Spin my wheels: Major passion for minis

Spin my wheels: Major passion for minis

Doug Martin with his Midas Mini kit car, among the other Minis in his collection.
Doug Martin with his Midas Mini kit car, among the other Minis in his collection.

MINI-Heaven exists, and it’s right here in Tumut.

Doug Martin owns 14 minis, 13 of the original British Motor Company variety and one of the newer, BMW-built models.

“I’ve been right into minis for the past 16 years, but I’ve owned a mini since 1982,” he said.

His first two minis were panel vans, the third a ute, then a Mini Moke and then a “semi” mini with a duel axle. Also in his collection is a Mini coffee van, a “Popemobile” double-decker Mini which accommodates a wheelchair, a wood panel mini, and his favourite, a Midas Mini, a fiberglass kit char with a Mini engine and sub-frame.

“They are all road registered,” he said.

“My three kids got their licences on them.”

Doug and other Mini enthusiasts started a show-and-shine in Wagga in 2004.

It is the “everyman” facet of the Mini which attracted him to the brand.

“Everyone knows something about a Mini, everyone knows someone who’s got a Mini,” he said.

Parts aren’t as hard to come by as you might expect, despite the age of most of the cars.

“You can get any part you want,” he said.

“I get the parts from Adelaide, and if I order a part at 2pm it will arrive at 10am the next day,” he said.

He is not ruling out adding a Leyland Mini to his collection.

“I’ve only collected Morris Minis, but after being around Leylands I can see they’ve got a lot going for them,” he said.

Is The Italian Job, with its heroic Minis, his favourite movie?

“It’s one of them,” he said.

“I’ve got the remake, but I haven’t watched it.”