We’ve been busy building this 1994 Mini Cooper Group A rally car for a customer. We started with a genuine Rover Mini Cooper SPI body shell which was surprisingly good. After repairing and replacing any rusted panels the body was seam welded. As well as seam welding we reinforced various weak points. Rally cars have to put up with a lot of abuse so reinforcing and strengthening the body shell is very important. Then we test fit the Safety Devices roll cage and welded in the counter plates for the feet. Then the body was media blasted before being prepped and primed. Next, we applied seam sealer before spraying the flame red top coat and white roof.
Following the body preparation and paint we began to assemble the car starting with the subframes. Both front and rear Mini subframes were seam welded and painted black prior to assembly. The subframes were assembled using the homologated components for a Group A rally car. This includes adjust tie rods and lower arms. Additionally, the homologation papers allow for 4-pot Metro brake calipers and finned alloy brake drums.
When complete the car will be just like the Group A Mini Cooper that competed in the Monte Carlo rally in 1994 with Paddy Hopkirk.
This Austin Healey 3000 has reached the next point of its restoration. The installation of the engine and gearbox. The chassis on the Austin Healey 3000 will flex under the weight of the engine and gearbox. Because of the flex, you have to install the engine and gearbox before you fit and adjust the outer body panels. Otherwise you will have serious problems.
The original 3 litre engine was rebuilt with a few modifications. First of all the flywheel was lightened and the rotating assembly balanced. Next, we raised the compression ratio to 10:1. We swapped the camshaft for a higher performance alternative and fully ported & gas flowed the cylinder head. Additionally, we fitted stainless steel racing valves and uprated valve springs. Lastly, we have a free flowing tubular exhaust manifold and triple SU carburettors. All of the machining work was carried out at Southern Rebore Services.
Next, this Austin Healey 3000 restoration will move into the bodyshop.
The BMW E9 fast road project has come a long way in recent weeks and its really beginning to take shape. The B35 engine is in and the new ITB fuel injection system has been installed. The car will be running a triple set of Jenvey Dynamics throttle bodies and an Emerald ECU. We’ve fitted a set of Bilstein shock absorbers because they offer great performance with being harsh. It has also received uprated springs and poly suspension bushes. Next up is the 5-speed gearbox conversion and to finish of the engine install. Then the car goes off for new carpet and interior trimming in brown leather.
Ian Burford’s 1958 TVR Grantura made its test debut last week following the restoration over the Winter. Overall it was very positive. The car worked without major issue and we’ve now established a stable bench mark from which we can develop the car. The car looked stunning and garnered a lot of compliments up and down the paddock. Look out for this one racing in 2019.
We’ve just started on another classic BMW Coupe. This one is a German market LHD 3.0 CSi. The car was in pretty good condition overall. We found a little rust in the out sills and the front passenger footwell. Rust removed, we are putting a new set of outer sills on the car and a new floor pan. The existing paint has been removed to reveal some very straight panels. The car will be prepped and painted in BMW Atlantic Blue. We are also building a 3.5 litre fast road, fuel injected engine for this. Should be a cracking car when done. Watch this space for updates.