Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#20: Above and Below the Count

Yet again, I am tardy with updates but there are some juicy ones to come. For this installment, we are now focusing our attention to the interior (the ‘Above’ in this case) and more specifically – the headliner (OOOOHHH!). Yes, that thing. The thing that I was fretting for ages and decided to initially leave on the body when it was sprayed – but the fine team at Sentry said they prefer to take it off from the media blasting. So off it came and now here we are. Again, I solicited the fine help of my favorite local Brit, Phillip Middleton, so do the surgery and get this thing done right. And he did a pretty good job – only have one area I need to attend to, but otherwise, it looks a treat. Also installed a new Lucas interior lamp that was sorely needed and really compliments the fresh appearance over my noggin.

So the other BIG job here was the glass….glass, glass and more glass. And I can tell you that the headaches that I experienced in this install was bad – especially for one of the smallest and cheapest things on the planet – the windshield finisher strip. Not the flexi-lock strip mind you, noooo, but the $1.50 small metal aluminum/polished metal strip that is about 1″ in length and covers the lock seam when installed. This little thing gave me more trouble and easily gets deformed – that it just looks terrible. I finally got the rear one on the rear windshield, but the front I am looking to do a different way. We will see.

Another pain in the old arse was the Newton Commercial repro visors….why or why do these things happen to me. and in fact, why or WHY do I continue to find parts from these mini companies that simply do not fit, work or look right. Literally 20% of all the parts I bought do not work or fit, and about 10% of those I had to modify to fit or work. Case in point the visors…the visors are sealed when made and are brand new. The part that was failing was the small extensions/arms that are inserted into each and and bolts to the roof. Long story short is that the opening in the visors were about .25-.55mm off (too big) and the visors would not stay up and lock into position. After 3 new sets (yes, that is 6 visors total), they finally admitted that they have a production issue and sent me new ones with new arms that they checked at the factory. Job done…but oh my. What a waste of time and money (for Newton!).

Finally, I had my Performance Wheels Australia Superlights blasted and powder-coated completely silver in that retro theme and they look great. I never liked the black/polished lip look – reminds me too much of my time in the 90’s when every aftermarket wheel on the road was black with polished lip and does not suit the retro theme. We will see if I go with these at the start or my Mb Racing Wheels (gold).

And last but not least, started to look at mounting options for my Tach…so much in fact, that I decided after a LONG consideration, not to go with Turtle Trading LTD’s tach mount system. I even enlisted the help of my fried Eric to help CAD the design from pics I had of the one from TTL…unfortunately it was $60 + shipping from Japan….or $110 to have one made here in US. The good news is that I found a $20 one here in US that is perfect…so much in fact, its better than the TTL one. More to show in the future.