This week’s Express Wheels – 1979 Leyland mini

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1979 Leyland mini

Name: Merlene Thompson in Larry, the mighty mini

From: Invercargill

When and why did you acquire it? About four years ago

What is the vehicle’s history? Made in England; belonged to a 14-year-old girl from Invercargill

Has it been altered in any way? Still all original

Owner Merlene Thompson and granddaughter Tahlia Pennicott Waters (8)

What’s it like to drive? A dream to drive, hoony, fast ride

What is it worth? Priceless, no money could give you such happiness

Where’s your favourite stretch of road? Bluff Rd – 135kmh top speed before the wind near blew me off the road

Best driving experience? Just driving Larry is always a good experience

Worst driving experience? Being lifted off the road by the winds

What other vehicles of note have you owned? Statesman Deville, Cortina Mark II and Cortina Mark V

Best music to drive to? Dubstep, metal, reggae, trance, old-school hip-hop, and punk

Describe your driving style? I’m a cruiser – speed kills

If you could go for a drive in any vehicle it would be..? Ford GT351, please

What was the first vehicle you ever bought? Triumph 2000

Do you belong to any clubs? Just joined the Pork Pie Club

Event: Supporting those finishing the last leg of the 2019 Pork Pie Charity Run in Invercargill

How did the event go? Was a pleasure to meet and be among mini lovers, old school

How did the car perform during the journey? My Larry drove perfectly around Invercargill with the rest of his English cousins – awesome day

Engine: 1000cc

Transmission: Manual

Colour: Yellow and black

Weight: Light weight

Photos: Laura Smith

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