My friend and business partner of more than 10 years knows me well. He asked if we could fire it up and drive it right then, since he also knows I would be taking it apart within minutes. I lied and said “Yes, but let me figure out how to charge up the Hydrolastic suspension so it won’t be riding on the bump stops.” He knew I was lying. He knows better than me it will be a couple of years before Snarkey roars back to life.
Speaking of leaking wet suspension, it’s trite to suggest “Check it over real close before you buy” because sellers usually don’t want buyers to tear their cars down before the purchase. So, you wear tatty clothes and crawl around with a flashlight, minimizing all the bad crap you see since you want a rare Mini. Then when you take it home, either you have buyers’ remorse or you don’t. The car will need major work either way.
Add to this, taking inventory of a vintage Mini is a roller coaster ride. One day I figured out Snarkey has a Longman GT7 cylinder head, a Vizard VP3 camshaft, Keith Dodd 1.5 rockers, LCB Maniflow headers, a light flywheel and a heavy clutch and a Janspeed manifold for the Weber. And all the stock stuff too. This was a kin to being at the top of the ride. The next day I started to comprehend how rusty the shell is. Bottom of the Ride, my friends.