Collection and ‘first look’

The day set for collecting the car finally arrived and I was grateful to Eric for his advice, strength and trailer which made the whole process so much easier.  We were joined by Jane Rowley  who kept me greatly amused (!) by repeated comments such as ‘all it needs is a few tins of T Cut’!  The rear N/S brake was well and truly locked on but we managed to get the car on the trailer by using one of the ‘dollies’ that came as part of the deal and, staggeringly enough, all of the tyres managed to hold some air – not bad after around three decades of deflation. 

Ms Rowley trying her best to recruit a new member for TSSC Gloucester – don’t bother Jane, he’s an Austin man!

Getting the car into a sensible position once Eric and I got it home was a different matter.  Dollies with 3 inch wheels don’t rotate easily on gravel drives and I eventually decided to leave it ‘abandoned’ in the middle of the drive until such time as I could release the locked brake drum.  The bad news is that it’s still there as the next day I came down with a full-blown case of flu and have been bedded down for the last 12 days while the car starts to look even sadder and more dejected!  Not a great start to the restoration.

Being a bit of an impatient sort of chap (really?) and a bit of an idiot (really!) yesterday I decided to rise from my sickbed and make what I suspect will be the first of several assaults on the car with the power washer.  The results were interesting.  As expected the rear valences immediately disintegrated into an unpleasant mixture of rust and mud, whereas the rest of the body panels, although carrying plenty of surface rust, appear to be sound with no gaping holes or spectacular views of the gravel drive from inside the car.   The passenger door in particular seems to have been repainted at some point in the car’s history; although under the force of the power washer the top coat immediately parted company with the door skin the undercoat/primer seems to be in good condition.  I suspect that it may be a different story when it comes to examining the points at which the body attaches to the chassis – but you never know.

For some reason 30 year-old grime can be more difficult to remove than 50 year-old paint!

Anyway, the priority over the next week will be to get that rear brake drum unlocked and manouevering the car into the relative ‘sanctuary’ of the garage.