In this funny old world of ours, wouldn’t it be great if everyone did their work properly. Now we are onto the job of repairing the cracks and general damage on the body. We have done a deal with our SP250 guru, Steven Carr and he is well on the job, part of the deal should make for an interesting project for Steven. Of the many minor and the one major area that is requiring attention, not one has been done properly. In most cases instead of grinding out the damage and glassing it over all that has been done is the area has been covered with filler, sanded off and painted. The worst place, high up on the LH front just in front of the screen, there seems to have been a hole about 100mm and all that was done is a piece of sheet metal was pop-riveted inside as a backing. The hole filled with some sort of filler with some stranded matter in it, then normal filler on the top and sanded off. What they didn’t do was repair the cracks that radiated out from the hole, some as long as 400mm. All this has been dug out and a proper glass repair carried out. We have counted over 7 places, large and small that need to be redone and this is not counting the many stress cracks. The bonnet we are using is the one off the crash car and it has been flipped, the repair on this was better but has also been redone, we’re not trusting any previous work.

There is a message here, if you have any damage to the body of your SP fix it properly in the first place or it may come back to haunt you in the future. Covering cracks etc with filler and painting is not even a short-cut repair.

Three panels to replace the worst burnt parts have been made by AC Fibreglass, the damage portions have been cut out and the new grafted in. One of the surprise finds was the RH outer door, this had delaminated right down to the bottom, possibly not caused by the fire, probably been like that since leaving the factory. Workers probably knocked off for lunch half way through laying up the panel and didn’t get a proper bond when they started again, this means a whole new outer door skin instead of just the top portion.

I’ve been checking up on some of the bits that are needed in the finishing of the SP and have discovered that the boot and bonnet hinges off the wreck are not the right ones, they are off a Morris Minor. These look the same at first glance and could be made to work but as one has a broken tip I decided to do the right thing and get the correct ones. After a little research I decided to get two pair from Barry Thorne in the UK. His catalogue that I have was a bit out of date, stating 24.00 GBP, they are now 26.00 GBP a pair, but they were here about a week after ordering. The total cost for the two pair including P & P and a bank draft was $192.00 NZ – a price that is more than favourable with what others I know have paid.

Another job I’ve done is to build a trolley to enable me to move and work on the motor and gearbox when these are reunited. To make use of it now I’ve made a removable table to fit over the trolley with a jig to hold the gearbox while it’s worked on. I don’t have a lot of room and this trolley with whatever is on it can be moved easily to any convenient place. All the bits of wood, wheels etc from the crate have come in handy. Surprising what can be made with a few scraps of wood, some screws etc …. anything to help make working easier.

The car is now back home from Steve’s place and looking very good. Still some adjustments to do such as fitting the correct bonnet and boot hinges, getting the doors aligned and generally being sure any blobs of resin are removed. The quest is now on to find a painter, this is going to be a very interesting exercise.

At long last the gears for the gearbox are finished, they look very good. The other three who joined me in getting this run done have been given theirs and the next job is for me to dismantle my box and fit mine. That will be covered in the next instalment.