And here’s one I didn’t make ear­lier!

Classics Monthly - - Driver's Diary -

With most of my re­cent garage time be­ing con­sumed by the Land Rover, it was in­evitable that the rest of my fleet was get­ting a lit­tle ne­glected. I‘ve really been try­ing to make solid progress on the crusty 4x4, so ev­ery spare minute has been spent on it, leav­ing very lit­tle time to en­joy the NSU, Land­crab or Mazda. With the evenings draw­ing in and the leaves start­ing to change colour, I really wanted to re­port that I’d make a dif­fer­ence to at least one of them be­fore the win­ter closes in prop­erly.

The NSU has been ‘fin­ished’ in my eyes for a few years now. When restor­ing it, I worked through all the jobs as thor­oughly as the lim­ited parts sup­ply for these cars would al­low, so it’s a smart-ish clas­sic that’s very to­gether me­chan­i­cally. There were a few bits I wished I could find for the NSU but they never come up, one of which was a glove box lid. This wasn’t the end of the world, as it’s still a use­able lit­tle cubby but as a quick project I de­cided to see if a re­place­ment could be made from ma­te­ri­als ly­ing around the unit.

These con­sisted of a sheet of alu­minium (re­moved from the Land Rover where it had been do­ing a sec­ond rate job as half a tool­box – but more about that in a fu­ture in­stal­ment), some black vinyl, an in­te­rior door han­dle (from a Mini, I think), con­tact ad­he­sive and a se­lec­tion of nuts and bolts.

Get­ting flash­backs to my child­hood and Blue Peter’s craft projects, first job was to es­ti­mate the size of the orig­i­nal lid, adding a sur­plus to al­low for the curves in the dash plus 5mm around the edges for a re­turn. Trim­ming down with snips un­til it looked close, the cor­ners were then formed by us­ing a socket clamped against the alu­minium in a bench vice and gen­tly form­ing the curves with a body ham­mer. When all four cor­ners had been shaped, the edges were folded back in the vice and then ham­mered flat. This not only gave a nice

rounded edge, it also added a lot of rigid­ity.

Hold­ing the plate against the dash­board, I then es­ti­mated where curves would need to be added to match the pro­file of the dash. These were formed one at a time be­tween two lengths of steel an­gle clamped in the vice to al­low for the chang­ing di­men­sions as it went from a flat to curved panel. This really was a case of mea­sure twice and then best guess­ing to see how much ma­te­rial would dis­ap­pear in form­ing the shapes, par­tic­u­larly near the bot­tom where a dou­ble bend was re­quired.

The trick­i­est part proved to be try­ing guess where the holes for the hinges would go and this re­sulted in a cou­ple of false starts plus a few un­wanted drillings but this wasn’t too im­por­tant. As long as the fin­ished door op­er­ated smoothly, the vinyl cov­er­ing would hide any mis­takes I made. The fi­nal touch was to fit the han­dle, found in one of the many spares boxes that we’ve all got tucked away. It looks like a Mini han­dle, but wasn’t too sure from which era. Re­gard­less of its her­itage, the han­dle suits the in­te­rior of the NSU per­fectly and looks like it was al­ways there, as does the fin­ished glove box lid. Blue Peter stal­warts Val, Pete and John would no doubt ap­prove, even though there wasn‘t a wire coat hanger or a roll of sticky backed plas­tic in sight.

Next month it will be back to work on the Land Rover. This job has been a lot more in­volved than I hoped, so any chance of get­ting out and en­joy­ing the last warm au­tumn days have proved to be a pipe dream. You never know though,the Landy might get to prove it­self when the white stuff starts fall­ing.

There were a few bits I wished I could find for the NSU but they never come up, one of which was a glove box lid

It’s still look­ing good, but there are still a few lit­tle jobs I‘d like to do on the NSU.

The glove box lid has been miss­ing since I’ve owned the Prinz and I’ve yet to see a sec­ond hand one be­ing of­fered for sale.

A socket was clamped against the sheet in a vice and the ma­te­rial was then ham­mered around it with a body ham­mer to pro­duce the cor­ner ra­dius. Cut from a pre-loved sheet of alu­minium, the ba­sic shape of the glove box lid was ar­rived at through a process of mea­sur­ing, trim­ming and then re-mea­sur­ing. The fin­ished job. The Mini in­te­rior han­dle looks like it was meant to be there and with my home made lid fi­nally in place the NSU’s dash now looks fac­tory fresh. Adding the shape to the lid in­volved a process of care­ful mea­sur­ing and best guess­ing. This was be­cause there was no way to tell how adding the curves would af­fect the height of the fi­nal piece.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.