About the 1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck

Importing a British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck

Classic British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck. © J. Wickell

1974 Mini Truck

Tony, a mutual friend of ours, is from England. His family is still there and his dad likes to buy and sell cars and trucks. Tony mentioned to Jim that his dad had a 1974 British Leyland Mini pickup truck for sale.

A high percentage of these classic Mini trucks were originally purchased by utility and light courier companies, people who needed economical transportation along with a little bit of cargo room to carry tools and supplies.

The truck sounded perfect to Jim, so he asked Tony's dad to email him a set of pictures along with information about the truck. He liked what he saw and bought it, then started the process of importing it to the United States.

Jim had to jump a few hurdles to get the Mini truck here, but before too long it arrived at the port in Charleston, SC, and he headed out to pick it up.

The Mini Pickup Truck's Driveline

1974 Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck. © J. Wickell

Jim's right hand drive Mini truck is powered by an 848cc four-cylinder engine that uses regular gas, so it's definitely an economical drive. It has a 4-speed manual transaxle with front wheel drive, and its little 10-inch wheels match the truck's small stature.

Jim had to learn to shift with his left hand and soon adjusted to driving while sitting on the right side of the vehicle.

Mini Truck's Front Resembles a Vintage Mini Car

1974 Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck. © J. Wickell

From the front, the Mini truck looks like a classic Mini car. It isn't until you walk around for a side view that the differences become apparent.

Look Inside the Mini Truck

British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Truck. © J. Wickell

The interior of the Mini pickup truck is very basic, with a speedometer, fuel, oil and temp gauges on the dash. Jim had the truck's seats reupholstered locally to resemble their original style.

Under the Hood of the Mini Pickup Truck

British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck. © J. Wickell

The Mini truck's engine is only about two feet long -- and almost looks like a toy.

One good thing about engines this small, everything is easy to get to, and the engine is pretty simple -- no computer, no power steering, no air conditioning... just the basics.

Don't Plan to Haul Much Cargo in the Mini Truck

Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck. © J. Wickell

Jim and I are both slightly over six feet tall. Keeping that in mind, this picture gives you a pretty good idea of how small the truck really is. You won't use it to haul sheet rock or lumber!

Rear View of the Classic Mini Pickup Truck

Mini Pickup Truck
1974 British Leyland Mini Pickup Truck. © J. Wickell

The back of the classic Mini might be the only view you'll see on a winding road, because even though it has a small engine, the truck is quick and corners like a go-cart. Don't forget that the Mini truck is related to the Mini car, which has a long and successful racing history.

Jim's had a lot of fun driving his Mini truck and enjoys its head-turning quality. He's a great guy and always takes time to answer the many questions he is asked about the vehicle.

Jim moved across country, and instead of driving the Mini or trailering it behind his big pickup, the moving company put it right inside the van with his furniture. Now that's portability. Last I heard, the truck has a new owner.