Monday, March 9, 2015

Fairwell Phil

After 12 years with us Phil has gone off and found himself a proper job!

For many years the 'face' of Canley Classics whilst manning the retail counter he is now working for a DIY retail chain.

Congratulations Phil, and good luck in your new job.

Although we had closed the retail counter some time ago because Phil was still here we could still accomodate the odd random customer that turned up unannounced. Now that Phil has left us however the shop (retail counter) is definately closed, as there is no-one here to man it any longer.

http://www.canleyclassics.com/contact-us/


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chicane Finished

So thats another one done, and gone. After 5 years off the road the Chicane is finally MOT'd, and back in use.

Initially it came off the road so that I could fit a pair of new wings, but the job grew into a bare metal respray, and an engine rebuild.

Having MOT'd it last Saturday and done a 100 miles or so in it since the only minor adjustment needed was to the choke fast idle cam setting.




Friday, November 14, 2014

Belated Vitesse RBRR Report


Ready And Waiting, The Start Of The 2014 RBRR

OK so I know its a bit late, but here are a few pictures of our Vitesse on its successful 2014 RBRR (its not a race!).



Resting After A Lovely Fry Up

After another fairly traumatic pre RBRR rush to get another one of the fleet ready for the event the drive iteslf around the route this time proved to be fairly relaxing. We (James and myself) seem to have got the sleep/rest pattern spot on this time. Apart from some 'enthusiastic' driving through Wales in the middle of the night trying to keep up with the Andy Martins Vitesse with his brother driving, the rest of the time we cruised around enjoying the atmosphere, views, and food!



Resting After Another Fry Up At the Other End

Thanks to Tim and the rest of the RBRR team for another wonderful event, I might do just one more!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Patsys 2000 MKI Finished At Last

After more years than I care to remember I have finally got Patsys 2000 MKI finished. Patsy came and collected her car last night, and now I have a 2000 sized space in my workshop, oh deep joy!

Starting back when with a car that had been stood outside exposed to the elements for nearly a decade this car was a little bit rusty.

I'm no stranger to the car though having put a pair of front wings, and some sills on it in the 1980's. However another 100,000 miles, and its subsequent period of inactivity had taken its toll again.


Between us we managed to track down all the new Stanpart original panels it needed including front wings, nose cone, front valance, sills, and all four door skins.



After welding everything together the shell was taken over to SPL surface treatments in Birmingham for chemical stripping, and E-coat.


All the suspension was blasted, and powder coated. A set of Red Polybush went in, and I rebuilt the front struts with new inserts.

The car had previously been fitted with a wide track MKII rear end. A reconditioned servo, brake master cylinder, calipers, and cupro nickel brake lines made sure the brakes were spot on.

The interior trim was all replaced with new stuff courtesy of Aldridge Trimming who are more normally associated with Stag trim. The seats were completely rebuilt, and new door trims in the same colour, with carpets in a contrasting shade of brown.

The running gear went back in as it was, as the engine had been rebuilt not long before the car came off the road, and the gearbox, overdrive, and diff were reported to have been OK by Patsy. 

I took the 2000 down for an MOT on Tuesday, and it passed with no problems other than a slightly low aim on a headlamp. Coming back from the MOT made me realise just how nice a good 2000 is to drive, and that its about time I put one of my fleet of saloons back on the road.  



Friday, October 31, 2014

Chicane Gets New Wings Part V, Nearly There

Nice Shiny Rebuilt Engine Fitted

Once painted I started to put the Chicane back together starting with putting the rebuilt engine back in. I haven't bothered with the bulkhead insulation thing because it was falling to bits. Unlike the rubber faced Coventry built 2000 pads the South African built cars had a thick felt type material faced with something akin to Bacofoil.

Looking complete

Over the years the Chicane has been plagued by water leaks so this time around I spent a long time making sure the new screen seals had plenty of sealant in all the nooks and crannys. Inside a new Stanpart main carpet went in along with the best of the s/h carpet sections I have. The horrible old sill threshold finishers went off to be stripped, polished, and re-anodised, and they now look fantastic. New original door rubber seals went on, but I'm still waiting to find some decent quality furflex finishers to complete the inside.

Nice Shiny New Stapart Wing!

I have even re-fitted the Chicanes 'Leyland South Africa' wing badges that have been off the car for many years. 

All that's left to do now is fit a reconditioned starter motor, the new exhaust, and the reconditioned Girling brake calipers.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gold Seal Spitfire Peeling Back the Years


Thanks to some of the owners of the Gold Seal car who had owned it after its Richard Lloyd Gold Seal Racing, and Mugello Circuit exploits I have filled in some important gaps in its history.

John Petty in particular supplied some excellent pictures of the car whilst in his ownership.

I decided rather than strip its paint all in one go I would carefully peel it back layer, by layer, and tie in its various colour schemes to contemporary drivers.

The above picture shows the initial strip revealing a overall yellow scheme. The pictures John Petty supplied show the car in these colours during his ownership in 1970-72.



Courtesy of John Petty


Further sanding reveals more yellow.


A bit more and I could almost polish it!

John told me he brought the car in 1970 from a gentleman called Peter Long, and he thinks he later sold it on in 1972 to a Mr Russell Bracebridge.



Coutesy of John Petty (the marks on the print is water damage)

In the next instalment I reveal a totally unexpected short lived colour scheme!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chicane Gets New Wings Part IV




OK so its escalated into a full respray!


So now its gone from fitting a new pair of front wings, and an engine rebuild into a full bare metal respray.

To be honest the paint was looking a little tired even though it has been painted before in our ownership about 10 years, and 100,000 miles ago. It had also been painted before we got it when it still lived in South Africa.  In our ownership its never been garaged, and it's only seen a polish a couple of times in that time. Taking that into account, and those new front wings I thought another comprehensive paint job was due.

Bare metalling threw up no surprises, indeed this car is still on its original sills, there cannot be many 2000/2.5 left with this sort of mileage still on their original sills.

Whilst I was at it I took the opportunity to replace one of the front doors for its original one that we removed during its respray many years ago. I can't for the life of me remember why we swapped it as its rust free, and fits far better than the substituted one?