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Just Like Starting Over


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#1 D71HFK

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 06:59 PM

Hi all,

I'm just in the final stages of buying back my first car that I originally owned in 1987 as a brand new car; a Mayfair manual. It was a car that I loved very much back then - when I part exchanged it with the ARG dealer back in '88 I never anticipated finding it again, so the prospect of bringing it home after all this time is very exciting indeed.

Against all the odds, it remains a low mileage, low ownership car, in good structural and cosmetic condition. It'll need the usual items like wheel trims and new mirrors, so I'll be seeking advice on sourcing mid 80's Austin Rover era exterior trim parts which appear to be like the proverbial hen's teeth, so any guidance would be much appreciated. Nimbus grey, anyone? I never thought the parts situation on later Minis would be tougher than for a '59, but that seems to be the reality I am facing.

My medium term objective is to return the car to as near as dammit how it looked back in '87 and from there I'll possibly invest in some very discrete tweaks to give it a little more go, but in completely period spirit, of course.

Apologies in advance for any stupid questions I might post, but despite being a serial old car owner, I'm completely fresh to classic Mini ownership and am very much looking forward to the journey that lies ahead.

Marsh

Edited by D71HFK, 30 May 2021 - 07:10 PM.


#2 SolarB

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 09:48 AM

Hello and welcome to TMF.

 

Congratulations on the original car, I bet there are a good few owners here that would love to do the same. As to the questions, ask away, we are a friendly bunch here.



#3 Richard_

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 10:32 AM

Hello Marsh - Sounds like a very similar story to me and my 1989 Mini so I hope it goes really well for you.

Yes finding Nimbus Grey items is difficult. I have cheated by using some grey paint here and there e.g. sill trims. I bought some new wheel arches sold as 'Nimbus' but they seem a bit dark to me.  I think sometimes the finish on new 'Nimbus' items is not very reliable. Also the colour on the original items varies once they have been in the sun for a few decades. I think a grey bumper is available from Mini Spares but I may be out of date there. There is an interesting discussion here - Original Bumper Colour - Styling - The Mini Forum

 

For me I was tempted to change the body colour of my mini, swap the seats, bigger engine etc but in the end decided to keep the whole car pretty much as original as I could. I'm very glad I did. 

 

I have asked many dim questions on here and people don't mind in fact they are glad to help.

One tip I can perhaps offer you is to use Google to help you find relevant posts already made on the forum. I find the forum's own search box  does not work nearly so well.

Just type into Google :   theminiforum  then whatever your topic.


Edited by Richard_, 01 June 2021 - 10:44 AM.


#4 D71HFK

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 03:28 PM

Thanks Richard, I have a final viewing next week, just to make sure it is structurally sound and if it is, it will be all systems go. Truth be told, it's described as an immaculate car with exceptional trim, but I'm aware that Minis of this period weren't built with a 35 year lifespan in mind, so my expectations are managed; well, to a degree! Update to follow next week, but thank you for the advice - much appreciated!

#5 some1158

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 05:25 PM

Having original Nimbus trim (and the correct plastic wheel trims!) on my 89 I can confirm it's hard work finding it. Ebay can throw up some gems, as can autojumbles. Somerford has some bits, and I got a few things from the South Lakes Mini Centre in Barrow.

 

If all else fails, Rover Hurricane grey is a fair match for Nimbus, so it's possible to spray things to get a decent approximation.

 

The only thing I've never managed to track down is the roof gutter trim, but many don't like that anyway (rust trap) and if my trim breaks I am going to have a grey coachline put onto the roof lip to give an impression of it being there without actually being present

 

It's great you want to try to keep the car 'in period' for the 80s. There are not many of us with late-80s cars which haven't been dramatically altered!



#6 D71HFK

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 06:23 PM

Thank you for the tips. It's very important to me that I return the car back to how it looked in 1987 - I wish I could do the same on a personal level! It's possible that the car is completely intact and has all of its trim in good condition, but I doubt I'll be that lucky. I definitely need some new wheel trims, as they weren't in the best of health when the car was just a year old... Can't wait to see it next week - it's sure to be emotional after all this time.

#7 Richard_

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 06:28 PM

I hope the viewing goes well. If it were me I'd be buying it even with some hidden nasties!
How did you manage to find it again?

#8 D71HFK

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 08:11 PM

I'd been checking the DVLA database every month for the last 20 years to check it was taxed and unbelievably, after a couple of decades it suddenly popped up a couple of weeks ago as taxed and MOT'd, which told me that someone had either completed a restoration, or it was about to come up for sale and luckily for me, it was the latter. It didn't take long for it to surface and here we are; just incredible. Three owners from new and less than 30k miles, most of those covered by the early 90's. Still has its supplying dealer sticker in the rear screen and it's original MW LW radio fitted.

Edited by D71HFK, 02 June 2021 - 07:04 AM.


#9 johnR

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 09:14 PM

Are the grey trim parts you're looking for the same as would have been on my '89 city? If so I may have some left in the loft from my conversion to a Mk1 lookalike.



#10 D71HFK

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 06:23 AM

I think they would be John. Once I've properly assessed the car, I might well be in touch!

#11 some1158

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 08:22 AM

My approach with 'unique' 80s parts has been to buy if I see them, even if I don't need them at that moment in time (unless they're crazily expensive - I drew the line at a complete set of seats the other week, which I would have bought just for the covers!). So I've got spare wheel trims, a door mirror, various trims etc, all in the garage - just in case!

 

It's also worth getting the original brochure, or at least checking it out on this website: https://www.roblight.../brochures.html

 

Good luck with it!



#12 D71HFK

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 10:49 AM

Thank you; good advice! Yes, I've been on Robs site; which reminded me of my days gone by, poring over the brochures when I was first researching my car. I think I had every iteration of the ARG range brochures from '85-'89 and I have such fond memories of diligently absorbing the specifications page and colour charts. Little did I know that 34 years later, I'd be doing exactly the same thing all over again!

Edited by D71HFK, 02 June 2021 - 01:01 PM.





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