Saturday, 5 June 2010

Still crafty, but completely different :-)

As some of you may know my HB has been restoring a classic Mini for the last 6 months or so.  I've more or less been on child minding duties while he's been in the garage tinkering, but I have been roped in to sorting the interior

This was scary as I've never done upholstering of any kind before, let alone on a car!

When the car arrived it was black and white, but had previously been blue - check out those blue velour seats!!  They have worked really hard and are doing a really good job and it's nearly there - the engine is pretty much the last thing to go in and that should be in the next week or two, and the wheels are off being stripped and redone (whatever it is that they do to wheels :-) )

I can't find the pics of how it looked when it first arrived, but by the time this one was taken, most of the paint had been removed, panels were cut out and replaced as needed (and there were quite a few that needed!)

Then followed gallons of Waxoyl to help prevent the rust ever coming back, litres of underseal and seven (!!) coats of primer before they packed her up as it was too cold for a couple of months for them to be in the garage. 

In early March she went off to be sprayed...

Since she came back they have been busy putting her back together - parcels of bits have been arriving more or less daily and I've stopped asking about the budget :-)  Honestly, for such a small car there are is an incredible amount of components :-). Most of them are new if the originals could not be reconditioned.  It's been a bit of a family thing, with HB, BIL and FIL doing the bodywork, my Dad doing the engine and gearbox. 

It's odd, but the number of people that have fond memories of these little cars, you can see why they are an such an icon!

So.. a few sneak peek pics of how she's shaping up

Ooh, my contribution of the day???

Well the top and bottom rails of the dash have been covered in suede, the middle is carbon fibre stuff - the holes are going to have more dials and a stereo in them, and a she's getting a new steering wheel, when we can agree on which one we like :-)

The headlining is now some lovely black fabric as opposed to the original 1980's vinyl, but no point taking a picture of that as it just looks like I've left the lens cap on :-)

Here are the sun visors I stripped back to the frames and re-foamed and  re-covered in the same suede used on the dash - I'm chuffed with these!!  (should have brushed the nap before taking the picture though!).  I know we could have bought some on eBay, but they are so expensive, and weren't what we wanted so I stuck to the custom route and made them myself.   They were actually pretty easy to do... if you don't count stiching the tops up by hand that is :-)

I've also covered the rear bins and rear wheel arches with the suede too... we had a set of black seats in storage already, but I'm hankering to make some suede and black leather seats seeing as how well what I've done so far, maybe not for this one...

I'll share a pic of her once she's all finished...

I'm thinking about doing a mini book (no pun intended!) to record the project - probably should do two as she will be going up for sale more or less on completion to make room for the next one (!!) and I think it would be nice to give something to the new owners.  I'm kinda resigned to the fact that we'll probably lose money on this one, but as only 6% of all the old mini's ever made are still on the roads then maybe it's preserving a piece of motoring history, and it makes HB happy in the same way my crafting does, so I can't grumble too much!

Sorry it is a bit alternative tonight, but making these visors was as near to crafting as it got today :-)

Thanks for looking

Sue xx


gayle said...

Wow Sue she looks amazing!!!! After all the hard work she is going to be fantastic. Well done to you both. Have you named her? x

vicky said...

WOW!!! What a transformation! And your contribution just well fantastic:)xxx