Wednesday, 25 March 2009

1969 Triumph 1300TC

Here’s my little front-wheel-drive Triumph 1300TC. There are only thought to be about 30 Twin Carburettor models left on the road. I bought this car in 2006 mainly because I was intrigued with the mechanical layout of the car. Unfortunately, it is not sound enough to pass an MOT and so I am currently storing it, waiting for restoration. I do occasionally take it for a drive around the farm.

I bought the car having been told that it had just failed its MOT, requiring a bit of welding to the front subframe mount. Unfortunately, I have since noticed corrosion in various other locations with MOT tester’s yellow crayon marks around it. There is nothing too large to repair, but many areas of corrosion are quite complex, such as the rear of the sill where the jacking point is.

Lack of work space makes the repairs even more difficult. I currently keep the car in a barn on a nearby farm, were I don’t have any electricity. I will restore the car one day, though!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

1962 Triumph Herald Estate

Now this is where the story starts to get complicated. When the previous owner of the green Herald (below) decided that he would buy it back, it looked as though I was going to be left with the blue Herald requiring a new bonnet.

One day I spotted this Herald Estate advertised on eBay. It didn't look very good in the pictures as the wheel arches had been repaired, but not painted, one door wasn't fitted and there were various areas painted with grey primer. I managed to buy the car for less than the cost of a bonnet and thought that the car would yield various other useful parts.

However, when I picked up the car it seemed to be too good to dismantle. Once back in Scotland I took the Estate to the local garage to have a look at it on the ramps. I was a little disappointed to find a couple of areas of rust in the floor pans. The mechanic got very excited, though and persuaded me to put the car through an MOT. He welded in two small patches, replaced the rear silencer and a headlamp and then phoned me to say that it had passed!

The problem with the car, though, is that it needs to be painted before it can be used on the road. The dilemma is whether to do a thorough job on it, which would end up as a total rebuild, or just patch it up and use it for a while. Given my lack of time and other projects the Estate is now waiting in a barn and my intention is to carry out a full rebuild in the future.

Friday, 13 March 2009

1962 Triumph Herald 1200

I bought this car as a parts car for the green Herald below. My intention was to use the rear body tub from this car to replace the poorly rebuilt rear on the other car. It had, unfortunately, been involved in an accident not long after it had been rebuilt.

It wasn't until the car was delivered to me that I discovered what lovely condition the car must have been in before the accident.
The interior was almost like new and other than
some rust in the bottom of the doors, there was very little corrosion.

Unfortunately, between me seeing pictures of the car and it arriving at my house it would appear that the car had slipped of a fork lift bending a sill and the floor pan on the drivers side.

Having discovered the terrible condition of the green Herald my plans changed and I am now rebuilding this car and will be using the bonnet and doors from the green car.

It seems that the car was sitting in a scrap yard for three years after the accident. However, with some fresh fuel in the tank and a new batter the car started right up and runs beautifully. The clutch and brakes also worked perfectly - testimony to the quality of the previous rebuild.

So far I have removed the damaged bonnet and front valance and repaired the dented floor. It is slow progress, but will be worth the effort when the car is finished.

Monday, 2 March 2009

1966 Triumph Herald 12/50

I was looking for a long-term restoration project that I could work on at my leisure with no pressure to finish it within a particular timescale.

I really wanted a Standard 10 Companion, which I thought would compliment my TR3A very nicely. I joined the Standard Motor Club, but for over a year I didn't find anything suitable.
Eventually, I widened the search to cover Triumph Heralds as well and I spotted this 12/50 on eBay. It seemed to be a good car and had various upgrades such as twin SU carbs, stainless exhaust and Minilite wheels.

I thought that at least the parts were worth the value of my bid, even if the car turned out to be a wreck.

Sadly, it seemed, that the car was a wreck! After using it for a year I put it in for its MOT and was told that it had failed on corrosion to two outriggers, the doors not opening easily (!) and a failed brake light.

When all of the other faults on the car were considered the repairs did not seem viable. The paint work was horrible, the boot lid seemed too wide for the car and there were various odd repairs to the bodywork.

There had been a complicated arrangement whereby the previous owner had offered to buy the car back, but once it failed the MOT he didn't want it any more.

I bought an accident damaged Herald and was considering building the two cars into one by putting the back of the damaged car onto this car's chassis.

However, when I started to investigate the corrosion in the chassis it was apparent that this car was just not worth repairing. In fact I think  it was a danger and I was amazed that it hadn't collapsed.

The decision was made to dismantle the car for parts and as the car was taken apart the true horror of its condition became apparent.

I wanted to save the sills for another car, but instead of screwing them on the previous restorer had welded them on along their length. It was impossible to remove them without causing a lot of damage.

There were so many patches welded to various parts of the car, that it was very difficult to take it apart. As you will know the body of a Herald bolts together, but the restorer had decided to weld it all together for some reason. After wearing through two disks on my angle grinder I eventually had the body off the chassis, which revealed the true horror of the car. The car had received new outriggers and side rails in the recent past. However, instead of welding this all together they had been bolted to the body. The two rear outriggers were just pushed into the ends of the main chassis rail. They both fell of as the body was removed.

The reason that the boot lid seemed too large for the car was because the restorer had decided to repair corrosion at either side of the rear deck with one piece of metal welded on top of the old deck. Unfortunately he hadn't remembered to measure the boot opening before he did the welding. He had then tried to open up the boot aperture by cutting the corners with a hack saw and spreading it, but with no success.

He had also welded a patch over the bolts attaching the boot floor to the rear outrigger. This didn't actually give the car any strength at all, but just covered the bolts.

When it came to dismantling the front suspension, he had welded the bolts in place for some reason, so I was unable to remove any of it!

I really couldn't understand why he had welded all the parts that should have been bolted, but bolted all of the parts that should have been welded.

Far from being sad at the loss of another old Triumph, I felt that I had done road safety a service by removing this car from the roads of Britain!