How to find and restore your very own piece of motoring history.
Project: Mini Restoration.
I must be off my head. My youngest son is determined to buy and restore an Austin Mini as his first car. Some of you may say, 'good for you', Lee. Others may say, you must be joking. Me, I say let's go for it. Having just started a new job where I work, I find myself having to get up for work even earlier than before.
Ok, Steve, I hear you say, what has that got to do with buying an Austin Mini for your son. Well he still needs to learn to drive, I will need a second car as the wife doesn't want to be taking me to work at 4:30am so the plan is to buy a wrecker. We will then take the summer months to restore it whilst I use it daily until Lee passes his test. When he needs it full time I will purchase another one and so on.If we get good at restoring we may even have a little sideline going not only for the summer but something to do over the winter months also.
Combine this with the article writing, blogging and 65 hours a week at work and hey presto, poshcoffeeco branches out into article writing/blogging about our escapades with the Mini's.Not bad thinking eh? Well for the moment anyway it is something to be thinking about.
This beats my original idea of buying a moped to go to work on during the summer.At least a little Mini has a roof so I won't get wet!As well as this, there may well be a website or two and blog in it.Would be great if we can make a few quid to boot.££££££££££££££££££££££££££££ What I would suggest you do is keep your eyes open for the second hub in this Austin Mini series after we have purchased our project.
Then you will be able to follow our progress to completion. This hub is just an introduction and to whet your appetite for what is to come over the summer months.
A British Style Icon
The Austin Mini was designed in 1959 by a designer called Alec Issigonis who had previously designed the Morris Minor. The Austin Mini was the first British car ever to sell 1million units.
By the end of it's production run this little car had sold 5.5million units. The Mini was the darling of the British car industry for many many years.
Austin Mini, make it roadworthy?
Before we buy our little Austin Mini we will have to make sure it has a good long M.O.T
That way we will be sure that we can run it whilst we work to improve the general look of the car. Failing that we may have to settle for one which may need a few quick fixes.
The bonus is that I only live a short distance from my place of work and if necessary don't need to go on any major roads.
Top tip -: If you buy a car and you think you may be able to sell it for a quick turn around, simply washing and valeting can be all it needs to put back on sale. Many people and garages as well do not always see the potential in a shabby looking car. Give the body a bit of TLC and you just might be surprised how much value you can add.
This will not be the case with our Austin Mini. If we can find a banger to get us from A to B we will be more than happy.
Austin Mini, where to find one.
There are a number of outlets we can use to find the ideal Austin Mini.
As you can imagine the internet will form the first part of our search.
To start also it might be a case of trawling through the local free ads and Auto magazines. I also have this dream that somewhere there is a low mileage Austin Mini holed up in a barn or garage somewhere which has long been forgotten about and the one owner will be prepared to part with it for a song. I know I am dreaming, but you just never know what is out there until you begin the search.
Austin Mini, assessing the project.
Once we have purchased our Austin Mini it will be time to work out what we will do with it first.
I am sure it won't be a simple task to find the right vehicle. I am hoping at this stage that there will be a model out there for sale which has been part restored and is in a roadworthy state ready for daily use.
That way it can be a steady progression to turn the car into clean example and as close to the original showroom condition as possible and without spending a fortune doing it.
No doubt it will be a case of making a list of priority jobs according to the nature of the problem. Safety first - which means brakes, steering and bodywork will be major areas to focus on as a minimum.
Early models are prone to rust so depending how old the vehicle is will determine how much of a necessity it will be to attack the bodywork problems.
Related links to the Austin Mini
- Mini Sport Classic Car Restoration Part-2
Part 2 of a restoration process to be done from the ground up on a 1980 Mini Sport Classic Car.
- Mini Sport Classic Car Restoration Part-1
Mini Sport Restoration - Mini Sport Classic Car Restoration - After my Awesome Barn Find a few months ago, I´ve been greatly enjoying this “intimate” learning curve with my “new” Mini Sport! My Idea is to have it fully restored just as the day it lef
- Awesome Barn Find
Awesome barn find tells the story of a Mini Sport classic car that has been stored for almost two decades!
- Alec Issigonis and the Austin Mini - A Design Icon - Designers & Designing - Design & Techno
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Come along for the ride.
Come with us on a ride to find the perfect Austin Mini at the right price and in the best possible condition we can find.
We will report as soon as we find our project and will then start publishing our progress in future hubs on the subject. It could be a very fruitful summer and so long as we can find the right vehicle, an enjoyable one as well.