The Little Gold Mini- Colin in cyberspace...


Restoration Begins!

We started the restoration because we knew that Colin won't get throught another MOT without major work- mainly rust in all the usual mini places like the wings and the A panels. After cutting the wings off, we found very rusty Door Post Panels. Oh dear, so we're off for a big restoration and a long cutting and welding process... Still, its a mini and minis are fun. Anyway, we started Colin's restoration in late August, after the Tax and MOT ran out. Stanford Hall mini festival without a mini- it did feel weird.

After stocking up with the very much needed floor panels (we aready had the wings e.t.c.) and a few other bits and bobs from the Stanford Hall show, we needed to buy a spot welder. With all these needed parts now in our grip, we began to well and truly to restore Colin to the mini he was.

Out Flew the Wings

We Cut both rotting wings out and both rusty 'A' panels to find yet more rust under them- them rusting old Door Post Panels.

Engine Out

The 998cc engine needed to be lifted out to give us acess to the panels below and cut and welding room.

Wheel Arches Being Cut Out

That grider's great for getting rid of that pesky rust and badly rotten panels.

And its Finally Out! 

The cut-out wheel arch- pretty rusty if you ask me... Still, thats one more thing ticked off the list and a bigger step towards Colin being back on the road again.

Before and After pictures from the View Inside.

Before the Wheel arch was cut out (inside view).

And After- Job Done!

Here is the same view of that same wheel arch from the inside of the car after it was cut out. Notice you can still see the griding tools on the background!

Colin- After the wings and 'A's Have Gone

We've now already cut out the wings and the 'A' and removed the bonnet here. We have also taken off the doors to replace with none rusty ones to stop any rain water coming in to rust even more of the car.  Colin also has his wheels on, ready to be moved into our newly build garage, where our 1946 Riley RM (FAB 855) lived for a few months. FAB is now living in another garage whilst the restoration work continues on Colin inside the garage. Hopefully, when Colin is complete (hopefully soon!) FAB will move back to her proper home. But, as its too windy, cold and rainy outside, Colin's work had to be in the garage- outside would rust the non-rusty parts too!

It just had to be the worst, coldest winter in 25 years, with heavy snow all over Britain, lasting for more than a week and closing many schools and work places. Colin, at this point, was, thankfully in the garage- but not being worked on as it was just too cold and snowy to weld.

He's nice and warm in this garage

No snow flakes on Colin in here- just griding dust.

All of Us Hard at Work

Yes, even the webmaster of this site has an involvement with Colin. She's only 14 and can change wheels, waterpumps, clutches, steering, fanbelts and helping removing the sub frames and is great at ict and websites (that's why I have one now- two even Colin's website and the one for our Riley FAB 855).

Having Fun Taking off the Rear Subframe in Mid-Winter

Even though it was very cold and wintery, we rapped up warm to go and remove the rear subframe, getting Colin ready for welding the rear wheel arches on. Note: The 'Frosty The Snowman Hat' is available for any die hard mini fans doing all of the same work as us in the Wintery cold!

The Panel Didn't fit!

The panel we did buy didn't fit this spot, so we had to make our own one to fit- just by cutting metal and tapping it into the shape- basically 'panel beating'!

And it was the Same on the Other Side of the Wheel Arch... 

Another panel had to be made to fit the back end of the wheel arch which was rotted. Here it has been spot welded on.

The Boot Floor was Rotten too...

This job is appearing to be never-ending! As we did more, we found more work to do on Colin. We'd now found that Colin's boot had started to rot- so why not do everything whilst he's all in bits- all in one job?

And Here We Go Again- making More Parts to Fit

If you can make out where abouts this is on minis, you know minis very well. Yes, this is the sill and wheel arch bit from underneath. Grey panel is where the wheel arch panel doesn't cover, so thats why we had to make this panel.

'You spin my CAR right round, right round'!!

Yep, Colin was rolled right round onto his side. Here you have a clear view of all of his floor which is suprisingly fairly sound, sills and rear vallance. You can also see the gaps where the wheel arches were cut away. Colin was flipped round onto his side so that changing the rear wheel arch would be made easier. This gave us more acess to weld the wheel arch patern panel to the car.

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