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All about the book...

 

Fresh from the publishers, this excellent 255 page hard-cover book tells the story of the Mini in South Africa.  It’s all there, the entire production history, from the very first locally assembled Austin 850 in 1959 to the very last Mini to roll out of the plant in 1983. If that were not enough, there’s plenty of unique South African motorsport to whet the reader’s interest.  

 

 

Written by Ryno Verster, official historian in the Mini Owners Club of Southern Africa, it is, without a doubt, the definitive source of information on all aspects of the unique South African Minis.  Ryno previously published a booklet on the South African Mini history, but has gone to a great deal more effort for this book.  It’s the result of more than 4 years research.  In the process, Ryno has travelled extensively across the country interviewing all sorts of people.  Interviews that included Ralph Clarke, the Engineering Plant Manager at the BMC/Leyland SA plant, to personalities from the SA Mini motorsport world, some even located as far afield as Qatar and Belgium.  Many of these former racing drivers provided much of the source material for the motorsport story from their personal scrapbooks.   

 

 

However, as Ryno admits, the extensive material provided by Ralph Clarke took the book to a completely new level as a reference source.  The information has lead to a whole section devoted to the BMC/Leyland plant located at Blackheath near Cape Town.  The chapter provides an invaluable resource of information on all models made at the plant and is probably the first time this has been published in such detail.  This will undoubtedly appeal to fans of all classic BMC and Leyland products.  It will be of real interest if you have never heard of a 2.6 Leyland Marina or an Austin Apache.  

 

 

The book consists of 15 varied chapters, each with a different emphasis.  From chapters on the early history and the Mini’s launch, the drive to increase local content, information on the plant and the people who built them, to chapters devoted to unique South African models and special editions, and, of course, the motorsport.  There are 122 B&W and 108 colour photos throughout the book to support the text.  To keep the smooth flow of the storyline in the chapters, detailed information has been placed in a comprehensive set of appendices. 9 appendices cover every detail from homologation papers, local component production and technical specifications unique to South African Minis through to production and prices, as well as a section on the Mini Moke and ADO19 (the ANT).

 

 

This book is a must-have for every Mini fan, and will appeal to all classic car enthusiasts with its extensive information on South African BMC/Leyland models and manufacturing. 

 

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