I enjoyed this one. Always up for a challenge especially when I'm told it can't be done!
As viewed in May 09. In an unlit farm outbuilding where it had lain since 1982. One lady owner since new and with only 39,000 miles - this car looked really bad.
Rejected by some other restorers I was fairly sure this would be better under the surface and with such good history it had to be worth a try!
With the original wheels reconditioned, the steering lock, brake shoes and pads removed we could roll it out into the daylight for the first time in 27 years.
The rot you can see on the OSR corner was typical on this car. Everywhere a screw or trim clip was fitted was centre to a huge patch of damp rusty rot. Most of it blew away with the jetwash it was so bad. All the serious rot on this car had been caused by condensation
making normally unnaffected areas rotten and vise versa.
Haha, you have to laugh, but you can see here exactly what I mean. Although this car had been Ziebarted when new, that inner wing
panel sits so close to the outer wing that it doesn't get covered. It proved to be a real problem as it was unavailable new for the duration of the project. You can see the rear panelwork being unpicked for replacement....
.....and the car sometime later with the body almost finished. (note that OSR inner wing still not done!)
I was hoping we would get away without removing the body but rot in the rear trailing arm outriggers meant it had to be done. The door apertures were braced, as was the boot - that pesky OSR inner wing again!
With new outriggers, T shirt pressings and numerous small repairs completed, the chassis was primed,
painted and as much 'hard to get at' stuff done as possible.
Finally I chanced upon a new inner wing panel at a supplier, so with the body back on the chassis it was off to the paintshop. All panels painted and the backs undersealed off the car to ensure this TR6 won't rust again in a hurry. As for the rest of the car, only the bonnet and passenger door remain of the outer panels. All four wings, front valance, rear valance, rear inner valance, both outer sills, rear deck panel, OSR inner wing panel, OS boot side panel, OS door skin, both splash panels - quite a list.
Check those floors - all they got was a lick of paint and some little repairs around the seat belt mounts.
All of the exterior fittings were re-used except for the bumpers which are all new. With the grille reconditioned and the rear panel finished in satin black this car looks great now. Good hardtops are scarce
up here but one was eventually tracked down and refinished to match the car.
She drives really nicely, obviously we fully overhauled the suspension and brakes with all new bushes, joints, cylinders, pipes and hoses. The engine we knew was good as we had it started on the first day in the workshop. Some clean plugs, points, fuel and oil and away she went - evicting another rats nest out of the exhaust!
Amazingly the interior is all original except for the carpets, needing nothing more than a good scrub.
The engine bay had been thoroughly ziebarted everywhere so really was a lost cause. We settled for refurbishing all the tinware and bracketry, a good clean and re-blacking the underseal with a coat of black waxoyl.
A very handsome TR6. And a fantastic Christmas present for a very lucky young man! I'd happily have kept this one.