It's a story you don't encounter every day. Three generations of the Schoemaker family – grandfather Henk, son Tjeerd and grandson Carlo – have come together for a project that focuses on a love for cars and family ties.
A Mini Adventure
Since April 2021, a 1998 Mini Cooper S has had a special place within the Schoemaker family. This car, with a 1275 cc engine and injection, was already special before the three started working on it. Tjeerd says: “We were looking for a Mini to restore, but it didn't have to be a barrel.” The car finally came to the Netherlands from Berlin in 2007 and was fortunate to have been stored in a garage, so rust hardly had a chance.
The project was truly a family affair. While grandfather Henk provided emotional and logistical support, Carlo, who is training in automotive technology, was the technical expert. Tjeerd, on the other hand, was the man of action, not afraid to use the grinder to move the project forward. It was a mix of experience, technical skill, and pure passion that made this project a success.
More than just nuts and bolts
Every restoration project comes with its challenges and this was no different. From accidentally grinding out the chassis number to struggling with fog lights and uncooperative seats – the trio has had to overcome many obstacles. Which shows the team's tireless spirit to keep going despite the problems.
Not just in euros
“We never kept track of what the restoration cost, I think we bought two thousand euros worth of tools and parts. The spraying work is also included,” says Tjeerd. But the real value of this project cannot be expressed in money. It is the coming together of a family, sharing skills and passions, and creating unforgettable memories that makes this project truly valuable.
The 1998 Mini Cooper S may no longer be an 'original mini', but it is a legend on wheels for the Schoemaker family. After the restoration it was driven for a few hundred kilometers, without strange ticks or beeps. It is a car that is now more than just a means of transportation; it is a family heirloom, a testimony to teamwork, love and dedication.
What else is coming?
While this Mini Cooper S is almost ready for many new adventures, the car love does not stop there for the Schoemakers. Carlo is already planning to get his hands on an early Mini or maybe even a BMW E30.
In a world where everything is becoming faster and more digital, it is heartwarming to see how the Schoemakers have created something tangible and sustainable. And for us, it offers a precious lesson: that the best things in life often come from passion, dedication and of course, teamwork.
Read the full article Auto Motor Klassiek, which also describes the restoration in detail. The September issue of Auto Motor Klassiek is now on newsstands.