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Rusty Shell...Can it be Saved?

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  • Rusty Shell...Can it be Saved?

    Hi Yas,
    When is rusty too rusty? The front floors are gone, most of the inner and outer sills, front valance is full of holes, rear valance is missing, cross member seems workable...front fenders and nose panel are surface rusty. Fix or replace? The car is a '63 Cooper S.
    My Mini is plastic.

  • #2
    Hey, Tom. As long as we have M-Machine, we have hope.


    Edit: Talk to Gunnar.
    Last edited by BIGSHOT; 05-16-2009, 11:07 PM.

    "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison


    • #3
      Thanks, Dan. Gunnar is on my list...
      I want to strip the interior to get a better idea of the corrosion. After I posted yesterday, I peeked at the car again and realized that the top dash panel has gone away...yikes!
      My Mini is plastic.


      • #4
        A 63 Cooper S would be worth restoring if you have the time and money.
        The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.


        • #5
          you're looking at least $3-4K in panels. i just bought the whole floor pan for a pick up, and it was 517 british pounds. i also bought and entire load floor. shipping on the order was just over 600 b.p. and then that didn't include panels i already had. although, gunnar has rocked the pick up!! it's all just money, and a real S seems like it would be worth it.
          Bother free is the way to be- Winnie the Pooh


          • #6
            I think you understand my it beacuse of what it is/was or find another shell to pitch the good parts into.
            My Mini is plastic.


            • #7
              The real question is when is $$ too much $$$$$, and when is time too much time. Just my 2 cents but I would save time and buy a haritage MKI shell to "restore" to car with. You will almost likely spend more $$ in the long run trying to repair that shell. If you want to see a shell that is TOO rusty....come to my place and take a look at my salt flat race car!
              "remember, in this country, they drive on the wrong side of the road"
              ‘64 Austin Countryman-???
              '60's Austin mini truck - the chicken truck
              '60 Morris Van - Marvan
              '55 Chevy wagon- the heavy Chevy


              • #8
                Hi Tom,
                I second the sentiments of both save it and re-shell it. I know of an "apparently very redoable" extremely early shell down in the PDX area. It might be worth looking at some photos of it to determine how to best proceed. What would be extremely cool is to restore the "other" shell, and then just pull the parts off of the old S, recon or reseal, and put on newly finished shell.
                You MIGHT, then stand a chance of getting the car back together before you retire!

                I have some new insights into re-shelling now, trust me. Best of luck with however you proceed.
                Best regards,
                All Together Now..... Everybody.......


                • #9
                  I'll toss in a third on the new shell. In the long run you will end up with a Mini that had the structural integrity that it left the factory with.

                  Now if we were talking about a car with competition history a mile long the answer would be different. Question is how many dollars is originality worth?

                  I have heard of (non-Mini) race cars with mega history being recreated from little more than a few panels from the original cars. Cases in point being the front engined AA/Fuel dragsters seen at the Cacklefest / California Hot Rod Reunion. They were race cars used hard, used up, then either sold, parted out to the next project or thrown behind the garage to rot.

                  Many of these cars are little more than memories of the original, yet quite a few are nearly all original, their owners paid the price for it too. (My neighbor accross the street ran a AA/Fuel Dragster late 60's early 70's so I still have an interest in the old dragsters, had cute daughters too what a plus!!)


                  • #10
                    A reshell with a new shell is out. Heritage does not make a Mk 1 shell. Mini Mania says it'll be some time before they do.
                    A reshell with something like Mark describes is interesting, but at the end of the day, what will I have ? A revin mongrel. Some of this and some of that.
                    If I have my shell restored I can call the car what it is. Yes, I know I'm being anal and unrealistic...but unless I can find a shell from early March of 1963...
                    Thanks for the advice,
                    My Mini is plastic.


                    • #11
                      I've got the VIN tag, Tom's got the motor!



                      • #12
                        If the tunnel is in good shape, along with the cross member, then you can buy smaller sheetmetal panels and save a lot of money on the panels and on shipping. If you can find a 1963 shell by the time you get it stripped it may need considerable repair on top of what you paid for it.

                        Think of it as a flexible payment plan on a restored 'S'.

                        If you can afford the car, you can afford the manual...


                        • #13
                          Tom, that does not sound rusty at all.

                          "Yes, I know I'm being anal and unrealistic...Tom"


                          I would say fix it. Then Again I would say that about any mini regardless of the condition, or the time and money involved...

                          Tom, you are talking about the Mini I saw in your driveway right? Or is this some other mini you have found?


                          • #14
                            Hey Trystan-
                            I think Rusty was gone when you stopped by. The blue '66 is a keeper...but that's what I said when I sold it 10 years ago!! Oddly enough, I now have the mongrel of which I spoke sixteen months ago. A 1966 shell, 1071 engine, 4 synchro gearbox...and I don't care. I'm having a great time blasting ( a relative term) around town.
                            My Mini is plastic.


                            • #15
                              Alright, now I know what mini is being talked about. I thought this was a new thread.