Behind the wheel of a Mini

We spoke to Jeannie, a Mini enthusiast and die hard Iron Maiden fan

Jeannie, also known as: Mini Maiden (@MinxGenie), on Twitter, is a Classic Mini enthusiast from Swindon. As a young child, Jeannie lived in South Africa. Her Father was a Leyland and Rover man throughout the majority of his life and always owned these cars; Jeannie used to sit in the back of his Mini Traveller – “We used to trundle around in that little Traveller”. This is where her first love for the Mini flourished. She was 5 years old at this point and in the early stages of a life that would be forever cultivated with the Mini and its history – “I had many happy memories of Mini’s from an early age. I absolutely loved them”.

When she moved back to England, her Father started working for Rover – he also worked at what would have been the subsidiary of Rover in South Africa when they lived there.

At 13 years old, her father bought her a car that she later referred as a ‘wreck of a mini’ in celebration of her birthday – he had purchased it from one of his friends. As quoted by Jeannie, her Father said “We can spend the next four years doing it up – Daddy Daughter time” They did. The Mini that they, together, restored was her first car – “It was fantastic”. She had learnt everything about the Mini, from the seats to the engine; this was the start of 12 Mini’s.

The Mini she currently owns has been signed by John Cooper, Paddy Hopkirk, Alex Poole, Eddie Izzard and Ed China. They are all on the sun visors inside her Mini! This Mini is featured on her Twitter page and turns 20 on the 18th of October this year! She originally bought this Mini in memory of her late Father, brand new, from the Rover production line in Swindon – “It’s been an amazing car, just lovely. I cannot get rid of it. I’ve done so many things and been to so many places in this car. I love the fact it’s so me. What I love about it as well is that I have kept it completely original, absolutely standard, there’s nothing on that car that wasn’t approved by Rover”. As a Mini owner, she isn’t afraid to fly our flag, staging a large Union Jack on her roof. Jeannie knows every tweak, rattle and bump about her car, it’s in immaculate condition – “It’s such a huge part of my life”.

When she bought her Mini, Jeannie took it down to John Cooper garages. Turns out, he was there! – “He was very much still part of John Cooper Garages and he was running it. I spent a whole afternoon with him. You could do that with John, he was very accessible and he just loved the Mini and the same as Paddy Hopkirk, he was a very accessible guy”.

She and her Mini are part of the Six-Ex Mini Owners club based in Wiltshire. All of the members come from a similar area – “We just love Mini’s and love going to Classic Car shows and as a women, that’s quite difficult, as not a lot of women would want to do that. It’s a nice thing for me”.

Mini Maiden - Mini

Mini Maiden - Interior

It’s not just Mini’s that is of interest! “I’m a child of the 80’s really; seeing an Escort, a Sierra, a Montego, its lovely, I just love it”. While interviewing Jeannie, she mentioned that people change their car quite regularly; in her eyes, this is what makes a Classic Car so special, you just don’t see them anymore.

  • The Brooklands Classic Car Show
  • The National Mini Cooper Day in Beaulieu
  • Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravaganza

Interested in more enthusiast stories? Read our article on a BMW owner with a passion for the BMW 2002