So, the first thread gave an indicator of what one of my many interests is. I guess the time has come to give this blog more of an introduction.
Where did my interest begin? Was from my vague recollection of remembering my father tinkering with a then unloved but tweaked Mini 1275GT? Was it from seeing these old cars wafting about and with the ubiquitous Flame Red paintwork really coming alive upon the car being used, regardless of weather conditions? One thing is for sure ; it would seem that I was destined to go through a period of time with some BL rust in my blood, quite literally! Below you will find out about how I got into this game, the joys, the pitfalls of owning a car. The good, the bad and the ugly of what can come your way. However, it was a superb learning curve, and it has given me an idea of how better to go from doing tasks in terms of from A to B instead of going via C, Y and Z! Hopefully some of you may find my tales enlightening! Otherwise I apologise for wasting your time.
I guess if a tangible point had to be specified as to when my interested was sparked it would have to be on my 16th birthday, yup a fateful day. This was in the form of my birthday present; a fairly cheap MGB GT in brown. If I had any sense back then you could say that I should have run for the hills, especially if I told you that the car only had one month’s MOT and tax! However, like any naive classic car owner I could only see the positives ; an 8,000 mile Ivor Searle engine with new ancillaries, a refurbished gearbox along with new rear leaf springs.
Naturally, the photos flatter the car. They say a photo speaks a thousand words ; that is always the issue with photos:
That is the problem. A photo does only speak 1,000 words! What this photo shows is that the wings were slightly rusty at the front (nothing much), the door was iffy on the left hand side in addition to the fact that the overdrive was slipping upon the gearbox disengaging.
I could of course cut the car loose and look for something else. But what fun would that be?
The plan then was simple, or so it seemed at the time. Repaint the car, redo some of the suspension, acquire some new panels in addition to getting to grips with other areas of the car? Was it that simple? It never is, as you shall come to see in future updates.
One Reply to “The Real Genesis – What makes one tick”
I guess this is a tale of how I went from A to B whilst going via C and Z in order to do so. I guess in hindsight that I would change things but then now I would be lacking the knowledge that I gained as a result.
Where was I? I decided that it would go to a friend’s garage, where my father knew the friend quite well.
Initially the price seemed great, and we decided to get it resprayed. A time of a month was given. At the same time I noticed that an employee bought a very sheddy MGB with all sorts of wrong bits fitted as if it had been bodged up on the cheap, with filler showing its head in a bad way. Maybe I should have been worried.
A few weeks went by and some news came back. The wings were apparently rotten at the front (despite the inside of them as well as the outside of them looking fine before they went in) and the car required rear arches (this I guess was to be expected). Some Heritage rear wings were scored at a bargain price and some rubber bumper wings were also sourced At around this point I put more time towards my studies with my father offering to take over the project (after all, he had a share of cash in the car as well). He was told stories for many months about how the car was in primer and how they were sourcing various bits. I knew that a few other parts of the car required attention so a tailgate and door were also sourced.
3 years went on. In that time I had purchased many bits for it including a Spax front damper conversion, carpets, bits of trim in addition to other bits. When I started taking more of a focus towards it I was surprised that my dad had not seen the car for quite some time (he trusted the garage quite alot despite not having seen the car). After a firm discussion discussion I decided that we should go and see it. It turned out that the owners of the garage had done a runner. Furthermore, the car was not even at the garage! It was instead at a bodyshop not far away. Upon going to see it I was in for quite a surprise. For a car that was meant to be in paint this was what greeted me:
To say this was a low point was an understatement. The bodyshop wanted quite a sum of cash to restore the car from this state (more than I could have bought even a mint rubber bumper car for!). Many thoughts went through my head, including breaking the car for spares. However, leaving the car at the bodyshop (as simply spares) may not have been a bad idea!
Unfortunately, sentimentality got in the way. It was brought back home but it had to be put into a garage due to the sheer amount of work it needed. Eventually I gave it to another bodyshop, who decided to take the project on (and where the car was originally going to go);
At around this point (in 2005) I decided to take a different approach with the car. The rubber bumpers were never the best thing around, and so I decided to ditch them. But to replace them with Chrome bumpers? No. My plans were somewhat more ambitious! A few months later this is what the car looked like: