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-   -   Mini Clubman Mid engined Lancia Twin Cam 1995cc - 30 years in the making...... (https://16vminiclub.com/showthread.php?t=38836)

Ronski 08-07-2019 07:57 PM

Mini Clubman Mid engined Lancia Twin Cam 1995cc - 30 years in the making......
As I mentioned in my introduction post I purchased a 1974 Mini Clubman in December 1989, I was at the time 21 years old, and had modified various cars in the previous 3 years. This Mini was to be my third Mini, my daily driver was a Ford Cortina.

Now what you have to remember is there was no Youtube, or internet as we know it today, so I couldn't just look things up, or get an idea of how to do something so it was all basically self taught and what I picked up from the lads in the car garage next door - I was a trainee HGV mechanic. I also read magazines for info and idea, I still have issue 1 of the Miniworld magazine along with god knows how many unopened copies - I know but real life gets in the way :(

So here are the first pictures of the Mini, or The Beast as it appears to have been known back then. That's another thing, you couldn't just whip out your phone and take a photo, these were all taken on a basic film camera and then developed. The mobile phone I had at the time for call out purposes had to be plugged in all the time, at home I had a 12v battery to connect it to. All you could do with it was make and receive calls, how quaint!

As well as the pictures I also have a hand written build diary, with the hours worked on the car and notes of when I took pictures!

This work was done in a HGV workshop, so the car had to be moved out the workshop during normal working hours.

January 1990

The interior was stripped out, petrol tank removed, rear subframe removed, various bits and pieces cleaned and made good. Got a note that says removed rear pockets and half of rear seat :confused: I've got no idea what happened to all the interior.

On the four post lift


Inside stripped and lights removed


February 1990

Repaired the O/S/R boot floor, and started to de-seam the rear valance


It seems for the rest of 1990 I never took any other pictures or did much work on her (perhaps it was the girl friend instead :p), there was some work done in March 1990 continuing with the boot floor repairs, and de-seaming of the rear.

Then a big gap until August where I purchased some vented disc brakes from the local scrapyard for £30, and also acquired a 90 amp alternator - old stock from work I believe.

There was some work done in January 1991 without any pictures. I cleaned rust off work previously done, finished de-seaming the rear end.

In March 1991 I purchased the new servo mounting brackets and linkage (£69) which had been recently introduced for the new Mini's.

Then we skip to June 1991, and it seems work starts again in earnest, perhaps I'd split up with a girl friend ;) I have 50 photos for the rest of the year, I'll post them another day.

Ronski 11-07-2019 08:01 PM

So we move on to June 1991, new door posts acquired and prepared for welding in





Back to 2019 and I have a bit of a dilemma, the current engine is only an 8v and produces something in the region of 120 - 140Bhp. On the plus side it's very basic, simple ECU and carb presuming it still works.

Now someone has suggested I fit a Fiat 20v Turbo lump, and I think this may just fit although it will be tight, for those who don't know it's a 5 pot, and standard power is 220BHP. I've also found an earlier 4 pot 16V turbo, standard power about 195Bhp, condition unknown although it was apparently a good runner.

Of course both engines add more complications, but a much bigger smile factor. Decisions, decisions.

Ronski 13-07-2019 08:09 PM

July 1991





Lets hope I got the panels back in the correct position.


Little did I know I was wasting my time repairing the corrosion is the rear seat/wheel arch area.









evenbiggerdave 13-07-2019 08:21 PM

Itís great how old the pics are! Good job on posting the build [emoji1360]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Ronski 14-07-2019 06:39 AM

Thanks Dave. I also have the tools still - I recognise quite a few in the pictures, they've done well as I'm still a mechanic although I don't use them as often now as I manage the workshop but still get my hands dirty on a regular basis.

I still have both mig welders, well my brother has my original mig welder and I have the one I bought off the company when it closed down, hopefully it's still in good working order although I have used it a few times over the years.

MiniLandy 15-07-2019 09:44 AM

Excellent! Repairs look tidy as well, from a time when panels cut from a scrap shell were still in good order.

At this point in the build I've still not been born, but enjoying nonetheless :lol:

Phaeton 18-07-2019 02:07 PM

What struck me is the Mini was only 15 years old & look at the rot, kids these days don't know they are born, you can now pick up a 20 year old with perfect body work.

Edit:- the Fiat 20V Turbo is an awesome engine, used to piss Subaru owners off pulling up along side them & leaving them behind when I had mine, although I would be surprised if you could make it fit.

Ronski 18-07-2019 02:45 PM

@Minilandy, thanks, your just a youngster then ;)

@Phaeton Yes it's incredible how much rot it had for 15 years old, was pretty much the norm back then though. I think the 20vt would fit, it would be very tight though. All I can say is watch this space, what I have lined up (hopefully) will qualify me properly for this forum and some serious power :)

Oz 18-07-2019 03:40 PM


Originally Posted by Phaeton (Post 386107)
kids these days don't know they are born, you can now pick up a 20 year old with perfect body work.

You're still talking about cars, yeah ?? :lol:

Phaeton 18-07-2019 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by Oz (Post 386109)
You're still talking about cars, yeah ?? :lol:

Have to be at my age, they are playing the moon landings on the radio, I remember them the first time around.

Ronski 18-07-2019 05:52 PM

I was wondering myself too :D ;-)

PS I was about one year old for the moon landings, so wouldn't of known anything about them ;)

ardonfast 22-07-2019 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by Phaeton (Post 386110)
Have to be at my age, they are playing the moon landings on the radio, I remember them the first time around.

Lol you old buGger ! Good luck with this
HOTSNOT springs to mind,

Ronski 23-07-2019 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by Phaeton (Post 386107)
Edit:- the Fiat 20V Turbo is an awesome engine, used to piss Subaru owners off pulling up along side them & leaving them behind when I had mine, although I would be surprised if you could make it fit.

As for that dilemma over engines, today I purchased a Fiat 16v Turbo engine and 5 speed box - it's just as tuneable as the 20v version. Only being a 4 pot it should fit, just need to squeeze in an intercooler of some sort, exhaust system, get the ECU to work - I'm not even sure if it comes with one, then theres the infamous fiat Immobiliser to get removed. And of course get everything else working around it.

Should be interesting and keep me busy for a long time.

Ronski 28-07-2019 04:13 PM

We've been away on holiday the last week, called in to work on the way back home to check something on the engine and took a quick photo, as I know you guys like photo's :wink:


Have now purchased an ECU as the engine didn't come with one, which fortunately does not have an immobiliser :D

Ronski 31-07-2019 07:58 PM

Continuing on with my pictures from the photo album.

My notes show that in August 1991 the engine was removed and the engine bay cleaned and stripped. Around the time I also built a trailer for the mini, it was simply boarded with ply. I used it for a couple of years, and when the Mini was moved to a garage it no longer got used. Someone I knew at the local sea cadets borrowed it and as they could make use of it I let them keep it, I wonder how long they used it for.


September saw some more welding and cleaning, some of which was soon to be cut out.






On 19 October 1991 I purchased an engine complete with gearbox from the local scrap yard, it was a 1995cc Lancia Twin cam from a V reg (Aug 1979 to July 1980) Lancia Beta, it had just 63,000 miles on it and I paid £94.

So November saw a drastic change of plan with a 2ltr engine and 5 speed box, my notes state "Will not fit in front", so I decided to take the mid engined approach.

Another trip to the scrap yard, this time to retrieve the front subframe and front running gear from the Lancia, cost £50.

The subframe laid out working out how to fit it.


So the back seat was cut out to aid a cunning plan.


Late November I had to locate a suitable O/S replacement door post, this one was cut out from a Mini in Church Wharf Breakers Sittingbourne and cost the princely sum of £5, I guess the local breakers didn't have a suitable donor.



December 1991



The new engine (not any more though ;))


New O/S door post being welded in






O/S sills




This was done on Boxing day 1991 - dedication or what ;)

O/S cross beam mount plate


This is the cross beam that the front of the Lancia subframe bolts to.



Trial fitting of new rear subframe


Engine and box mounted in







Last work done in December 1991, seems I had to modify the screen aperture so that the screen fits - oops. I also removed the engine, cleaned and painted the new cross beams.


That wraps up 1991 :D

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