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Buyers guide

McCoy Coupe McCoy Estate Modified McCoys Buyers guide







Where to find a McCoy

Because of the rarity of the McCoy the cars rarely appear for sale in mainstream car magazines. If you are looking for a McCoy the best place to look is the for sale section of this website! These advertisements are from club members and are also copied from a variety of other sources. Cars also occasionally appear in Auto Trader, Loot and similar magazines and you may find McCoy's advertised in specialist Mini and kit car magazines. Cars also occasionally appear on eBay.

What to look for

McCoy's vary greatly in terms of quality of construction and build. Whilst the kit provided by the factory was of high quality the standard of subsequent build and maintenance varies greatly. Cars vary from 'projects' requiring a great deal of time and effort to complete well built vehicles that can be enjoyed immediately. 

Mechanically the McCoy is Mini based which means there is a plentiful supply of both new and second-hand parts to keep the car in tip top order. Watch out for the classic Mini Achilles heel - corrosion in the rear sub-frame. Check also for play in the front ball joints and rear trailing arms. Check that the engine is reasonably quiet and does not smoke. In general the McCoy offers easier access to mechanical parts than a comparable Mini, which is a great advantage to the home mechanic.

Easy mechanical access

Because the McCoy is a glassfibre monocoque there is no steel bodywork to rust so the vehicle is very long lasting if treated with care. 

Look for accident damage and check for any cracks in the glassfibre - especially near to where the Mini sub-frames are mounted to the shell. One known weak spot is a 'kink' in the central strengthening tunnel running down the centre of the car near to the seatbelt mounts. Make sure that the floor does not bend unduly when you sit in the car near the rear of the seats. Many cars were painted and trimmed at the factory but check the quality of the paintwork and interior as this was not always the case. In any event some cars are now over 15 years old and any signs of neglect must also be taken into consideration.

In terms of body and trim modifications the possibilities are almost endless. Whilst the factory produced a fairly wide range of options and 'standard' fittings, these were by no means obligatory. Club members have found better and more attractive ways of building up the cars - for example some members have fitted a complete Mk1 Metro dash in place of the factory wooden 'plank' and many cars also feature alternative allow wheels to the factory specified Weller's. Check that all the instruments work and that the wheels do not foul the wheel arches - especially on full lock.

Interior with Metro dash

It is worth checking if the car has a proper wiring loom. The factory produced an excellent loom but this may have been omitted by the car builder to save costs. A proper loom is more likely to provide a reliable electrical system than ad-hoc wiring.

Finally a most important check is to make sure that the car is registered correctly. The car must be properly registered as a 'McCoy' made by 'Birchall' (or similar wording) and not registered simply as the original 'Mini' donor car (i.e. Austin Mini etc). If the car is not correctly registered in this way an MOT station may refuse to test the car until it has been properly registered - a process which is likely to include the very stringent SVA test. This advice is most likely to apply to cars carrying number plates from an original donor Mini and not to Q registered cars.

The club can assist with all aspects of choosing and running a McCoy.

Comfortable on top as well!


Looking for a McCoy car? Looking for advice? Information? McCoy to sell? email mail@mccoyownersclub.co.uk 
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