1968 Lolita MkI & the 1969 Lolita MkII. Photo: Steve Oom
1968 Lolita MkI & the 1969 Lolita MkII
My first car was a British Motor Corporation Mini. I had just turned 17 and, with $200 burning a hole in my pocket, I just had to have a car. I didn’t need one, of course, but fired with the impetuosity of youth there wasn’t a moment to lose. It was at an auction that I put my hand up at the wrong time and $160 later a 1963 Lettuce Green Morris 850 was all mine. I suspect that my mother was used to me bringing home stray and injured dogs and cats, as she didn’t bat an eyelash when I arrived with the Mini. Thinking back, I suppose that it wasn’t in too different a condition as so many of the animals.
I didn’t know the first thing about cars, didn’t have any tools, and frankly didn’t have a clue. Little did I know that I was about to embark on an automotive adventure that I am still traveling on. I soon found out that, at the slightest exertion, the Mini’s cooling system would boil away merrily, and quickly experienced that less-than-pleasing feeling when the brake pedal sank to the floor. Not long afterward I also taught myself how to change a cylinder head gasket and discovered that it’s a lot easier bleeding brakes when there is someone to help.
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