Tuesday, 26 December 2006

A Brand New Coat

The Midget was sent to Riverside. "I'm in no hurry" I said and went to Seattle, then China, Helsinki and Madrid.

About 6 months later the midget was ready.

Now in her original colour again, British racing Green (GN29), Jemima looked superb. Time at last to start putting her back together. All the bits taken off 20 years ago, painted and wrapped and boxed were finally required once more.

The problem is what order do you fit these things? The first things off, and painted, are probably the last things to refit but I was keen to make an impression. So I fitted the heater and fan. Then took the fan off again as the fuse box was underneath, and I couldn't fit the pedal box with it fitted.

Next I fitted the lights, this I decided would be easy and would help make Jemima look like a real car again. And then the windscreen, which came with some shims, which I couldn't remember where they went. After fitting it I read the book "Original Sprite and Midget" and had to take it off again and put them in the right place (between the aluminium post and body, not as posh washers for the bolts).

The boot seal was fitted and the door seals, then I found the doors wouldn't close. This was a big problem. The seal was cut and modified and eventually the body (near the A post) was walloped with a large hammer. The door would close now but the fit wasn't as good.

This isn't going to be an easy jigsaw to assemble...

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

The Rub

So, another week and another trip to Madrid and still no further with the car.

'There was no stopping me' I said earlier. Well maybe there was.

The problem for a few years was getting the right finish. For example - I had replaced the lower half of the wing. But the join wasnt very good and the top bit would occasionally show signs of rust bubbling underneath.

So I would strip the paint back and attack the area with various rust eating chemicals, then my boss would call and suggest I could go to Hong Kong, or Brisbane or somewhere.

So I would have to quickly paint it over and pack my bags and go. Enthusiasm to start again would take some time to return. The front end was proving to be tricky as well. A new bonnet was purchased some time ago and the alignment with the old wings wasnt easy.

Eventually I decided enough was enough. My rubbing down wasnt very good and the panel fit at the front was always going to be awkward so when the trip to Seattle came up I booked the car into the local shop (Riverside Autos) and looked forward to a gleaming new car on my return.

Sunday, 3 December 2006

A Double Garage

I've just come back from a week in Madrid, another reason for maybe not working on the car. Maybe going again later in the week.

Anyway back to the story,
This time when we moved house we got a double garage. Space for Jemima and for the TR5 I bought a little earlier. Unfortuneatley The TR5 and the daily his-'n'-hers drivers (VW camper, Bedford Rascal) took up quite a bit of time to keep them going so Jemima was neglected quite a bit longer than was intended.

The TR5 was sold in 2003, the VW and Rascal went a year later.

Now there was no stopping me...

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Packed away

After 3 years in Cornwall, Jemima was rolling again with lots of new metal but it was time to return from whence we came.

She was packed in a van with all the usual household stuff and rolled into her new garage the next day.

Not a lot happened for a few years, except I would spot some rust and rub it off, and paint it, then some time later it would come back again, so it was rubbed off, again, and painted.

Once the house was finished, and I had rested, redecorated the house, and rested again, I ventured back into the garage for some serious work on Jemima.

The underneath was sealed, the back axle cleaned and painted, wings fitted and a new bonnet was bought (and not fitted).

This activity didn't last long.

And then we moved house again.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Stripped naked...

Jemima was stripped naked, and all her rust was exposed. It may have been a bigger job than I originally thought but it doesn't explain the 20 year time scale.

Over a few years her bits and pieces were cleaned and bagged, lost, found, lost again or distributed all over the house.

The rusty bits were then replaced with non-rusty bits. Many new panels were used in this lengthy period of bashing and welding. In those days, a new complete bodyshell wasn't available. Now it is - although not in the MkII form. It may have been an easier starting point, but it wouldn't be Jemima.

Jemima, you see, has been in the family for some time. She was purchased by the wife when she was 17, it was her first car. A super banger even then, but she looked good.

For a while...

Until some work revealed a large lump of wood where the sill should be...

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

The saga begins

Almost 20 years ago, April 3rd 1987, Jemima failed her MOT.
Shortly afterwards, her last trip under her own steam was when we moved to Cornwall. That Christmas I was given a MIG welder and, as the title says, the saga began.

In those dim distant times, computers were rare, blogs didn’t exist, digital cameras a pipe dream and digital watches were the height of sophistication. Which is a shame as it would have been good to have started this at the beginning.

Initially I shall try to add the history of how Jemima got to where she is today but the idea is to log her resurrection, hopefully before April 3rd 2007.