Nov 10, 2015 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Finishing Up the Grille

“Mustache" (center) and “eyebrow” (at right under the turn signal light) are now installed.
The center support piece on the body in the grille area was painted semi-gloss black from the factory. We took the time to duplicate that finish.
Done and looking great.

One of the last pieces to be installed on our Mini Cooper S project is the grille. The grille blocks access to the engine, so you don’t want to do this step until you are sure the car is sorted and not leaking any fluids.

A 1275cc Cooper S (with its original oil cooler mounted) has very, very little space between the grille and the oil cooler and starter motor.

To alleviate this common problem, we spaced the grille out about a 1/4-inch so nothing would touch and vibrate.

We also put the “moustache” and “eyebrow” trim back into place around the grille.

Mini Mania sells nice reproductions of these pieces along with the correct clips to install them.

One more tip, the diagonal body piece in the center of the grille on a late Mk1 Cooper S is supposed to be painted black. We used a piece of cardboard to protect our engine and gave it a quick shot of black paint. Originally, it would not have been done any more carefully that this.

Get all the latest Classic Motorsports project car news in your mailbox six times a year. Subscribe now.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
View comments on the CMS forums
Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
11/10/15 3:41 p.m.

Beautiful job. Now jump in and make some noise.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
11/13/15 6:18 a.m.

That is the plan this weekend. It is interesting having just judged another concours event (Hilton Head), to know exactly what I really have. After detailing the car yesterday, there are a few blemishes I won't be able to fix, but this is probably a mid to high 90 point car. It would have placed, but not won, had it been in the class I judged at Hilton Head. Then again, it can get subjective. if I am parked next to an E-type (like the one my friend Lony is bringing?, I won't stand much of a chance with a Mini.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
11/13/15 9:38 a.m.

Concours is a real tricky business. Blemishes are bad but the right kind of blemishes are actually good. No blemishes might be excellent or evidence of "over-restoration" which is bad.

You've seen every inch of this car close up under bright lights for a significant period of time. Would it be possible under competition conditions, meaning natural light on somebody's lawn, for a judge to miss a car's flaws?

Sponsored by


Mini Mania

Advanced Performance Technology

Performance Racing Oils/Millers Oils

Our Preferred Partners