As our cars are getting older, we may need a source of replacement hoods because Auto Design (Kent) are sadly no longer in existence.  This is the main concern and worry to all of us Auto Design Mini cabriolet owners and concerns have been shared in our Facebook group.

The challenge is to find a reputable source for a replacement.  In any situation, it is going to take time, and funds, as a replacement mohair hood will cost around £1,500 to £2,000 (depending on fitting required with 2023 pricing).  Most trimmers will take weeks to create a hood, or need your car for nearly a month, or there is a long waiting list to get a car in.  A vinyl hood, albeit a cheaper option, may be an answer, but, these are not available any more and you will be paying nearly the same price for a custom vinyl as a custom mohair.  A mohair will fit better and look better.

There is are a few things to consider, so please read this whole page carefully because you need to plan ahead.

Existing Hoods

There were two types of hoods available, vinyl and mohair.  Various colours for each.  If you have an existing hood, it may not be a good fit, this is because of the shell tolerances were all over the place.  Typically vinyl hoods were the worse for fitting (in my humble opinion) especially for width above the two doors because their material could not be stretched like mohair.  An additional problem for vinyl ones is that they tend to shrink slightly in hot weather causing the “width fitting” above the doors more of a long term problem.

A template could be made using the original hood in order to make a new one.  In doing this, I would plumb for mohair every time, but remember, do not use a vinyl one in order to take a template due to the shrinking mentioned above.

Please ask your hood designer to “hide” the poppers / studs, (as per the photo above), as this is what made the Auto Design Minis more special compared to any other Mini cabriolet.  This is achieved by stitching a flap to the inside that the poppers / studs fix to.

Building a New Hood From Scratch

The only plans still available are here.  However, any hood trimmer would be best to have your car in order to get an exact fit due to tolerances from Mini shell to Mini shell.  Remember to ask them to hide the poppers / studs like in the photo above.

List of Hood Trimmers

Here is a list of cabriolet hood trimmers that could do a custom job for you…

I will add more trimmers to this page when they come to light.