1968 Mk II Cooper restoration (5 replies)
I am restoring a '68 Cooper (using the Real Mini Company in Wallingford) which has needed pretty much all the body panels replacing and a complete engine re-build.
It had stood for around 30 years unused, some of that time outdoors.
As the rest of the car is re-built, we'll use replacement parts wherever necessary.
Question to the aficionados out there - when it comes to the interior, should I try to stick as closely as possible to the original spec and use any reclaimable items, or should I just re fit bespoke and use new?
Any views would be greatly appreciated.
It's really down to what you want, but I wouldn't fit anything not period correct. My car will have mainly original trim, but parts which are worn will be replaced with correct Newton stuff unless I find some better original parts. I however have recliners which are better than the fixed back. Also may fit a period steering wheel but still undecided on that.
If I hadn't got my recliners I would consider some period seats like restall.
Hi, I echo Daz's comment...what are you trying to acheive?, when I finished my 69 car off last year I kept the look standard and used as much original parts as I could but the door cars were really shabby and I fiited Newton ones...so I have a mix of old and new parts and seem to have got the mix about right.
It depends on your view on the preservation of classic vehicles but in my opinion the final look of the car has to to be as it left the factory using as many original parts that you can salvage from your car and obtaining the best replacement parts available, in some instances you may have to compromise a little but it is possible to achieve this to obtain the ultimate final result and become the owner of an iconic car that is part of motoring history.
Like Snoopy and Daz I try to use as much of the original as possible. Apart from the look there is the smell. New upholstery smells like a new car and does not have that old car smell, a little musty.
Someone I know threw out all his old interior (a few years ago I should say) and instantly lost that smell and with it the character of the car.
You pays yer money...
I chose not to use the collapsed, rusty and rather horrible front seats from my MkII S and fitted Newton recliners instead. These are so comfortable, even on long journeys (Luxembourg and back; Highlands and back from Cambridge etc.) that it is difficult to remember you are in a Mini. I guess it comes down to whether you want to recreate a less-useable museum piece or something you can really enjoy and use, taking the view that you are contributing to its on-going history. For the same reason, there is a mass of Dynamat under my Newton carpets, which would definitely have the originality police in fits, but it makes it more useable. As does the (new) full length Webasto...