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Hello All, A Bit About Me And A Choice Between Heritage Shell Rebuild Or Buy Another Classic Mini?


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#16 humph

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 02:31 PM

If you can afford it, I would go re shell. But I’m not sure 14k for the shell, prep and paint will be enough, don’t forget the cost of VAT

9k for the shell alone and I have read in the past that the heritage shells still need a fair amount of prep before paint.

 

The bodyshop that did my Elf have used a couple of heritage shells and have said they've taken as much prep for paint as a repaired shell.  There's also seam trims fitted before painting that need removing and refitting.



#17 Mr Brum

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 08:52 PM

A new shell will give you a better car in my view.

You don't know what horrors are going to be hidden under a shiny paint job

 

Hi all, thanks for the responses so far.  This is one of the main thoughts I've been having myself (thanks Carlos W) in that it's a fresh start, I'll know exactly what's been done to it and what has gone into the making of a restoration Vs the unknowns of what may lurk beneath the surface of any other car I could go for. 

 

Several people have mentioned that a new shell will need significant prep etc prior to painting and rebuilding.  I've been watching the recent Mike Brewer "Mini and Me" episode a few times with the BMH tour and seeing the shells being built.  Really impressive work, and so glad that this is still even an option that I'm fortunate to be able to consider. End of the day they're pretty much hand built with a fair bit of traditional brute force and judicious application of a big hammer here and there, there's a bit of magic still in the art of their  creation. Perfect? Probably not no, the tooling is getting older and more worn as pressings go by, but we should be grateful for the ability to buy panels and shells and you can see why they charge what they do.  Properly prepared though and protected with modern products, it could really be built to last, hopefully, there is no way I'd ever be allowed to do this twice!

 

Clearly pro's and cons to either route I could take.  The ease and relative (post lockdown) simplicity of buying another car, jumping in and it working gets me back in a mini straight away, and then onto joy of ownership and looking after it, with a garage this time.  But the longer game of a rebuild, and the unique opportunity to build a car exactly how I could want it is massively appealing, acknowledging the clear and sensible warnings people have rightly pointed out of the potential for costs to spiral in a "dream build" scenario.

 

Thanks everyone, grateful for your contributions to this process / decision!



#18 sonikk4

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 09:20 PM

Although a few years ago (2015) i had a good look around a BMH Clubman shell and to say i was not impressed would be an understatement.

 

Now i am a picky bugger but if i am paying out top dollar for a brand new shell i do not expect poor panel fit and finish. Now moving on to my Clubby. Virtually every external panel bar the sills were Heritage. I'm talking over £3k's worth of panels here and two of them were bad as in no way they should have passed quality control. 

 

Dents in the bonnet bracing that were internal, crap spot welds, razor sharp edges and the bracing in several places where it should be touching the bonnet skin, there were massive gaps. The front panel which is bloody expensive, i spent probably the best part of 5 hrs sorting out rubbish welds and poor panel fit.

 

The bonnet went back as i was not prepared to split it all apart. The front panel as i mentioned i dealt with. Those two panels collectively are over £450. I get the whole bucks / forms / presses are worn, but shoddy quality control is something that should have been dealt with before the panels left the factory. Then there is the spider tracks of rust hidden under the Ecoat.

 

So if you go down the new shell, expect to spend money on the prep. Do spend a lot of time ensuring everything is sealed correctly and once painted its thoroughly rust proofed.

 

So budget accordingly, or if you are capable and have the time, do a lot of the nitty gritty work yourself.



#19 Mr Brum

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 08:43 PM

Thanks for the advice and sharing your experience of both the shell and panels, and yep you're right we should be fussy and demanding when contemplating spending so much! If going for the rebuild then ultimately I have no choice, it's a new heritage shell as my starting point and understood that it's going to take significant prep prior to it being ready for paint which I'll have to budget accordingly for - I've been warned.

 

Thorough rust proofing would be essential on the new shell to protect the investment of course, and it's been good looking at other peoples builds on here as to what they've used to do this during a full resto.  If I go the new shell route then I'll get it professionally prepared, painted and protected to give me the foundation for the build, I couldn't do that properly myself both on the skills and time fronts and if starting from scratch, you want it to be right.



#20 steeley

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 09:06 PM

Just a thought

How many other classics can you still buy a full shell for?

#21 sonscar

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 09:17 AM

MGB,TR6,Ford Escort?.Steve..



#22 minstix

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 09:33 AM

There is an element of the hammer example with a situation like this. If you have an old hammer and you replace the head, then years later you replace the handle, is it the same hammer. So is your attachement to it still the same?

 

I'm rebuilding a MK2 Cooper S at the moment that I've owned since 1985. So lots of history. I'm into my third year on the project and expect it to take another year and a half. This is to a large extent because I can buy parts, get things done as and when I can afford it. That means it spreads the cost over a long time so that hugely helps. I expected it to take about five years.

 

The shell restoration and spray cost in the region of £14K. It was done by The real Mini Company and they did do an excellent job. It cost about £2K more than the original estimate. I haven't even begun with the engine and gearbox yet but am expecting to spend about £8K or so. So saving up.

 

I think to restore your old car would cost a little over £20K even if you do a lot of the mechanical work yourself. Spread it over time and it's not so bad.



#23 austinseven

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 07:20 PM

How about keeping all the parts of Brum if you have the space, getting someone who knows minis inside out and buying a jap import, you’ll never loose money as we all know classic car prices either stay the same or go up, learn how to re-build the mechanicals from Brum, and then have a think what you want to do  :proud: best of luck.



#24 Mr Brum

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 02:28 PM

How about keeping all the parts of Brum if you have the space, getting someone who knows minis inside out and buying a jap import, you’ll never loose money as we all know classic car prices either stay the same or go up, learn how to re-build the mechanicals from Brum, and then have a think what you want to do  :proud: best of luck.

Hi, yes have been thinking that could be an option.  Was looking at a few imported Mini 40's and Paul Smiths online again last night, mostly in the North East, nice cars, mostly auto's though.  One possibility is getting one of these to start, then doing an auto to manual conversion later using my engine and 'box so a bit of Brum could live on, but enjoying it for a bit first. Also a bit confused how you'd do the conversion re the aircon aspect and the SPi/Mpi mix of the JDM cars, but that's for a thread another day if I went that way.  We'll see, it's good to have options but at least I'm now doing something practical about moving forward.

 

As a tip for any other new people to restorations, don't get carried away with buying loads of stuff first - I've practically got most of the mechanical bits to build a new mini, apart from the shell... all very shiny, yes, but of little use sat in boxes in the cupboards!



#25 austinseven

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 03:30 PM

You can jap ones that are manual and personally I would leave it as is, air con lovely when it's roasting and stuck in a traffic jam 🥶

#26 Mr Brum

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:14 AM

Morning All,

 

Thanks for everyone's advice. Decision made, new shell ordered (gulp) and collection/delivery being arranged.  Looking forward to getting it home, having a good look over it and then really start the project planning and getting quotes for the prep and paint etc.  

 

I will start a build thread once it arrives and I look forward to going through the pros and cons of the new shell with you and seeking your advice no doubt as the build commences, there's been some really inspiring ones on here that have persuaded me to do this.

 

Another one being saved, Brum (well some bits) lives on!



#27 Chris1275gt

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 11:02 AM

Good luck with it and it will be interesting to see the progress.




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