Stripping time.

So, with the paint colour chosen and all* the rust repair completed, the Mini’s off to Kiwi Metal Polishers in Rotorua to be stripped in their caustic tank. They come highly recommended by a number of car painters and restorers, which is unusual for dip stripping. They strip hundreds of cars a year, and are fanatical about neutralising the caustic solution to avoid any trouble later.

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They even offer an etch priming service, where they seal the freshly-cleaned steel in lovely etch primer to prevent rusting. It’s an appealing option, but I have since learned that YOU MUST FIRST CONSULT WITH YOUR CHOSEN CAR PAINTER, because etch primer is not the ideal foundation for all paint systems. Oh dear.

*yeah, right.

Paint! Well, kind of.

Choosing a paint colour is a bit tricky if you’re not sticking to the original colour. This Mini was originally a pale chartreuse, but since we’re creative and original we decided to go for British Racing Green with a white roof. The problem is that there are dozens of British Racing Greens, from ’30s bentley green, through the almost black, to ’70s tutti-frutti revival. Then there’s the issue of a colour that looks good on a swatch looking completely different when applied to a large surface- and a colour that looks good on a long, low car like an E-Type might look completely different on a tall, upright car like a Mini.

There’s just one way to be sure, and that’s to suck it and see. Here’s one I prepared earlier:

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It’s a 1/16th scale model, painted in Humbrol BRG enamel, and it looks exactly like what I want. A quick trip to the auto paint store to buy a litre of matching, but cheap automotive enamel…

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Then we prime the body and paint it on.

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Ooh! Lovely! Mid Brunswick green, a classic British Racing Green that looks good on small open wheelers. Let’s just wheel that out into the sun and see how it looks outside…

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Paging Carmen Miranda, your Mini is ready. Not quite what I expected. Back to the paint shop for another litre, this time in Deep Brunswick green.

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Hmm. Better, but still a bit saturated. Compare the difference between Deep and Mid Brunswick greens:

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Back to the paint shop again. By this stage the paint shop guy was incredulous. “Why don’t you just choose a colour?” he said. Which was odd, because that’s what I thought I was doing…

Conifer. BS14C40. Same colour, but less saturated.

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I think we have a winner. Ironically, it’s pretty close to the avocado colour the Mini was wearing when we bought it, but it works well with the interior textiles (even if my camera has issues with white balance)

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Next step- stripping all the cheap paint off again in preparation for a quality, professional paint job.

How to enlarge a hole.

Somehow, our wiring loom has ended up being a little bit fatter than the original. No idea how that happened. Anyway, some of the wiring routing holes are a bit tight. Enlarging them is easy, if a little complicated:

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Original hole.

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Weld on a plate so there’s something to centre the hole saw on.

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Cut new hole using hole saw. Easy!