Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#10: Spring is here and getting closer to painting

It has been awhile since my last post and mostly due to work on my end.  But the good news is that I have seen Basil several times in last few months and things are moving well.  The body is active at Sentry – meaning that they have 1-2 people on him now.  I think due to a slightly slower winter business for the shop, they can now start to work on the classics and get them out of the garage to make space.  The Mini seems to have been identified to make more room – so yea for me! Also, Basil is sitting next to a wonderful 70’s era MGB GT – so they are quite a pair representing a unique time in the automobile industry. The MGB will be painted Snowberry white by the way.

So far, they have really worked on smoothing out the body a bit – repairing a few surface rust spots here and there (minimal rust spots to begin with), adjusting some panels, and just getting things done right.  Looks really good and they even removed the doors.  Also visited Sentry in November 2014 and dropped off several parts like new door hinges and mounting plates, etc.  The body also got some minor time on the frame machine to pull out the rear two fenders about 1/4″ on each side (something I did not notice first).  It was so odd to see the same amount of force that pushed in both rear panels at same place – we could only determine that maybe the car tried to back or drive into a really small garage in the UK and bob’s your uncle! There was some concern on the two front wings – they did not look symmetrical with each other – one had looked a few mm higher than the other and I did see this at the beginning.  At that time, we decided to carefully just sand and shape, sand a shape a bit, etc.

Well now that it is Feb 2015, the wings are just simply filled with too much bondo, so I ordered brand new BMH wings from 7 Enterprises and sent directly to Sentry.  At the end of the day, this is the best bet in making sure it looks correct up front and the headlamps will be aligned correctly.  The good news is that he will be ready for paint soon.   Yes, I have picked a color after months of samples painted and looked at every which way – in sunlight and under UV lamps.  It drives you crazy at times looking at some many period correct colors!

So there we are.  Pictures below from Nov 2014-Feb 2015 at the shop.  My hopes (knocking on wood) that another 2 months to go or less to complete and back in my garage for the re-build.  Its going to get crazy again soon.  I’m ready.