Saturday, 17 December 2011

There's a car in my garage!

It's been a long time coming but there's finally a car in my garage again. I collected the race car from Yorkshire Triumphs a couple of weeks ago and got it back in the garage. The car now has several new fibreglass panels, a new roll cage, all new suspension (which doesn't fit properly, more on that in future), new wheels and a whole host of other minor fixes and modifications to the bodywork. Oh, and a new coat of paint too.

Since then I've been assessing what needs doing and in what order. So far I've worked out that the light bezels all need painting, I need a new fog light and new headlights and the driver's seat doesn't fit. At least the seat doesn't fit where I want it to. More thought is necessary on that one. I did manage to fit the rubber seal to the boot lid though so I guess that counts as progress!

I'll post some pictures of the car when I have chance to get it outside between bouts of rain, snow, hail and other such unpleasantness we seem to be experiencing recently. I did take one quick picture of the car just as it was loaded in the trailer ready to bring it home. It's looking rather resplendent in its brand new just-out-of-the-paint-shop finish.

In the meantime, I've been busy designing a complete new wiring loom with a lot of modifications and a modern fuse box. Here are some pictures of the custom dashboard I've been working on for a while now. I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out although that gauge pod won't fit on top of the dashboard where I was hoping to put it. I'll have to redesign that.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Well summer is here and my Spitfire restoration project isn't. So what to do whilst waiting for my dismantled car to come back for reassembly?

Strip down another car of course!

I decided I should make use of the good weather to get the race car out of its trailer and start pulling it apart ready for a complete rebuild before it goes back on the track. I was trying to only tackle one project at once but since the road car seems to be taking rather longer than I'd hoped, this seemed like a good use of the time.

I took a few photographs towards the end of two days taking off almost everything I could remove on my own. Since then, with the assistance of Barry "the acclaim guru" McGrath another days work saw the engine, roll cage, seat and everything else removed. That included the diff. which had an interesting effect on the rear suspension when we put the rolling shell back in the trailer!

I have some more parts on order, including some new glass fibre panels to replace some of my well worn and just plain damaged ones. The next stage will be to get the chassis and shell checked over and repaired as necessary to give a good strong base on which to rebuild the car.

Here's the interior looking even more stripped out than usual

A surprisingly small pile of parts
The end of a long couple of days
Still looks quite complete from this angle!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Proof if proof were needed...

I had a couple of days off work last week and went to view progress on my car and to collect the parts that were missing from last time.

For those out there who were beginning to doubt that I still owned a Spitfire, here's a photo of the chassis back in the workshop and ready for rebuilding. Not a very good photo I'm afraid but I only had my mobile phone available at the time.

I also managed to find all the parts that we couldn't find last time I was there so I have brought some more back here for reconditioning.

Further progress is likely to be delayed by other work ahead of mine in the workshop (specifically a TR6 that is in just as many pieces as my Spitfire) but hopefully the chassis will be built up ready for work to commence on the body within the next few weeks/months.

In the meantime I've finished rebuilding the seats and retrimmed a number of other items so I have almost a complete interior now. Just a few bits and pieces left to do, particularly the instruments need a clean and the dash top panel too. Currently I'm having trouble getting this vinyl top panel to come clean but I'll have a visit to my local motoring supplies emporium during the week and see whether they have any suitable products for the task.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

No news is good news... least I hope it is because apparently the last time I posted anything here was February 14th 2010!

The reason for the lack of updates is that there's really nothing much to update. I've been concentrating on other things for the last year (is it really that long?) mostly relating to decorating the house, sorting the garden and other similar projects.

The rebuilding of the road car is still not progressing. Apparently I have a chassis reconditioned, rustproofed and powder coated but I've not seen it. The car is now entirely stripped down and I did manage to collect a whole lot of parts belonging to the car and bring them back home to sort out but there are a worrying number of bits missing. I'll have to have another trip and see if the remainder can be found.

The plan for this car now is for Karl to continue to build up the rolling shell whilst I deal with the interior and the drivetrain. To that end I've purchased a complete set of interior trim panels and carpets along with new seat foam. I'll be re-using the seat covers if all goes to plan as they were relatively new anyway. I've stripped one seat and repaired (and painted) the frame so the next job will be to rebuild that seat and see if I can make a decent job of it.

The van saw some use last summer getting me to various shows and events but it is eating batteries and I've so far been unable to track down what's wrong. Something in the electrical system is causing the engine battery to drain but the cause isn't as obvious as it should be. More work will be needed there once the weather improves enough for me to be able to work outside.

The race car hasn't moved for well over a year now and is unlikely to emerge from the trailer any time soon. I have lots of plans for this car but no money to fund them at the moment. At least it's under cover and out of the weather in the meantime.