Sep 19, 2014 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Picking a Color

We compare a piece from our Mini that still has the original paint. We are very happy with the match with Honda Milano Red.
Tom Prescott of the Body Werks mixes up our PPG Urethane with the proper hardener.

After looking through some color chips, we settled on Honda Milano Red (code R81). This was a perfect match for our Tartan Red and a beautiful deep red to boot, so the decision was made.

Starting out, our intent was to match the original Tartan Red paint exactly. Unfortunately, Austin had an early and a late Tartan Red, and there is some debate as to when each one was used. Records have been lost, paint has faded, and the Mini community just doesn’t have a clear answer for what color our car should be.

So, we did it the old fashioned way and found a piece on our car that still had the original Tartan Red paint on it. We figured that this cover, which goes over the suspension mounting area, had not been subject to much sunlight and seemed to be correct.

After looking through some color chips, we settled on Honda Milano Red (code R81). This was a perfect match for our Tartan Red and a beautiful deep red to boot, so the decision was made.

Our 1967 Cooper S would have originally had a black roof. Up until the last minute, we were committed to keeping this car totally correct.

In the 23rd hour we had a change of heart: We just couldn’t live with a black roof. We are based in Florida, where a black roof would be hotter than hell, especially on a car that doesn’t even have roll-up windows. Plus, the rally cars were all Tartan Red with a white roof, and the correct color for the wheels is an off-white.

So, at the last minute we picked Toyota white—code 041—for the roof. If we ever change our mind, we can change it back to black for just a few hundred dollars, but I doubt we will.

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