1965 Morris MINI Minor Scoots Into Jay Leno’s Garage

March 10th, 2020 by

Jay Leno’s Garage took a step back into the swinging 1960s in its latest episode with a 1965 Morris Mini Minor that’s been with its current owner for more than four decades.

Steve Nelson purchased the car from what he believes is the original owner when he was 17 years old. He had a fascination with British cars as a kid and decided he wanted to own one—right-hand drive and all. He tells Leno the car was in poor shape when he bought it and he slowly accumulated parts and purchased things when he could with the intention that, one day, he would restore the Mini to its original glory.

In 1995, an exhaust valve seat fell out and exited through the tailpipe, which took the car off of the road until 2013. It sat parked for almost two decades before Nelson decided it was time for a restoration.

He took it to Graham Reid and Heritage Garage, who is a Mini expert and restores classics Minis to perfection. Now, it’s a shining example of what the car (nearly) looked like when it left the factory decades ago. We say nearly because there are some modern touches, such as disc brakes from a Mini Cooper S. Nelson said the original drum brakes hardly conjured a love affair after spirited driving. The car also makes around 60 horsepower now, up from around 34 hp when it was new.

The charm is how quick the car is even today because of its small size and light weight, which Leno appreciates during his test drive. Check it out up above.

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