Thinking about restoring a classic mini, but not sure where to start? Well then the VMCi's Restoration Garage is for you!

Come along and join in as we strip back and rebuild the Club's Mini - affectionately known as the 'Pope Mobile' - in a series of fun, social, and informative restoration days

Keep an eye out in the calendar for the date of the next event, or check your MiniMag for more details. Make sure to give Michael Holloway (phone number in the back of MiniMag) a quick ring to let him know you're coming as a BBQ will be provided for all attendees!


Our first Restoration Garage was held on Sunday the 19th of February 2017.  

We removed the “Conning Tower”and set about removing the aluminium deck at the rear and the rear wall of the cabin. MiniMag Editor Nicole had the great pleasure of being inside the car to push the windscreen out with her feet while some of the heroes gave free advice. The wheels were replaced with some 850 wheels so we could clean the alloys and make them shine. The rusty turret was removed while a couple of members removed the stickers and stripes.  We have left the doors on for the time being although they have to be replaced.


Brian Pope from Link Automotive has donated two new doors as the ones on the car have some problems with corrosion. There was a lot of laughing and joking as well as a lot of work being done. 

At the next session we will be removing the turret from the donor body shell.  Cutting and folding the steel sheet for the rear of the cabin, cleaning the aluminium deck so it can be Tig welded and a heap of other stuff. 

RESTORATION GARAGE DAY 1 - 19th February 2017

The restoration session on the 8th of April saw a small band of members turn up on what turned out to be another cold and damp day.

We had planned to do a lot of work but before attacking all that sheet metal we needed to measure a few things up and draw some plans and make a few decisions. You know the old thing about measuring twice and cutting once.


After lots of talking planning measuring and brainstorming we decided to have lunch.  Always a good idea!. After lunch we got busy marking out the steel sheet, cutting and folding to make the new rear panel for the cabin.  


It didn’t seem like it but we got a fair bit done even though some of the planned things got left.   At the next session we will have lots to do so come along and give a hand or just watch and learn how to do it.


The Restoration garage session on the 6th of May saw an enthusiastic bunch of members attack the work on the Popemobile with a fair bit of gusto and laughing.


Neil Crawford came up from Bairnsdale and David McAdam came from Phillip Island. Graham Lamont was back from his trip to Queensland. They were put to work with angle grinders and other implements of destruction while Paul Ewins made a gauge to fit in the windscreen opening. The gauge will make sure we have the right measurement when we put the new turret on the car.

Ray Potts was busy measuring the new panel for the rear of the cabin so that we cut the opening for the window to the right size. He also cut the top of the panel to match the curve of the new turret.


At the Resto day on the 5th of August, we concentrated on a whole lot of little things. Wayne Fitzgerald learnt how to replace the pins
and bushes in the door hinges of the Popemobile. We now have four hinges that don’t wave in the air. Ray Potts was struck down by grand children and unable to attend this month so he missed out on seeing Peter Dunstan and Graeme Lamont working on shrinking a big warp we had in the new panel we have manufactured for the rear of the cabin. We borrowed Matthew Zapparoni’s gas blow torch to heat the metal and a sponge and bucket of cold water to do the quenching. It worked a treat and we now have a straight panel!

Peter and Deidre Dunstan again came down from Yarrawonga for the day and this time Deidre bought a cake for the consumption
of the workers. We fitted in an extra cup of tea to make sure there was none left. Thanks Deidre, it was delicious.

Work on the car is progressing. If you have something you need a hand with bring it along and we will see what we can do to help.
I would love to see some new faces, so come along to the next Restoration Garage.

RESTORATION GARAGE - 5th August 2017