When I got mine, it had authentic woodworm in the bits that made it look like a mini Brit version of the Woodies that were so popular on this side of the Atlantic at the time.”

Yet another version of the popular Mini is out and selling for around $120.

What?

Well, it is a LEGO brick replica of the original Cooper Mk VII, produced between August 1997 and July 1998. That was the last generation of the original very mini-Mini, which was soon replaced by the Mini on steroids that BMW now produces very profitably.

Interestingly, the price tag for the beautifully crafted “toy” is about the same as I paid for my used 1966 Mini Countryman Mark II back in 1974.

The LEGO version bears many authentic details, from the classic green and white color scheme with white wing mirrors and racing stripes. When I got mine, it had authentic woodworm in the bits that made it look like a mini Brit version of the Woodies that were so popular on this side of the Atlantic at the time.

Dad suggested we strip out the wood but the garage guy thought the whole darn thing might fall apart if we did. Oh, brother! My dad, as a model plane painter of some repute, bought a few cans of paint and carefully painted the wood black. Then he hand painted the rest of the body blue. Couldn’t see a brush stroke when he had finished.

The model has doors, hood and trunk that open – more than you could say for mine on many occasions. Sporty fog lights are featured as well as a detailed four-cylinder engine – transversely mounted, of course. There’s also separate spare tire compartment. Had one of those to house a spare that was as bald as I am now.

You can even remove the roof to access a tan colored interior with patterned seats, veneer-style dashboard, turning steering wheel, and moving gearshift and handbrake. I had a hole in my roof at one point but the only thing that came through it was rain, by the bucketful.

This Cooper model measures more than 11cm in height, stretches 25cm in length and is about 14cm wide. Dimensionally it doesn’t sound much smaller that my real live, constantly stalling machine. Mind you that’s what happens when you aquaplane through gigantic duck pond-sized puddles on the narrow back lanes I travelled through the rural northwest of Lancashire on my way to journalism school.

The set is part of the Creator Expert series and I must say the thought of putting together 1,077-parts is somewhat daunting. Perhaps no more so than my old banger after a breakdown. A girlfriend at the time always wondered why it would quit in the darkest back lanes. Which reminds me, the LEGO car accessories includes a picnic basket, bottle and blanket… I had a blanket in the back of mine but it wasn’t for picnic use.

Ah, those fond memories will come flooding back if Santa does his job this year.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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