Coming soon, new competition-spec bodyshells for Mk1 Mini

British Motor Heritage's new bodyshell for the Mk1 Mini has exceeded all demand expectations, and is now likely to be joined by a competition-ready version

Classic car bodyshell manufacturer British Motor Heritage (BMH) has revealed that orders for its Mk1 Mini bodyshells has exceeded all expectations since the launch in November 2016 – and that the next step is likely to be the introduction of competition-spec Mini bodyshells.

BMH displayed its prototype shell at the 2016 NEC Classic Motor Show, and orders have flooded in ever since. The shell is built on original British Leyland tooling, at the BMH factory in Witney, Oxfordshire.

It's thought that the dramatically rising values of classic Minis has fuelled the increase in demand. Initially the shells were expected mostly for the restoration of valuable Cooper models, but now non-Cooper models have also increased in value – meaning that it is becoming more economically viable to pay out the £9950 (including VAT) for a new BMH shell.

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'A few years back, though values of good Mini-Coopers were climbing steadily, the limited worth of their 850 cousins made comprehensive restorations hard to justify,' confirmed John Yea. 'The picture is now very different, and enthusiasts are busy rejuvenating all versions of Issisgonis’ immortal baby at an ever-increasing rate.

'As a result we are constantly having to raise our production targets, and that’s without taking into account the shells we are creating for David Brown Automotive’s impressive Mini Remastered programme.

'At just £9950 including VAT, the cost of an all-new bodyshell crafted on original British Leyland tooling is proving to be a popular solution for more and more people restoring these coveted cars – some of which are, of course, fast approaching 60 years of age.'

A competition shell for the Mk1 Mini could now also be produced, according to demand. The company is building an FIA-specification Mk1 Mini Cooper S to race later this year, using a BMH shell and a rollcage by Endaf Owen of Owen Developments.

It is also rebuilding ‘OYO 747F’, the 1967 Mini-Cooper S that was cut up to provide the master references for the prototype Mk1 replacement bodyshell. That prototype shell is now being used to resurrect the original car – with renowned classic Mini specialists Somerford Mini overseeing the restoration.

BMH also produces bodyshells for the later classic Minis – Mk4, Mk5 and Clubman/1275GT – as well as MGB Roadster and MGB GT, MG RV8, MG Midget, Austin-Healey Sprite and Triumph TR6. With the success of the Mk1 Mini shells, BMH has now produced more than 6000 bodyshells.

All enquiries regarding replacement Mk1 Mini bodyshells should be made by email to sales@bmh-ltd.com or by phone to +44 (0)1993 707200. For more information, visit the British Motor Heritage website.

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