Classic Mini roof racks
The Classic Mini
The iconic Mini has been around since 1959 and has become one of the most loved British designed cars. Many collectors today cherish their Minis and strive to give them a long lease of life. Production ceased in 2000 so parts and accessories are becoming harder to come across.
The Classic Mini came in 7 versions throughout it's production:
- Mark 1 (1959 to 1967)
- Mark 2 (1967 to 1970)
- Mark 3-7 (1969 to 2000)
Can classic Minis have roof racks?
Absolutely! As well loved as the Mini is, one of their drawbacks is clearly their size. Adding a roof rack to your Classic Mini is a great way to add loads of extra storage - as well as adding to its appearance!
The original Mini roof rack - often called the Monte Carlo roof rack - is a high sided cage that can be attached on top of the roof by clasps.
Though they may not be the traditional streamline roof boxes we're used to seeing, the roof cage design allows for plenty of luggage to stored on top of the car - providing it's strapped in correctly!
Luckily for Classic Mini owners sourcing a roof rack is actually easier than you might think. A lot of the older styles of roof racks where easily interchangeable between different vehicles, with no real universal standard being set between car manufacturers.
When in the market for a Classic Mini roof rack your best bet is most likely to head over to eBay or Gumtree to find people selling these 'classic' roof racks. A good example of a non-mini roof rack that could be used is the VW Beetle's roof rack. A quick search for "classic roof rack" provides plenty of results of viable roof racks that can be attached to these retro Minis.
The most important thing to look out for when picking out a roof rack from eBay or similar is to check the width measurement to ensure it would dramatically overshoot the roof. If it's not listed it's worth contacting the seller and ask them to provide measurements.
A lot of the classic mini roof racks you will see when browsing are more of a cage design, and aren't really setup to accommodate the newer roof boxes. Because of this, it's important that you take time planning how you will strap your cargo down, as well as buying some top quality straps to keep everything snug and in place. Below are a selection of roof straps that we can recommend, based on their quality and price.
Top 3 roof straps
- Bison Gear heavy duty straps - British made, lifetime guarantee, and plenty of positive reviews - all at a very reasonable price
- The classic bungee strap - Fantastic items to have, can help strap down any size/shape of cargo. Also handy to have around the home
- Incredly heavy duty ratchet straps - Probably over the top for day to day use, but if you're transporting something that you absolutely don't want to move, these are up to the job. Boasts a money back guarantee!
Can you put a roof rack on a classic Mini?
Yes! The classic mini roof racks and cages not only increase your luggage capacity, but can also be a fantastic cosmetic accessory.
How much weight can a classic mini roof rack carry?
The weight a classic mini roof rack will be able to carry will vary depending on its size, attachment and the cargo itself. However as a general rule on these old models of roof rack/cage I would recommend nothing over 50kg / 110lbs. This is to not only ensure the structural integrity of the roof, but also to ensure the attachments to the vehicle aren't put under too much strain. Every trip is different so it's best to use your own judgement.
How do you attach a roof rack to a classic mini?
The attachment will very on the version of the classic Mini along with the roof rack you have purchased. There are roughly 2 main styles of roof cage for the classic Mini: one with 4 feet and 2 or 4 anchoring tethers, and another with 4 anchoring tethers.
Below is an example of what the tethers on these classic racks roof racks will probably look like. A clip will be hooked under the roof rim and into the door frame, and then a tightening clasp ensure the attachment is nice and strong. This is a relatively strong method, however do make sure to tighten them before and after any longer journeys as vibrations may cause the clasp to loosen.
Below is an example of the 4 anchoring tether style, with one tether being at each corner of the roof rack.
Alternatively on the 4 feet 2 (sometimes 4) clasp style the two tether sit in the center of the rack and attach to the middle of the car, about in line with the back of the driver's seat. The 4 'feet' sit on top of the roof to provide support away from the edges.
Can you put a surfboard on a classic mini roof rack?
You can indeed - and it looks pretty darn cool!
To wrap up, adding a roof rack or roof cage to a classic Mini is not only a fantastic way to increase the amount you can travel with in your beloved Mini, but also adds a lots of character to your car's appearance. Just be sure to triple check the tether points, and buy some high quality straps.