Re­stored Pop­u­lar is a two-tone stun­ner.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

Tim Bor­rett hadn’t been look­ing to buy a re­stor­able 100E, but this 1961 Deluxe came along at the right time. “A Side­valve club mem­ber was sell­ing it in 2016,” Tim re­calls. “He’d bought it off some­one who’d got it from the orig­i­nal owner. The car sat in a garage un­used be­tween 1973 and 2014. The seller had done most of the work re­quired un­der­neath and primered the body. He de­scribed it as ‘just need­ing paint to fin­ish.’”

He was largely cor­rect, but Tim pre­vi­ously worked as a car body­work and paint man. “Ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent ways of see­ing things,” ad­mits Tim, “I’m a per­fec­tion­ist con­cern­ing body­work; I look closely at all panel gaps, joins, welds and align­ment. Plus the car had rust pit­ting through the primer and I couldn’t al­low my­self to paint over that. I had to strip it back to bare metal.”

The 100E is Tim’s first restora­tion and was com­pleted in a tiny garage. “I had to run an ex­ten­sion lead over from my house; I did vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing on the body with a drill at­tach­ment and a sander. I started on the near­side front wing do­ing one panel at time — strip­ping paint, re­mov­ing all the rust, then

primer­ing. I don’t re­ally trust liq­uid paint strip­pers; the only way to get the metal clean is to acid dip the en­tire body. But the floor had al­ready been re­paired and un­der­sealed, all the wiring and in­te­rior was in place — I didn’t want to pull all that out and then redo it. I needed all the rust off, so I wire­brushed the pan­els back to bare metal, I also used a small sand­blaster.”

Both front wings had pre­vi­ous fi­bre­glassed re­pairs, which Tim cut out and re­placed with metal. “I bought re­pair pan­els for the lower rear cor­ners and spent quite a while mak­ing them fit cor­rectly. There were a cou­ple of small holes to plate over, too. Af­ter do­ing the same to the bon­net, which had rust pits top and bot­tom, I stripped and primered the doors. They were solid, but it took a day to get through the orig­i­nal paint down to the fac­tory primer. I had to re­place the both outer sills — the in­ner ones were ex­cel­lent — then spent two days per side get­ting a per­fect sill-to-wing gap.”

Put the boot in

The rear wings needed sim­i­lar treat­ment to blend them into the rear of the outer sills and Tim found more met­al­work magic was re­quired on the rear­most cor­ners. “They al­ways rot on the rear panel, so I welded in new metal at the boot floor edges and the area be­low the back bumper. Most were flat pan­els, but I shaped a few pieces by hand. It’s all about think­ing what you’re do­ing and how to do it. I fin­ished off some ar­eas with filler to smooth it over — filler gets a bad rep­u­ta­tion, but pro­vided the metal un­der­neath is welded and solid you can use it to fin­ish off a re­pair.”

Once each panel was in primer Tim’s at­ten­tion turned to the bodyshell. “I stripped out the glass and the in­te­rior. The A-posts were solid and so were the gut­ters. I made one mis­take when I started dig­ging out the lead used to join the rear panel to the base of the rear win­dow — I’m more used to mod­ern cars and there’s no lead in them! I’d found more lead join­ing the tail­light bezels to the rear wings.

“I put on the two-pack primer with a hand­gun and small com­pres­sor, the only dif­fi­culty was the lack of space in my garage, which meant do­ing the roof in two halves. I care­fully feath­ered the join so it didn’t leave a line down the mid­dle.” Fi­nally, the body­work was ready for paint. “It took about a year to reach that stage be­cause I was only work­ing on Bank Hol­i­days and ev­ery se­cond Sun­day. But that was 9 am un­til 6 pm.”


Good friend, Sean lent Tim his spray booth and the pair painted the 100E in three coats of blue and cream.

“I don’t know what the paint colours are,” ad­mits Tim, “they were 99 per cent matched to the orig­i­nal shades.” A month later Tim flat­ted down and pol­ished all the paint.

“I bought new bumpers since they were £247 each ver­sus £250 to rechrome the orig­i­nals, but most of the rest of the trim I pol­ished by hand. It took a day to get the grille shiny us­ing a buf­fer wheel, I did the same on the head­light bezels — it was im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing. As was re­mov­ing a crease from the dash­board trim through care­fully ham­mer­ing it out with a screw­driver.”

In­side Story

Tim gets many favourable com­ments about his head­lin­ing. “I painted that with four cans of up­hol­stery paint from The Range, I masked up the whole car then lay down in­side. I came out look­ing like a snow­man but it looks great.” The rest of the up­hol­stery merely re­quired a thor­ough clean.

Af­ter fi­nally get­ting the Pop reg­is­tered (see ‘Num­ber Games’, right) all seemed well. Un­til Tim re­alised the car was smok­ing. “I’d put on a new head gas­ket and ser­viced the en­gine, but de­spite only hav­ing 21,000 miles on it, af­ter stand­ing all those years I think the rings had gone. Two weeks ago my long-suf­fer­ing part­ner, Gemma drove me on a 500-mile round trip to Corn­wall to get a re­built en­gine from an­other club mem­ber. At least it only took an hour to get the old one out…”

Now Mary Lou, as Gemma has named the Pop af­ter the song from the same year as the car, is ready for many more years of driv­ing.

“It’s a fair weather car,” says Tim, “just for go­ing to shows, it won’t go out in any fast, busy traf­fic. I’ve put too much time and ef­fort in to risk any dam­age. I doubt I’d re­store an­other one but I’m happy to keep work­ing on this one for as long as we’re al­lowed to keep driv­ing them.” Thanks to: Tim’s part­ner, Gemma Fuller for her help and en­cour­age­ment, Gary Wood for the loan of the work­shop and Sean Heneke for his paint­ing help, Glenn Wool­way for as­sis­tance in­stalling the en­gine and brakes, Andy Main for help­ing with the pa­per­work and the very friendly bunch at the Kent Branch of the Ford Side­valve Owner’s Club for all their ad­vice and en­cour­age­ment.

The orig­i­nal head­lin­ing was re­freshed us­ing up­hol­stery paint, and came up a treat.

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