I’ve always had a soft spot for Herald Convertibles. In 1970, at the tender age of 18, I traded in my very first car, a Hillman Imp, for a dark blue 1964 Herald Convertible which cost the princely sum of £165 – I think that I got around £90 as trade-in value for the Imp. As I was only earning £27/10s a month at the time this was not only a considerable investment but also a significant step up and an excellent introduction to open top motoring (I seem to recall not having put the hood up for at least the first six months of ownership). Those were the days! I kept the Herald for about two years before ‘upgrading’ to a Spitfire which promptly dropped its thrust washers and needed an engine rebuild. Still, that’s progress for you.
It so happens that my affection for Herald Convertibles has stood the test of time, so when I heard about a car in need of restoration that had been off the road for more than twenty years, I couldn’t resist going to have a look. Well ………. one thing leads to another and before you could say ‘complete rebuild’ I’d made an offer and bought myself a project for the winter months.
Now, I’m writing this introductory blog having owned the car for about three weeks but actually having seen it in the back of a lock-up garage for around half an hour! Not exactly the best way to make an investment in motoring history. I think that the bodywork’s in reasonable condition (for its age and considering that it’s been sat in a locked garage for at least two decades) but to be entirely honest I’m not entirely sure what I’ve bought and won’t know for certain until I get it home and have a chance to give the car a good blast with the pressure washer before crawing underneath and doing some serious prodding.
Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to chart the restoration of this ‘automotive walk down memory lane’ from start to eventual finish – which will hopefully take no more than six or seven months and cost no more than …………………… ah, well that would be telling wouldn’t it.