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Jig Mini Bodyshell from Mini Sport

Mk3 Mini Body Shell Build

As engineering is in our blood here in Lancashire, and combined with our modern skills set, we constantly strive to improve, and push boundaries with how, and what, we produce here at Mini Sport.

In regards to Minis, although these are now Classic cars, it does not mean that the techniques and skills we apply in all of Mini Sport's departments should also follow that 'classic route'.

Although British Motor Heritage produce a fantastic range of genuine panels and complete Mini body shells, the one thing missing in today's Mini market place is a complete Mk3 body shell, thus meaning when restoring Mk3 Minis, you often have to rely heavily on re-paneling which is often a costly and time consuming process. When approached by a customer wishing to restore his Mk3 to it's former glory, Mini Sport decided to approach this from a very outside-of-the-box mindset. We wanted to find out if there was a way that would not only save us a lot of time in the restoration process, but also save the customer a lot in labor cost, ultimately producing a Mini that was also much more aesthetically pleasing.

We began with the aim of creating a chassis build of this Mk3 Mini, using only the front & rear bulkhead panels from the original car - our engineering department, along with our body shop technician, used computer aided drawings to design and produce a robust, unique single-main-framed, completely portable, skeleton jig with bolt on bracketry. This skeleton jig, was built taking in to account various key points that are common to Mini models Mk1 - Mk5 alike, meaning this could be used for restoring any Mk of Mini.

The use of this jig to build the Mini up from the donor bulkheads has allowed us to entirely re-panel the rest of the Mini, whilst cutting down the labor time by approximately 60 hours due to not having to waste unnecessary time cutting out & replacing panels individually! Obviously this is a massive saving, both making the procedure much more efficient for us and our customer.

This is the first time that something like this has been undertaken in the Mini world, and we will be continuing to utilise this technology in future restorations.

Check out the full transformation this Mini took in our gallery below (click the thumbnail to expand the image):

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IMG_8827 IMG_8821 IMG_8830 IMG_8844 IMG_8865
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To see more Minis given a new lease of life by Mini Sport, check out our blog here, or for more information on our Bodyshop & Spray Centre please see here.