When you buy a barn-find ‘72 Mini in a shady Citroën repair shop, anything goes


An online ad for a 425cc flat-twin engine from a late 1950s Citroën 2CV led me 40 minutes away from my home in France to a decidedly shady corner of Marseilles. The photos of the two-cylinder turned out to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The grungy former Citroën repair shop, concealed behind a white metal gate that was taller than a city bus, resembled a parts emporium in disarray with a few cars thrown in.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/06/27/mini-citroen-emporium-barn-find


frankly if the choice were a decent Citroen 2cv ( with the later 602cc power train) or an original 850cc Mini, there would be no hesitation to go for the Citroen from me… its a better car hands down all round…simpler,mechanically more robust and and eminently more ‘practical’ to boot… those 2cv s will take a hard thrashing for at least 100k miles before showing noticeable signs of wear… not so the Minis which are problematic from day one…BMC lost money on every one built… mainly due to the production cost of the really stupid engine atop of trans design…which was not only costly to produce but full of ‘problems’ such as the transfer gears lunching themselves soon after the original 12k ‘warranty’ expired.(if not before… warranty claims were a significant expense…and helped the company go into bankruptcy) along with all manner of ‘other’ problems… its anengine/trans design combination that NO-ONE else has copied.(for obvious reasons… its terminally dumb) . another issue is that with the mini your head is about same height as the average full size pick up rear bumper…so vision is poor due the cars being so low and if you hit anything solid, your are most likely dead.(several of my fiends were killed in them ‘back in the day’) . one sits somewhat higher up in the 2CV and the ride is comfortable to boot… plus they will go virtually anywhere… can be taken on offload excision with no ill effect… since I stared my carer working at a BMC dealership, my dislike of Minis was formed at a very early age… one of the most overrated cars ever to be inflicted on the public .horrible to work on, and there was NOTHING innovative about it …Plus, several other manufacturers built far better cars in the same class… as a ‘peoples economy car’ the 2 CV citroen is far superior…(and was introduced 21 year earlier) … for another ‘mini’ the Fiat 500 did the same job for less money and less mechanical issues… ( also introduced much earlier… and, as with the mini has made a ‘retro’ resurgence with a 2,000s version of same concept…) the ‘other’ small Fiats such as the 128 were also far better than their BMC ‘competitors’ such as the austin 1100…sold in the USA with the larger 1275 motor as the ‘Austin America’… what a worthless pyla… and seen by many today as something of a joke… maybe the Yugo was on par in a race to the bottom to see who could build the crappiest car on offer…


LOL, there is nothing to add or take away from that !


So tim.trevithick, have you made arrangements to get one, or more because you love them so much?
And you don’t have to decide, the mini is already gone.
Don’t forget to get lots of parts too, you’re going to need them.