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Unusual Exterior Mini Mods


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#1 Mite

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:20 PM

The Mini has been the recipient of many body kits and other modifications over the decades though curious to know whether there have been Minis featuring more unusual exterior mods like body coloured grilles (aside from the detachable Minivan grilles on saloons), recessed front (on round-nose) and rear lights as well as some owners possibly creating a flat-fronted version of the round-nose Minis (loosely reminiscent of the Mini-based 9X prototypes yet more polished)?


Edited by Mite, 05 September 2019 - 10:20 PM.


#2 nicklouse

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 11:26 PM

yes many.



#3 mab01uk

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 10:27 AM

This Mini was originally built by the custom car specialist Andy Saunders in 1992. Built on a new body shell using space frame rear end and 1750cc Austin Maxi engine and 5 speed gearbox. It has twin HIF6 SU carbs. The body is a KAT kit
Featured in Fast Car magazine December 1991.

 

Mini - Maxi engine swap below from back in the days before Honda Vtec and Vauxhall 16v engine conversions........

maxi-mini-1.gif

maxi-mini-2.gif

maxi-mini-3.gif
 



#4 Mite

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 04:34 PM

This Mini was originally built by the custom car specialist Andy Saunders in 1992. Built on a new body shell using space frame rear end and 1750cc Austin Maxi engine and 5 speed gearbox. It has twin HIF6 SU carbs. The body is a KAT kit
Featured in Fast Car magazine December 1991.

 

Mini - Maxi engine swap below from back in the days before Honda Vtec and Vauxhall 16v engine conversions........

maxi-mini-1.gif

maxi-mini-2.gif

maxi-mini-3.gif
 

 

Despite it being largely subjective, the KAT body-kit appears to be the Mini equivalent of the painted rubber bumpers exterior done on both the MGB and Midget that does much to modernize the exterior of all three. The KAT body-kit certainly does give it a slightly flatter front, it seems the Mini-based 9X prototypes are the only examples of a modified front bottom that appeared to offer some form of improved engine accessibility.

 

f3ggg0.jpg

midget_red_bumpers_natural.jpg

 

The following link is one example of a body coloured front grille on a Mini, though am sure better examples are available besides of the detachable Minivan grille on the saloon.

https://dev.profusio...fully-modified/

 

5677941827_cde04f0ae6_z.jpg

 

The next two links are so far the only (albeit modified) examples of recessed rear tail-lights, however was envisioning something similar to the rear tail-lights from the Project Ant prototype on the Mini.

https://flic.kr/p/6cjs6b

https://flic.kr/p/6cfiS6

 

supernew_02.jpg?resize=600%2C362



#5 surfblue

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 04:35 PM

There have been many many modded minis with all sorts of panel / body kit modifications in the last 60 yeras.

Many of them of dubious quality and most of them of questionable taste.

Im very much a "factory original" sort of enthusiast, not quite a "rivet counter" but I like standard unmodified cars. Having said that Works rally cars or tastefully done replicas are also nice.



#6 Cooperman

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 05:09 PM

There have been many many modded minis with all sorts of panel / body kit modifications in the last 60 yeras.

Many of them of dubious quality and most of them of questionable taste.

Im very much a "factory original" sort of enthusiast, not quite a "rivet counter" but I like standard unmodified cars. Having said that Works rally cars or tastefully done replicas are also nice.

Quite agree. Of course, rally cars (& rally car replicas) have standard bodywork because the regulations require this.

 

There have been some truly dreadful body kits for Minis over the years. Who remembers the 'boot extension' offered as a serious modification back in the 1960's?



#7 Mite

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:44 PM

Appreciate the sentiment on preferring Minis that retain the standard body and agree on both the questionable quality and taste of various mods / body kits over the years, that said there are aspects of panel / body modifications one could argue should have been considered for the Mini over its production life.

 

The detachable Minivan grille on the saloon comes to mind as basically a production version of the 1958 minimalist prototype to slot below the Mini 850 at under £500 (with the price of the Mini 850 in turn increased as appropriate), whilst also allowing for a normal chrome grille and other chrome fittings/etc as either optional extras or something aftermarket companies could tap into.

 

It is surprising a painted / body coloured front grille was never considered for the Mini at least on grounds of cost from the early 1980s, even if YMMV on whether such a thing is tasteful or not however IIRC it has appeared on other classic cars with long production runs such as later model Hindustan Ambassadors and Polo-powered Trabant 1100s.

 

Meanwhile Project Ant seems to indicate it was possible for an updated ADO20 classic Mini to carry over exterior aspects from the former from recessed tail-lights to a more flatter front end with similar improved engine accessibility as the Clubman. 

c084118-1958-ado15prototype-1958_zps7648



#8 surfblue

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:56 PM

I really like the above picture with the van front panel.  :D

 

Assume you mean painted grilles, as in van panel and not the removable grille? There were grey painted grilles common on the City and Sprite in the 80s / 90s and white painted grilles on the Italian Job LE (and probably many other LEs)



#9 Cooperman

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 07:01 PM

The Austin Mini 850 always had a chrome grille.

The van/pick-up solid grille was a real PITA when it came to servicing the distributor, removing the starter motor, etc.

It is easy to achieve a removable grill by getting a set of grille buttons.

IMHO the most odd looking things are the very wide wheel arch extensions added to the later cars on 7" wide wheels. They make the classic Mini look like a 'noddy car' and very dated. Whoever thought that having those huge wheels was a good design idea deserved to be fired. 

A standard early Mini does look like a true classic car and still looks neat and crisp in style.

I have just removed the wheel arch extensions on my 1990 Cooper, welded up the fixing hols and re-painted it. I think it looks much better that way with 4.5" wheels and 165 section tyres. I've also removed the huge wing mirrors.


Edited by Cooperman, 06 September 2019 - 10:02 PM.


#10 Mite

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 09:40 PM

I really like the above picture with the van front panel.  :D

 

Assume you mean painted grilles, as in van panel and not the removable grille? There were grey painted grilles common on the City and Sprite in the 80s / 90s and white painted grilles on the Italian Job LE (and probably many other LEs)

 

Agreed, it just needs to be detachable and with few other changes BMC would IMO have been justified selling it for under £500 in place of the Mini 850.

 

Meant in essence a fully de-chromed painted / body coloured version version of the removable grille used on the City/Sprite during the 80s-90s, akin to the white body coloured front grille used on the following heavily modified example but instead applied to a Minki-I type exterior facelift of the Mini. 

https://dev.profusio...fully-modified/

 

pasted-graphic-15.jpg



#11 mab01uk

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 08:50 AM

I always thought the Mk1 & Mk2/3 Innocenti Mini grilles seemed a neater design than the UK versions and could have been body coloured, but matt/satin black trim was in vogue at the time.

 

Bqq8Ang.jpg

 

YfM4PaSh.png

 

 

The R53 MINI Cooper S below was introduced with a body coloured grille as standard in 2002 but many owners swapped it out for the chrome R50 Cooper version ! The R50 MINI One with lower spec had a black grille as standard.....

 

zIGR4Uu.jpg

 


Edited by mab01uk, 07 September 2019 - 08:58 AM.


#12 Mite

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 11:19 AM

I always thought the Mk1 & Mk2/3 Innocenti Mini grilles seemed a neater design than the UK versions and could have been body coloured, but matt/satin black trim was in vogue at the time.

 

Bqq8Ang.jpg

 

YfM4PaSh.png

 

 

The R53 MINI Cooper S below was introduced with a body coloured grille as standard in 2002 but many owners swapped it out for the chrome R50 Cooper version ! The R50 MINI One with lower spec had a black grille as standard.....

 

 

 

Second the Innocenti grille being a neater design compared to the UK ones with further scope to becoming body-coloured once it is in vogue from the early/mid-1980s.

 

The later Hindustan Ambassador body-coloured grilles and facelifted front-ends also comes to mind as something which could have adopted on an updated Mini in some form for the 80s onwards in tandem with an ERA Mini / Minki-I like exterior.

 

hindustan-ambassador-12.jpg

Hindustan_Motors_Ambassador_Avigo_4281.j



#13 DeadSquare

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

I like the Ambassador bonnet line.



#14 alex-95

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 12:06 PM

This 'Juiced mini' has flushed headlights.

https://www.superfly...d-classic-mini/

 

BMW rear lights on this one.

http://www.theminifo...10-zeemax-mini/



#15 WMU 211G

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 02:13 PM

George Harrison's Radford Cooper S and Ringo Starr's Hooper Hatchback Cooper S both had horizontally mounted VW Beetle rear lights, while John Lennon's and Paul McCartney's Radfords both had Aston Marton DB5 rear lights.

 

The Monkees Mike Nesmith's '67 Radford had air extractor vents set into the rear wing panels.

 

 






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