a few years ago i said that i'd love to build a mini estate, but it would be either a fwd vw 1.8 20v turbo, or a mazda mx5 powered rwd estate. The thing that has put me off in the past is the price of even a rotten mini estate! most being about a grand for a complete but rotten car. But when a friend of my brothers put some pictures on facebook of some bits he was selling, things started to fall into place. They had bought the clubman estate years ago with the intention of restoring it and putting a bigger motor in, but they just didn't get round to doing it. Time to sell up!!
I have bought it for the same money they had paid for it, £300!!!! sure it's not a complete car but it's got all i need to get started.
so thats the mini, now i need a mazda mx5 to use for the bits i need. i could have got all the parts i needed as i needed them, but it would be cheaper to buy a full car, so thats what ive done. £700 with a couple of months t&t 74.000miles aircon, power steering 1.8 motor and an LSD!!
What i'm hoping to do is fit the whole floor from the mx5 into the mini, but i don't want to cut it down and make it shorter or narrower. my plan is to get the floor in and then all the bits will go back on, engine, gearbox diff, wiring and all the brakes and steering.
at the moment i'm not sure if i want to keep it a clubman or put a round nose on.
finally got my new project into my garage yesterday, and boy have i got some work to do!!! plenty of measuring going on to start with before i start cutting anything!! not got a lot of room to do it all in though, didn't realise how much bigger an estate was over a standard mini.
got started with cutting some of the rot out, there's a good bit more than it first looked like, but that always the case, but it had a lot of bodge repairs in the past!! using fibreglass!!! anyway i got the front end off.
got body sat onto floor, apart from how far back the steering wheel is it looks ok, i'm going to move the steering, gear stick and pedals forward anyway so it should be fine.
i have cut down the sides of the front windscreen and stretch the shell by about 2" each side.
you can see that the clubman bonnet covers the radiator, and i can move the radiator back by about 2", so i can fit a round nose on and exstend it by 100mm and it'll all fit under. i think with it been an estate you'll not notice the longer front end as much, and with the bigger wheels on.
ive boxed off the sill on one side, and tidyed up any bits that i'd cut. now i'm just on with repairing the door post, because if i leave it till the shell on it'll be a right pain!! also i sorted how i'm going the weld the shell onto the floor,
Blimey, you've had a busy morning! This is the sort of build I like, an excellent choice of modern running gear with a nice old classis body. I hope you do keep the Clubman front, you don't see many and I really think they look good especially in estate guise. Keep up the good work mate.
Wow, that distracted me from my Sunday morning joblist! Will be interesting to see how you sort the logistics of the steering wheel, and nose length. One million out of 10 for bravery though. As for the Mx5, I wonder if people will be chopping up ropey old S2000's in 15 years time, and slotting them into Mx5's, which are by now, thin on the ground? Can't get over just how cheap they are at the mo.