Wreck of the Week

This week’s Wreck of the Week pulls up an article on the loss of an old friend.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/11/land-rover-emerges-cornish-beach-30-years-sinking/

Ronnie Hanney drove his family onto the sands at Gwithian Towans Beach Cornwall on January 13th 1990. Completely misjudging the nature of the sands he was unable to extract the vehicle and was forced to leave it as the tide returned. The vehicle was said to be 22 years old at the time (so 1968). It was buried roof down in the sand and remains so to this day only the chassis re-emerging at intervals.

Please someone go extricate it and get it back to roadworthiness. (Mr Hanney is no longer with us and so is unlikely to be doing the work himself.)

My continual searches for new “rust in peace” items brings me once again to Ireland (Ireland was the location of the video in the last rust in peace).

This time a forum with several pictures of cars left to rust away. Despite enquiries no one seemed to be aware where any of the cars actually were. Rather like the YouTube videos that we’ve been watching no chance at all of dragging them out of a hedge and rebuilding them.

Talking of YouTube videos:

This is not the world’s greatest collection and very oddly arranged a very sorry sight indeed. The Americans do seem to be doing this kind of stuff in greater volume than anyone else as far as I can tell. This time there is barely a spare part worth saving as far as I can see. Mostly they are ghosts of former cars just two steps away from compost.

It’s very sad, especially as some of them look like such interesting vehicles.

This week I was sent an article on classic nostalgia abroad. This was obviously something to tempt me to use a travel company’s services. However to me it is fantastic to discover that all around the world people are in love with their cars. Long may that remain the case.

And so to the main subject of this week’s Wreck of the Week.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302635020119

I’ve no idea what it sold for, it’s concluding label being “This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available”. I take it that the car was listed elsewhere and someone made an offer that couldn’t be refused.

The text states: “Morris Minor

All glass

Gear box

Back axle

Lots of parts on the shell

Comes with v5

Good back wings

For more info call me on

07766542098

Can assist with loading”

In the (now standard for auction site listings) shouty text – I’ve muted it to save your ears.

It was located in Hereford but that’s a large place and there are no other details for me to give you a better map of location than this:

As a classified ad there is no bid history and so no clues as to the keenness of people to have an ingot of automotive history.

(It was originally listed at £250.00).

As far as I can tell it looks good only for parts – and a lot of those were missing. Let’s have a look at her to see what I mean.

There’s a measly 5 images with this listing I’m afraid which is little for us barn-find adherents to hold onto.

So the now standard – (probably has an ISO number) approach to car listings:

1) missing paint – tick,

2) interior used as a shed – tick

3) items resting on roof – tick.

On the face of it much of the car is sat inside it, if you were looking to perform a restoration then you would want some kind of assurances that all – or at least most of the parts were there.

As someone remarked on a classic car programme recently – “all of the parts are never there”.

As you will see later, this shot is beautifully framed and does not in any way prepare you for the quantity of work that is inevitably going to be required.

And now it becomes plain, what there is of the car does not look that bad. The downside being that you only have half of the car.

Given the inner wing on the driver’s side has been sawn off – getting it true and level to the original specification is going to be work taking not a little skill.

Whoever bought it must have felt themselves equal to the challenge. More likely though the buyer had a Morris Minor in better shape but requiring a few parts that this one could supply.

So front end rebuild, new inner wing, valance, outer wings, bonnet, engine, headlights, engine ancillaries and no doubt a whole gamut of items I haven’t given thought to. Sheesh.

Still as we have seen on a previous Wreck of the Week the value of these Morris’s is down in the weeds and it is a brave person who will take one on. The cost of restoring will soon gobble through any differential between its price and the price of buying a good one.

I suppose that there are less outcries of “sacrilege” should someone wish to improve the performance with an engine swap; update the brakes or install a supercharger for example.

I’m rather in favour of people being able to make their cars just how they want them, so maybe the low price of entry is a passport and not a barrier.

I recently met a man who had restored a MKI Escort and sold it to pay for his daughter’s path through university. Another man spent hours of his life restoring a Capri and then sold it – to the shock of his friends.

Whilst the high price of the blue badge ensures that many more are recovered. It also ensures that several people are unable to get a historic Ford due to the high cost of entry now.

And some who have cherished cars find that they now need to sell them to fund other life events because there is now so much money tied up in them. It’s like the story of the elderly people who now have to sell their house (even if to an equity release scheme) because the one thing of value they have left is their house.

Perhaps Morris will become the unsung heroes of the classic world, cars the average man can still buy, tinker with, modify, and ultimately sell without the kind of fear that wallet-breaking prices can engender.

Looking at this I have a sense that whoever bought it might have wanted spares. There are a fair number of spares in that car, including the odd panel; it probably means that this one is not going to see the highway again.

In many ways if it had not been laid about with the plasma cutter it might have been rescuable. There have been some shocking cars we’ve seen in Wreck of the Week which optimistic sellers believe are recoverable.

Assuming that belief is sound – with only a little more attached steel someone might have made a go of this one.

Perhaps someone finished cutting the front off this one and made an interesting trailer of it. (Others have done this before  http://www.mmoc.org.uk/Messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=29444&start=15)

Well at least the claims that the rear wings are in good condition seems to be a valid one. Makes me wonder why it is chopped about so much; another Minor in need of those bits that have been excised maybe?

Well if you bought this car please share what it is that you intend to do with her.

 

 

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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(What that site is to buildings this site is to Bonnets).

Fifty Special Things – Longthorpe Tower

When: 04-05-2015

Where: Longthorpe Tower

Price: £6 for two adults £4 for a guidebook

 

Review: Very popular – it was cold the day we went but there were still a number of people there.

Tip: Opening is restricted – limited to weekends and bank holidays – check the English Heritage site before setting out.

This hasn’t been open long, I found it had opened in 2013 by Dr Janina Ramirez (famous historian and TV presenter)

We were determined to go see it because of the well preserved mediaeval artwork. We visited on a bank holiday monday – one of the few that it opens during the year – don’t turn up on a weekday.

We have been National Trust members for a while but haven’t yet stretched to being members of English Heritage as well. If you do a lot of ancient building exploration joining would be worthwhile.

Patience is the order of the day if you want photographs of the walls inside the tower. It was very popular the day we went. I imagine that remains true throughout the year due to the restricted opening times.

Second Floor

The address is Thorpe Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 6LU. However parking is in St Botolph’s church car park. This is no particular hardship as long as you are reasonably mobile. However bear in mind that access to the tower is up a set of external stairs.

The tower is the only part of the site that is accessible as the rest of it is still in private hands. Whilst I’m sure it’s lovely to live in such a prestige location I’m not certain about lots of visitors traipsing past your door every day.

The tower was apparently originally built by Robert Thorpe who was a lawyer. It was an addition to an earlier house.

The tower is a solar tower – added around 1300 but is unusual in that they were usually added to grand houses – possessed by nobles – rather than someone from the legal profession.

The tower or solar contained Thorpe’s private apartments, the second floor contains Thorpe’s bedroom. Thorpe was a Steward of Peterborough Abbey which at the time owned nearly all the land.

As an official of the cathedral Thorpe would have been a well-respected professional in his day. However he is the mediaeval equivalent of a man made good (from humble origins). Thurstan De Thorpe was still a (villein) serf to the manor at Orton Waterville until 1200 (or thereabouts).

However by 1226 his son William was able to buy the manor at Longthorpe. No one seems to have dug too deeply into how they got their cash…

This site however speculates that with education it was possible to elevate yourself (even in an era when to pass yourself off as gentry was illegal).

The family seems to have loved that habit of naming the son after the father: William begat William who built the manor house and the church whose car park you used on the way in. Originally St Botolphs was on the edge of the village. It was for the use of the manor originally but now is the parish church.

Second William begat Robert (which would be easier only Robert then begat you guessed it – Robert).

First Robert is the one we have to thank for the solar – it is a scaled down version of a similar construction more frequently found in castles. Robert became enriched through services to the nearby abbey. However by 1320 was working directly for Edward II. (He received a knighthood).

Second Robert became a steward to the Abbey like his father and the wealth continued. It was he who commissioned the paintings, which were painted around 1330.

As a defensive building it is sadly lacking (Robert was attacked there in 1327 and held to ransom). It was designed to show off the owner’s wealth and status – this it does rather better.

It is likely that connections with the Abbey allowed Robert access to artisans with significant skills (such as those commissioned for work on the 1st floor). However the skills are somewhat variable as some paintings are better executed than others.

Sadly it wasn’t to be for the Thorpes – although the building remained with the family, the final Thorpe – William – died without children in 1391.

Thereafter it was a second home for a while for John Whittlebury. This family retained the house from 1391 and sold it  to the Fitzwilliam family in 1501.

The Fitzwilliam family retained the house thereafter – the tower alone was gifted to the nation in 1948. This was probably because it required some quite expensive structural work which was taken on by the then Ministry of Works.

It is a great shame that the adjoining buildings can’t be viewed as well. After all that history one would imagine that they are magnificent.

The ground floor is unpainted and historically would have been used for storage. (The painted room is on the first floor). But you can’t get into the ground floor in any case.

The second floor is also unpainted but has some interesting displays including this helmet.

On the day we went (probably for everyone on reflection) we were invited to lift the above helmet to discover how heavy it was.

It is extremely heavy, how a mediaeval knight managed this together with a suit of armour I do not know – they must have been very hardy types.

This is the stone seat of a Garderobe – this is a basic form of mediaeval toilet.

Given it’s on an outside wall and would have been exposed to the elements I couldn’t help wondering why the seat wasn’t wood faced as it must have been very cold in winter.

Apparently a good cure for moths was to hang clothes in the Garderobe as the smell deterred them.

The word wardrobe apparently has its origin in this practice of hanging clothes in a small space.

As you can see mediaeval rooves were not hot on insulation the tile pegs can be clearly seen here. The house might be impressive but it doesn’t seem to have been cosy.

All the windows have been glazed over but historically glass would have been very expensive indeed. Certainly areas like the Garderobe were often left open to the elements in order to dispel the odours.

Rooftop views of adjoining buildings to which sadly there is no access.

The existing access is provided by a timber stairwell up through an enlarged former window. Originally the access would have been through a door (now blocked) to the adjoining hall. Additionally there is no direct access from the first floor to the ground floor storage area – access originally being gained through the adjoining building.

The adjoining hall is Grade I listed like the tower.

The narrow stairwell to the first floor.

It is best to avoid people on the way down – passing on those stairs would be challenging.

I didn’t find the rope of much assistance. Pushing against the wall whilst muttering “steep stairs piggin’ steep stairs” in the end being much more efficacious.

An arrow slit on the main stairwell – now glazed.

How on earth did servants get up and down these stairs whilst carrying things? I’m not clear if Thorpe liked to dine in his chamber but the kitchens were elsewhere in the site so it would have involved some trek if he did.

Small room off the recess in the second floor probably originally a latrine.

The First Floor

And so at last to the first floor, this is what the fuss is all about. After the paintings became unfashionable the walls were whitewashed over (around the time of the reformation). The paintings were thus hidden from view for centuries.

After a period of lease to the Home Guard in World War II the tower became part of a farm again in September 1945. The farmer (Hubert Horrell – a nicely alliterative name that) was prepared for decorating. He discovered sufficient of the pictures to make him believe that the tower was of importance.

He notified the owner (Captain Fitzwilliam) who thankfully recognised the importance of the pictures. He decided to fund an expert examination. He spoke to The Society of Antiquaries of London. Eventually a wall-painting specialist, Edward Clive Rouse was determined to be the man to start releasing the paintings from the layers of whitewash.

It took years – until 1948 – to reveal all of the paintings.

It is now regarded as one of the best preserved wall decorations of a mediaeval domestic building (in England if not in Europe).

Sadly the paintings are much faded now but are said to have been very bright indeed on discovery.

They were painted onto dry plaster using pigments including red/white lead, chalk or vermilion mixed with egg and oil. There is also evidence that some of the paintings were gilded.

Some of the depressed lines were made in the plaster whilst it was still wet.

Some of the detail that was evident at their discovery in 1946 can no longer be seen . Thankfully Mr Rouse was an excellent record keeper creating a small scale watercolour of every painting as he found it.

Potentially I assume this could mean that they could be restored. Something that has been done to great effect in some of the Egyptian tombs I notice.

This first floor room is believed to have been the great chamber for the manor.

It probably had several uses including dining room or reception room. The paintings were therefore for the purpose of impressing guests.

The West Wall

This is the Left hand side of the west wall. The west wall consists of a large alcove with a tiny window offset to the right hand side.

This leaves a large expanse of wall – now painted.

However remember that the paintings date to some-time after the building was erected.

Nonetheless this design seems to indicate that painting the walls was always in the plans. Otherwise why leave this large expanse of wall space and such a small window.

The tower has suffered subsidence in the past which lead to some alterations although it is believed that originally the North wall looked similar in construction.

The above picture shows 4 figures on the arch which are identified as the labours of the months – only 4 can be seen here starting with January at the bottom and moving up to April.

The months have an inscription (where this survives). January is said to be a man warming himself by the fire. February is too destroyed to be certain. March is a man digging. April again is damaged but it is speculated that he may have held flowers. This is in common with depictions at the time of rural people and what they were doing in each of the months.

The only other month that remains is December (the other side of the arch).

Close up of the lower left hand side said to be a pecking bird and the upper part of the door in the South wall that used to lead into the great chamber but is now sealed.

The upper picture is said to be St Anthony. Part of the inscription survives. St Anthony is the figure standing praying – asking how to find salvation. Opposite him is an angel sitting making a basket (working) and an angel behind stood (praying).

Overhead – now largely lost was the head and shoulders of God watching from above. The answer to his question – you can find salvation by praying and working.

The inscription read “do thus and you shall be saved” (apparently SIC FAC ET SALVUS ERIS) apologies to anyone who actually understands Latin.

St Anthony was the patron saint of basket weavers which is perhaps why this was the illustration chosen of work.

Alternatively Peterborough is considered the gateway to the fens and basket weaving has for a long time been considered a Fenland craft.

Two rabbits can just be seen behind Saint Anthony although these are less well done – appearing more like Disney Rabbits than real rabbits.

The border below is quite faded but apparently represents textile. It contained images of a lapwing and owl and a parrot apparently although you may find it difficult to pick those out now.

The two large figures are said to be a teacher and a student with perhaps the teacher wearing a doctor’s cap.

To the left of the teaching scene, on the walls of the recess. From the bottom of this picture: a square niche in the wall, above it a Heraldic Shield, above that a creature (mostly lost) and above that a heraldic banner.

Continuing to the left of the teaching scene, further up the wall on the same side. On the right hand side of this picture can be seen more heraldic banners, to the left a figure (unidentified).

On the West wall the lancet window is small and to the extreme right hand side (North). The window was apparently placed so that painting could be presented on the remainder of the wall. This is an alcove to the right of the window – 2 figures and an inscription which is now hard to make out.

The figure on the left wears a garment with a hood, the figure on the right is said to be a child. The hooded figure is saying to the child “Our Lady will absolve us from sin” (NOTRE DAME NOUS ASOUDRA DE LA PECHE)

This is the Right Hand Side of the West Wall said to be representations of a Bittern and of a Crane. (The Bittern is the uppermost picture). These were apparently not often painted from life but from representations of such creatures found in a bestiary.

The left hand side of the window in the West Wall this is said to be Saint Paul In his right hand a sword in a scabbard.

A close up of the same image.

The East Wall

In the upper part of the wall two figures address one another. The one on the left has been almost completely lost (some of the foot can be seen The figure on the right is complete. He is holding gloves and has a dog standing behind him, however the inscription which would have told us what this meant has now been lost.

Below him is a person in a crown standing behind a wheel. This is called a wheel of five senses and originates with Aristotle but found this form in the 13th century. The rim of the wheel has on it a Monkey, a hawk, a spiders web, a boar and a cockerel – of which the monkey (though partially missing) seems the best done.

These had the following meanings:

Monkey – taste

Hawk – smell

Spider’s web – touch

Boar – hearing

Cockerel – sight

The artist made a mistake with the cockerel and his first attempt can be just seen above the current version.

At one time the wheel would have had inscriptions which indicated what it meant – these are now lost.

It is believed that this means the five senses need to be regulated through reason and restraint.

To the right are two damaged creatures said to be hounds and to the left a damaged creature said to be a squirrel.

It can be seen here that the Boar is not very well done (could easily have been an overweight dog). The remnants of one of the damaged hound pictures can be seen.

Above on the ceiling is a representation apparently of an organ player (a mobile or portative organ with 16 pipes).

Close up on the Spider’s web which could as easily be a dartboard I suppose or given the date more likely an archery target.

Above the doorway can just be seen a very faded set of pictures said to be of the apostles.

This image is in the recess for the current doorway (which was a lancet window). It was enlarged to make space for the current doorway.

This picture appears above a doorway that would have led to a latrine. It is a picture to remind the viewer of mortality and was popular in mediaeval times.

Baased on a 13th Century poem originating probably in France. The legend is that 3 men meet with 3 dead and the 3 dead urge them to repent. The poem may have first been told by Baudoin de Condé a minstrel attached to the court of Marguerite II, Countess of Flanders in the 13th Century.

In this representation the first king is now lost, the second has a red crown which you might be able to see, the third is the one speaking with his finger raised.

The three dead startle the three kings and the kings rebuke them for this. But the dead state that they are the king’s ancestors and question them about why they have not said mass for their souls.

The message is designed to point out how fleeting is the existence of man and hence provide a moral message.

The three next to the king with the upraised finger are now in black but the pigment was lead which has oxidised with time, originally they would have appeared as in white shrouds. The last though is without a shroud – naked – and covered in maggots.

Above the current entrance door there is an aperture cut in the 1940s to expose the remnants of the original lancet window. The current entrance was enlarged in the 17th century and is now back in use. It uses a wooden staircase constructed in the 1940s. The hole which you can see here (when viewed from the correct angle) shows the original construction.

The figure just before the hole is said to be one of the apostles. (The Halo is visible – potentially at one time having been gilded).

To the left of the apostle above is this image of an apostle on the same wall. There is no indication as to which apostle is which. This one appears to be writing I think. Traditionally an apostle writing is generally thought of as St Paul – after his letters to the Corinthians and so on…

Facing the current entrance (I.e. looking towards the east wall) there is a niche just inside the door on the left hand side.

It is of a bearded man teaching three pupils the only discernible word when uncovered in the 1940s was apparently OREILLEZ which may mean “hear me” in old French.

The North Wall

This is the Right Hand Side of the North Wall, uppermost is the second half of the “seven ages of man” the last figure is the easiest to see with a crutch he is decrepitude above him is old age (said to show a man with his life savings).

Above you can see the entire seven ages of man of which a great deal is lost. It starts at the left hand side with an infant; above this is a young boy with a spinning top; above that is adolescence but of which little can be seen.

In the centre top is a youth with a hawk; descending the right hand side is manhood – with a sword; old age – with life savings and decrepitude – with a crutch.

Beneath the 7 ages of man is a depiction of the nativity which has been partly encroached upon. (The window was widened in an attempt to counteract subsidence).

Originally it would have been a small window as for the west wall seen above. However what remains is Mary seated on a chair with Jesus. The missing part would have shown the crib , the ass, an ox (parts of these can still be seen).

The ceiling above the North Wall upper left of this shot is a partial figure believed to be a cymbalum player.

In the other quarter of the vault is the Eagle of St John and beneath that the figure of St David. To the right a Psaltery player.

The South Wall

This is the left hand side of the south wall. Above is a coat of arms said to be that of Edward III.

The border was originally of the Thorpe coat of arms and at one time was gilded – not that you can see it now. Apparently fleur de lys were once visible here – but you need better eyesight than mine to make then out now.

Below the border is an alternating checkerboard pattern said to be painted to look like a hanging cloth. It is likely that this once was behind a high-backed chair that sat against the wall in this position.

This is the right hand side of the South wall uppermost is the arms of Edmund of Woodstock. He was the Earl of Kent and a half-brother of Edward II. He was executed following a planned rebellion against the regent Isabella (after the king was deposed).

The Earl is considered to have been Robert Thorpe’s landlord and so it is likely this is the reason for the inclusion of this coat of arms.

Beneath this something which is much more fun, it is a Bonnacon. You can just see the arm and bow of an archer and the rear of a beast that appears to be ejecting poo in his direction.

Apparently you would be foolish indeed to shoot upon this mythical beast which despatched its victims with flaming ordure expelled from its behind with some force.

The Tower

This is one of the buttresses – showing that the knitting together of the walls is no longer that exact.

Buttress and wall look close to separating here – further evidence of subsidence damage probably.

Here you can see external cracks visible in both North and East walls.

Above the current entrance – the outline of the former lancet window which was enlarged to make this entrance can be clearly seen here.

Visible subsidence cracks on the exterior – work to attempt to remediate these resulted in thickening to the north wall and a change to the window aperture.

This is further up the same wall showing that the cracking extends up to the Battlements.

It is a fascinating place and I have had plans to revisit. Indeed given the gradual fading of the artworks (and no obvious sign that they are to be restored) it might be as well to visit sooner than later.

If you are not of the historic nature (but your partner is) you can indulge them and chill afterwards in Thorpe wood which is nearby.

On that day on May it was beautiful and I have no doubt restful at most times of year.

 

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Wreck of the Week

This week expansion of the “wreck of the week” concept to embrace the whole world continues with the United States.

http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/features/smashed_dashes_and_crumpled_fenders. A site which uses the term “wreck” to mean involved in a body-altering accident. It shows how many uses the term can be put to. Some of the cars here are a mystery to me, not having my nostalgia from the correct side of the Atlantic. However my more general sense of sadness at the loss of something once great is certainly called into ascendancy by this site.

This week I found a “rust in peace” in Ireland. It is also a YouTube Video so kills two birds with one stone.

Instantly I must apologise for the dire soundtrack and that the guy filming it was trying to catch a bus at the same time. If I were you I’d mute it before clicking on it. I haven’t found a way of playing videos at a slower speed though.  Any technical person’s amongst you who have solved that let me know.

Yet again no idea where any of these cars are and so we must assume lost forever.

I notice that some images in that video are suspiciously similar to one another. I think some vehicles feature more than once. Hey he put something interesting on YouTube so who am I to criticise.

The Wreck of the Week for this week sold at a price that is within my reach. But given its condition it was going to cost a great deal more by the time it was restored. My partner thinks it needed a miracle. Perhaps not quite but some serious hard work certainly.

Of course the value reflects the fact that it has a blue oval on the nose.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192451887410

It excited a mass of interest with 27 bids from no less than 13 bidders. People really wanted this car.

The seller was located here:

But the listing states the car location is in West Bromwich B70 which is here:

But is such a massive area you might as well say it’s in Somerset.

It was an interesting car not only imported but actually left hand drive.

Usually I anticipate that people import cars because the cars have spent their life in the blazing sun. Thereby barring a bit of faded paint they need very little work.

The seller (who we assume was open about its faults) lists the following as needing some attention:

“Shell needs a lot of work, sills and corner of the front floors. As it’s a 4 door it’s up for sale with no reserve still a good base to build something out of has all the running gear in place.”

Remarkably he also states that it “comes with a spare roof”.

Given a car stands upright and water falls from above, descending under gravity; normally the sills, floorpan and wheel arches lead in the rush to become one with nature. Once the roof has gone then really you’re dealing with merely compost and memories.

Thankfully it looks like the needed bits of paper have been considered already, unlike some we’ve seen. He states that “Imported, on the nova list, comes with all necessary paperwork to register, no import duties to pay.”

What we don’t have here is a story. As mentioned in previous wreck of the week articles the stories of a car’s history are in many ways its most appealing aspect. It went to Spain with a little old lady who took it drag racing at weekends, that sort of thing.

In fact we do not even know which country it was imported from. Given the need for a new roof I assume Atlantis.

Unhelpfully it is listed as 1966 (sellers please list the full first registration date). There is no visible number plate so I am guessing pretty nigh impossible to derive the full first registration date from any public sources.

I did not know that even though it is tax exempt you still need to apply for a  tax. But apparently if registered pre 1977 now there is tax to pay. This seems tempting until you recognise the incredible rate of attrition of cars that age. Finding a drivable one which is still affordable will be your first challenge.

Teeth grittingly he also lists it as MOT exempt. For my views on MOT exempt see a previous wreck of the week.

He states “Mot exempt from May so you’re able to register it as is and fix it up as you go along. You can even drive it and keep it on the street in this condition like a rat look beetle if you wish”. This sounds jaw-droppingly irresponsible (although I’m sure it sells cars). The car if subject to MOT would have to satisfy a number of safety checks before you can use it. Because it doesn’t need those checks, hey just drive it who’s going to notice?

57 demerits to the seller on that count alone.

So with a heavy sigh let’s have a look at her.

Firstly do not adjust your sets, the quality of the pictures really is of the “soft focus” variety. Given this is usually reserved for pictures of a quite different nature I assume it is not deliberate.

It looks like it has been stock car racing in which the emphasis was on lots of body contact. Where can we find a straight panel?

The LHS front wing looks beyond recovery, the door seems held in with straps, the glass (save the quarterlights) entirely absent.

The bonnet is making a break for freedom, the rear subjected to a bizarre origami experiment.

An odd chunk of metal seems to have been deliberately excised from the  RHS front wing with no obvious purpose other than to disfigure the car. The passenger side door (remember it is LHD) is attached with straps as well but at least superficially looks a useful panel.

The rear door seems to have been the loser in a door kicking competition. The door might be saveable, the wing doesn’t look like it.

From what we can see the headlining is waving the white flag. Given the presence of overriders I’d say the front bumper is inside the car.

Aha the need for a roof becomes plain, my goodness, what has been done to the poor thing. It’s possible it was rolled. Alternatively it’s been in some sunny scrapyard with another vehicle on top of it. Unearthed no doubt due to the escalating prices the Ford badge now attracts.

Even in this state it fetched £1,500.00 (roughly $2113 or €1724), which makes me wonder what on earth is a four door MK1 Cortina fetching now.

Ok here’s a similar one https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C957714 currently at £31000 (roughly $43662 or €35632) pheweee.

Ok now it all makes sense.

Various parts seem stuffed inside (together with a lot of glass granules). However even with my really strong glasses I can’t tell you what they are. In this shot even the intact rear has suffered a big ding on the LHS . There are no rear lights and judging by the vacant hole in the rear no fuel tank either. It is possible the  LHS rear door is saveable however.

Not exactly well disposed with photographs this listing (not that it affected it selling apparently). This is the last photograph in the series. If you remember the  Cortina GT estate you will recall how shocking the state of the bulkhead was. Kudos to whoever bought this – the engine bay is in good condition and remarkably the  strut tops look intact.

Unsurprisingly the LHS front wing looks the worst.

I’m not certain if any of the mechanicals are saveable or how much is there, possibly a carb and a dizzy, parts of the brake system and a rad. However I think it safer to assume at the very least it’s going to need refurbishment and very likely replacement.

So we’re talking a guy (or gal) who is either to metal what Michelangelo was to marble or someone with very deep restoration pockets.

If you are that miracle worker ahem I mean purchaser let us know what you intend to do with her.

 

 

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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(Unlike that site, which is about houses, this series of blogs is and will be all about automotive ancients).

 

Wreck of the Week

It turns out that the term “Wreck of the Week” is a rather popular one; in fact it is in use all around the world.

There are a few websites using the term and now there is even a  book

Wreck Book

I haven’t found a British site as yet so I don’t feel that I am competing with anyone. But perhaps there will be some recognition of these other sites from me as I go forwards.

My favourite this week is from Australia:

http://bitethedust.com.au/bitingthedust/category/odd-stuff/wreck-of-the-week/

There are some delicious images here of old cars dust laden and sun bleached. Sadly my attempts to raise the author such that I might use some of his images in headers for my blog seem to have failed. However this does not stop the content being first class. Well worth a look I’d say.

At last I’ve found a UK site on “rust in peace”. This has been the subject of a search for the last few articles – so far always yielding something from the US.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-457661/Rust-peace-Classic-cars-left-rot.html

This appears to be the book which they are featuring:

Rust in Peace

Bookfinder

This week’s video clips along at an impressive rate:

What’s the matter with these video people? Don’t they understand that nostalgia likes to develop slowly?

It’s a shame that none of these video posters give an address where they shoot the footage. How are nostalgia-types supposed to spend ridiculous amounts of money on these cars if they don’t tell us where they are?

This week our auction car seems to be on the cheap side

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282832610698?ul_noapp=true

relisted a couple times and then ultimately sold for £401.00 (roughly $545 or €449)

This seems significantly cheaper than some of the very crumbly remains we have examined of late. So what gives with Standard cars? It appears that it was all up with them by 1963 .

Although British Leyland had swallowed them by 1960. It seems that they were not very successful latterly. Perhaps this is part of the reason why they are not commanding high prices now.

A comparison with new prices reveals some disconnect this https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C362670 has an (admittedly Phase I car) for sale at £6500 (roughly $8840 or €7280). Which is a reasonable sum. How come our little car receives so little attention (bidding wise in any case).

Well to my mind the seller gains points for listing the full registration date (15/07/1953). As mentioned in a previous wreck of the week I am always alert for a car first registered on the day I was born. This search is rendered difficult by a posted registration date of “1953”. This could be any day on any month of that year. Come on auction posters more full registration dates if you please.

Of course he loses marks by using the all caps shouty case. So beloved (no doubt) of a famous Radio 2 DJ and former Top Gear presenter.

I’m not sure that shouty really sells your car. However us nostalgiaphiles are made of sterner stuff. We will not be dissuaded by those without a volume control.

More likely I fear the last detail is the most relevant. “Please remember this car is located in Cornwall TR15 area before you bid”. (I removed the shouty case). This speaks of a seller weary by former bidders saying “how far” when they win the vehicle.

To put in context this is 5 ½ hours from my house. For those United States readers who are looking at this incredulously. The final miles of this are over narrow roads the speed of which would tax even the Pope’s patience. (I am aware that on that vast continent 340 miles (or thereabouts) is around-the-corner-to-buy-a-coke distance).

In the UK, the classical lengthy trip is from Land’s End at the tippity toe of England diagonally across and up to John o’ Groats. (This is effectively the back of Scotland’s head). There are various estimates but I get this as 1042 miles. The UK would fit into the United States many times. The distance to Cornwall would dissuade many. (Who did not already live there in any case).

I therefore fear that the car might well be of appeal but its location is not.

A 1953 Standard Vanguard – of which the majority were for export. (To assist in recovery from the debts we had accrued during the war so I understand). To have one under one’s driving shoe must be a rare experience indeed. This is a Phase III (according to the advert). The seller states this is rare. He is almost certainly correct as I cannot find another for sale at this moment. One would imagine therefore that the preservation of it would be high in the nation’s consideration.

However since austerity the UK’s ability to look after its own heritage appears to be muted. In which case a rusty wreck in a Cornwallian yard will probably not awaken much interest.

For those not yet in the know the term “barn find” is indicative of nothing at all. Sometime in the recent past the term “barn find” became synonymous with a rediscovered treasure. Put “barn find” in an advert and the goose will start laying those shiny metal ingots. However now it has come to mean “old”, “shabby”, “needs work”.

So what is she like this Standard Vanguard Phase III?

Standard Vanguard 1

Firstly pictures lead me to suspect this is a Phase II. Phase III is quite different. The Bonnet badge (hood ornament to any American readers) on this does not look like a Phase I so I think Phase II. Standard Vanguard experts will no doubt be shaking their heads at my vast lack of expertise in this area.

Given she has been around since 1953 I am amazed at how good she looks. And frankly I like the look. The large chrome front, the split screen, the pronounced bonnet badge remind me of the brief flirtation with Americana that we had in the UK. They were times of great optimism, a feeling which has not persisted to the present day.

It is sad that to aid the sale the seller lists the number plate TPE844 as transferable. How many cars are now running round with the wrong number plate because of this fashion in number plate transfers. It is a great loss to the history of the car. I shall be quite encouraged if someone sees fit to eliminate the practice. The buying of defunct registrations from the DVLA being the exception here.

4 Standard Vanguard 2

Apparently it has had only 3 owners since registration. At over 20 years per owner – somebody really loved this car. A shame then that it is in this crusty state.

Some of the paperwork related shenanigans that we have seen with some previous wreck of the week vehicles are not likely with this one. The seller declares the V5 to be present. (For the uninitiated the term “log book” and V5 have become exchangeable terms).

It is so attractive that you would imagine it had been customised. Styling being more of an art than a wind-tunnel-mandated-science in those days I imagine.

It is sad that he emphasises the fact that the car no longer requires an MOT.

For those not inveigled by the vagaries of the UK roadworthiness system. The MOT is an annual test which whilst flawed in so many ways ensures that the car will go, stop, and steer and is unlikely to crack in half on the motorway (freeway to any American readers).

The removal of an MOT requirement for some older vehicles seems to me a dangerous step. The encouragement here is to run cars without testing them. Ultimately meaning that older cars become a hazard. The wise amongst car owners will continue to pay for an annual test and to rectify such elements as are found wanting. I await with trepidation the day when an MOT-exempt vehicle kills someone. The resulting call for these old rust-traps to be condemned forever seems a headline one can predict from any tabloid newspaper.

At which point nostalgia be damned and get these awful wrecks off the roads.

I can tell how much I love this car by how kind I have been thus far but enough – back to old school criticism. There is rust in both sills, nibbling at the boot lid, boot surround (trunk for American readers). That fuel tank also looks like a leak waiting to happen.

The Standard Vanguard Engine however was much respected. A tuned version was used in the TR3 sports car. The engine is present but I am not clear about the ancillaries.

Crikey, possibly the least well preserved bench seat I have seen. That dash also appears to have suffered to a considerable degree (given that it is inside the car). If appearances are anything to go by not much is saveable in here.

Any prospective restorer is going to be on great speaking terms with an upholsterer. The steering wheel appears to be cracked. However the often fragile horn rim appears intact which is something of a surprise.

The seller was not stretching the truth when he said it would need complete restoration.

This looks like where we came in – although the full extent of the sill and lower door rot can be better seen here.

Sadly the seller does not lift the bonnet for any of the shots (presumably because there is nothing there). The wing seams look well corroded as does the bonnet edge. The headlamp chrome is strangely still bright though. As if these are later replacements. Both wing mirrors are present and remarkably all 4 tyres seem to be holding air.

It was located here

But unlike the Morris of last week has already sold.

I hope that this means that someone who is greatly interested and motivated has decided to raise her from the dead.

This apparently confirms that the car had done 70,000 miles. It is odd that I can make out 9036 as some of the characters and I’m almost convinced that first number is a 3? That doesn’t seem to make sense, perhaps the first number is a 6?

She has sold – so there is a strong hope that she will be back on the road again at some point.

If the purchaser comes across this blog post please let us know how you got on with her.

 

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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(Unlike that site, which is about houses, this series of blogs is and will be all about crumbly old cars).

Wreck of the Week

Hello corrosion fans and welcome to another week of car wreck fantasy.

Following on from last week’s example:

https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/02/07/wreck-of-the-week-5/

I thought that we could again focus on the expensive.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1966-Austin-Healey-3000-MK3-Phase-2-U-K-R-H-D-/273036416368

This one is an Austin Healey. These are suitably famous so that many people may have heard of it. Like other things famous it is high cost.

Posted at £24,995.00 this is a car where the wealthy need only apply.

The closest I could find in shiny was this one:

http://www.rawlesmotorsport.co.uk/car-brokerage/cars-for-sale/Austin%20Healey%203000MKIII%20Phase%20II%20UK%20RHD%20from%20Monaco.html

listed at £65,000 so there is quite a bit of money that you could sink into this project Healey and still be ahead. (Assuming you’re ruled by your head rather than your love for metal corroding things which some of us are victim to).

You can tell things are getting serious when the listing has to state the specific model number 1966 Austin Healey 3000 MK3 Phase 2 U.K R.H.D as if any Austin Healey 3000 was not going to be of interest. This car is for the connoisseur or the collector.

And one of these must have caught up with it because I notice that it is now sold.

So what were you getting for your £25,000: (about $35000 US, or €28250)

Firstly a very crisp and accurate listing, how many have we seen where it lists the exact date of first registration 16/02/1966. Would that more sellers would do this.

I can’t be the only person searching for a car that is exactly as old as he is, and that is rendered impossible if the closest description is “1966”.

So according to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin-Healey_3000 the Healey 3000 was made between 1959 and 1967. That makes this quite a late one. 91% were exported – mainly to North America. This must mean that a great many are LHD. This must be why the advert is at pains to point out that it is a RHD car and an original RHD car at that. Judging by this advert RHDLHD conversions are very popular in the UK http://www.rawlesmotorsport.co.uk/car-brokerage/cars-sold/austin-healey-3000-mkiii-bj8-phase-2.html.

Healey 1

In comparison to some we’ve seen on Wreck of the Week this is in pretty good shape. Some serious rust in that door I notice and who knows what’s under the replacement wing.

The advert indicates that “finished in the car’s original combination of British racing green with black interior”, obviously discounting the large quantity of grey primer.

Healey 2

One of the great things about a quality car from a commercial seller is the range of photographs on offer – 12 for this one. This side looks healthier. I’m hopeful that they’ve kept the chromework somewhere although perhaps if you can afford these numbers buying new chromework is a minor obstacle.

One thing that you don’t get is the interesting tales about what is wrong with it. – No clues here as to whether there is more here than meets the photograph.

However even cheap cars can be a victim of this my favourite recent listing stating “needs work” with no further clues as to what that actually meant.

Healey 3

This one is a BJ8 which apparently is the more powerful of the Healeys with some desirable additions like power assisted brakes. If you’ve never driven a car without a servo believe me this is a thoroughly worthwhile development.

Healey 4

Apparently with only 2 owners from new it’s a shame that they never thought to spray it with wax. But after 52 years it’s a bit much to expect a restoration project to look any better than this. The shiny versions having been through the restoration process sometime in the recent past.

In the 1960s rustproofing was not what you expect today and an 8 year old car was commonly considered fit for little.

Healey 5

I‘d always wondered at the term “matching numbers” as used in this advert. Apparently this is where components are those that were originally installed.

In this case I am only aware of chassis and engine numbers being registered so I imagine it is these which verifiably match what they should be.

Healey 6

Well that’s a relief – the chromework is present, rechroming gives beautiful results but you do need to be resourced to fund it.

These parts look in good condition. Perhaps the last owner (who apparently had it since 1978 – so took it over only 12 years after manufacture) took more care of it than it appears. Chromework tends to pit rapidly unless cared for.

Healey 7

Apart from the grillwork, bumpers, hood, light there are quite a few items I cannot identify although no doubt bringing a gleam to the restorer’s eye. I’m not clear about the covers upper LHS (radiator muff or similar?) Healey 3000 fans please enlighten me.

Healey 8

Apparently under this is a gearbox (with overdrive) having covered only 51,000 miles which seems incredible. That’s less than 1000 miles a year since registration.

For those who have never encountered overdrive: in these days of multiple ratio gearboxes it has probably been forgotten that at one time gearboxes tended to operate up to direct drive. So when you had selected top gear the engine was driving straight through the gearbox. The output shaft of the gearbox turning at the same speed as the engine. In many cases the most fuel efficient ratio was lower than this i.e. that the output from the gearbox would be turning faster than the engine.

On modern cars the 5th, 6th and so on gears achieve this in the same gearbox.

On cars of the 60s a separate gearbox was hung behind the main gearbox (often being bolted to it). This was an overdrive gearbox. They were often electrically controlled – a little switch would kick in overdrive. Effectively the car gained a couple of extra gears. The downside was the extra weight of the additional gearbox.

It was popular on larger-engined cars, for those who could afford it (it was an option).

Healey 9

This is a 2,912cc petrol engine. This was a bored out version of one designed for more stately cars like the Austin Westminster A99, the Wolseley 6/99 and the Vanden Plas Princess 3 litre.

The difference with the Healey could not have been more marked. It strikes me more as the type of car that Terry Thomas (in character) would have liked to have owned.

Healey 10

I remember that this rear end would break out under pressure. Oversteer being the order of the day. In fact somewhere I think it was described as a “hairy-chested” car (presumably because you needed large cajones to drive one swiftly).

Healey 11

Years ago I think the Austin Healey 3000 was considered a cheaper alternative to the Jaguar but with just as much fun. Now no longer cheap, as we can see here you need to dig deep to afford one.

This looks like the floor is going to need welding. There appears to be daylight shining through here. When even the gearstick is rusty it’s quite likely the whole interior is flaking.

The glovebox looks like the veneer has taken a hammering. But whether you could write that down to patina and keep it like that in a car this valuable is debateable.

Healey 12

They made proper steering wheels in those days, none of your tiny rally wheels here. This looks like it would be at home in a Routemaster. I’m guessing driving with the wheel polishing your thighs was all part of the experience.

However those gauges are to die for. Proper chrome bezels and manufactured by Smiths, how lovely.

Well sadly it has gone so all you lottery winners will have to look elsewhere for your old car fix.

Alternatively be back here next week for another edition of Wreck of the Week.

I realise that there might be some new visitors so here are all the previous Wreck of the Week postings in order:

https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/01/08/wreck-of-the-week/

https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/01/14/wreck-of-the-week-2/

https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/01/22/wreck-of-the-week-3/

https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/02/01/wreck-of-the-week-4/

https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/02/07/wreck-of-the-week-5/

If you liked this article why not follow this blog

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The property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came is due credit:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(Unlike that site, which is about houses, this series of blogs is and will be all about rusty vehicles).

Wreck of the Week

This week I’m starting to wonder at the value of things well the cost of old cars mainly.

I realise, being in my fifth decade, that things are bound to have been cheaper “in my day”. However it does seem to me the reason we are seeing so many classic car wrecks of late is about how much money they bring.

People who formerly would have left rotten hulks under a damp tarpaulin are now listing them as “barn find”.

Recently I have seen cars which are barely more than a V5 and a set of panels.

Cars which at one time would have been reasonable projects are now attracting startling amounts of money.

Take this week’s example:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1970-Dodge-Charger-1969-1968-/.

This is listed at £13,440 – or for those persons who prefer your currency in American that’s roughly $18,548 at today’s exchange rate or €11961 for the European readers out there.

I’m not in tune with the prevailing view on classic car prices but £13,440 seems to me a great deal of money.

According to a recent article, that’s the sort of money that you will pay for a second-hand Porsche Cayman.

It is wonderful that this rush to buy old cars means that a lot of “barn finds” are blinking their way into the light (and the pages of this blog). But it does show me that nostalgia has a hefty premium associated with it.

The listing is ended and so I was filled with wonder at the depths of people’s pockets (or their ignorance of more modern alternatives – take your pick). However I notice that the advert quotes a website. Looking at this website the car is still listed there.

It looks like it didn’t sell after all. The photos seem to be better quality on the website but not to any huge degree.

The adverts are subtly different on the nation’s favourite auction site than on the main website.

I was fascinated by the exhortation to “PAINT IT BLACK, CUT A HOLE IN THE HOOD AND BURN THE TIRES OFF JUST LIKE IN THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS” (shouty text is in the original).

I wonder if a film connection adds a few £ to the value. In addition if you were paying northwards of £13,000 is it in order to cut holes in it? not that it doesn’t come without holes in any case.

Charger 1

So the subject in question is a 1970 Dodge Charger which is accurately described as a “project car”. On the face of it a quite serious engine fire has taken place. The bonnet (or hood I imagine – USofA looks like its natural home) is badly rusted all over and seems to twist upwards on the nearside. (Passenger side given this is a LHD vehicle).

However neither advert mentions anything about an engine fire so the cause of such localised paint removal remains speculation.

Charger 2

Ok, so this looks less like fire damage and more like someone went crazy with paint stripper, the paint leached off all down the RHS. Sadly the photo does not zoom well enough for great detail. But it looks like a former filler job is starting to lift away at the front edge. Conceivably the wing is going to need replacing/rebuilding.

Charger 3

Blimey so it is also two colour. Judging by the spray it might be that someone tried to respray it in pea soup at some point in its life. It would be laudable if it had saved the car. But as we can see the rear wheel arch is going to take some gentle treatment. The sill and front wing are not looking too brilliant even at this magnification.

Charger 4

Possibly the most engaging view of the car – a lovely shape – if only more of it were like this (well minus the overspray in any case).

Charger 5

This is obviously where the “Needs some welding” part of the advert asserts itself. Large amounts of daylight where floorpan used to be.

The advert is careful to state that “All parts [are] available at www.rockauto.com”. Given that includes all the steel panels this would be very helpful (that can’t be true of many cars from 1970).

Charger 6

The advert states “Complete car except for interior” and certainly the engine bay parts seem present. The colour here looks different to either of the colours on the exterior of the car so I’m guessing it’s had an “enthusiastic” previous owner or several. At least two separate attempts to paint it with non-toning colours (in varying degrees of effectiveness).

Still there is enough refurbishment time here to keep a restoring man humming in his garage.

The ad states that this enormous thing is a “383 V8 Big Block” which “ran when parked”. That seems nothing short of miraculous when you look at it. Cars sometimes defy all predictions. However later on the description states: “Straight out [of] the barn. Not cleaned, not tried to start, nothing done to make it look better.” So perhaps we should not be overcome with enthusiasm. The engine probably needs exactly as much work as it looks.

Charger 7

When it states no interior it means, no interior, although the ad states “Included are 2 good 1968 Mopar seats” . I think that’s just the start, carpets, door cards…

Charger 8

… and whatever was in front of this originally, surely some kind of rear seat?

I’m intrigued by this: “Charger expected in Holland end of March 2018.” Which makes me wonder where it is, surely not a sunshine state with that amount of corrosion?

The advert states “US Title and all EU taxes paid.” In the UK however you’re going to need a NOVA.

The process for this can be quite involved: http://fbhvc.co.uk/about-us/news/_article/22/hmrc-issues-guidelines-for-registering-restoration-projects-imported-prior-to-nova/.

So consideration of these unexciting requirements should probably precede any “reasonable down payment”.

Helpfully they’ve given their location which turns out to be here:

“500 meters from the DFDS ferry in the harbour of IJmuiden in The Netherlands.”

According to the website: www.hotrodharbor.nl: contact Barry on hrharbor@gmail.com for more details.

Oh and you’ll need to arrange your own shipping.

(I hope someone is brave enough. But I’m fascinated how people find this money before they start the restoration.)

If you liked this article why not follow this blog

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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(Unlike that site, which is about houses, this series of blogs is all about vehicles – rusty ones at that).

Wreck of the Week

The weekly blog item for fans of rust and nostalgia – welcome.

Once again it’s a rusty piece of Ford history, from 1966 this time (MRA835D currently there is no listing on the DVLA database https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ConfirmVehicle):

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CORTINA-MKI-SUPER-GT-ESTATE/272999163648

Some brave person has already decided that this is the car for them as it is now listed as sold. The amount of rust in this one really does cause me to pause and praise nostalgia for all it is worth.

s-l1602

Looking at this the front wing appears to be attached by gravity and there are signs of corrosion in the front, in the roof, in the sill, in the wheel arch…

It’s registered in July 1966 and according to the advert has done only 60,000 miles since then.

I do like the single spotlight attached to the front bumper and those wheel trims are lovely.

s-l1602

This view confirms that front wing is flapping like busby. The rear presents as just surface rust however. The description confirms why – it has been in poor storage – presumably storage in which water gained fairly frequent access at the front end of the car. How many great cars have been lost like that I wonder?

s-l1602

This interior shot gives some idea why you would want it. Hopefully whoever now owns it has the skills to match. The advert states “The interior of this car is in superb, un-touched condition with a patina that you cannot buy new. With only one minor tear on the offside front seat base. The dash has never been to bits and the headlining is perfect. Door cards are good and all the GT bits are present and in excellent condition. There are some factory fitted switches and sockets under the dash, and a factory fitted pillar mounted spot lamp.”

The listing goes to some length to point out that this is a genuine car. This leads me to suspect that there are a few fake MKI Cortina GT Estates out there. This site gives you some guidance on telling the difference:

http://MKIcortina.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24:how-to-spot-a-real-gt&catid=5:useful-links&Itemid=5

This site gives a review of the MKI Cortina in general:

https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/ford/cortina-MKI/

There are not many MKI Cortina estates for sale in any spec currently. But looking at the saloon cars a GT spec version seems to add a healthy premium over the standard version.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FORD-CORTINA-MKI-GT-MKI-CORTINA-GT-CORTINA-GT/332127396159?hash=item4d5455e13f:g:CxAAAOSwB-1YowCM

The history declared is rather interesting: “Believed to be one of 12 or so made for an order in Kenya, which was never completed, so the cars were sold through Ford dealers around the country…” Sadly there is that “believed to be…” so we can’t be certain, but that would certainly make it a very rare beast indeed.

This image is enough to strike dread into the heart of anyone who has wrestled with a welder – and lost. When the advert states that it needs major reconstruction work it is not being short with the truth.

It states “the front end needs major re-construction, with work required to both A posts/ panels, chassis legs/outriggers, sills, heater plenum/bulkhead, offside screen pillar, plus other areas of minor repairs…”

s-l1602

I look at this with the words “where would you start” in the back of my mind. However perhaps the old girl is due for a less venerated fate as the advert states: “all of the GT running gear is original and the 1500 GT engine turns over.” I have a sad suspicion that someone may just re-shell the car and lose part of the history in the process. (Although given what it looks like in the photographs I can’t say I could blame anyone for restoring it that way.)

s-l1602

Amazingly the floor pan looks intact in this shot. But the inner wing is history and without a good one to measure from I have no idea how anyone would reconstruct it.

s-l1602

A very shabby looking bulkhead (although compared to some of the other parts of the car this is almost reassuring. There is at least some metal to take measurements from.

s-l1602

The advert states that “there is not a servo fitted, as it was omitted, in favour of a properly plumbed-in Redex lubrication system (presumably to overcome the poor fuel quality in Kenya)”. Looking at this shot I imagine a servo could be fitted although that Redex system would be a lovely part of the history of the car to retain.

Unsurprisingly both strut tops are showing signs of having been plated before. But at least it means that they still look intact in this photograph.

s-l1602

I’m assuming this is the spot lamp referred to in the advert. Unfortunately it seems to be held there by the power of prayer.

A nice touch for this advert is the inclusion of the original log book:

s-l1602

This shows it as a Super GT (which according to Internet sources log books, for other genuine GT cars, sometimes do not show).

The interior still looks lovely as the advert describes and is the main appeal of this car.

s-l1602

It looks like you could scrub it and get in for a drive from this angle. I particularly like the line of Gauges across the centre of the dash.

This small rip apparently the only sign of interior damage (and I wonder if a skilled man could patch that.

s-l1602

If only it hadn’t been stored so badly…

However I am reassured that someone has already taken it on. If they happen to read this blog please send in some progress shots of how you get on with it.

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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(Unlike that site, which is about houses, this series of blogs is and will be all about vehicles).

Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/equipment-machine-machinery-metal-190539/