OK, if you remember the car came back from the Retro Car mag track day at Elvington in October 2003 looking like this.
It turned out to be a compressed rear spring but, one thing lead to another and, the car ended up like this .
So in just 2 days I'm left with a bare shell and a pile of bits. This was November 2003 and here are a few pics of the progress to date.
First the shell was bead blasted to get rid of any rust and identify any major problems.
As you can see the shell is not exactly original but it was, on the whole, very strong.
Apart from the rear arches which had been filled with about 20 lbs of filler. Look at the state of the "join"
A very interesting looking underside - I think this car has been fabricated from scratch.
There were a couple of bits on the rear of the chassis
rails that needed plating but, again, the majority was solid.
and then etch prime the car to keep the surface rust at bay.
The original intention was to create a Zakspeed replica but I tried for months with no success to find a supplier who had a kit or someone who had a set of moulds. I then decided to simply replace the fibreglass wings and bubbles with some new ones so took delivery of these (and a set of rear bubbles) from Smith & Deakin
About this time I also changed jobs and found myself working away all week and unable to spend much time working on the car at the weekend so things stalled for a while - about 18 months in fact
We now find ourselves in October 2005, 2 years almost to the day that the car was last on the road, and Ken (RSEcsorts) and I were chatting.
It was decided that he would finish putting the car back together for me and the car was shipped up to his unit.
However, during the 18 month gap I'd managed to track down a supplier who had a set of Zakspeed moulds so I now found myself taking delivery of a set of these
As you can see this changed the job ahead a bit as there was just a little bit of blending in to do on this kit vs the usual bubbles and the one piece front wings from S&D
While this was going on I'd also sourced a fibreglass bonnet and boot from Lee (Popee) and popped over to pick them up before dropping them at Ken's to find him progressing with the blending in of the wings etc
Skip forward a couple of weeks and loads of progress is being made and the new wings are really starting to look the business
Another couple of weeks have passed and the rebuild is still going strong
The cage is painted and welded in, the underside, inside, engine bay etc. is painted up along with the bonnet and boot
While all this was going on Ken was also busy rebuilding the engine
This was the cam that came out of it after the Retro Cars track day in October 2003. As you can see it's a little warn
Anyway, an order was placed with RPI and lots of shiny bits duly arrived
Ken had also spotted an ad for a set of flowed and ported heads so I gave the guy a call, money was exchanged, they arrived in the post and were then assembled
Now, along with all of the nice shiny stuff that would never be seen again, once it was inside the engine, I needed some shiny stuff for the outside so these were purchased
and just to top it off, and make sure we can extract all of the power from the new cam, one of these will be going on as well
It's an Edelbrock Performer series 500 cfm carb to replace the Holley 390 cfm carb that's currently on the car
Now we come to the end of May and the majority of the shell is painted and it's time to drop the engine and box in so we can sort out the manifolds. As you can see the engine sits a little further back than is normal in a Mk1
The nearside manifold flies in but the drivers side fouls the steering column so we sort that.
It then fouls the engine mount so it's back out, bit more beating and heating and back in. Then it fouls the chassis, again out - then the starter - out again, then the clutch So it took us most of one afternoon to sort it out but at the end of it we had a manifold, albeit with a coupe of cuts, and a new bend required. Ken then welded it all back up and the job was a good un
Front suspension etc. is dropped in
as is the rear and we test fit the lights etc.
Another week passes and we're into June and it's time to test fit the front panels and see how the car is looking
First a couple of pics of the engine in situ - still with the old carb, rockers etc. for now, the shiney bits and the new carb won't go on until the engines run in
It's funny but 8" wide rims usually look quite bit on a Mk1 Think we need some slightly bigger ones
Luckily, here's a set I prepared earlier (although back to front as we have to sort out clearance etc.)
And here is the car (``lowered in Photshop to show the intended stance)
The front wing painted and ready for polishing
and, very important, we got the wiring in, the starting circuit, fuel pump etc. hooked up and were able to start the car for the first time in 2 1/2 yrs
Play it LOUD
The car is not actually wearing the front arches I bought (and Ken blended in) as he knows a guy, Derek, who is a genius with fibreglass. He took moulds of the blended in front arches and made a new set of one piece wings, he also took moulds of the complete rear quarters and made up about 3 front spoliers
He's also in the middle of making these at the moment - they're "race weight" at the moment
Now we come right up to date - the car is now back in my unit, these are the latest pictures
and this is a video of the homecoming - late on a Sunday night. WELCOME HOME
Here's a video clip of the car in action - this is the first time it had moved under it's own power since the strip down - FIRST DRIVE
For the final installment - Click here