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.

Wreck of the Week

I love crumbling old things.

Show me something pristine and I‘m impressed no doubt.

But the thing that captures my imagination is some romantic old ruin – one awaiting the care and attention of the dedicated.

People who can bring a ruin back to life are my heroes.

However at heart I love things when they are showing their age. Shabby, crumbling, worn are all aspects that interest me.

I have been following a site called Wreck of the Week for a year or more:

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

in which Sue lists out the most intriguing old ruins she has found recently – often with land or to-die-for features.

I love this website.

Whilst I have spent way too long in my life looking at crumbling old ruins my first love is for things mechanical.

Every week I spend a daft amount of time perusing classic car sites and auction sites looking at heaps of rust – those which someone with enormous resources might just restore to working order.

Sometimes I even see some post restoration.

I now think that a wreck of the week based on cars, vans, trucks and so on would be an idea.

Like Wreck of the Week it won’t exactly be weekly. I am considering that I’m only going to look at it if it causes me some interest.

With luck it will be of interest to others too.

So for this week I thought that we’d start with:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ford-Cortina-MK1-Pre-Air-Flow-1964-2-Door-1500cc-/112728034430

I find it awe-inspiring how much anything with the Ford badge attracts now.

I started out with a profound love of everything with a griffin on the nose (Vauxhall). It seems I chose unwisely based upon the values that Ford cars now attract.

This one is a 1964 so 54 years old at present and with the appealing CND rear light arrangement.

There is a large amount to do with this one.

wreck1

The seller states that he has only the shell.

Such that although it is declared as a 1500cc this is largely moot – someone will be supplying a suitable engine from elsewhere.

wreck2

The car was last on the road in 1984.

But given there is no running gear – a seized engine or rusted on brakes are not going to concern you.

wreck3

The shell, does not look as doily-fied as many such vehicles.

If you stick around to read probably many I shall feature on this blog.

But the seller does state that the front panel needs replacing. Whether such things are still obtainable after all this time I do not know.

wreck4

Thankfully it has a V5 – so you would not have to wrestle with registering it.

However availability of spares for a 54-year old car may not be optimal in my experience. Especially items like front wings and interior for example.

The registration number is listed as historic, 4 numbers and 2 letters, xxxx NU. But it is hard to know if this is sufficient to justify the final bid which was £2,050.00 after 43 bids.

This in anyone’s book is very healthy interest.

It would be interesting to see if the car pops up again post restoration. Firstly to know how long it took to restore (surely measured in years rather than months). In addition to know how much a restored one of these would fetch.

At least you can say that it would be something that was nearly entirely of your own building. There is so little left of it.