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An appeal for help: 1960's Morris Mini


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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. I usually build model planes, but for this Christmas, I'm trying to build the first car that my dad ever owned, a 1960's Morris Mini. I've never seen pictures of this car, and I can't ask my dad for help because it's supposed to be a surprise. I'm also not clear on what year the car was... I believe it was the late 60's, so a '65 - '68 is most likely.

I don't know anything at all about cars, so please bear with me with my questions :)

What I need help with:

1. I remember him saying specifically that it was "A Morris Mini, not a Mini Cooper". I guess this means it was a Mini Minor? He lived in Peru at the time, maybe the Morris Mini Cooper was only branded as the Morris Mini? I have the 1/24 Tamiya kit for the Morris Mini Cooper, if the car we're talking about was a Mini Minor, what (if any) modifications would I have to make for a Mini Minor?

2. He told me once that the color was a silver exterior with red interior. Did this color scheme have the white roof? Going through Google images, I can't find a single picture of a silver Morris Mini - maybe this was a non-standard/repainted body color?

3. Lastly, if you have any good links to photos of this car please share! (I've already been through the standard google and wiki pictures)

Thanks so much for your help!

Peter

Edited by Peter_D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hi, Peter... what a great project...

When the now-iconic Mini first appeared, it was sold both by Austin and by Morris, two of the British Motor Corporation's brands. It was a Morris Mini, and an Austin Se7en. Sometimes, Morris referred to it as a Mini-Minor (the Morris Minor was an older, bigger, and well-known car, so at the time Mini-Minor meant "smaller version of the Minor"). As the sixties wore on, and the Mini became better known, they just became Morris and Austin Minis. The Mini Cooper was a "tuned-up" version for racing, modified by John Cooper (better known at the time for his Formula One cars). The main differences are around the engine -- internally it was given a bigger capacity, and externally it was fitted with two carburettors instead of one. Coopers also had disc brakes at the front, unlike the base car which had drum brakes all round.

I guess what you need to do depends on how closely your dad is going to look at it! You could build the kit as is, and nobody who doesn't pick it up and open the bonnet is ever going to know that it's a Cooper. If you wanted to make it accurate, the main things would be to change the carburettor arrangement so there's only one, and make the brakes at the front look the same as the ones at the back. There may be differences in wheels -- I don't know what's in that Tamiya kit, but racing Minis often seem to have MiniLite alloy wheels, which are very different from the steel wheels with a domed chrome hubcap that regular street Minis had.

There's a chart here:

http://www.minimania.com/images/bmc-paint-codes-large.jpg

with the BMC colours from the period. You'll see there are very few metallic colours. The only one that could realistically be described as silver is "Ice Blue Metallic". On the other hand, there are several greys that could look silver-ish in through the eyes of memory...

Good luck with your project.

bestest,

M.

Edited by Matt Bacon

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Posted · Report post

Hi

Matt's pretty much spot on, although the Coopers were road cars too. They mostly came with steel wheels and chrome hubcaps like the standard version, 3.5" wide x 10" diameter! Minilites were an (expensive) option. The only things that told the Cooper cars apart were the grilles, the badges and two tone paintwork, and some early Coopers had two-tone interiors, while the later ones of the period had black.

Hope this helps,

-Don.

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Posted · Report post

Thinking on, if you want to use the Tamiya kit to replicate a standard non-Cooper car from '65 to '68, you'll certainly need to lose the wheel arch 'eyebrow' flares and get some narrower steel wheels.

Later Minis, in the Seventies, all ended up with the flares, like most people at the time!

-Don.

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Posted · Report post

Silver wasn't a standard factory colour, it may have been repainted, or as has already been mentioned might have been in real life light grey, there's a few things that need to be done to convert a Tamiya Mini Cooper to a more basic Mini, I did a convertion a few years ago, hopefully the article on my website should help you out, if you have any further questions, please ask .....

http://geoffbrown.webs.com/basicaustinmini.htm

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the tips guys. I'm guessing your explanations for "silver" are most likely correct, that it was in fact a light grey. Any recommendations for a paint color to choose? Where I live, Mr Color paints are available as well as some Tamiya colors.

What's the deal with the white roof? Was this a standard or extra option on a basic model car?

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Posted · Report post

By the way, this is the kit I am using:

tamiya-mini-cooper-1275s-mk-1.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the tips guys. I'm guessing your explanations for "silver" are most likely correct, that it was in fact a light grey. Any recommendations for a paint color to choose? Where I live, Mr Color paints are available as well as some Tamiya colors.

What's the deal with the white roof? Was this a standard or extra option on a basic model car?

I can send you some BMC colour charts over, by the way there were a few grey colours available in the 60's, Smoke Grey, Dove Grey and Farina Grey.

The two tone roof was only available on the Cooper and the Cooper S and the upmarket Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf, standard Mini's, both Morris and Austin only had the Monotone paint scheme, on Coopers and Cooper S the two tone carried over to the interior, which finished when the MK2 was launched although the two tone paint was still available for the body, which stopped completey when the Mk3 was launched.

I'm sure you could mix a colour that would be close using either of the paints you mention that are available to you

post-2058-0-98564600-1382105216_thumb.jp

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