• Jan 23, 2009
click the image above to view a hi-res gallery of British Motor Heritage bodies

Rust never sleeps, and classic British cars are some of the tinworm's favorite snacks. Lack of a roof on many classics (to effectively seal out the weather) doesn't help floors or unibodies stay rot-free, and proper restorations can run into serious money. Rather than pony up for endless hours with the nibbler and the rhythmic zot, zot, zot of a welder, a wiser starting point might be a reproduction body. Yes, the whole thing. Some vehicles are lucky in that they have a strong enough following to warrant an unbelievably cool aftermarket that will do things like purchase original tooling and dies to turn out factory parts long after said factory ceases to exist.

British Motor Heritage, Ltd. has been making reproduction bodies and body parts for a variety of classic British automobiles since 1988. Much effort and money has been expended to obtain original tooling, technical data, and jigs, and it's got us thinking about building a project car in Neff's garage. Owners of MGBs, Spridgets, and Minis can get an entirely new body from one of BMH's approved specialists either in primer or fully painted, and the prices run between $7500 and $13,000 – a bargain for a rust-free body shell fully painted and like new.


[Source: BMH via Hemmings]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is awesome.

      I wish someone would do this with GM/Ford/Chrysler cars. I have a list of several cars from the 40s, 50s, and 60s that I want brand new. :D
        • 5 Years Ago
        They do actually.

        -'55 and '57 Chevy convertibles are repopped, and around old firewalls too. This allows you to register them on the original VIN or body serial number.

        - '69 Camaros are also being made in coupe and convertible form. I think '67s are on the way too, if they aren't out already. You can build a new '69 from the ground up. How sweet is that?

        -'67/'68 and '69'/70 Mustang fastbacks are being reproduced too. I don't think all parts are available though, so bring a parts car.

        I heard the '70 Plymouth 'Cuda was supposed to be reproduced too, but considering Mopar parts are harder to find, assembling one of them would be very difficult. The economy tanking doesn't help its business case either.

        There are also all manner of '50's pickups and even Jeeps available if you're looking for something different.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The best conversion I have seen is a Honda Civic drive train in a classic mini: fast, reliable and stylish... too bad the new MINI couldn't offer the old mini body, on top of the modern chassis/ drive train... THAT would be awesome!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any chance for Spitfire hoods? I know, there's fiberglass repros available, but never hurts to ask.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I used to have a Spitfire and a TR4 and I could never locate metal repro bonnets. I would check Rimmer Bros, but you would have to ship it in from the UK. Otherwise, you have to hope to find a nice used one!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ive seen a RSX Type S K series installed in an original Mini. Such a dream car!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Imagine putting a V8 Hayabusa engine in the classic mini body.

      Here's the link in case you haven't seen the V8 Hayabusa:
      http://dpcars.net/dp1test/da.htm
      • 5 Years Ago
      Grrreeeaaattt....

      For just the price of a Condition 1 example of a mini or a Sprite, I can get w whole empty Shell!
      What a well thought-out Idea!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've known that some companies offer bodyshells of american classics like the deuce coupe for hotrod builders, but this is the first time I've heard about english classics. Very cool, and reasonably priced to boot!

      Anyone else think that one of those bodies would make the ideal base for a DIY electric roadster?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Droooooooooooooooollll
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a great way to start a club racer. Instead of bracing and repairing a tired original shell, buy a new repop bodyshell, weld in a stout cage on virgin, unstressed metal and install the powertrain of your choice.

      With this kind of start, it'd be great to build a "new" MGB V8. Now if I could only get a kit car VIN for it ...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I second or third the CRX as a candidate for reproduction. I bought a new Si in 1989, and it was a daily driver until a year ago! 19 years' worth of Chicago winters finally got the best of it and it succumbed to rust. That car just did everything well... miss it every day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same thing. I really want a Mini. lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        If someone started putting together new CRXs I would definitely be interested. Just pop in an airbag or two, and its good to go, perfect size and fuel economy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its awesome!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know it isn't British, but how about new body shells for Trabants? The Trabant has just as loyal a following as the Mini.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With Trabants it's a bit more complicated, since you need to supply both the composite body panels and the steel frame.
        The composite body panels offer interesting material options though.

        Sachsenring AG is a supplier of automotive parts today, so the original tooling might still exist. Though it's possible that it was sold or scrapped when they went bankrupt after the reunion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very cool. Have known about this for a while...

      I've been wishing that the Austin Healey 100/3000 series bodies would become available. Arguably the most handsome of the british roadsters. Maybe they are available through other vendors.

      An E36 or E46/Z-M M3-spec Inline 6 and manually-shifted drivetrain would be fantastic in a classic A-H shell. Maybe a small revvy V8, if it could be kept close to the firewall, and aft of the front axle.
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