Hollier Mosquito resurrection - my first Buggy


New member
Morning all!
so, having done a search on here for what is my first buggy type affair, it seems it may have had something of a chequered past.....
anyway, having bought this particular one from Chris Hollier himself, im sure that all is good and above board now :)

A bit of Background.... I currently own and run a Rickman Ranger. it gets used for classic trials and Production car trials, and is a bit of a battered old thing, although pretty capable considering its weight and handling characteristics! The problem is that I also have two young kids, the eldest of which will soon be eligible to drive in Production car trials (14 years old with licence holder in the passenger seat), and she simply wont be able to drive the Ranger - the clutch and steering are just way to heavy. So i was on the lookout for something a little smaller and lighter, which would fit both of us, and also be able to be driven on the road.
then along came the Mosquito.
When i picked it up, it was looking a little forlorn, missing an engine and box, lights, with the wrong wheels on (some 15" alfa wheels i think, they rub the rear coilovers, so will be going). the seat upholstery was falling apart, the wiring is a bit of a jumble, and it has a set of rear arches that definitely dont fit the car.... of course i had to buy it!

it was duly picked up from Chris's place, and taken home to start what will be a quick and dirty rebuild, hopefully in time for an event at the beginning of november.

as much as i'd love to go for a full tear down and restoration of this one, it isn't within budget or time constraints at the moment, so that will be for another day - his is going to be an oily rag job, so all the purists, look away now lol.

this is how it did look, back in the day 1662710742099.png


New member
as i said, i picked it up from Chris a couple of weeks ago

and it was feeling a bit sorry for itself.

the first order of the day was to get the doors mounted back up. looking at some of the fabrication skills on here, these are a bit of an embarrassing effort, but i made up some new hinge brackets. these will be fettled for proper fit, and to look a bit nicer, but for now they are performing their function adequately.


and with some new gast struts, they work as intended.



New member
next it was time to take stock of what had been taken on. im taking a few pics as i go for posterity, and to keep my mojo up when things get a bit tricky, which they inevitably will with a full time job and young family lol

the seats:



engine bay:



New member
the first thing to tackle was that engine bay.

i employed some child (and wife) labour, along with some leftover dark green hammerite, to clean up the rusty bits, remove all the flaky paint, and make it look a little more presentable, as well as protected.


thats a bit better!


whilst this was going on, i managed to source a mini engine, and then set about emptying my wallet in the direction of minispares in potters bar for all of the required bits.

the future drivers:


you can just about spot the wrong arches on the left of the pic. we'll no doubt be seeing plenty of updates about them in future....


New member
next up was making sure that both myself, and the kids, could reach the pedals. the seats were bolted in, with the only adjustment being to unbolt, and then reposition the seats. that wouldn't do, so after checking i could sacrifice the headroom, i bought some low profile runners.

these now mean that i fit at the fully rearward position, and the kids fit with the seats fully forward. oh, and the wife too, who is the same size :ROFLMAO:


checking that i fit in the seat threw up another issue - i cant get into the damn thing without looking like a complete buffoon!

so cue the next small mod:


much easier now.


New member
this weekend was seat covering day... new foam was duly cut and glued to the seat shell, and then cushions cut and covered. it's not perfect, but then we're not upholsterers! i'd say it is functionally acceptable :)






New member
next up was opening up the footwell panel and getting some cleaning up and painting done in there. still lots to do, but it is getting there


i want to tidy up all of the wiring, clean up the heater (so thats coming out), paint everything, and then sort out some sound deadening and coverings for the floor and interior panels. after pics to follow.

we're just waiting on deliveries of fixings etc, as most of my spares are Metric based stuff, and of course most of this is imperial..... once that all arrives, we can get cracking with the engine going in.

I picked up some 12" mini wheels on saturday, so hopefully i'll get a pic of it on it's intended wheels soon. once theyre on, and ive refurbed the coilovers, i can crack on with the fitting of the rear arches. currently we are looking at fitting the cycle wings i have that were intended for the front, on the rear. this is because the aches that came with it absolutely dwarf the rear wheels, and will look rediculous. this way, they can be made to fit, and the brackets made up. if we dont like them on the rear, they will be able to be fitted to the front if we so desire :)

more to follow as it happens.


New member
managed to get a bit of time on the car over the last couple of nights.

shocks looking a bit better now they have been cleaned up and given a lick of paint

new CV boots going on the driveshafts

and then finally, last night, this happened!


poor light stopped play once we got the engine mounts in, top steady bar attached, and the two gearbox steadies attached. the whole thing certainly feels very well supported.

hopefully i'll get a few more bits done tonight, starting with the replacement of the brake and clutch masters, removal and clean up of the brake calipers, and then getting some idea on the exhaust routing....

more to come :)


Well-known member
Rear mounted rad works well, never had any over heating issues. Ditch the standard rad and buy an alloy high flow, you won't regret.
Also the MG midget sucky fan. I fitted an electric fan and a stat but hardly ever kicks in and never have to use the manual override. 😀 Looking forward to seeing more progress, keeps the rest of us motivated.


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New member
alloy Rad has been procured, so we should be good there.
i was hoping to get a bit done on the car tonight after work, but when i got home, the wife surprised me with a can of paint, and somehow managed to dupe me into painting the kitchen. she's got a stinking cold, so i guess i can forgive her.
i did manage to steal enough time to remove one of the front brake calipers and give that a clean up. this has metro 4 pot calipers on the front, with two brake hoses per side. the hoses are all knackered, so thats a good £40 just spent... anyway, i gave that a coat of caliper paint, so i'll see how that looks in the morning. im going to try and replace the master cylinders tomorrow, shouldn't be too bad a job (i hope).


New member
first job yesterday was to replace these three.
theyre probably ok for a rebuild, but the caps were stuck solid, and by the time i'd paid for the rebuild kit and new caps, it was cheaper to buy new ones.


thats better!

as the brakes are all still off, and im waiting on flexis, i couldn't do much with the braking side of things, but what i could do is get the clutch working...


it gets very close to that upright, but it doesn't quite hit it, so we now have a fully working clutch!

today i need to spend some time on my other car:


the brakes need bleeding after i swapped the front suspension about, and i have a new toolbox system in the boot that needs securing or i'll be wearing it after the first section! after that i can get cracking with the mosquito again. well, after a small break to watch the queens funeral anyway.

more later!


New member
well the weekend came and went! brakes and boots stuff sorted on the ranger, so attention turned to the mosquito. a few of the ball joints were too tight for me to undo, so ordered the correct 1.5 socket. while we waited for that, we decided to set the static timing on the engine. cue much searching for the dissy cap and rotor arm... once we found that, we whipped hte plugs out and turned the engine over to find no1 TDC. except the engine wouldn't turn over. uh oh. eventually traced to a slightly too long engine mount bolt on the bell housing. once we'd undone that a bit, the engine turned over ok, and we set the static timing. once we'd done that we checked and adjusted the valve clearances which went ok.
next up, we decided to go through the wiring to connect everything up. there were a few head scratching moments where the colours didnt match to one drawing, so we muddled through and got there in the end.
just for fun, i connected up the battery and tentatively turned on the ignition switch. position one. nothing. position two - we have dash lighting! the headlight switch turned that on and off ok. the heater came on, so that was duly switched off. the fuel pump started, so we disconnected that. the horn worked, the main beam indicator light worked, the fuel gauge goes to full deflection when shorted out, and the temp gauge does the same. so far, so good!

finally, i thought i'd spin it over to see the oil pressure light go out. except it didnt. ah.
took out the pressure switch, gave it a brief spin, no oil. removed the pressure relief valve, and it was jammed in, so managed to get that out, gave it a brief spin over. no oil.

ive ordered a replacement, and when that arrives i'll try priming the pump. if that doesnt work, it'll be engine out and oil pump replacement. fingers crossed!


New member
not too much to update at the moment, as ive been busy at work. but i have been as busy on this as i can.

so, the replacement oil pressure relief valve turned up, so fitted that, primed the pump as per some advice i was given, and we have oil pressure! oil flowed out of the rockers etc, so all is well there. happy days!

next up was a delivery of lights and indicators - managed to get them lashed in to the wiring side of life and had a play. i could get main beam on, but sidelights and dipped beam weren't working, despite the multimeter saying there was power there. removed the switch and disassembled to find it all gunked up. so i cleaned that and all the other switches, and now everything works! i'll tidy up the wiring and get it all fitted properly this weekend hopefully.

then i moved onto the pantograph wiper set up. this had been bodged by cutting and welding a bit of metal into one of the arms to make it the correct length. it looked awful tbh, so i set about looking at a better solution. after looking at the arms, it transpires that they are adjustable for length, so i cut out the welded bit, welded it back together, and adjusted the length. it all works now, and looks a lot better! i have a video i'll try to upload later.

ive been through all of the electrical items, and everything seems to work now, so will get to re wrapping and putting some flexible conduit around the loom to protect it. the onboard compressor has arrived, as has the trolley jack which will need a bracket making to mount it somewhere.

the new front brake hoses have arrived, but there are some metric vs imperial brake pipe issues that i need to sort. that shouldn't take long to get through.
finally, i think i have everything i need to mock up some rear mudguard brackets. they'll be a bit industrial, but then the purpose of this car was never to look pretty - functional is the name of the game here!

i'll update more when i get some time away from work.