A few months ago, I took my old front subframe to a local powder coating shop here and was really impressed with the job. For about $90, my front subframe looks brand new and ready to go back into place. Some of you may know by now that I did not go this route with the rear as it was in so-so shape. I am sure it is normal to have a rear subframe in this condition and some people would be able to recondition it, but the front was clearly in better shape and decided to match it with a brand new BMH rear subby that I purchased for a steal. With the Mini being such a simple car and a majority of the chassis designed by two independent subframes, these kind of improvements really make a restoration project complete.
Last year sometime, I started to look at colors as I really was nit digging the refrigerator white that Basil was sporting. I would have been happy with an Olde English White, but the white that covered the little car was just too bright and modern for my taste. At some point I came to the realization that I would retore Basil to my vision – more RestoMod than say factory spec – he was going to embrace a very retro rally theme with some Italian hints mixed with some Japanese Miini Culture queues. If you ever wondered what the Japanese embrace from a Mini standpoint, then look no further here.
My design theory started with factory colors from the 60’s that I just fell in love with. Then I started to see a few modern twists on some of the older colors (particularly greens and BRG’s). And to be honest, this continues to plague me today. It seems every week (ask my wife) that I am jumping from one color to the next based on my mood or the color of the sky. Mix that with a cool picture that I come across of a vintage Mini, and every thing goes out the window. For a long time, green (a particular shade) was my go to color – but I am so in love with a red interior. Red interior just floors me every time I see it in a mini. I included a few pics below that continue to inspire me – so really at this point, it is all up in the air. Just last week, I started to really fall in love with one of the Singer Porsche’s that they just launched in London in early 2104. Working with an incredible sexy old Porsche color (took me weeks to find the color code), they weaved some serious magic here and have never seen anything like it before. The interior was a blend of smooth tobacco tan leather mixed with some woven style carpet materials and textures. I call this look the automotive Snicker’s Bar and you can see why below. Yummy!
To ease my dilemma, I invested in some custom mixed paint samples and painted/clear coated several pieces of aluminum sheeting and bent them to resemble say the front wing of a Mini. And then I looked at the contrast with the MB gold wheels as well as color swatches. Quite a contrast on some colors and some not so much. But this is the first time I am showing this exercise and hope you can see in the pics below where my passion is coming from and hopefully will turn out beautiful.