What's "permissable"???


  1. I wonder how various mods from 'original' are viewed by members here? How far can/does one stray from 'as assembled' condition without effecting the value of the Cooper S? What modifications or improvements would you, as a potential buyer, like to see on a rebuilt Mini? I assume the body, color, upholstery, appointmentsand wiring should be period correct and preferaably correct for the car in question… What about engine, trans, final drive, suspension? Does it matter, at all?:?

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    [font='comic sans ms']That could open the can of worms!! A very subjective topic, personally I don't mind good quality period mods, mota-lita, Irvin, speedwell,downton, microcell etc, if used by the works cars then it in MY opinion gives it added right to be used on a rebuild. In the end it is what the user feels he likes and somethings that remain out of view are not so vital, the main thing is too keep these cars on the road and to use and enjoy them. A pinch of taste is what is required.[/font]

    [font='Comic Sans MS']Gray[/font]

    [font='Comic Sans MS']Thats my view only so don't shoot me guy's :cool:[/font]

    [font='Comic Sans MS'][/font]

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    Hi Minimad,

    As Gray said, it is up to each individual really but in my mind, a car should beeither factory (maybe with official BMC showroom accessories) or if modified, at least have only period modifications with period parts.

    Factory standard cars are nice to look at but modified ones can be more interesting and I believe there is room for all.



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    This is really an impossible question. What is one persons tasteful modification is someone elses 'Ram raided halfords covered in hot glue'.

    The only way to do it is to do what YOU feel happy about. And thats an end to it.

    Why bother trying to please other people with YOUR car.

    One thing you can guarantee for certain is that whatever you do, some prat in an oily annorak will approach you one day and explain what (in his opinion) is wrong with your car and why it can't possibly be a genuine (insert model here). They are of course wrong 99.9% of the time and are nothing but an irritant, but it WILL Happen.

    If you are restoring a car to sell for a profit then standard is the only way to go.


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    I can only really agree with what's already been said. It depends on what you want and also of course what you have to begin with. If your car is standard, then it is probably best not to deviate too far from that. If however your car is much modified anyway then do as you see fit and what suits you- it is hard now to find good original parts and you will be limited by what you can find if you are restoring a car.

    I am restoring a 1966 Cooper 'S' myself and it will be (as it is) a fairly standard car, but I will have no qualms about fitting an accessory steering wheel and perhaps some alloy wheels etc. which can easily be changed again if a subsequent owner wishes. I would hesitate to drill extra holes in the bodywork to fit (for example) reversing lights or wheel arch extensions and I personally don't wish to 'upgrade' it mechanically. At the end of the day, if I'm at a Mini show I do enjoy seeing tastefully/period modified cars and although I have great admiration for owners of concours cars I think owners of Mini Coopers should not be made to think their cars must be kept exactly as they left the factory. My own car was an Australian built one originally and because these had a different colour range and I hate the original 'clay beige' colour, I am changing it to an English colour yet to be decided. Some people will probably feel differently, but it's my car and I'll do what I want thanks and you should do what you want too.

    That said, I agree with the previous comment that if you are doing the car to sell on, then do it so that it will appeal to the majority. this seems to mean the more standard the better. It is easy to 'personalise' a car too much as you'll see if you read the 'questionable ebay cars' thread!

    Go to a few shows and look at cars in magazines then decide what you want from your car. Have fun, that's the important thing.

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    Think I'll be lucky to break even if I do this properly. But that's okay, I enjoy the work. Its good to see that most aren't so inflexible on components. I plan on trying to keep it as period correct as I can afford. But that seems to be the challenge on Cooper S' -> $$$ prices are jacked up… Most of mmy mods will not be readily discernable. Internal engine, negative camber suspension, etc…

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    I don't think anyone could make a profit restoring a Cooper 'S' now, the initial purchase price and cost of original parts are as you say high to say the least!

    I don't imagine I'll save any money restoring my car over buying a good one in the first place but I too enjoy the work and I wanted an original/unmolested car in the first place which was harder to find in 'restored' condition. The restored cars I saw were much less authentic and it was hard to see what fresh paint was really covering…

    No doubt it is even harder to obtain correct parts in your part of the world than it is here. Also I think the USA has a much stronger culture of modified/customised cars anyway. Having said that almost all UK Cooper 'S's were modified in some way originally, that was part of owning them – to express your personality and jazz the car up a bit in all kinds of ways. More recently owners have generally tried to return surviving cars to a more standard appearance unless the car has important history as a competition car or was perhaps a 'coachbuilt' one.

    As others have said, it's all down to personal taste in the end and doing what suits you to your car. So long as you don't carry out major mods which would be difficult to return to standard another day I don't see any problem at all. The only other thing to bear in mind is that generally, spending money on modification and accessories adds nothing to the value of the car, so is perhaps only worth doing if it adds to your enjoyment of the car AND you're going to keep it!

    Have fun.

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    I'd go along with what's been said so far as well. If you are going to sell it also depends on the market you are selling to. Certainly the UK is more biased towards original specification cars, unless it has some sort of competition history but other markets may be happier with modifications.

    As long as the rebuild is sympathetic to the cause and is well done (see Questionable eBay cars for examples of what not to do) and you are happy with it and most of all enjoy driving the car then it's up to the individual. You're never going to please all the people all ofthe time.

    Good luck with the rebuild and don'tforget to post some pictures up when it's finished.

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    It's funny the irony is that despite the current trend for owners torestore the cars to as near the original period spec as poss most of these cars were modified as soon as they left the showroom, and owners used to have a bit of FUN with them ! Mine certainly was and will be having all it's period mods put back on where possible including sexy dash, Dunlop D1's innertia belts etc.

    There's way too much emphasis on what others think at shows nowadays, and as for values or making profit, well everyone seems to be an accountant nowadays, we've become obsessed with wonga and how much everything is worth ! Fair enough the correctness of the build will affect it's elling price butrestore the car for yourself , as I've said on countless occasions on here much more interesting to see an originalcar that's got real history,been used and abused with 'incorrect' parts on than a perfect Heritage trace concourse rebuild based on a logbook :P. Have fun whatever you do and don't lose sleep over whether your ashtray's got rounded corners, or your solenoid's pointing the wrong way , nobody did in the 60's !

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    My '65 970S had a 6 point cage (alloy from an early seventies Mini Seven racer), ;les leston woodrim wheel, no over riders, bonnet strap, various wheels depending on mood (Cosmics, Dunops, standard 3.5 inch steels and rosepetals), straight cut 3 syncro box, dry suspension with Spax and HiLos, RC40 exhaust and an Alexander second fuel tank.
    As my Dad said; 'anyone in the sixties who had an unmodified Cooper was a bit odd' 😀

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    Quite right Glen, just hope the 'sexy dash' doesn't mean the checkerplate material?!?

    I too reckon the Dunlop D1s look really good and quite fancy some for mine. The only thing I've not been able to establish is width/offsets of these wheels. Were they only produced 5' wide? and when fitted to the 'S' does the offset mean they would need arches? (ie, were they produced with Mini/Cooper hubs & brakes in mind or the wider track 'S'). If anyone knows the answer I would be interested to know as I want to fit some period looking alloy wheels but not too big and I don't want to fit arches.

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    My 'S' project has a set of cruddy 4 1/2' D1's on and obviously they don't need arches. I've another set of near perfect 5' which certainly would.Fortunately all have centre caps.I think D1's and Cosmics look great on Coopers, not a big lover of rosepetals though (or the price tag ! )though look righton a race car.


    No it's not a Madadash…


    Full list of mods added to my car within the first two years of it's life….

    Full width dash (Mountune ?)

    Les Leston Wheel

    Paddy pedal

    Door bin arm rests.


    Innertia belts

    Dunlop D1's

    Oil Cooler and grille cut out (?!)

    Right hand tank (at the dealer, where they sawed the bootboard to fit !)

    Sprite straight through pipe

    ST inlet and exhaust manifolds

    Later Mk1 / Mk2 Door handles

    Clip on mirror

    Completely undersealed

    All still on the car .

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    That dash is so sweet. I thought it was a motortune one but looking in the catalogue its not the same.

    Talking of mods, does anyone know who made the dash trim covered in chequered black viynl?

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    Lovely! Great colour too, surf blue is my favorite! Have been tempted to spray mine that colour butmy car is a little toolate to have beenthat colouroriginally PLUS I have no interior to match (an expensive hurdle!). Never seen that style of dash before. I think period accessories like that should be kept. To me they add greatly to the car and are part of its history.I thinkthere is something a little sad abouta row of concours cars all exactly as they left the production line. I have owned a concours car (not a mini) and done quite a bit of judging and my personal view was always that period accessories should be allowedand provided they werecorrectly fitted and in good condition should not add or lose points. Most judgesdisagreed however and felt that any item not fittedon the production lineshould be marked down….You could argue endlessly about special orders, factory fitted or dealer fitted accessories. In one case an owner even had the original invoice for his car showing that some extra lights had been fitted by the dealer when the car was new, but it was still marked down. Unfair really. To me,all that matters is the condition, and the differences in specification just make it more interesting and each car unique.

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    [b]minorparts wrote: [/b] “the differences in specification just make it more interesting and each car unique.

    Exactly ! 😎

    Here's another shot showing the (completely unecessary) grille cut out. Don't think that'll be staying ….


    Luckily all the trim is umarked, in fact it still had the plastic seat protection on the rear seat. Most of the original carpet,though not all ,was replaced with black at some point so a Newtonset it'll be unless I discover an original. ;)I'd love confirmation on the origins of the dash and (very nicely made) arm rests if anyone knows .

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    Yes the grille would be worth improving.

    Sombody regularly has powder blue carpet sets on ebay. I don't know who he is or what the quality would be like but it is certainly worth a bit of research. A car with such good trim is a lucky find indeed! I assume your car is earlier than the 'F' plate suggests.

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    September '65 believe it or not. Surf Blue wasn't so popular in 1965 then ! Or 1966, or for most of '67 as was the case with my car. Having said that who would want a car in an unpopular colou,one tank and no oil cooler when you could have themon an Island Blue'66 car for free ! And some nice tasty options such as recliners ! My car was bog standard, no optional extras, but not for long !

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    This is such a controversial subject matter, but doesn't have to be too heavy otherwise you can detract from the enjoyment of the car. With the early Minis (Cooper,Super or not) I love to see them in their simplest form without a load of aftermarket accesssories 'Nailed to them' A few items can be interesting, but some people go for overkill. None of my cars are perfect, so I certainly won't get arrogant about them ! The Supers have all their trim and correct interiors but have a few bits and pieces that are wrong. So what ? I am lucky enough to have 3 Minis that are over 40 years old and still going strong, plus another two that are in their late thirties, agewise. One of them is a MK2 Cooper you'd kill me for the way it is, but this little guy does 400 miles a week taking me to and from work. In response to MK1's comments, I would like to tell you that an MG owner at a classic car show had a complete mental at me about my Cooper as he had rather an issue with my arches and steering wheel. I didn't know the guy from Adam and was totally shocked and speechless. However today I am a bit more able to stand up against these sad anoraks !!! When people rip your car to bits, maybe you should ask them what they have got exactly………………probably a pile of rusty old sweepings !!!!

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    Be interesting to know what the anoraks had to say when the owner of the 'best mini in the world' decided he was fed up with it and fancied converting it to Downton spec.

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