So, the first
thing to do was to get it in the garage. It had been left outside a few weeks,
and the damp and condensation had made the seats and carpets wet. It obviously
has a water leak somewhere, but that’s the least of our worries at the moment.
It was pushed into the garage with a bit of an effort. The O/S front brakes
are sticking a bit, which made it even harder. Then the strip down began.
Firstly the seats were removed followed by the carpet. As I pulled away the
rotten fabric, I was very pleased to see that the floorpan, transmission tunnel
and inner sills are in fantastic shape. No rust to speak of, just a little
surface corrosion in a couple of places, but NO HOLES!!! So with everything
removed, it’s looking great inside. The dashboard is complete and undamaged
(but dirty!). The console and door cards the same.
boot, I was met with some old junk left by the previous owner, mostly old newspapers
and a few old towing ropes which I hope were used for towing other vehicles,
rather than this car. The spare wheel and tyre are good, although I’ll be
replacing it before it’s returned to the road. Under all of that was about 1cm
of water that had accumulated over the previous weeks. It was still clear-ish
and the boot floor is fortunately in as good condition as the rest of the car.
From the boot, looking into the rear wings I could see that the inside of the
panels had been wax treated. I then noticed that there is a ‘Ziebart’ sticker
in the window. This rust-proofing treatment had obviously done a grand job of
preventing the rot and the reason for the good condition of the sub-structure
and floor has been explained.
Under the bonnet, the engine bay has been painted by someone at some point in the cars past. It’s not a great job and makes the bay look a bit of a mess. Under that, however, is all solid. The engine does not turn easily, but I’ve not been able to get a socket on the crankbolt as there is a valance about an inch in front of it. I’ve taken the plugs out, which looked ok, and squirted some WD40 into each bore. If it’s stuck through lack of use, this will help free it up later. No plans to start looking at the engine just yet, so it will have plenty of time to soak in. The rocker cover is currently off, as we had a kind offer of an alloy version as a direct swap, just waiting for it to arrive.