I spotted this custom 1965 Austin Mini Pickup at Truckinweb.com. Yes, it’s a MINI Cooper, and yes it’s a pickup. I’ve been working on cars since I was a little girl. I have spent hours playing with my own cars. I know what it takes to get a car to the level that this pickup is at to become a showstopper. All thought the work done to this pickup isn’t some thing for every one, its still a rolling work of art.
By Mark Halvorsen
Photography: Dan Ward
Truckin', January 2007
(Yes, this is a pickup truck - a version of the Mini Cooper called the Austin Mini Pickup released for the '65 model year. These were quite popular in their day, but you won't find too many of them around...and none like this one. England's quintessential compact cruiser collided with the mad hatter of English customizers, Paul Ireson. Paul has been tinkering with cars since before he opened his first shop in England in 1976, where he set up customers' cars for racing. He's tuned plenty of his own cars too, and for decades has jumped behind the wheel for competitive laps. His first exposure to the world of glossies was a story on his '59 Ford Popular that ran in Street Machine magazine in the early '80s (it had a blown V-8 and a Jaguar rearend. Paul said it was one of the first street-legal supercharged cars in England.). An automotive tinkerer that comes from a land of tuners and racers, Paul now lives in Fort Meyers, Florida, where he opened a shop, Classic Auto Sport, for building customs and importing classic Mini Coopers. He's built a lot of Minis-even raced a few in his day-but not like this.)