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Austin Mini Van 95L - "60S Restomod"


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#1 Alex_B

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 03:49 PM

Long time no posting... Again. But I am back, and with more rusty metal.  >_< 

Recently whilst browsing the interwebs I spotted a Van project for sale at a surprisingly viable price and put a bid in just on the off chance. Roll on the end of the auction I found myself organising collection of my latest project. Considering I bought it basically blind as the advert didn't have the best photos I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived at the workshop. Here's some photos of it as it arrived. 

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After a quick pressure wash I was even happier with my purchase, albeit it is very green! 

 

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The plan with is is to get it on the road sharpish as a usable practical van, I currently only have an MX5 as a daily and its not exactly the most practical of vehicles for carrying anything more than a small pack of tictacs and I have always wanted a rough and ready mini which I can just enjoy for what it is. 

Anyway Part two coming soon! Stay tuned.  :gimme:


Edited by Alex_B, 26 December 2022 - 06:39 PM.


#2 Alex_B

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 03:59 PM

Part 2! 

Since last weekend I have hashed out a plan to get the van progressing, and also set a very ambitious deadline... L2B Mini run! 

The story thus far with the van as far as I can tell is that it was last on the road 10 years ago, and at some point has had a lot of metalwork done, some good, most not brilliant but solid. As such its not the prettiest but it is usable as is with the exception of the O/S rear valance which needs replacing and where it joined the rear wheel arch as that got torn coming off the trailer. Both sides have had the metalwork replaced around the arches and isn't very pretty so I plan to tidy it up and paint it with some rattle cans. This project will be the complete opposite of my '84 Saloon which I currently have at the bodyshop getting a really good paintjob on, and as I have a full box of rattle cans ready to go and a strict budget that's the plan. 

Once the valance is done the underside will get a fresh coat of underbody paint and then using my minus as the basis of parts, it's getting built up as it is for L2B. After that event I will be looking at painting it a less garish shade. 

No progress has happened yet other than fitting a good spare bonnet I have kicking around, knocking some dents out of the bed in the back and mocking up a seat as its been a good few years since I have sat in a mini and couldn't resist! Hoping to make some more progress after work in the week.  :D

 

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#3 bpirie1000

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 06:53 PM

Keeping the green?.

#4 Alex_B

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 08:04 PM

Not planning to no, the previous owner had some John Deere green in his gun when he picked it up and decided to spray it on to protect it. It's not good enough to use as is but also isn't the worst paint job I have seen, but its flaking off around the bulkhead so it needs some better paint in the future. If it was slightly better quality and I didn't have to tidy up the bodywork around the arches I would probably keep it green. 



#5 bpirie1000

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Posted 05 April 2022 - 03:06 PM

So long as xhe is solid under there it is all good in my book...

#6 Alex_B

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 07:17 PM

Managed to get some time in the workshop so have made some progress on the van. Thought I would tackle the only bit of rust that I have found on the shell, so tipped it over onto the side to get some access and started cutting. 

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Things weren't looking too clever behind the wheel arch closer either so I have cut it off the dodgy section and will replace it with some new metal once the valance panel goes in. The front of the rear arch tub is also looking like a hot mess, will be tackling that a bit later on.

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The panel above the swage line is also looking a bit tired so I have ordered the replacement panel from Minispares and will be replacing that before fitting the new valance end panel, but here it is mocked up to check fitment. 

 

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Whilst I wait for bits to arrive I decided to tackle making the interior slightly more pleasant to work in. So out came the angle grinder and wire wheel.

 

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Ended up using Buzzweld Rust encapsulator over the prepped floor pan, then Buzzweld Chassis in one on top of that for a nice satin black finish. 
I would like to go body colour inside but as this van is budget concious, and I had the paint on the shelf already it seemed to be the best option, not to mention it will be covered in carpet later anyway.

Also cleaned off and primed the door apertures as they were looking a bit orange.

 

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Also here's a clue as to the projects direction, 3.5x10s need not apply! 

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Until next time! 

 

 



#7 unburntfuelinthemorning

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 09:31 PM

Nothing wrong with that colour!  Mine's a bit rough around the edges - the bonnet and rear doors don't fit that well but it's much more practical than an MX5 and I'm not afraid to use it all year round.  You'll enjoy that.



#8 Alex_B

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 10:49 PM

I would probably keep the green if it was better painted but its direct paint over bare metal and I don't believe the metalwork was keyed beforehand either, it was mainly just a protective coat from what I can tell. and yeah I can't wait to get it on the road! 


Got a big update to do on this soon, just need to upload the photos!  :D



#9 Alex_B

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Posted 26 December 2022 - 06:51 PM

Finally, bit of an update! 

I have been plugging away at this for the last few months, ended up changing my plan from a quick blow over to a proper repaint with all the relevant bodywork that goes along with it. Also planned to paint it myself but left it too late and with the way the temperature dropped that wasn't going to work. 

Ended up doing quite a lot of small bits of bodywork all over and primed it myself in the back end of summer. 

Here's how it looked with all the panels mocked up and sitting closeish to ride height, I am definitely wanting to run this one quite low, but we shall see how long that lasts once it's road worthy and my back starts hurting from the ride! 

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More recently I took the van down to a local paintshop to finish off the paintjob and I am very happy with the results, incredibly quick turnaround and very fair price for the finish. I havent' got many photos of the final job yet as I haven't had chance, but here's one for now. 

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Then finally for anyone wondering what the plan is, here's a little drawing I did whilst I was waiting for it to be painted. 

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I hope to update this a bit more frequently as I build it up over the next few months, but if not then follow my instagram page "alexander.motor.co" as I am regularly posting updates there. 



#10 mini-mad-mark

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Posted 26 December 2022 - 10:31 PM

What width are the wheels? They look pretty wide but the tyres look kind of OK, not too stretched.

 

Assume they are banded standard rims so the inside is a standard to fit over a drum hub but looks like you have them on discs/spaced drums



#11 Alex_B

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Posted 26 December 2022 - 10:37 PM

What width are the wheels? They look pretty wide but the tyres look kind of OK, not too stretched.

 

Assume they are banded standard rims so the inside is a standard to fit over a drum hub but looks like you have them on discs/spaced drums

 They're banded steels, 3.5x10 that are now 6.5" wide. They're not the best set of wheels in the world but I ran them for a good few years on my other mini and Leaky on here ran them on his clubby for a few years too. 

I plan to change them to something else in the future but for now they will do just fine.



#12 braad

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 09:56 AM

Lovely van! I follow you on Instagram, and love seeing the updates. I’ve been trying to get into forums, so it’s cool to see you/your van on both

#13 Alex_B

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 02:10 PM

Lovely van! I follow you on Instagram, and love seeing the updates. I’ve been trying to get into forums, so it’s cool to see you/your van on both


Cheers! I should update this more frequently but instagram is so much less of a hassle so it gets priority! Will update this one soon though as all going well, tomorrow is d-day for getting it back legally roadworthy! 



#14 braad

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Posted 16 March 2023 - 03:00 AM

Lovely van! I follow you on Instagram, and love seeing the updates. I’ve been trying to get into forums, so it’s cool to see you/your van on both



Cheers! I should update this more frequently but instagram is so much less of a hassle so it gets priority! Will update this one soon though as all going well, tomorrow is d-day for getting it back legally roadworthy!

Yeah Insta is definitely really easy, but I’m finding Instagram shallow, too much crap (I’ll still use it though). Forums do take more effort, but you also get more of the story, and conversations/discussions. Just more substance!

Good luck with the MOT!




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