A HOME FOR WEIRD AND WONDERFUL MINIS.
Some people post their beloved MINIs on social media. Others are avid members of fan clubs. Others turn their love for MINIs into a fully-fledged tourist attraction.
Doug Martin, who lives near Tumut, is one of those people.
His shed is home to a collection of unique and rare MINIs, or as he calls it, the “oddball collection”.
They range from a 1967 Mini ute, a panel van, a 1971 purple convertible, a bronze Mini Midas and a wheelchair-accessible Mini, among others.
Many visitors to Doug’s collection are sent to his place from the local tourist office and he says they are often overcome with a sense of nostalgia once they arrive.
“Some spend two minutes or five minutes, other people you can’t get them out,” he laughs.
“You talk to people, they say things like, ‘oh, mum had a Mini’.
“They’re fun and people just relate to them.”
Collecting cars only became a passion for Doug in the past 25 years or so, after he visited a MINI show.
“It was love at first sight,” Doug recalls.
In 2006, a MINI club started up in nearby Wagga Wagga – and two weeks later, Doug was the proud owner of a Mini ute.
“Then I started looking on eBay and they just turned up…the convertible came from Bundaberg, another came from Geelong,” he says.
Doug has a strong belief that his collection should be enjoyed, rather than sitting in a shed.
That belief led him to drive a 1964
“We knew the sunroof leaked, so we
“So when we got to Ceduna we gaffer taped the roof down.
“That stayed on the whole trip- 6000 kilometres.
“It was a really great trip. It got hot only a couple of times – but then you’ve got windows.”
Although it’s like choosing a favourite child, the Mini Midas Bronze (the only one in Australia), has a definite soft spot in Doug’s heart.
“It’s sleek and it looks like a sports car,” he says.
So what’s next on the oddball wishlist?
“I’m still collecting, looking for odd things,” Doug says.
“I’ve got no perfect cars, but I have some good cars”.