old car

Body - Interior

The body - interior - was not too bad, although it was very dusty and smelt damp.  The roof lining was well beyond recall and has been removed to allow the roof to dry out.  All painted surfaces have suffered badly and will need stripping & repainting, however all the windows and mechanisms, though stiff, seem to be in good order.  The plastic on the steering wheel has split and is fouling the turn indicator switch and the rear window has leaked behind the back seat .  .  .  .  .  .

October 2003:

As found - 25 years in an open-sided shed on the edge of a wood in a remote valley

Body Interior was dirty and had a lot of surface corrosion

Front seats needed a lot of cleaning and leather preservative

Corrosion in rear wheel arch will have to be dealt with .....  (but see below)

Roof lining had a squirrels nest (judging by the remains of nuts found) and was rotten so was removed.

The wood structure, however, appears to be in good condition.

The sliding roof lining was very moth-eaten so was removed

although the hessian padding remains for the time being

December 2003:

The rear window appeared good but it was leaking behind the back seat.  Although the seat seemed OK the trim was very rotten!

The doors will need attention but they will be one of the last things to be tackled.

December 2003 to March 2004:

Dashboard - all the instruments were removed and refurbished.  The needle had corroded off the petrol gauge which now has the needle off another gauge.

.  .  .  .  .  and the dashboard, though still scruffy, looks much better!

April 2004:

The interior light houses a double contact 12v 6watt bulb.  Remove the glass dome carefully by unclipping the circular ring.  Repaired April 08 see below.

The gear lever had to come out to fit the new (fibreglass) gearbox cover, so it was painted.

a further look at the remaining interior trim showed that it was beyond recall so it was taken out - it literally fell apart and some of the thin ply supports were in very poor condition.

the petrol filler grommet was beyond recall - none available from the Austin Ten Drivers Club so one was ordered from Vintage Autos.   (see Boot and Fuel Filler page) 

A huge amount of debris was removed and the wood and metal treated to Finnegans black paint to deter further decay.

It now looks clean but rather bare without the interior trim.  The inside of the fabric roof was subsequently sprayed Hammerite black and most of the marks and stains disappeared.

The split in the rear wheel arch already has a repair section underneath so the crack was just filled with fibreglass and painted over.

At last - the board under the back seat could be replaced after the dampers and petrol tank had been replaced.

May 2004:

The pedals will need new bullseye rubbers -  if I can find them!

Found!  The ATDC Spares sell some very nice bullseye rubbers (Jan 05)

June 2004:

followed by the back seat - and the Lichfield starts to look like a car again.

close-up of the upper back seat fixing; these two brackets had been bent over for many years, which had meant that the seat had not been fixed at the top.

September 2004:

the glove locker lining was well past it, being dirty and all panels damp damaged.

It was cleaner to remove it and the accumulated gunge and apply paint .  .  .  .

Apart from a small section on the left the locker is complete and doesn't rely on the lining for strength or shape or things falling out.

the dash was loosened and strips of thin card pushed in so I could get a clean edge for painting - but .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  the instrument panel has retained its patina and only been lightly oiled!

May 2005:

a new interior mirror looks smart and gives a better view through the little back window than the non-original one in the car.

a new external rear-view mirror has also been fitted   (see body exterior page) 

the original sunvisor had allowed damp in between the laminations.

a very good original sunvisor was sourced from ebay.

April 2006:

the front foot-well panels were way past their best; the worms had to hold hands to keep them together.  So they were replaced by thin 3-ply - this is old paint used up on the unseen sides.

when replaced, the panels were nailed on the outer edges and a single nut & bolt prevents the remainder from rattling against the bulkhead. Colour isn't right in this view!

August 2006:

As winter approaches, the draughts invited some form of sealing.  Originally felts were on the bulkhead side of the pedals; easier to fit inside the car!

and then the carpets went back in - cosy! (but see also  Gearbox Cover page  for later improvements)

April 2008:

The original wires to the internal lamp flexed every time it was turned on or off

- after 73 years the wires broke!

The wooden plinth was removed for painting and the light repaired using modern flex wire (hidden by the plinth) for the last 6 inches.