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Awesome Barn Find

Updated on October 7, 2011
1980 Mini Sport
1980 Mini Sport

Just Going About My Real Estate Business One Day

Recently a client of mine from the UK has asked me to look for some properties with some arable land around my area. I was selecting a few properties to his taste to show as soon as this client would arrive for a two week holiday!

On one particular property, there is this mid size barn in which the owner’s haven´t opened in years and the keys to the padlock could in no way be found!

As an agent and always wanting to satisfy my clients, I make sure I see every nick and cranny on each and every property before I show it to any potential buyer!

I do hate the unexpected surprises when I´m with clients!

I tried to explain this to the owners and it was agreed that I could break the lock and take a peek inside! (The senior couple was not keen in having the lock broken; they still wanted to search more for the key! So I promised them a brand new lock! And they smiled)

Got out the sledgehammer and gave the lock a good whack! There goes the lock, but I’m still not in cause years of corrosion has seized the sliding mechanism on this barn door! With a bit of brute force and sweat I got the door sliding just enough to get in!


In this barn my eyes went straight to the classic car! A Mini was there with layers of dust calling out for me!

I asked who´s the owner and found out that it was of a family member of theirs and that the person kind of lost interest in the car!

Of course I was looking at the premises, but much more interested in the car! I got the owners cell number and made the call!

This is a special Mini because it´s a Mini Sport! This car was specifically built for racing; actually, talking further with the owner, I was told that this car competed in the Estoril Racetrack in the early 80´s! So, it´s got a racing history!

In the meantime I did a bit of research on this car! Mini Sport orders Minis from the factory and modifies them to their own specifications just for racing! Just as AMG does for Mercedes and Msport for BMW! This Mini Sport Company was established in the UK in 1967 and it still exists today!

In the following days I made a deal with the owner and towed the car to my place!

It´ll probably take me a year or two to bring this racer back to its full glory!

This is the new love of my life! (And my new endless piggy bank!)

Stay tuned, updates will soon be posted on this Mini Sport!

165/70-10 Cosmic Wheels
165/70-10 Cosmic Wheels

Update December 26 2010

Engine runs smoothly on Mini Sport. Not one bit of smoke out of the tail pipe, YES!
Engine runs smoothly on Mini Sport. Not one bit of smoke out of the tail pipe, YES!


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    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hello Movie Master, I´m glad you´ve liked it and happy you are following this restoration project!

      Will post soon on this Mini Sport!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Nelson, what a find, what a story! I had a mini, I use to love driving it - it was pretty special. But this is quite a project you have!! I will follow the restoration with interest on your website!

    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hello Mr. Fialho

      Nice to hear from you!

      Yes, the body is in good shape, all the parts are there (a few screws loose, but that´s ok)

      Parts are available (genuine) in the net!

      More photos and posts on its restoration will be definitely forthcoming soon!

      And a very Merry Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hei funride, it´s my passion now!

      The Mini after restoration will look awesome!

      Thanks for reading and I will be posting on its restoration process!

    • maven101 profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Merry Christmas, Nelson...What a great find...looks like the body is in good shape...Are parts still available for this car..?

      Good luck with the rebuild...what a great way to spend an evening, taking your time, sipping on a brewski, and watching this classic grow into the jewel it was...I'll be watching for future updates...Please give us more photos...Larry

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      8 years ago from Portugal

      Congratulations Nelson! That`s a great Christmas present :)

      I can`t wait to see how it will look after your restoration work. Good luck!

    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Thank you Silva, stay tuned!

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 

      8 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      What a cool story! I will be watching to see the restoration process.

    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Thank you for reading SteveoMc!

      You will definitely see the whole restoration process!

      Stay tuned and in Health!

    • SteveoMc profile image


      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      We were stuck in Montana once, and our car was toast. We by coincidence found an old car in a barn. The owner said, I don't know if she will run, but we drained the gas tank and added some fresh fuel, couldn't get the spark plugs out, but she started and we were on our way and drove the dang thing back to Washington. My dad drove that car for a couple of years before he got rid of it. I love your find, I would like to see a follow up.

    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      The 67 vette is a beautiful car!

      Thanks for the read Kaie!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      8 years ago

      My uncle once had a 1967 Corvette stored in his barn; it was red too! :-D Looked just like this............. hope he took it with him when he moved! Kaie


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