to give a totally solid basic framework. The body assembly is supplied in an unpainted form and comes complete with a bonnet lid and all the major mounting holes pre-drilled. All you need is the donor mini, plus ideallt one or two of the factory options....
OPTIONS AND EXTRAS:
One very useful option is the primer body finish (at £160) that will save a lot of unnecessary effort on the builder's part. Also rather nessecary are the modified doors available on an exchange basis at £65 per pair. Other extras are the special seats, modified suspension rubbers, headlining and carpet sets and special wheels. Major option, though, is the Minus Maxi body/chassis unit at £995 plus vat. This is a mini Clubman stle estate vehicle with off-road styling influences, four full seats, a hatchback and a total versitility of function