Here's a great project that we recently commissioned: the installation of Classic Retrofit's electric air-conditioning system in a very special classic Mini for a customer in Singapore.
Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, the Mini was a line of British small cars manufactured by the British Motor Corporation. Mini models included the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven, the Countryman, Moke, 1275GT and Clubman. Performance versions of these models took the name Cooper as a nod to the tuning partnership with racing legend, John Cooper. The original Mini continued in production as part of the Rover Group model range until 2000. In 1994, Rover Group was acquired by BMW. The company was broken up in 2000, with BMW retaining the Mini brand. Development of a modern successor began in 1995 and BMW launched an entirely new Mini in 2001.
This project was carried out by Annings Race and Restoration, a famous Mini workshop in Ashford in Kent, with a history dating back to the 1960s. The most interesting car of this decade was of course the original Mini, so no surprise that 60 years of working on Minis has given Annings a significant amount of experience with the cars. We were delighted to work with Phil Annings and his team to help integrate our electric air-conditioning system into an iconic classic Mini.
One of the most satisfying aspects of this project was the combination of two very efficient designs: the original classic Mini, which is often referred to as "a miracle of packaging", due to its efficient use of space compared to period competitors, and our electric air-conditioning system, which offers a really effective use of space, partly because the compressor can be easily fitted in a wide range of locations, as it doesn't have to be bolted to the side of the engine. The modular nature of Classic Retrofit's air conditioning system allows for a flexible system design and installation.
We drove the Electric Porsche 914 down to Kent to gas up the system and helped the workshop to fire up the system for the very first time. The photos show our favourite meat thermometer protruding from a vent and we're delighted to say that sub-zero vent temperatures were quickly observed.
This little Mini should now be a very pleasant place to be in Singapore, where average humidity can be in the 90% range and classic car events are held in the very early hours of the morning, often as early as 5:30 am. If our electric air-conditioning system in this lovely classic Mini means that the owner gets an occasional lie-in, what a rewarding and unforeseen benefit!