Wreck of the Week

My search for a wreck of the week brings up this week the hard cash that underpins a lot of the nostalgia boom we have seen recently:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2560739/Now-thats-fixer-upper-Wrecks-classic-cars-selling-MORE-new-models-prices-rusting-roof.html

“Barn Find” vehicles fetching equal to or more than fully restored vehicles; frenetic bidding over dusty relics; a craze for originality between buyers with infeasibly deep pockets.

This is a world that I can’t even tessellate with. The cars described would have been beyond my reach ten years ago and are beyond my reach today.

However, as we have seen with anything carrying a blue oval, the effects of this are not just confined to the rarefied heights of hedge manager salaries.

It has become (and looks likely to continue for a while to be) very difficult for a person of moderate to modest means to get involved in the classic car hobby.

However I remember a similar time in the 1980s where classic cars started to look a great investment. People bought crumbly wrecks gave them a cheap respray and flogged them for serious money.

Then there was a downturn: several people who bought cars as an “investment” got burned. The upside being that the guy who wanted to tinker in his shed got a look in once again.

We can hope that cars will start to return to sensible in the near future. However, sadly the keys to that E-Type I’ve always dreamed off are likely to remain in someone else’s hands in perpetuity.

“Rust in peace” searches this week bring me to this article https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2092341/stunning-pictures-show-how-nature-has-reclaimed-cars-left-abandoned-across-europe/ featuring the work of Roman Robroek who loves to take pictures of abandoned cars. I took a chance that the name was unusual and believe that I have found the photography site that the article is about:

https://romanrobroek.nl/#transport

It is a fascinating site which causes me to regret the fact that I cannot operate a camera (even if given instructions designed for a five year old).

Some of the pictures are truly beautiful. In the case of the cars I do wonder where they are and if anyone will step up and try to save them.

Even better I have been in touch with Roman and he is happy for me to use some of his pictures in my blog. So I am very happy about that and grateful thanks to Roman. (The featured image in the blog this week is one of his).

This week’s YouTube video is a light hearted effort from Pathé set in Reading.

This shows a very different attitude in 1963 to today – cars having no value at all when they got to a certain age. As a result cars were dumped – quite literally anywhere that a person could find to dump them.

The announcer refers to the introduction of testing, which leads me to suspect that the MOT is not as venerable as I once thought.

It appears the MOT was introduced in 1960 so just 3 years prior to the film. A very large number of vehicles initially failed and so the requirements for testing were enhanced. (Presumably this was because the roads had many unsafe vehicles on them).

Initially cars older than 10 years were tested (many failed). In 1961 this became 7 years, in 1967 it became 3 years. Since then the requirements for the age of vehicles haven’t changed but the items being tested have increased with time.

The film takes a comedic approach which includes a very strange episode at the end involving explosives. This is more akin to something you might have seen a circus clown performing.

Many of the cars in the film would be very desirable today so it is sad to see that they were just discarded.

However the vehicles would have been merely 10 or so years old at that stage and 10 year old vehicles today have limited value. Little has changed.

I checked the example of LJ2393 (the smoking vehicle in the latter part of the film). It is not on the DVLA database. So it did not survive. No wonder that vehicles of this age are valued – precious few seem to have made it this far. The exploding vehicle has registration HH – TR645 which is an odd plate. Being the suspicious type I checked it. It is invalid and so almost certainly the vehicle isn’t a vehicle at all but merely a film prop.

This week I was sent details of some marvellous BBC sound effects which include some early car sounds and car-related sounds. http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/

This is listed as “Cars: 1.6 GL (Manual) 1982 model Ford Cortina. Exterior, tickover recorded near exhaust”. Which for anyone who is wondering what a car of the 1980s would sound like is pretty close to how I remember.

Ford Cortina 1982 Tickover Download audio

Back to Wreck of the Week proper and another ruster drawn from the nation’s favourite auction site.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192460868689?ul_noapp=true

This one struck my eye because it is just up the road from me and very close to where my partner is working currently.

I say is, however the listing has been ended because the vehicle is “no longer available” so we have to assume it found a buyer, eager or otherwise.

 

Originally listed at £2,300.00 sadly there is no automotive equivalent of the land registry to determine what it actually made in the end. (Even if there was – the absence of any registration details makes such a search impossible).

We’re treated to 5, yup 5 gleaming pictures of marvelousness to sate our nostalgia demons. The text doesn’t do much more to convey anything:

“1966 FORD MUSTANG

SOLID SHELL

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

THERE IS NO PAPERWORK WITH THIS CAR

I CAN DELIVER FOR £1.50 PER MILE

CAR LOCATED NEAR ROYSTON HERFORDSHIRE

CASH ON COLLECTION

PLEASE NOTE THE ANGLIA AND FAST BACK ARE NOT FOR SALE”

I’ve left the shouty text in place this time to convey the full-on nature of modern auction site listings. If someone was speaking like this I would rather be at the other end of a very long room.

Now Royston is a big place but for those not of the United Kingdom (or maybe those of its further flung elements of this nation) here is the approximate location of said vehicle:

So what are we getting in this “What you see is what you get” auction.

Shame it is not for sale that Anglia looks much more my cup of tea to be honest. I can’t see enough of the vehicle beyond it to make out what it is, but what a marvellous place with all these pieces of automotive history lined up just ripe for the restorer to feast his eyes upon.

In any case from the text we can ascertain that the car for sale is in the foreground, none of those in the background are so hands off sonny.

All we know about it is that it is 1966. There are no registration details and given there is no paperwork it is easily feasible that the car was never registered in the UK – we’ve covered the niceties of the NOVA system before.

However some comments on the impact where you have no documentation at all are here:

http://www.nsra.org.uk/newforum/showthread.php?61208-NEW-IMPORTATION-RULES-NOVA-(Notification-of-Vehicle-Arrivals)

Put it this way I am not certain I would want to wind my way through the various departments to satisfy them that the vehicle has been properly imported and that all relevant taxes have been paid. It is not clear what happens if you don’t satisfy them but an unregistered car is without value (unless you want to limit it to the race track) and unpaid tax can become an expensive problem…

So apart from the soft-porn focusing (we’re kind of used to that now I think ) what have we. No engine, no gearbox, no front wings, no ancilliaries, no suspension, little or no braking system, no front panels. In fact it appears more like the before in a banger race.

As it stands though what can be seen does not look excessively rusty. So it is possible that this could be used to reshell a car that was completely gone bodywise but had most of the parts.

Unlike a previous Wreck of the Week featuring a Mustang this one has a windscreen and so perhaps there is some hope for the interior.

To be fair, if you’ve been following Wreck of the Week for any period of time then you will have seen much rustier prospects but potentially not cars that have less included with them. (Even the windscreen wipers are absent from this one).

What surprises me from the pictures is that you can fit a stonking V8 between those suspension turrets but scale is something that photographs may not convey well.

Ok, the interior is not quite (but almost) a pond. Heavy moss growth indicates that starting on the car now before it gets much worse is probably an astute plan. The algae covered item may well be the front offside wing although there is no sign of the normal use of car-as-shed approach. This means that there doesn’t appear to be the usual smorgasbord of spares that some of these adverts entice us with.

Not a particularly easy view of much of the interior but apart from the previously noted no gearbox problem, there are no carpets, no seats, no dashboard, a steering wheel which is missing some parts.

On the upside it does look relatively intact metalwise – not much call for Joe le welder here. (Those fans of the welding art form can groan now).

I’m unclear why the rear footwell is a storage vessel for odd fastenings – perhaps it had visions of becoming a shed and never got that far.

Perhaps a better focused version of one we’ve seen before. So no clues about the rear, the boot area, the underside (other than what we can glean from the interior shot), the rear wheelarches – other glass in the car and so on and so fifth.

Well that’s it, no more images to enthral us.

So necessarily a brief one this week. You’ll have to go and do some real work now.

Next week lets hope someone who was a true David Bailey. Preferably one with laryngitis of the advertising text as well.

 

If you took this one home please let us know what you did with her, it would be fascinating to discover what kind of future she has..

 

 

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Image source Roman Robroek http://www.romanrobroek.nl

 

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

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

(Whilst that site looks at crumbly ruins this one looks at crumbly panels).

 

Car Ownership Guide

An idea which might appeal to owners of cars out there if you have a car which you are interested in and are knowledgeable about then I am happy to write an article about it and post it on this blog.

The work for you is that (unless you are located very close to me) I will need you to answer a questionnaire (and possibly some follow-on questions) and I will need you to have reasonable ability with a digital camera – the blog is going to need pictures as well.

Although I compiled the following article from an interview in the old fashioned – turn up ask questions – manner. It seems feasible that I could compile a questionnaire from this which I could despatch to whoever was interested.

I am hoping that the idea has appeal and will encourage people to submit cars. If you are reading this blog and you’re aware of someone else who will fit the bill by all means pass along details so that they can profit from it.

A considerable number of years ago, when it was easier to dream, I had in mind that I would like to write for a classic car magazine. At that time one of the magazines was featuring a “Best of the Web” article. I was working in IT and loved old cars and so this suited me well.

For a short while I researched and wrote these articles and fitted it in around the day job.

Sadly there was a change at the magazine and it was determined (probably correctly) that the “Best of the Web” article was as boring as a lengthy parliamentary speech. So it was pulled.

A person less given to dreaming would probably have seen the writing on the wall. I hadn’t yet let go of that writing dream however and so I tried to come up with some ideas of articles that I could do.

I was approaching the very limits of expertise. I had no background in engineering or in journalism but I wasn’t going to let this stop me.

I realised that once in a while a very knowledgeable person drawn from a classic car club would lay out what it was like to own a specific kind of car. Such accounts were no doubt rose-tinted and that suited my somewhat romantically idealised view of ancient machines.

So I set about contacting owners clubs but I was aware that I could not use the cachet of any magazine’s name as strictly speaking I didn’t work for any of them.

Unsurprisingly for a very long time I didn’t get any takers.

Eventually however I had a response from Tom Lucas who was the owner of a Lomax. For those uninitiated to this car it is a vehicle that you could assemble yourself based upon a 2CV.

It turns out that I had been very lucky to find Tom. Not only was he knowledgeable and keen, he was also willing to help someone who quite obviously was no journalist.

I have subsequently discovered that Tom Lucas (surely the same man) published a book called “Lomax the First Ten Years” bookfinder.

The car YSU191 has also been the recipient of prizes.

It is also apparently still taxed and MOTd to this date according to the DVLA.

Tom, if you are reading this, thank-you for your help.

I returned to the magazine in the hope of a new venture but it turned out I was not as good at this writing business as I had hoped. There was certainly no suggestion of the article being used.

As a result I am free to use the article on this blog all these years later and hopefully Tom will get to see it here.

This was the article:

 

Ownership Guide

Engine

This is usually removed from a 2CV, the engine can be taken from an Ami 8, Dyane or from the rarer Ami Super.

Most Lomax are built with a standard 602cc 2CV, Dyane or Ami 8 engine (these are essentially the same being an air-cooled flat twin of 30 BHP).

The older 435cc engine (not found in donor cars after the 1970s) will fit but is rarely used.

Useful power improvements can be obtained by fitting the Ami Super engine (1015cc). This is a flat-four air-cooled engine and requires the 4-speed gearbox from the same car.

Alternatively the later Citroen GS (1299cc) unit is a simple exchange.

The Citroen Visa power plant (652cc) provides a more complex challenge. This 38 BHP motor had electronic ignition requiring sensors on the gearbox bell housing which do not easily fit the 2CV. One method in use is to utilise motorcycle electronic ignition from a BMW on the front of the engine.

Officially any 2CV engine from 1985 will run on unleaded; however engines from the 1960s are currently running on unleaded without detrimental effects.

The exception is the Visa 9 ½:1 compression engine, which requires super-unleaded.

The standard engine is “bullet proof,” even modified engines tend to have a standard bottom-end, as it is very tough.

Valve and seats are very hard and recession tends not to be a problem. Valve clearances are checked then checked again after the first 6000 miles. If no recession is detectable no further checks are necessary.

Oil Changes

It is worthwhile doing regular oil changes at 3000 miles – maintaining this interval gives increased engine life expectancy of 150,000 miles with 300,000 miles a possibility.

10/40 oil is recommended for the 2CV but the Lomax has different requirements due to the absence of the cooling fan from the front of the engine. This means that the engine runs hotter than in the 2CV a 20/50 oil should therefore be used.

Use of synthetic (or semi-synthetic) oil is not required.

The oil filter should be changed at the same time as the oil. This is easily accessible as the bonnet can be removed in one piece. It is therefore considerably easier to access than in the 2CV donor.

Parts are available from ECAS (Eastwood Continental AutoSpares) of Stafford (01785) 282882.

Carburettor

The standard 2CV is fitted with a single carburettor positioned in the middle of the engine over the crankcase (a downdraft Solex).

This requires a long manifold to each cylinder.

Post 1982 2CVs, Dyanes and Amis were fitted with a twin choke version – this yields 2-3 BHP extra.

A common modification is to fit 2 motorbike carbs on short manifolds (for example the flat slide Dellortos from a Moto Guzzi). This modification yields significant performance advantages.

Ignition

There is no standard distributor; instead there is a points box rather like that on a motorcycle engine.

This has a 2-lobe cam producing a spark to both cylinders at every engine revolution via a double-ended coil.

The cylinder that is on the compression stroke is able to use the spark to fire. The cylinder on the exhaust stroke gets a ‘wasted spark’.

Modifications include electronic ignition kits from Lumenition – this replaces the points and box lid with a sensor (£115). An alternative “123” Dutch-made kit is available through ECAS. This replaces the point’s box and the advance/retard mechanism (£112).

Gearbox

All gearboxes fitted since the start of production are the same in that they are all 4 speed.

The internal ratios differ slightly, the Dyane having a slightly higher ratio in top gear.

The gearbox is behind the engine and drive is transmitted via drive shafts incorporating disc or drum brakes.

The low weight of the Lomax and its relatively small frontal area (compared to the 2CV) make the gearing a handicap.

Top gear limits performance to around 80mph, as higher speeds would cause the engine to rev excessively (no taller final-drive ratios are available).

Gearbox rebuilds are very rarely required, as they are very durable. For instance large, quality, bearings were used in the gearbox manufacture. Regular gearbox oil changes at 12,000-mile intervals are recommended to prolong gearbox life. Reconditioned gearboxes are available from ECAS (£220).

Brakes

The brakes are inboard – either drums or discs dependent upon the age of the donor (cars prior to 1982 having drum brakes). Changing pads is easy; changing shoes requires removal of the driveshaft first.

Drum braked cars tend to have a more effective hand brake as the disk-braked cars have separate (small) pads for the handbrake. The lightweight of the Lomax however, means that this handbrake system is still adequate in disk-braked cars.

No flexible brake pipes are employed. The solid brake pipes are coiled to take up any suspension movement. Despite this unusual arrangement no brake pipe fractures take place.

The gearbox from a Citroen GS comes with 11” disc brakes which would seem a useful modification. However, the Lomax is already significantly lighter than the donor car so no changes to the brakes are necessary.

Later Citroens with disc brakes do not use standard brake fluid but LHM mineral oil. The seals on these cars are a different material to those on drum-braked models (which use standard brake fluid). This means that the correct fluid must be used. In addition when replacing the rear-wheel brake cylinder it is critical to select the right one (the LHM version is painted green).

Rust

The body of the Lomax is GRP and hence does not suffer from rust problems; however the chassis is of steel and from the donor car.

Earlier cars had better chassis (those built in the late 1960s) particularly the Ami – these are therefore better donors.

The chassis from an Ami Super is a good choice as it is made from 1.2mm steel. The 2CV chassis is made from 0.8mm steel.

Cars manufactured between 1987 and 1990 tend to be more prone to rust and should be avoided.

Alternatives include a galvanised square section tubular steel chassis produced by The Lomax Motor Company.

Alternatively ECAS sell a galvanised replacement 2CV chassis for £430.

Preservation of the chassis when constructing the car is recommended. To do this, prop the framework against a wall so that it is close to vertical. Pour in Waxoyl from the top and allow it to drain through.

The exhausts rot out regularly due to the small engine and long exhaust, the rear of which remains relatively cool even with prolonged use. This means that acids tend to condense causing deterioration of the back box.

It is common to use a motorcycle silencer on the Lomax, but in this application a stainless one is recommended.

Body

The body is all GRP and the floor is of plywood.

The GRP gelcoat is a popular finish to leave the car in when first assembled.

The colours available include British Racing Green, Pillar-Box Red and Anchusia Blue.

However the finish tends to fade in UV light (i.e. in the sun) dark shades particularly becoming unattractive after a number of years. The car can then be sprayed conventionally to disguise this.

Crazing of the GRP can occur at stress points over extended periods of time. Replacement panels are available or if the body tub is affected it is cheaper to grind away the gelcoat and fill with fibreglass resin.

Suspension

Most Lomax cars are assembled using the 3-wheeler format– this entails removal of one of the rear suspension arms. The remaining arm is modified at the Lomax factory allowing it to be turned through 1800 to be inboard of the rear chassis arm (which is removed).

The suspension is totally derived from the 2CV with horizontal canisters containing the road springs.

The kingpins tend to wear if they are not greased at 500-mile intervals. To replace these, the driveshafts have to be removed and the bushes replaced with a press or a sledgehammer and a drift can be employed for similar results. After 2 or 3 sets of kingpins have been fitted the arm is too worn to accept another set and must be replaced (£95).

The suspension arms turn on taper-roller bearings which can show signs of wear at 100,000 miles (£24.50 each – 2 of per unit) – they are sealed for life so once fitted need no maintenance.

Genuine Citroen telescopic shock absorbers are required (£65) as they are designed to work on their side – conventional shock absorbers would wear out very swiftly if employed.

The Lomax suspension is lowered when compared with the donor 2CV. The suspension arms have tie rods, which are threaded. Releasing these rods a few threads lowers the suspension. This increases the kingpin castor angle improving the self-centring of the steering with a slight increase in kingpin wear as a penalty.

The lowered suspension can “bottom-out” and so modifications have been developed to use both suspension canisters.

Lomax has chosen to use a “rear anti-roll bar.” An alternative is to use the arrangement originally designed for a competing kit car (the Falcon). A front anti-roll bar on the three-wheeler is a requirement to prevent the car banking hard into corners.

The anti-roll bar from a Citroen Ami 8 or Ami Super can be used to make cornering safer (these are now scarce). The Lomax Motor Company now manufactures its own version. Alternatives are available from other kit-car manufacturers e.g. Black Jack in Helston.

Performance Improvements

The air filter is a bulky item which can be improved with a low restriction type, such as that manufactured by K&N.

Removing the front cooling fan and ducting is good for 2 BHP.

Carburettor improvements include use of the later twin-choke version (2-3 BHP over the standard item) or use of twin motorcycle carbs.

Performance cams are now available due to the popularity of 2CV racing.

Modifications include boring out a standard 2CV engine to fit a Citroen Visa piston – this raises capacity to 650cc whilst retaining the same stroke as the 602cc. The downside is that the cylinder side wall is made very thin by this modification and the engine can seize whilst running in.

Swapping the 602cc engine for the 650cc engine from the Citroen Visa is workable (the camshaft in the Visa engine is “hotter” than standard) but this is not an easy modification.

Driving

3 wheeled driving is a very different experience. The car has a sports car stance being close to the ground and alighting requires climbing down into the seats.

The suspension retains the donor’s ability to soak up potholes – only finding difficulty with the taller “sleeping policemen”. If the rear wheel hits a diesel patch or wet manhole cover then the rear can step out, but will swiftly regain traction.

The insurance is very low due to the small engine size.

There is lots of capacity in the boot for shopping or even continental touring.

The car is relatively safe in accidents due to built-in weak points in the Citroen chassis– a built in “crumple-zone”. These fold in the event of accident protecting the cockpit from serious damage.

The performance is better than the 2CV donor with good acceleration and 80mph normal. It will cruise at 70mph easily.

It is equally manoeuvrable handling twisty back roads faster than a number of conventional vehicles.

The controls are conventional apart from the gear change pattern where 1st is opposite reverse. The handbrake is an umbrella version (from 2CV donor) although some builders have opted for a more conventional handbrake layout.

 

 

With thanks to Tom Lucas for advice and information. Tom is the author of “Lomax the First Ten Years” (£10 from most bookstores).

 

 

 

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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

I followed up last week’s “rust in peace” search in the hope of finding something from the UK.

Instead I found another American site (It seems they are so much better at rust in peace than we are currently). Or more prolific with it in any case:

http://apexautomag.com/2015/06/rust-in-peace/

The above article explains some of the author’s nostalgia for cars. He misses something for me. There is something about a car designed to do a job sitting instead slowly mouldering which is very sad and at the same time interesting.

So I decided to follow-up with another YouTube video:

This one wasn’t quite as fetching as last week’s predominantly because of the pace with which it shifts through the cars. It is too Speedy Gonzalez  for me.

However the list of cars is interesting:

Grey Ferguson

Fordson Major with cat tracks.

Peugeot 405 MI16X4 with registration

Hillman Imp

Ford Capri MK3 (Once xpack kitted)

Ford Cortina with registration OOF 752X

VW Scirocco with registration H749 LJB

Morris 8 with registration BDE 133

Austin Metro with registrion BUY 1W

Honda motorbike with registration NNA 392W

VW Scirocco

Triumph Spitfire

Morris Minor with registration LCM 607G

Ford Escort MK5 with registration J422 FFM

Peugeot 309 GTI with registration F160 GSO

Ford Escort MK4 with registration E873 EMY

Ford Sierra with registration F731 SHW

BMW CSI 635 AUTO with registration D723 DAA

This is the list given in the video’s notes. However there must be some missing. I definitely spotted a Jag. I thought I also saw what looked like a Bedford HA van with a camper roof. There are probably more.

There is no clue as to where any of these cars are, (we have to content ourselves with a “Shropshire salvage yard”). Some of them look sufficiently interesting that they might be tempting to a restorer, for the right price anyway.

Delving once again into the overpriced world of historic rust auctions – this week is an odd one. The car does not appear to have sold, despite being relisted at least once.

Compared to some of the auctions we have seen this did not seem overpriced.

For some reason it appears that Morris Minor Saloons are not in demand for restoration now.

In their day the car was no more mundane than a Ford. But we have seen the high prices that classics with a Ford badge now command.

It is sad that apparently Morris does not seem to have the same cachet.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1966-Morris-Minor-Project-/183061294007.

£1000 (roughly $1380 or €1120) was the starting bid and apparently the reserve was not met.

I can find no trace of it being listed again. So it looks like the seller gave up due to lack of interest, or decided to sell it elsewhere.

This gives the sale value for a good one at £4600: https://www.hagertyinsurance.co.uk/price-guide/1966-Morris-Minor (roughly $6348 or €5152).

So they are not immensely valuable, and restoring a bad one can soon absorb all that money. (Think of the time to weld, fill, prime, and ultimately spray a car for example).

It appears that the desirable Morris Minor models are the convertible, van, and pickup. Sadly this is not one of those.

On the upside the seller seems to have a large list of parts (only some of which were listed in the advert).

He states that “everything needed to finish the project” is included. This encompasses “over £1300 worth of new parts” (approx. $1794 or €1456). This includes a complete clutch, brakes with all new pipes, and the original 1048 engine (in bits). There is also a choice of 2 other engines a 948 and a 1048.

I seem to remember that these cars are not about to tear the tarmac up at Santa Pod. So the bigger engine the better is probably the answer.

Given the similarity with a Mini engine I wonder whether a 1.3 from a Metro might not be a better choice in fact.

The seller also mentions that there is “2 maybe 3 radiators, a few front grills, spare fibre glass wings, original interior, steel exhaust”. There are some other parts which he hasn’t described here. (Further details are available on request).

So let’s look at her then

Morris 1

Sadly this is the maximum size image (of the complete car) available. I take it this is from sometime in the past in any case as later pictures seem to indicate that it is now in pieces.

Morris 2

The advert refers to a chassis rebuild being needed. I’m guessing by the brake junction in the foreground that we are looking at the engine bay. As these things go it isn’t as bad as it could be. But it does indicate why the car will need to be “trailered away”.

I’m no Morris genius but there appears to be fairly substantial holes where I’m sure metal should be. So I think a deal of time with a welding set would have been in someone’s future (had there been any interest).

Morris 3

This looks like another close up on a section of chassis with behind it, I’m guessing, a box with engine parts. It looks like an oil pickup pipe from the sump (presumably of this car).

I’m not convinced much of this steel is recoverable looking at it. One hopes that spare chassis sections can be obtained (unless any prospective buyer is also a genius at metal-fabrication work).

Morris 4

I suppose on the upside there is no evidence of previous bodges. (That is probably fairly remarkable in a 52 year old car). But there is a fair amount to make or find when you have holes that size to fix.

Morris 5

I assume this is also engine bay. In the foreground – washer bottle at the rear – gearbox bellhousing. Some of these sections look like they might not be perforated. They might stand cleaning up (unless that is my habitual over-optimism with rusty things).

Morris 6

Given the presence of a battery terminal connector this is also engine bay and by the looks of it a close up shot of the chassis leg. This doesn’t look too bad as these things go. It may even tolerate cleaning up.

Morris 7

It looks like we are now starting to look at spares. This looks like a grill surround with a wing visible behind it.

Morris 8

And here are those wings looking very intact in fact. Given he describes the wings as “fibreglass” this could well be why.

Morris 9

This looks like one of the engines he mentions.

Morris 10

This looks like the other engine. (Although I’m not sure how to tell which engine is the higher capacity of the two).

Morris 11

The only real shot of the actual car in its current state. There are some quite visible signs of rust through the window. Potentially much of the floor is also missing here.

There’s no doubting the work involved. However it does not look in the league of some of the cars we’ve seen. The difference here being the low values that these cars obviously attract in comparison to other cars of the same age.

I’m concerned that the seller states “I have tried to be as honest as I can”.

Surely as honest as feasible is absolutely honest? However he doesn’t pull any punches over his description: “it is a brave but very doable restoration”.

I guess anything is doable if you have the time, patience, skills and above all money to invest in it.

Sadly he is not well enough to complete the restoration himself having contracted throat cancer. I can imagine that an experience that difficult will be a life changing one. It is unlikely that when struck with cancer restoring a rusting car is at the forefront of your mind. We can hope that he has a full and successful recovery.

(We can also hope there is a brave Morris-orientated restorer out there. A restorer who has bought this car via a route that doesn’t involve the nation’s favourite auction site).

He states “I just don’t want to scrap it and resell all the parts”. This is laudable given that normally the parts are worth more than a car would sell for.

It doesn’t look like it has much history. He states that “I also have an original front section of a V5 when it was sold to another owner from 1995, but no other service history.”

That’s a shame I really love those stories of the years carefully cossetted (followed by the years of minimal cossetting).

Perhaps he got his way. He does state he would like to swap it for a motorhome. Still my experience of motorhomes is that they are quite good at holding their price.

This for example: https://www.marquisleisure.co.uk/motorhomes/stock-item/autocruise-starfire-el-37607 at £23,995 (approx $33113 or €26874).

That’s quite a lot of cash adjustment on a £1000 (roughly $1380 or €1120) car…

The car may have sold elsewhere. In which case if the buyer does read this blog in the future please let us know how you got on.

Let’s hope that the seller is doing well and that somewhere this car has a restorer humming away in his/her workshop of choice.

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 and will be all about corrosion).

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

Follow The Procrastination Pen on WordPress.com

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.

If you liked this article why not follow this blog Follow The Procrastination Pen on WordPress.com

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/

Wreck of the Week

Not a lot of feedback this week.

I seem to have more people reading the blog who are keen on a) the writing material b) the counselling material.

However I will persist with this on the basis that the rust aficionados are not quite so outspoken.

The concept is based upon the property website:

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

Although I feel that there should be something similar for things with an engine.

This week has had so many potential examples of wrecks that I was struggling to know what to choose.

That is until my partner pointed out that this week’s car is a “gangster car” which meant it was the top choice.

I have no firm feelings about what a “gangster car” should look like so this one may well fit the bill better than most.

This is the car I’m talking about:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1953-ALVIS-TC21-FOR-TOTAL-RESTORATION-MANUAL-GEARBOX-DELIVERY-POSSIBLE-/122865998941

Unlike last week this one is a classified ad so that I can only guess at what it finally fetched.

On the upside it is very well served with photographs.

These give a very good idea about what is involved in restoring it.

I have little familiarity with Alvis. So I thought this time I would take a quick look around to see what they are, how desirable they are and so on.

Wreck 1

It turns out that all car production ceased in 1965 which is a bit before I was born.

The likelihood of significant replacement panels being available is unlikely.

From the above photograph the front bumper might stand re-chroming. But there is a lot of rust worm obvious in front of the driver’s side front wing.

The TC21 was noted for its bonnet scoops – which this one is missing.

Perhaps only one variant actually had them.

Wreck 2

It looks like production was between 1953 and 1955 only. At 1953 this is an early one.

Those running boards look like they are going to need significant attention.

A quick scan of the available TC21 cars out there reveals that £20,000 – £45,000 is needed to buy a good one.

So perhaps this justifies the interest in this.

Wreck 3

However there is no V5 and only the seller’s say-so that getting hold of one is straightforward.

Of greater interest in any case are the fabrication skills that you’re going to need to resurrect this car.

It looks though like a number of TC21s are now on wire wheels. So the steel wheels – and what look like good condition tyres are a bit of a surprise.

Wreck 4

This side view is a lot more revealing.

The rear wing is apparently attached by prayer and the boot surround needing a touch of magic.

I do love the rear wheel arch covers though – give a look of style to the car, although I bet they are a devil to keep clean.

Wreck 5

The boot floor in need of more than a polish.

The lack of underside shots means we have to speculate about the chassis’ condition.

I notice that some Alvis cars were built with an ash frame. I’m not clear if it includes the TC21.

If it does welding might well be the least of the problems that you would have to encounter.

Wreck 6

The nearside view doesn’t look any more awe-inspiring than the offside.

It definitely looks like it is going to need some specialist skills to put that back.

Wreck 7

The engine though looks amazing; apparently a 3 litre and 100bhp in the day.

Despite having the aerodynamics of a cocktail cabinet it could apparently reach 100mph.

Piling along at 100mph in a mobile stately home is an achievement particularly in 1953.

Twin SUs at least look like the kind of thing that can be recovered in 2018.

Wreck 8

Perhaps we should focus on the interior:

Wreck 9

Oh dear it looks like Mr and Mrs Mouse moved in a little while ago and fancied a meal of leather and horsehair.

No escape from a complete reupholster from the looks of this.

Wreck 10

But what a dashboard and what door cappings, a period of style and grace which it appears worthwhile trying to recapture (if your pockets are deep enough).

I love how far the speedo is from the driver as if watching one’s speed is for lesser people.

Wreck 11

And lastly another view of that engine.

It looks like it was on for £3750. So there is some ceiling for that £22,000 asking price.

But with this quantity of work I have to hope the buyer is very skilled as that could be swallowed in bodyshop fees.

It would be sad if it had only been purchased to supply parts for another TC21.