The Soft Arts

Patrick with a Cooper "S" engine

1275 Cooper "S"

The Mini Cooper “S” pictured here is a later big valve 1275 with a nitrided, cross drilled crankshaft and all the rest of the zoot stuff.  Most interestingly of all, it’s been off the road since 1975 and as noted last week, it is showing very low miles on the odometer.

The rear subframe is a little tender in a few spots and there’s an interesting woggle in the back support for the rear seat which is baffling.  It’s as if cargo

John strips the Cooper "S"

John grinds away a door latch fastener

in the trunk was violently propelled forward, because there are no signs of impact on any of the outer panels.

Upon consultation with the owner, we all agreed that the best way forward was to pull the car completely down for measurement and repair.  John has been boxing up and cataloguing the bright work and upholstery.  Only the suspension remains to be dismantled.

Steve lays out carpet in an MG TD

Steve checks carpet fit in an MG TD

It is Steve who has been fully engaged in the soft arts this week.  Steve’s week began with pulling out the seats and giving this MG TD a thorough cleaning in preparation for re-carpeting.

Sharp-eyed readers will know by the vinyl covered dashboard (or fascia panel) that this is a later TD.  If you could see the top of the windshield, the center-mounted windshield wiper motor would give it away as a 1953 model year car.

Steve build up a pair of TR6 easts

Steve builds up a pair of TR6 seats

The TD came with a full compliment of previous license plates, three sets from New York, a set from Washington, D.C. and the original California black plates.  It’s certainly a car worthy of preservation.

That task completed, he next turned his attention to reupholstering a pair of TR6 seats.  These are much more of an undertaking than what we encounter with MG’s and Austin Healeys.  Some sense of

Patrick & Butch wrestle new glass into an MGB windshield frame

Patrick & Butch wrestle with an MGB windshield

this can be taken from the amount of pre-fitting that Steve is doing here and before doing any fit-up, Steve and Butch first had to weld up the broken seat frames !  O.K. this last picture here is from Windshield Week, which was the week before last when Steve & Butch also changed out the windshield from another TR6.  MGB  windshields (not MGB GT’s) are a struggle from start to finish, and in my experience the only easy part of the job is asking for your money when you’re done, because you will have earned it !

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