old car

Body - Exterior

The body - exterior - was not too bad, although there was little paint on the bonnet and there were signs of paint lifting on the wings and elsewhere.  The steel underneath appears to be of very good quality - and despite being in an open shed for 25 years, only shows a small amount of surface rust.  No welding or other repair has been necessary which demonstrates the quality of pre-war steel.

October 2003:

As found - 25 years in an open-sided shed on the edge of a wood in a remote valley.  Access had been via a ford and up a rutted and overgrown track.

The underneath had a lot of surface rust, due to being driven through the ford, but there was no build-up of mud under the wings or chassis to cause serious corrosion.

The bonnet top had been resprayed many years ago; the remainder of the paint is original and in much better condition, though by no means good!

The rubber mats on the running-boards are quite good after almost 70 years

The rear window appeared good but it was leaking behind the back seat and although the seat was OK the trim certainly wasn't!  (see Rear Window page) 

Dual windscreen wipers are fitted - the passenger side could be original as it is s lot type no longer available.  The drivers side is a standard hole-and-peg type that is held by a screw through a new hole drilled in the arm.

December 2003:

The spare wheel compartment has been painted at some time to cover up rust!

The bootlid mat is in very good condition (see the Boot and Petrol Filler page for repairs to this area)

Both bumpers are present and not bent - but little chrome any more so will be silver-painted

The sliding roof opened up surprisingly easily despite not moving for 25 years!

See  Roof and Drainage page  for more Roof details

The original hand painted rear number plate was still underneath the moulded plate

The back of the front Number-plate showed where the plate had come from:

April 2004:

The headlights and sidelights were given a quick rub-down with Autosol (rather like toothpaste) chrome cleaner and came up reasonably well after a quarter century of neglect.

March 2005:

the external rear view mirror was firmly mounted by two self-tapping screws through the door frame and into the wood behind.

April 2006 to August 2006:

the bonnet was rusty so undercoat and two coats of paint made it look all shiny.

Unfortunately the weather then turned hot and the paint wrinkled in places where it was thickest.

As the car is kept outside on the drive, any sun will dramatically increase the metal temperature. Finnegan's Garage Door Paint gives a superb finish but should not be used when the surface is above 25°C - impossible this summer!

The paint wrinkled after a day or so as the temperature was too high (should be 10°C to 25°C) - I would say no more than 20°C

August 2006:

The original grille was in good condition but looking rather rusty.

a bit of Bronze-Beige paint off my BMW smartened up the grille and black Garage Door paint from Finnegans smartened up the cowl.

new 19mm wide bonnet tape at the front fitted OK .  .  .  . 

.  .  .  .  but allowed the bonnet to drop below the height of the cowl.

September 2006:

the front bonnet tape was relocated onto the cowl, necessitating a new set of holes

and the rear tape fitted the groove snugly

April 2007:

a bright and sunny April (!) gave me the opportunity to paint many of the remaining rusty parts with POR-15 and topcoat

I bought this from from Holden  (see Parts Suppliers page) , though there are many other retailers.

POR-15 hardens (it is a resin paint) rather than dries and in certain lights it appears to be slightly brown - but the finish is very hard!

POR-15 hardens (it is a resin paint) rather than dries and in certain lights it appears to be slightly brown - but the finish is very hard!

repainted rear bumper (but see added October 2007 section below)

repainted roof (but see added October 2007 section below)

May 2007:

As the engine bedded in, I was left with an annoying buzzing sound at certain engine speeds.  It sounded as though it was coming from behind the dashboard or one of the toolbox lids but the buzz was eventually traced to the bonnet vibrating against the rear bonnet tape.  Easily rectified by glueing a strip of 1mm thick rubber under each side of the bonnet.  The original bonnet tape had a rubber insert to prevent this!

and the finished front end with silver painted bumper bar and the bonnet fitting snugly on the new tapes.

October 2007:

The Finnegans name seems to have slowly disappeared since Hammerite took over - but the paint is still very much available; I got mine from the local hardware store.  There is a limited range of colours so as long as it is black .  .  .  .

You are lucky if you have a garage: I was very frustrated painting the bonnet - it either rained or the wind stirred up the dust or it was just too hot!    I ended up having four goes before I was remotely satisfied.

Although dry in 16 hours, it hardens very slowly so don't try to put on a thick coat or it will wrinkle.  Although it covers well, they advise two coats.  I also found some difficulty on the vertical surfaces - as it can run if you try to apply too much.

Having now stood out for over a year, the shine and finish of the Garage Door paint is much better than a very costly American resin finish paint (see below).

April 2009:

The POR paint was not as black as the Garage Door paint and started to lose its shine after two years so I repainted parts with Re-Paint ACE coach paint.   (see Parts Suppliers page) 

It has to be laid on very quickly and overbrushing is almost impossible as it dries so fast.