New Member - 1959 Mini Resto in Process

Discussion in 'Starting Line - New Member Introductions' started by Frenchy, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Frenchy

    Frenchy New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    Hi everyone,

    At the suggestion of Jason (Lil Pigg on the forum) I decided to jump onto the boards. Not enough car people in my life apparently.

    I'm mid-rebuild on a 1959 Mini that was quite literally dug out of the ground in the Dayton area. I've always been a car guy, but this is my first British build. I've mostly been into forced induction & german engineering. My wife fell in love with the idea of this car when I first saw it, so I blame her mostly for all my time spent bringing this one back from the brink.

    This mini rebuild has been a complete shell strip and rebuild. essentially everything on the lower 6" of the car is all new metal. I'll have her back on the road this coming spring, and I'm making good time thus far on the project.

    Either way, hello everyone, and see you out there.

    Obligatory pictures of the build...

    When I bought her (Who doesn't love flames)

    [​IMG]

    The strip to shell:

    [​IMG]

    Flintstones modified version:

    [​IMG]

    I built the entire car "ugly style" to test fitment of everything, and make sure all my mechanical elements were 100%. Drove the car once in this form and then winter tear down for the "real" work.

    [​IMG]

    Car in the garage now. Flipped on it's side, pans fully welded, bottom prepped and liner sprayed. It's officially a 57 year old rust free car.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. vetsvette

    vetsvette MINI Alliance Ambassador

    Nov 9, 2013
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    Lookin' good! Looking forward to progress reports. Welcome to M/A.
     
  3. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    That's a great project. Please share the history of your car as you learn more about it. Can't wait to see more of its progress as you go!

    Welcome, thanks for sharing and thanks to Jason too.
     
  4. Frenchy

    Frenchy New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    #4 Frenchy, Dec 17, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
    I actually went through the process of getting a heritage certificate for it from the UK Heritage Trust, so I have a lot of history on it.

    It's a legitimate 1959 US import Morris Mini-Minor built ** (Edited... built, not shipped) in December. Keep in mind Minis were not sold in the US until April of 1960, but there was a small number of car produced as demo cars for dealerships to try before committing to carrying them for the "formal" launch here in the US. Apparently '59 US imports are a very rare thing, as many of these cars were used as freebie cars, parted to repair other cars, or scrapped when done. Also, there were issues with titling on the demo cars, as they were never intended to be sold to the public.

    This car's history goes dark for many years after import, and then was found in the side yard of a lady in Dayton under a canvas, quite literally embedded in the ground. The Central Ohio Mini Owners group bought it and a 64 Cooper at the same time. The Cooper was past repair, and parted out to support several other car builds. The 998 engine and subframes from that cooper ended up with the '59, as it was truly roached, and had no engine.

    As found by the COMO Guys:

    [​IMG]

    Being "Excavated"... rumor is a groundhog lived in it.

    [​IMG]


    If anyone was curious what sitting on the ground in Ohio does to a car? Here ya go:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Front end and BMK markings:

    [​IMG]

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    And here's the hidden hand stamped code that was under coats of paint and primer that revealed the car's past:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. BruceK

    BruceK Active Member

    Feb 24, 2015
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    Very cool. And welcome. There are a good number of owners of classic Minis here.

    Love your car - there are so many unique features of the very early Mk. I cars. My first car was a '62 Austin Mini Super de Luxe, and I've had a bunch of Minis since then, even restoring a couple of them. But nothing like the level of the job you've undertaken. Can't wait to see more.
     
  6. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Awesome. Welcome to M/A. Check out the Project Binky videos on youtube. Not a restoration as such, but good to see what can be done with a classic Mini.
     
  7. BruceK

    BruceK Active Member

    Feb 24, 2015
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    Care to share the VIN? (or approximately the VIN)? I'm curious how low in the early production run it was. My guess is in the low teens.
     
  8. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Welcome, thanks for joining Motoring Alliance, the FUN and Friendly MINI Community.
     
  9. Frenchy

    Frenchy New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    Here's a copy of the heritage cert:

    [​IMG]

    I'm working on shipping records/information now. I know what number container it was on for shipping, and I'm trying to determine in what "batch" of cars it was delivered. It's somewhat needle in a haystack, but a fun past time.
     
  10. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    This my friend is an awesome find. Yours may be one of the very first into the States.
     
  11. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Dec 22, 2009
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    Here's a fellow doing a resto on a similar vintage, says it was built mid Jan 1960 and imported the same month- just for fun and inspiration......

    1960 Austin Seven resto

    Welcome to the forum!

    I have a Clubman Estate in my shop right now for a clutch that makes yours look solid!

    The owner will be fixing the body too once I get it running for him.
     
  12. Frenchy

    Frenchy New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    Thanks for the welcome everyone, and good link to a solid rebuild. that one is SUPER close to mine in production!
     
  13. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2009
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    Welcome to M/A!

    My very first car [I was 17 yrs. old at the time] was a 1959 Morris Mini Minor...sure wish I still had it now, but, alas, college loomed and fixing the car grew to be too costly. :( Even so, I'd have never learned and loved driving cars with stick shifts, chokes and impulse floor mounted starters were in not for that car...my "cheesebox on wheels"!
     
  14. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Welcome to MA! Very cool build, I can't wait to see the progress!!
     
  15. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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  16. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Really nice work on a very interesting project.
     

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