PUPILS RESTORE CLASSIC CAR
Young people’s charity brings MGB back to life
A CHARITY which works with disengaged and atrisk teenagers has restored a classic MGB car.
Around 40 youngsters with the Youth Skills Development Trust (YSDT) revived the rundown 1979 motor.
The charity hopes to sell the car and use the money for its next car-rebuilding project.
Zahir Virmani, assistant manager at the YSDT, saw the car for sale on eBay last year.
He said: “It had failed its MOT and the owner wanted to get rid of it. It was in a pretty bad way.”
YSDT runs a series of programmes to get youths off the street, including car maintenance and customisation. Soon, teenagers were working their magic on the MGB and within a year, transformed it.
Mr Virmani said: “We had a very limited budget and spent £400 on the car.
“We wanted to make it look as good as possible and get it up and running so it could pass its MOT.
“We started underneath the car. We welded and repaired it, painted and rust-proofed it and it’s literally a new car underneath. Then we went through the engine and made sure the gaskets were changed. Basically anything that needed changing was changed to make sure it ran to maximum capacity.”
Tight financial constraints meant the team had to get creative when it came to spraying the vehicle and upholstering the seats. But they were able to rise to the challenge.
Mr Virmani said: “Students came up with a plan to turn it into a race car. They painted the bonnet and front spoiler black and polished the rest of the body – it’s come out looking quite nice without a re-spray.”
Expensive restoration of the seats was avoided by adapted seat covers the group already had and the youngsters also kept, and spruced up, the original alloy wheels.
They also set about ‘pimping up’ the inside of the vehicle, by painting and sound-carpeting the rear and adding a subwoofer.
Mr Virmani said: “It looks like a 1979 classic car that’s been done up by kids and it looks amazing. It has their signature on it.”
He hopes to get at least £1,000 for the vehicle and use the money to restore a recently-purchased 1986 Escort XR3i convertible, saying: “That needs a hell of a lot of work doing to it.
“It’s a complete wreck at the moment.”
He said work such as this was vital to the West Drayton-based charity’s aim to help young people: “We run an evening programme to engage young people, get them off the street, to do something positive,” added Mr Virmani. “It’s about engaging difficult young people, people at risk. We try to get them off the streets, and make them realise there’s more to life than what they were doing before.”
For more information on the charity, go to http://www.ysdt.org.uk.
THE IMPORTANT STUFF: George Newell, Grant Adby and Zak Cager work on the subwoofer and sounds for the car
ATTACHING THE ALLOYS: Working on the wheels