A towel in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is described as being "massively useful" and since my car is British and the author of Hitchhikers Guide is British, and I like that book, and I like my Mini, and massively mini is such a nice oxymoron, and... well... Hey, I can't say Massively Mini is terribly clever, but it will work.
My goal here is to capture my thoughts and actions around the restoration of my 1971 Austin Mini 1000. Maybe show it some folks, maybe not. I may even follow through with this for more than a few posts, who knows?
I figured I could either track the progress on the various message boards or as a blog, for whatever reason the blog option won. Mostly because I tend to be rather verbose when I write so I figured I would feel a little less guilty writing so much when I can be certain few will read it. Versus trying to reach the viewers in the short attention span theater that is a message board. Oooh, shiny!
So let's get started shall we?
What I have here is a 1971 Austin Mini 1000. I bought it in September of 2009 from a fellow out in Damascus, Oregon. It's in decent shape, but bears a paint job strikingly similar to Mr. Bean's Mini (his is a brighter green). My goal with this car is to completely restore it back to specifications of my preference, but keeping an eye toward maintaining a period look. One thing is for certain, love it or hate it the Green paint is doomed.
The first part of my restoration is to add the various elements to car before the body work starts. I figured at least in that way I won't crap myself if I add any new dents to the existing collection (and it's a fine collection so far).
I've actually already performed a few mini projects (heh). The first was to replace the stock sealed beam headlamps with Wipac Quadoptic H4 units, then I relayed them for better output. The thing I really dig about the new headlights was the integrated pilot (city/parking/marker) lamp. As far as I know this isn't something Mini's had equipped stock, mine definitely didn't at least.
I also replaced the original, large orange front indicators with the smaller glass indicators from earlier Minis. I prefer this style over what my car had from the factory, although I've been told the original indicators might be somewhat rare. So I've kept them in a box in case they prove useful to have around.
In addition to that I did some cleanup in the interior that included taking off the binnacle, replacing the sealant putty around it, and reinstalling it with some new stainless screws. I also made new dash tray supports out of ABS plastic and Dynamat. I don't really know why I added the Dynamat, but they give the panels a nice heft. These are then covered by really ugly piece of plastic and foam which I'm going to replace once I settle on an interior color.
If you've read this far (and I applaud you if you did) you might find yourself wondering what my plans are to which my reply is, "hazy, ask again later." I do have a little vector image that I play around with occasionally that's somewhat representative of where I'm headed, but only time will tell what final form it takes. One thing is for certain, it's going to be a proper Austin Mini when it's done.
I'm currently working on finishing up another project replacing those shiny new Wipac headlamps (which are for sale) with some shiny new Cibie H4 headlamps (more on why later) as well as installing some auxiliary driving lamps, but I'll post later once that's complete. For now, stay tuned.