All of changes so far have been quiet subtle and takes an appreciation of what a standard 2001 MINI looks like to spot the difference, however what most people don’t fail to notice, and it tends to get a love hate reaction are the wheels.  Do you recall back in the day almost every car had chrome hubcaps?  My Mini certainly did, so VNZ has acquired the same.

vince chrome rims vince full chrome
With chrome edge trim on black wheels and with the addition of the hubcaps

The standard wheels were painted black and then some VW Camper wheel trim clips and Original early VW camper wheel trims fitted.  The clips were added and adjusted, and adjusted some more, then felt added to the trims, and then adjusted again. 

Vince wheel 1 Vince wheel 2
Wheel with 4 clips added then painted black with chrome.

As there are no guides for this you may have noted a bit of trial and error was involved.  'Error' means the trims rattle on the clips sounding like stones in a food processor as the spin of the wheel scratches all the paint off the wheel thus requiring a re-spray of the wheel each time until each one was adjusted correctly. 

Once this was done a set of vanity rings where added to the outside edge.  I did think of using white wall tyres as well instead, but this wouldn’t have not been in keeping with the 70’s look I was going for.

Finally those black show plates, they are attached with Velcro, with the Velcro being in the shape of the letters which allow me to take them off between shows apart from the time I forgot them once (sorry Officer).

What’s next?  It would make a lot of sense to get a spare wheel hanger for under the back of the car, entirely for practical reasons, but ideally at a sensible cost, there’s space and it was a factory option, how difficult can it be?

The front grill under the bumper needs a lick of black paint to make it less obtrusive, and the small dent in the chrome trim on the rear bumper should be repaired.

Now back at the beginning of this I mentioned I didn’t know that much about cars, well I’ve now learned the earliest MINI automatics are less than reliable, and despite a full service history and low miles and me driving like an old man, it seems VNZ is no exception.  So, sadly I’ve had to let him go to a new home where the owner can repair the gearbox at a sensible cost, so now I’m looking for my next project.. Probably an R53 with 3 panel dash, but should I keep it standard or perhaps just a subtle change…

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