Feb 22, 2013 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Stripping down the tiny body

After photographing every inch of the assembled car we started by taking the doors, hood and decklid.
Our buddy Rennie Bryant came up for the weekend and got conned into helping us. We begged him to remove the subframes.
Eight hours later, our Mini Cooper looked like this. Next we need to pressure wash and then media blast the shell.

We made a conscious decision to not take any more of the car apart until we had the engine and gearbox back together. With those tasks complete, it was time to strip the shell. In our case, this was relatively easy: The seats, most of the interior and, of course, the drivetrain had already been removed by the previous owner.

As always, extra time here, bagging tagging and photographing will make or break your restoration. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of tearing the car apart that you just pile pieces on the bench to deal with later.This is also the best time to make a parts list. As you disassemble everything, make careful notes about what appears to be missing or damaged.

Overall, our disassembly went very easily. Everything is so lightweight on a Mini that it only takes one person to remove the doors. We had very few rust issues and we only broke off a couple of bolts during disassembly. The entire process took about eight hours. We would recommend leaving the subframes intact until you are ready to restore and reassemble them.

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
2/22/13 1:31 p.m.

After seeing the dreck most folks start with when restoring Minis in Practical Classics, this is one clean body shell. Gotta be a huge relief to tear it apart this far and find it relatively intact. A great start to a fun project. By the way, whatever happened to the Innocenti Mini residing at Mr Wallens' house?

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