BEHIND THE GARAGE DOOR
Last November, Andy Bloxam-leach and his son Luke took possession of this Daimler Dart — which was essentially a box of parts — from Roger Askin in Wellington.
They quickly set about developing a plan to get its restoration underway, and, as such, a lot of decisions had to be made as to whether to stay as close to original as possible or perhaps make some improvements to make it more usable and friendly in today’s traffic conditions.
They decided to stay as close to original factory specifications as possible — as it was when it was delivered new to its owner, Michael Barry Moodabe, in Timaru in 1963 — but with the addition of an oil cooler, front anti-sway bar, electric fan, brake servo to help with around-town driving, and a J-type Laycock overdrive unit to give it some more legs on the open road. Andy believes that these improvements are sympathetic to the car’s original build specifications, and, further, close to the Jaguar Heritage Certificate specifications as well. The car was originally delivered in a Royal red or Rochester red, with cream leather and red piping. Unfortunately, Andy has not been able to ascertain what the carpet colour would have been but would love to know.
Fortunately, Roger was very meticulous in keeping all records. All parts were dry stored and catalogued, showing which part/spacer/ bolt went where, with his records turning out to be very useful since the car was stripped then stored from 1978. As such, making early decisions to refurbish, or buy new parts, to complement the stock of NOS parts that came with the project has been very expedient, because, for those of us who have taken on these projects in times pastx (or have one on the go presently), it’s more a case of managing a project from end to end.
To the horror of Andy’s wife, Luke and Andy built a temporary paint booth in the front of their five-car garage — complete with fan extraction and temporary filters — before rolling the chassis, outriggers, differential, and axle in for painting. But, before the paint, the chassis and associated parts went off to the acid dipper.
At this point in time, the restoration of the chassis has been completed, and it is now sitting pride of place at the front of their garage on carpet, with a nice new shiny coat of POR-15.
The brake lines, new fuel lines, hand-brake levers, differential/axle, and associated hubs
have also been completed and are ready for the new wheels to be to stood up, rolling for the first time in 40 years this very year — 1978 to 2018 — how very auspicious.
The gearbox is about to be sent away to be refreshed and rebuilt with the J Type Laycock overdrive unit and the engine rebuild won’t be too far behind. Andy is planning a ‘wedding of the body to the chassis’ BBQ later in the year, and will extend an invitation to club members to pop around to help lift the body onto the chassis for the first time since 1978.
There are likely to be plenty of refreshments to follow, and a cigar or two handed out …
BEHIND THE GARAGE DOOR We take a peek at a handful of your ongoing classic car restoration projects