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THANKS Vintage Sports Car - Woodstock, IL!!

Paddy, the 1973 "Retro-Mod" classic Mini was in a "right pickle", as my British accented GPS would say, until he made a visit to Vintage Sports Car in Woodstock, IL in late May.   He had no compression in cylinders 2 and 3, a local shop had completely wound out the jets on the twin SU carburettors, and the suspension was badly in need of a tune-up.   Yves, Joe, and Tim took all of that in stride as they dove into the task.  

Four weeks later, Paddy is back home in Bloomington, IL and running the best he has since I brought him home from Chicago last Fall.  I always knew that he had the potential, but that he just hadn't had the sort of care and attention he needed. 

Thank goodness for automotive shops and experts like the guys at Vintage Sports Car in Woodstock, IL.   I was pleasantly surprised at the level of skill and care that each of the team members took diagnosing the problems and then finding the best solution.  Yves remained in constant contact with me by email, letting me know of each of the major developments along the way.  Digital images we're emailed so that I could easily SEE what the problems were.  

I want to publically thank Yves, Joe, and Tim for the great job that they did on Paddy!   Yves provided me with a CD of all of the images they took along the way.  In a separate post, I'll share some of those images (and stories) to demonstrate their care and ingenuity. 

THANKS Vintage Sports Car!!!




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Far out MAN! Paddy's heading for Woodstock . . . .Illinois that is!

I'm taking Paddy up to Vintage Sports Car tomorrow morning for a head gasket replacement and tune-up.  Vintage Sports Car Inc. is a division of Historic Race Car, LLC in Woodstock, IL.  Vintage Sports Car is a separate division for their street car customers, as not all vintage car owners see their beloved old timer as a race car.

Paddy started running rough and as noted below I began the process of tracking down the cause.  I had taken him into a local "specialty" shop but they just seemed to make things worse and were not truly addressing the isssues.  It was time to take matters into my own hands.

After shooting the video below, I started my engine diagnosis with a cylinder compression check.  I QUICKLY found out that Paddy had no compression in cylinders #2 and #3.   Hmmmmm?  That's gotta be a head gasket. Right?

I contacted Bill Gilcrease at Mincomp Racing in California (Paddy's engine builder) to get his thoughts.  He confirmed my fears.  

Replace the head gasket Brian! While the head is off I would suggest that you lap the exhaust valves paying special attention to the center ones!  There are good and there are bad head gaskets, let me know if you would like me to send you the proper parts to use.  

Joe, at Vintage Sports Car, confirmed Bill's thoughts and I made an appointment to have Paddy stay with them for a couple of weeks!  Meanwhile, Mincomp is sending them the correct head gasket AND offered to give them advice if needed.

While in their shop, Paddy will get a new head gasket (obviously) but they'll also get those twin SU carburettors set correctly.   

Bring A Trailer - Paddy

US Supplier - Millers Oils - Classic Mini Oil 20W50

Classic-mini-oil-20w50I just found a US supplier of Millers Oils' Classic Mini Oil 20W50 and they are located in Knoxville, TN! 

Performance Racing Oils
227 Sherway Rd.
Knoxville, TN  37922
Phone: 865-200-4264

  • Use in combined engine and gearbox applications
  • Engine oil with EP levels of gear protection
  • Suitable for some wet clutch application classic motorcycles preferably non-roller bearing big end type


Use in installations where the engine and gearbox share the same oil such as original Mini, and gearbox applications specifying an engine oil. The best possible oil for discerning Mini owners.

User Benefits 

  • Improved engine and gearbox protection versus a normal 20w50 engine oil.
  • Longer life for gears, plain bearings and needle/roller bearings  
  • Improved gear change quality.
  • Longer idler gear life in transverse Mini engines.

Performance Profile API: SF, CD, GL-4 CCMC: CCMC G2

When used for the purpose recommended and with due regard to the appropriate Health and Safety Data, the product should cause no concern. If in doubt, consult with Millers Oils Technical Department. For Technical assistance call +44 (0) 1484 475060 or email

Performance Racing Oils
227 Sherway Rd.
Knoxville, TN  37922
Phone: 865-200-4264