Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#12: It’s all in the details

So again, I fail to keep this site up as much as I would like, but my updates are really driven by the longer-term and painstaking efforts on Basil’s body work. I really do not want to rush anything and therefore, updates just saying “Body is still being worked on…” becomes old and tiring. In fact, this reminds me again just HOW many of my friends and family ask me daily/weekly/monthly “How is that Mini coming along” or “did you give up” or “you said that last time and the time before and the time before.” I am not sure how I can convey the ideology behind defining one’s patience with a classic car and the build sequence that comes along with a complete tear down. You have got to be patient with this kind of job and when you have an expert involved (like I do with the critical part of getting this body RIGHT and correct), you need to let them do their magic and follow their lead. The team involved in Basil’s body and paint are considered some of the best in N GA and I cannot thank them enough in working with me and their understanding of ‘patience’ when it comes to finicky customers. Sentry Body and Paint are black-magic wizards with body and paint. And when it all comes down to that phone call that I will receive soon, it will all be worth the effort.

So where are we to date as of August 2015? We we are far along now…and I literally see this as the deep breath before the biog leap over the ledge of color and art. We are at that moment now. To recap – we have done a ton of corrections on all panels. Filled some small rust areas (not much in fact), sanded down some high areas of body work, replaced two front wings with authentic BMH panels, added seam seal, primered grey with red guide coat and now about to attack the bottom. Ah yes, the bottom…something I have been struggling with now. Every fiber in my being wanted to do the bottom in matching color, but I recall much attention I have given my Miatas in the past when I gently scrape the underside of the car from weird angles in driveways or parking lots. I simply could not find an economic way to attend to those scrapes with a colored spray-guard with an aerosol can. Therefore I made the decision to do something I spotted on one of the Mini UK forms (see Blue mini below with the underside exposed). I am going to do a black/color split underside. The black area will be either 3M™ No Cleanup Rocker Gard or SEM Pro_guard so I can do quick fixes at home with a can of the junk, but keep the color in the areas that mean the most aesthetically.

Last month, I also kindly walked into the body shop with open arms and apologized for dropping the Mk1 boot lid off to them to ‘work it out’. Yes, it is tweaked, a bit rusty, but I love the Mk1 book lids so much. They were happy to take but I think I have to minimize the “Oh hey, can you also paint this while you are at it” kind of requests. Those things will kill any momentum and wear your welcome out quickly. I also have that roll bar, but I think I have decided to keep it black as it is now and not paint it Basil’s color. More on that one soon.

Finally, I have been in touch with Phillip Middleton on the engine build….once Basil is finishing up at the paint shop, he and I will get together possibly for a pint and talk strategy. Every fiber in my bones wants to do a BMW K-series swap where it can run fuel injection and have some HP to boot. But the cost on that is so high. The 1275 refresh is expensive enough so I really need to consider this one soon.

Anyway – pics below from the last 3 months or so. I suspect more updates will be coming soon and more frequently…but you gotta have patience. Did I say anything about patience? Gotta go get a beer.

RESTORATION REPORT#11: Basil has his wings

Not much updates here – but as you have most likely read on the previous entry, we went with brand spanking new BMH front wings to make things right. So I am attaching a couple quick pics below of how that looks. Clearly we will need to modify the front panels as well and the wizards at Senty did an AMAZING job or cutting and bending the lip out a tad to protect the tyres. Really good stuff here.

One area that I put the brakes on was the arches. I purchased a set of Group 2 Race arches – that I thought would be perfect for the +15mm offset wheels, but feels like they are just too wide for my application. Decided to hold off on the fronts until i have the suspension and drive shafts in place before installing. What you see below are the rears installed and then removed soon after as we wait to see how Basil sits. May need to go with the non Race (aka wide) versions.

Primering is up next!