It was in spring 2010, that the rot set in. He sneaked off on a working day to Chieveley , Berkshire, where he had seen a Citroen Traction Avant advertised. He came back with stories of this sweet TR3, he had seen and how it seemed essential that he had another car to fiddle with. Once a vehicle becomes necessary, I have learned that it inevitably joins the family and sure enough in April 2010 we travelled to Chieveley in the Bristol 400 to collect a dark green TR3A.
It did not drive well, despite his assurances that it was a good car, some of the panels did not fit well and the inside was a bit tired! A wife’s perspective!!
So, it came to pass that the TR was booked in to the body shop. Off came the chrome, out came the trim but for one seat, out came the engine and gearbox, and off came the paint. The remains were trailered to the body shop.
Some days later, our son called in: “Dad, Bob’s taken a can opener to the TR!!”
As time went on, the wings came off, the sills were cut out, the boot floor cut out. In fact not much of any of that remained, the demon rust had eaten most of it, and certain body mounts and fixings were missing completely. There were pounds of filler, some evidence of previous impacts, and a general feeling of neglect!! Oh dear!
Whilst the remains of the car were being made smaller and smaller, the axle and gearbox were rebuilt and the engine overhauled but not rebuilt completely.
After an age, the body looked like a body but in the car version of Frankenstein’s monster, all welds and different colours. Bob said, it would need several coats of paint and he would do the undercoats in the paint he had available. So it looked like Joseph’s Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Then the top coats started to go on, glorious red. It returned home, and then the various parts had to be returned to their proper place. Having been at the body shop a year, there was the problem of remembering where everything was stored and where it went. A new wiring loom caused a fair amount of bad language, the rest went quite easily. But almost every moving part had been replaced! Interestingly, for example, the front shackle pin and bush for the TR3 was about £7.00, for the Bentley Mark VI which we also have, that part is £300.00.
To show it is a family affair, our daughter, Liz (pictured here) was gopher for the installation of the engine and kept smiling!
At the time of writing, the seats have yet to be trimmed, but the carpeting has been done, the side screens have been refurbished and the car has been used in the glorious spring weather we have had. A road test of the time describes the exhaust as a muted purr, my family describe it as a throaty roar!! It is not a quiet car and is much worse with the roof up!!
Husband very pleased with the result.
p.s. I have yet to buy a suitable hat to keep the hair under control!
Earlier this year, I wrote about the rebuilding of Evie and her first Glavon outing to St Fagan’s. Since then the Husband has spent many happy hours pottering about Gloucestershire and visiting friends, that is until just before the International Weekend at Malvern, which he wanted to go to.
Returning from one of his little trips round, about two weeks before said weekend, and coming up the hill about a mile from home, there was a BANG and an alarming rat-a-tat-tat. Long faced he was, reporting he was sure it had broken the crank.
He then set about stripping the engine, bear in mind his target was the International weekend, and sure enough the crank was in two pieces, the nose of the crankshaft between number one cylinder and the timing cover had broken off. The reason was, apparently, and this is a non expert speaking, the big end journals had been ground with sharp or square corners instead of radiused ones.
A very kindly club member, seeing Husband’s gloomy post on the forum, got in touch and offered, at a modest price, a replacement crank. This duly arrived. The big ends were ground 10 thou, and the whole assembly, then balanced with the flywheel and clutch at Country Engineering in Oldbury. Ian, there could not have been quicker with the work.
The crank assembly delivered home, the business of re-assembly began. The only other replacement was the piston rings, the old ones not being a good fit, leading to oil consumption problems.
The engine ran again two days before the weekend, and Ashley and our son Richie went to Malvern on the Saturday!
The next item on the agenda, is trying to stop the water coming in over the top of the windscreen and under the hood. Apparently the hood is not sitting down correctly. However Husband says you don’t get very wet with the hood down!! I don’t believe him.