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One happy yellow panel van

It was a busy day at my son’s primary school today – a local business day full of craft stalls, dance and martial arts demonstrations, a World’s Greatest Shave Event (where my wife lost her locks) and right before you walked up the drive to the big hall, there was parked the happiest little panel van around… allow me to introduce you to Bella.

After introducing myself, Pete the owner was more than happy to have a good ole chat about it too (something he told me happens often wherever he parks it.) From it’s humble beginnings as a tire transporter (more than 4 thirteen inch wheels would have been a challenge) to the glorious bit of automotive art complete with updated wood trim (and other bits now sporting wood) that it is now.

It’s so bright, clean and happy looking, you couldn’t miss it on the way in.

That happy bloke in the hat behind it? That’s Pete. Mini fan, wood fan, great bloke to chat to. 

Pictures can’t do the wood side of things justice – there’s wooden trim everywhere from the custom dash to the handles to the hinges, the gear stick, the steering column to everything. It’s very impressive up close!

panel van

There’s even a section of wood in the engine bay! Thankfully there’s also a plate in there for those not down with their Mini knowledge (Baz my father in law would be able to tell me the full details a mile away, but me? I’m happy the plate was there to fill in my lack of Mini knowledge.) So what we’ve got here is:

Bella

1967 Morris Mini Panel Van

1275 Cooper S engine.

morris mini panel van
Only now when I look back on the photos do I see that the wiper base is also made of wood!

You can see it looks nothing like how it started way back when!

Equally as impressive as Bella is the little trailer that comes with it. Pete explains the origins on this one in the chat below.

It’s not often you open a bonnet to reveal big chunks of wood in there! (Unless you’re a terrible rally driver attempting to maneuver out of a pine Forrest..)

The full chat is below – a massive thanks to Pete for being so accommodating and we can’t wait to see what he plans on whipping up next!

 

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