Tim’s 1978 Mini Clubman GT arrived with us having been previously modified with wheel arch extensions and a couple of bits and pieces done to the engine including the fitment of a Webber carburetor. The project had come to us for some minor rusting issues to be rectified and a full repaint to be carried out. On closer inspection before the strip down commenced, it was quite apparent that the majority of the body had had plates welded into it and thickly filled over. Tim decided that a full strip down was the way forward and in doing so he realized that he now had a blank canvas to work with.
We were instructed to replace all the rotted steel with new panels and we also consulted with Tim on how to improve and re-work certain areas of the body. Early on, Tim had decided that a proper roll cage would be fitted and that he would no longer require the use of the rear seat. It was decided that the rear companion bins should be removed but as they provide some of the strength from the B pillars to the floor, we designed and welded in special gusset plates at these points. Other internal improvements saw us design and build a bespoke dashboard panel which housed an improved fuse box and accommodation for the ECU that would control the fuel system on the newly fitted Specialist Components 7 port Injection cylinder head.
An ECU for the electronic water pump was also housed behind the new dash panel. After the shell had been repainted in Ford Ice White, the interior was trimmed but was trimmed to the extent that the whole of the rear seat base, bulkhead, floor and ceiling were covered in Alcantara material. New bespoke built and trimmed bucket seats were installed with all the brackets designed, fabricated and fitted by us. The Engine had been fully rebuilt by Tim himself and more detail can be found about it in the Magazine article which it featured in. The subframes were media blasted and powder coated in red as were the wheels too.
The whole vehicle was assembled and finished with the fitting of the bespoke made Clubman Sport Decals.
During 1966, Heinz Foods commissioned Crayford Coachbuilders to convert 57 standard Wolseley Hornet saloon’s to be given away in a newspaper-based competition. The cars were painted in either Toga White or Birch Grey and were all registered in the series LLH-D. The most noticeable feature was the convertible rag top which originally was black but other quirky features included a radio, a pic-nic hamper with tartan rug and even a portable electric kettle. Without doubt the quirkiest feature was the fitment of an under dash slide out make-up tray supplied by Max-factor!
LLH845D had started life painted in Toga White but by the time Peter acquired the car it had been painted into Cherry Red and fitted with a matching Cherry Red rag top. When it arrived with us it was in a relatively unloved condition and it was apparent that a major strip down and re-build would be required. It was not clear whether or not the Engine actually ran as the vehicle had been off the road and stood for at least 25 years.
The Strip down commenced and it was revealed that an entire new front end would be required along with the front floor panels, Inner and Outer Sills (Which would prove to be very tricky to replace) and sections of the rear quarter panels too. Indeed, the Quarter panels would turn out to be a time-consuming job to restore as the original rear wings fitted to the Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf have long since gone out of production. However, we set about the work and progressed along very well indeed.
Peter had also instructed us to fit as much extra body strengthening as we could along the way as the body on these Crayford conversions are notorious for movement when being driven. Crayford had installed strengthening sections into the Inner Sills when they chopped off the roof panels back in 1966 but apart from some channel sections crudely bolted to the Inner Wings and angle section bolted through the floor that was about the extent of the strengthening received. In addition to these original fittings, we welded in box sections into the cavity in between the Inner and Outer Sills. We re-instated the cant rail over the doors and blended it in with the body work. A further strengthening bar was installed into the boot area propping up the rear parcels shelf which had lost all its shape from the removal of the roof. Once the body build had been completed, we treated the body to a coating of Zinc primer and then sealed up everywhere that we could with polyurethane bonding sealant before applying body coloured Raptor to the underside of the vehicle.
The body was repainted back into its original Toga White Colour Scheme. The original leather seats were sent away to Leathercare of Warrington who fully refurbished them for us. We fabricated and fitted a bespoke interior trim whilst a bespoke Woolen carpet was manufactured for the floor and boot board. The Engine and Gearbox were fully stripped down and rebuilt and on return the Engine was fully repainted. The Chrome Fittings were sent away for repair and re-chrome and when they were refitted, they really set off the finish to the car.
A bespoke hood in Mohair and to the colour choice of Peter was fabricated and fitted by Autotrim Merseyside. The whole car re-assembled looks stunning especially with the added touch of period Dunlop D1 alloy wheels.
We were contacted by Lisa & Eric after they had unfortunately been involved in an accident with their Mini. After discussing the work with the Insurance Assessor we were given the go ahead to repair the damage fitting a new rear lower half panel, a rear quarter panel, a lower valance and a boot repair panel.
This Mini arrived with us having previously received some poorly executed repair work. Initially Mike wanted us to rectify the work and to fully repair the Mini. However, as we began to strip down the body panels, more corrosion was found and eventually it was decided by Mike to fully restore the vehicle and replace all necessary panels.
In the event a new main floor and boot floor assembly were fitted, new rear wheel arch assemblies, a new lower rear panel and lower rear valance were fitted. At the front, a new toe board was fitted along with Inner and Outer Wings, Apex Panels and a new front panel. Both doors were repaired and fitted with new outer skins.
The underside was treated with zinc primer before being sealed up with polyurethane bonding sealant. The whole underside was then coated in Raptor tinted to the body colour. The whole inside and out of the Mini was then painted in the original Harvest Gold colour scheme.
Whilst the painting was being done, the subframes were fully refurbished and powder coated, the engine was overhauled and painted before the entire vehicle was built back up to finish.
Initially we were approached by our client with a view to making a sympathetic restoration of the Van. However, on closer inspection it was found that there had been quite an amount of work undertaken in the past and to a standard that would not allow us to carry out such a renovation. It was therefore decided to strip down the Van to a bare shell which revealed the previous repairs in more detail.
There had been sections of floor and sills replaced and which had not been welded together very well and there was a vast amount of body filler covering up plates in the sides of the van and to the front windscreen scuttle panel. We stripped out all of the old body filler, cut out all of the old repaired and corroded metal and had the engine bay area media blasted to provide us with a better base for working with. A full new floor assembly was fitted along with new Inner and Outer Wings, Scuttle Panel, plus Inner and Outer Apex Panels. The side Doors were extensively repaired and re-skinned whilst new doors were fitted to the rear. A number of new sections were spliced into the lower edges of the side panels and were leveled off. A full repaint inside and out was undertaken returning the Van back to its original Willow Green colour scheme. The sub-frames were media blasted and powder coated and all new components were fitted to the sub-frames whilst the Engine benefited from an overhaul. We undertook fabrication of new internal door panels and new trim for the dash panels whilst we also provided new bespoke made rubber floor mats.
Although the Van has lost some of its original features over the years, it is still a wonderfully presented example of an early smooth roof Van.
Unfortunately, many of the Minis that come to us for restoration require such an amount of work to be undertaken that it is not always an economical viable option to repair them. In such cases, these projects can receive a newly built shell manufactured by British Motor Heritage Panels and which is what became of Geoff’s RSP Cooper. A new shell was obtained from Heritage and after preparation and receiving body protection was fully painted inside and out. New subframes were fitted up with new components whilst the Engine and Gearbox were sent away for a full overhaul. On its return and fitted with a full Cooper ‘S’ kit it was installed back into the Mini. A new set of twin carburetors were fitted and Geoff now has quite a powerful Mini on his hands!
HOY 93K is an Austin Morris Mini 850 first registered in November 1971. It was new to the Royal Air Force in the same year and was generally used by Squadron Commanders to travel around the air base where it was allocated. It would have originally carried the RAF Royal Court of Arms on both doors.