6 months ago

Mini Magazine - Summer 2018


CLUBMAN SALOON TECH SPEC BODY 1970 Mini Clubman with new replacement Heritage wings and correct sills, further localised repairs to shell, re-chromed rear bumper, new Heritage front bumper, black and white raised digit number plates with custom dealer stickers. Paint: BL Antelope. ENGINE Original 998cc engine, repainted and fitted with new gaskets and refurbished ancillaries, re-cored original radiator, 1.25- inch SU carburettor, Lucas 25D distributor, original crimped exhaust. Power: 35.9bhp. TRANSMISSION Original four-speed remotechange gearbox. SUSPENSION Hydrolastic setup with new rear subframe and new fittings, new pipes, re-hosed displacer units, polybushes fitted to front. BRAKES Cooper S disc assemblies (front), spaced drums to rear. WHEELS AND TYRES Original 3.5x10-inch steel wheels refurbished and powdercoated, 145x10 Dunlop SP Sport Aquajet tyres. INTERIOR Original red vinyl trim (refurbished), original doorcards, repaired and recovered top dash rail, NOS Clubman steering wheel and centre, red carpets modified to match original specification. A nod to the Mini’s 1970s heritage. matter of the engine to sort, which again Paul was keen to preserve as best as he could. It’s still the factory 998cc unit, which was stripped down, rebuilt and put back in the car after a repaint in the correct green (the engines were painted black from around 1971 onwards). “The exhaust on the car was the original crimped style and we desperately wanted to keep it, as again they are difficult to find,” says Francesca. “It looked horrendous to begin with, but we cleared away all of the dirt, grime and surface rust and painted it with high temperature paint – now it looks fabulous again.” The engine not only looks great but runs well too. After being road tested the car was taken to Ben at BHPerformance, where it was put on the rolling road. It produced 35.9bhp, which is only a 2.1bhp drop on the factory figure of 38bhp after 47 years – not bad at all. Refurbished shell looks amazing, including that Heritage front bumper. “Our attention to detail turned towards the dealer Putty originated from” FINAL FLOURISH Like all the best builds, it’s the little things that matter, and the finishing touches made to this Clubman really show off just how much thought has gone into it. “Our attention to detail turned towards the dealer Putty originated from,” says Francesca. “We knew from the log book that he was from the south coast, and we noticed a clue from one of his number plates, which showed a ripped dealer sticker saying ‘Rey & Lambert of Southampton’. The original brochure showed that all vehicles came with black and white raised number plates, so we ordered a set for Putty but wanted to ensure that we could try and get the Rey & Lambert sticker on them too. Thankfully we were able to speak to our friend Mike Purnell, at Sticky Fingers Decals, who managed to make us up some exact replicas to put on the new plates. “We also ended up needing a front bumper, which was proving difficult as our usual supplier told us they had one on order only to tell us at the last minute that they couldn’t get one,” Francesca continues. “Luckily MiniMine had one on the shelf brand-new and in its original never-opened box and still with its triple nickel coating sticker.” After a little more than a year of work, the car was completed in time for a show debut at Stanford Hall last September, where it won the Clubman class with 191 points out of 200, qualifying for the British Mini Club’s Premier Concours at Bingley Hall. The car has also won Best Club Stand Car at two multi-marque Gemini Events shows at Weston Park and Ragley Hall, and scored a whopping 197 points out of 200 in its class at the recent BMC Himley Hall event. Clearly all that hard work and stunning attention to detail has paid off, with the silverware sure to keep on coming. And with Putty cleaning up on the show circuit, Paul and Francesca’s previous show car, Mario, has been getting out and about, being enjoyed on long-haul trips and holidays while continuing to look immaculate. Add Matt’s Rio to the mix, and the Billingtons now have a brilliant family trio of fantastic Minis to be justifiably proud of. If only all eBay purchases could be so successful… The happy couple, Paul and Francesca. 20

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