Within 2 weeks of having the car on the road, there was a problem. The exhaust noise was extremely loud. I had fitted a reproduction system from a dealer in Sydney, and although true to the original design, it finished directly under the drivers seat. Combined with this was a very primitive muffler, which made the already loud exhaust right under the driver. I had done three runs in those first two weeks, the first being to Doongalla, the second to a Friday night meeting of the Vintage Drivers Club, and the third to Cheltenham Victoria, where I was working at the time. Obviously the first run was over shadowed by nerves and excitement, but the second and third resulted in a headache from either exhaust fumes or the noise. I had a passenger on board for the third run, and we could hardly speak to each other.
So the very next morning, Saturday, I headed off to my local exhaust shop seeking a solution. The fix was to extend the system all the way to the rear of the car, which was a legal requirement anyway. The original exhaust was cut just before the muffler, which had very little if any noise suppression capabilities, the pipe was extended to just under the foot well in the rear seat where a muffler with a very pleasing note was fitted, and a tail pipe bent up and over the rear axle completed the system.
The improvement was immediate. The exhaust noise was substantially reduced, and the remaining exhaust noise was behind the car so you were leaving it behind. Exhaust fumes were a thing of the past, and I was able to have a conversation with passengers. There was no loss of power, and although only sound related, the lack of a harsh exhaust note gave the impression the engine was running smoother. This system served me well for approx 10 to 15 years. I am not sure exactly how long it lasted, but then as mild steel systems do, the muffler gave out first, and the rear tail pipe soon followed.
Off to the exhaust shop again, same design, but this time in stainless steel, except for the first 12 inches from the manifold, which was mild steel and incorporated the carby air intake. Being a non- polished grade of stainless I sprayed the rear tail pipe that was seen below the fuel tank in full gloss black.
I am pleased to say this system is still going strong, including the stainless muffler, and should last for many more years. The only changes I have made were during a mini restoration 5 years ago, where I had the whole system polished and it has now changed to a golden colour that I think looks great. I changed the bend on the tail pipe to increase the clearance under the fuel tank as I had fitted a non- vented fuel cap and the heat from the exhaust pressurised the tank and would overflow fuel from the top of the vacuum tank. As well as repositioning the bend on the tail pipe I vented the fuel cap. Problem solved, no more fuel flooding from the vacuum tank.
As the design of the exhaust system has not changed I have posted several shots of the system that I currently run, and that has served me well for at least 15 years.