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Dwight’s Winning Woody

While CooperRoadMini.com has been mostly dormanat over the summer, a number of interesting things have happened. We’ll have an update on our Moke project soon.

Yet in the meantime, my good friend Dwight Smith’s ’62 Traveler Woody won the Best of Show Award at the recent Portland British Field Meet. This was an astonishing achievement, as there were more than 800 fine British automobiles of MANY makes present. Check out who joined him in this elite group of show cars Click Here.

I’ve known Dwight for many years. Back in ’05 he ordered an engine from MiniMania. One our fabulous supercharged 1380cc units. If a customer was interested, I’d go over all sorts of details and make recommendations on how to best achieve the best power package for the car. Dwight was, and every detail was deliberate. The final drive, and transmission internal ratios, the drop gear options, the cylinder head, the cam, drive, timing, compression ratio, even the color of the engine, all of it well considered.  Dwight came down to Nevada City and we ran his engine at the Mini Mania open house in the spring of 2006. The howl from that engine always drew a crowd.

Many of us know the downside of being so detail oriented is that our projects can take FOR EVER! Sometimes years go by as we “decide how to proceed”!   By 2009 the bodyshell was as PERFECT as any England-sourced 60s metal object could possibly be!  By 2011, the stunning engine had collected some dust, on display in Dwight’s living room.

Late that summer, my technical writing gig at a General Dynamics company screeched to a halt. Dwight said he’d just been unable to start building the car, would I come up and assemble the big parts?

Hmm.  I’d built my 66 Cooper S from nuts and bolts. Over many years. Switching projects, slow progress here and there. Could I do it in a week or so?

It took 10 days. A couple spent helping Dwight “organize” his workspace, again this sometimes takes instigation by a third party with no attachment to debris that somehow fills any open space.  The car went together nicely.  Engine into subframe, body over it, front suspension, assembled rear subframe up to body, top notch brakes all around, dialed in the blower, clutch, radiator, ignition, and enough electrical to start the car with the key before heading home.

Dwight spent nearly two more years tending to details that he enjoys and does very well. The result was the spectacular green Woody seen by so many over the Labor Day weekend at the Portland All British Field Meet.

These are all photos I took at Dwight’s in September 2011 in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  You can click on any to see a full size image. Yep, those are my Crocks and I’m the one hanging through the windshield.

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