I've been lurking for ages meaning to start a thread about my never ending project so here we go.
I've had 4 previous minis - I passed my test in a rust bucket Mayfair which I ran until it failed the MOT. Then I got another which I ran until it failed the MOT, then another... Back then you could get a half decent mini for about 100 quid in the free ads. Once I started working I needed something reliable so I got myself a second hand corsa which wasn't glamorous but did start every morning and didn't mind the motorway miles. After about 10 years and various different cars I decided it was time for another mini and got myself a Paul Smith which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately the feeling wasn't mutual and the little bugger ended up costing me a fortune when the engine management computer packed up. It was with Rover for 3 months and cost £1800!! I swore off Minis that day never to return...
Fast forward to 2013 and the little devil on my shoulder kept nagging at me. "Get yourself a nice little Mini" he would say, "you can afford to keep it on the road this time"
Enter, stage left, Dilys:
Isn't she a beaut? Well actually she wasn't too bad. The eagle eyed among you will spot that she's a different colour on the front end to the rest of the car so she'd had a bit of work done. But she drove beautifully thanks to a year old engine rebuild - all receipts included! - and I was happy. I plodded around in her back and for to work, by now I was working about 5 minutes from home, and generally loving driving her.
I kept meaning to have the roof sorted but didn't get round to it - duct tape saw off the leak with ease. And as always happens one year turned in to two, then 3. It was coming up to MOT time and by now all the niggles and problems were showing themselves The gear box was proving a bit difficult at selecting 3rd, the lovely front end was a nest of rust, the bottom of both doors had rusted out, one of the sills was swiss cheese and when the rear fog light fell off it showed how bad the rear valance was.
So I finally bit the bullet and took her off the road. The gearbox was despatched to guessworks for a rebuild and came back like new. All four gears fully operational!! The car was then send down to a friends bodyshop for body restoration. This was september last year and she's still there now. Being a mate and a busy repair garage it's taking a while. Of course when he started to chop her up more and more rust was found and it's turned in to a "trigger's broom" job, with almost every panel, including the roof, needing replacement or repair. In hindsight it would probably would have been cheaper to get a new shell but you live and learn.
Now the controversial part. Over the years I owned her I thought long and hard about what i wanted to do with her. At first it was a full restore as is, to get her as close to how she came from the factory. It played on my mind that there aren't tons of Piccadilly's left on the road and I felt the weight of that on my shoulders. BUT I must admit I have gone the other way and she's not going to be restored as a Piccadilly. I went backwards and forwards so much on the decision but I finally felt I couldn't put so much money in to a car that I wouldn't want to drive myself and as I'm putting quite a bit of money in I decided to do her the way I wanted. So I've carefully removed the interior and wrapped and boxed everything I took off and that's been stored in my loft and she'll go back on the road in a dark metallic BMW blue with a Tan leather interior. She's not getting sports pack arches or anything like that so if in the future I wanted to put her back to a Piccadilly, then a repaint and refit of all the parts and interior will put her right back.
So that's where I am now. Just waiting on the car to come back to me. Once she's back she'll have a full rust proofing done and then I'll start on the interior.
My plans for the car is to try and make her as comfortable as possible, I'm not a boy racer any more so it'll all be about making her as smooth a ride as I can get. There'll be lots of sound insulation and nice thick carpets to try and make her as quiet as I can get.
I've also always wanted to try and make a Mini with as many modern features as possible - Alarm, Immobiliser, Central Locking, Electric Windows, proper controllable heater etc - and I'll make post about those projects as I go on. I've started on some things already so will be posting those up soon.
This has turned into a really long post so I'll knock it off here. If you made it this far thanks for reading.
And as I always tell the other half...
Edited by mattj99, 03 March 2017 - 02:11 PM.