Members car's rolling reports.

The Clubman has finally got it's picture in Mini Magazine this month alongside my Neon. Thanks to staff writer Jeff for that. Ironically, while the 'photo shows the car 100% complete, VKM 236H has now been stripped out and the rolling shell despatched to the bodyshop. It was collected in mid July, and what a state it looked, limping to one side with broken hydrolastic suspension. The power unit went off to the engine builder who did the superb 998 lump I had in my Mini 25, and with just 69k on the Clubby, I wasn't expecting any nasty surprises. However, the bores were worn and needed a re-bore, and I insisted on + 20, the smallest overbore I could have; that and a lead free conversion are the only modifications to the engine. Can't go loopy, it's on drum brakes. I was under the impression early Mini gearboxes were tougher, but the Clubman's one had worn 1st and 3rd gear and synchros. After a few false promises we went to a transmission specialist in Southend who supplied the bits, not cheap at 200 but it's far better to do the gearbox repairs now. The gearbox came back assembled and the casing has been treated to a spray paint job; the engine came back a week later and my next job is to paint it that lovely army green colour. A friend of mine recently converted his 1966 Elf to dry suspension - I acquired the old 'wet' sub-frames as spares, the front is O.K. but the rear is rotten, so last weekend I stripped it down then cut it in half and binned it. John Collins