1950s / Austin / BMW / British / German / Mini / News

BMW fully restores barn-find 1959 Austin Seven

austin-seven-nedcar-2BMW’s MINI division has completed the Herculean task of fully restoring a 1959 Austin Seven in its VDL Nedcar, Netherlands, factory.

The Seven has a special history: Wearing chassis number 983, it is one of just 30 cars built in the first year of Dutch production by Car Companies, a firm that assembled left-hand drive Minis for the local market using components sourced from the United Kingdom.

MINI says bringing the Seven back to showroom spec was difficult because it spent over a quarter of a century abandoned in a damp barn, but it took on the project because the car was remarkably original and complete in spite of its advance state of decomposition.

Over the course of six months, five Nedcar employees stripped the shell down to the bare metal and rebuilt it using as many original parts as possible. The 34-horsepower and four-speed manual transmission were fully rebuilt, the interior was given a thorough makeover and the body was treated to a full – and much needed – overhaul that included fitting new floors, a new rear apron. The finishing touch was a fresh coat of Farina Grey, the car’s original color.

MINI has not announced what will happen to the car now that it is restored, but it’s safe to bet it will join BMW’s extensive collection in Munich, Germany.

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