Practical Classics (UK)
Danny’s got frozen projects, but can he complete them?
Other people’s projects. Always a tough one. Most of us will have stood by another enthusiast’s creation at some point and thought: ‘Well I wouldn’t have done it like that,’ and as long as we remember not to say it out loud, it’s OK. Taking on someone else’s project is a bigger risk and requires real thought and careful assessment. So, this month, I’ve done it twice.
The first project baton I have had handed to me came from Brian Kent in Somerset. He got to the finishing line with his 1979 Reliant Scimitar SE6A back in 2012, save for some interior work and final fettling. Then he was let down by a trimmer and, with a queue of other projects, one of which you will meet later this year, he quietly locked the Reliant away.
Being without my Jensen has left a classic
GT hole in my life, and with the passing of designer Tom Karen on my mind, a Scimitar was high on my list. Two minutes after I saw Brian’s stalled Scim poking out from the back end of a covered trailer, I was enquiring. Ten minutes later it was sold – along with the spares car that came with it.
Looking over it in depth, I did indeed think to myself: ‘Well I wouldn’t have done it like that,’ for the simple reason that Brian, in his original restoration, had gone deeper, further and with a greater attention to detail than I probably would have done. It had been given a proper going over. Body off, chassis rebuilt and powder coated, gel coat repaired and the whole car resprayed in Rover Nightfire Red, by Brian… in his own booth! It was dusty and there was some damage to the roof and the interior
needed completing (anyone got a decent tan interior?)… but what had been done, had been done really, really well.
It had lived in Brian’s barn for 11 years, so for a bit of fun, and to pay tribute to Brian and to designer Tom Karen, I decided to take it to the Work in Progress section of Classic World at the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show – the aim being to take it ‘from barn find to concours’ in three days. To achieve this I enlisted the help of The Reliant Owners Club and The Sabre and Scimitar Owners Club along with Steve Brown from HB Body to help with the roof. Old friends Nick Mackenzie, Charlie Mccalla and Rich March were also on hand to and previous owner Brian came along to make sure we didn’t mess up his good work.
And another one
He bought the car in 2011 and restored it over the following year, but everything stopped when he sent the seats away to be retrimmed. The company went bust and he lost the interior which left a bad taste in Brian’s mouth so he put it in the corner of the barn next to his spares SE6A and shut the door. Did I mention the spares car? I’ve bought that as well, although to be honest it is too good