BE­HIND THE GARAGE DOOR

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

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

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