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How Young Did You Start Restoring Minis?

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#1 charlie_hunter


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Posted 31 July 2018 - 09:30 PM



I'm totally new to this forum and just wondered how young other people were when they first started doing full nut and bolt restorations on their minis? I'm 23 and have had my 1985 Austin Mini since i was 19, it was my first car that i bought with my own money and i'd been saving for sometime. I had it on the road for two wonderful years but the wet got to it, and it needed a lot of bodywork doing as i picked it up quite cheap. 

Long story short its been on the jig for the last 9 months getting around 20 new body panels (silly me thinking it just needed new sills!). I've learnt so much from the car already and have found the whole process fascinating. Can't wait to have the car finished as im now in the rebuild phase and its back on its wheels. Can see me having several other projects in the future, but this one will do for my 20's. 

When was your first full nut and bolt restoration? How long did the car last you afterwards before it needed more attention? And maybe most importantly, would you ever do it again? 


Any experiences or stories you have would be great to hear, 




#2 nicklouse


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Posted 31 July 2018 - 09:32 PM

back in 1986 and i realised that i could not afford to pay others. do it all now.

#3 alex-95



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Posted 31 July 2018 - 09:37 PM

I got mine when I was 14 in 2010, Did a full nut and bolt resto and painted it with the help of my Dad. Finally got it on the road at the end of 2016, but still working on it and changes bits. Got 3 others too, but did have 5 at one point.

#4 Matt Brighton

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 04:58 AM

Not a restoration...... but with my dads help at 14yrs old  I hand painted my first car in 1976 gloss black , a knackered mini - halfords sold tins of brush on-able car paint  and we put an MG1300 engine in it.


I was so proud of that car - I even removed the MG badge off one of the hubcaps and mounted it on the boot


Arguably we were ahead of our time and BL kicked the idea  :proud:


Much like Nicklouse - I couldn't afford to pay others and always wanted cars I couldn't afford . So every car I have owned  (even now) I couldn't afford unless  it needed work - which I have learned to be able to do myself.


Its a skill that pays dividends as I have owned many  lovely and unusual cars that otherwise I would only have wanted but never owned were it not for being able to fix and maintain myself. Next car was a M1 MG Midget - £100 mot failure and with my dad restored it to show winning (well 2nd place at MGOC rally in Jersey 1984). 


For example - I am currently installing a Subaru Impreza  engine into my VW camper van - I recon to spend thick end of £2k doing it myself - I have been told that the few specialists who do this ask between £5-6K for the same job 


I also means I meet and know, help and get help from  lovely people into classic cars such as acquaintances here 

Edited by Matt Brighton, 01 August 2018 - 04:59 AM.

#5 dasupersprint


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Posted 01 August 2018 - 05:57 PM

I was young too, 10 years ago when I started, I was 22. Then in the years after that, I met my wife, had two kids and two houses.


Yep, Mini is still not finished. So you have a go at it while you can. I don't think I will ever restore a car again. Not because I don't like it, because of the time I don't have.

Edited by dasupersprint, 01 August 2018 - 06:17 PM.

#6 harrythehat


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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:07 AM

63 years young

got the skills so why not use them, just a bit slower nowdays


12 years old replaced side valve engine in ford 100E with Anglia 1340, bits of string and wire linkages in them days, upgraded to nuts and bolts now.

#7 Haygate


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Posted 11 August 2018 - 07:35 AM

15 I started on this, did it up passed my test a month after turning 17, wrote it off 2 hours later. 😟

I learned a lot in my early years of driving!

Little selection of pics below ( the black / white one I did up for my gf at the time, she also smashed it up a few hours after passing her tests, mainly a twisted subframe and radius arm)

Attached Files

#8 charlie_hunter


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Posted 13 August 2018 - 06:40 AM

Thanks for sharing all the stories. Very interesting to here other people perspectives. Isn't hindsight a beautiful thing! haha! 

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