Continued

Having finished the engine and gearbox, I wanted to make a start on the body side of the car. When we took the body off and stripped it out completely, the full extent of rust could be seen. I sent the body assembly to be shot blasted to establish the full extent under the paintwork. Very bad news. The shrouds just fell apart. I placed an advert on the MG web site and a saviour was found. A guy in north Derbyshire had a shell that had been lying outside his barn for three years in all elements was available. A very good friend of mine took his trailer up and collected it for me. During the wait, I started on the chassis. I found a guy called Mike from Sportscar Metalworks in Bucks. He supplies virtually any pattern panel and many other items for the MGA. Once the chassis had been shotblasted, I ordered some chassis repair sections from him, fabricated some others and then painted and undersealed the complete thing. I took the suspension that I had rebuilt at home along with new rear springs and hangers etc. and could now get the car into a rolling chassis. The wheels were a recent purchase for 100 including the tyres!! I haven't yet managed to refurbish the rack, that's the next job.

         

As you can see, the body was very rusty and the o/s sill panels were rotted through but it was still a lot better than nothing. You can just make out the replacement sections of the shrouds behind the chassis against the wall. The fit on all of his panels is exceptional and made the repairs to the 4 wings and inner body sections much easier than I was afraid of. Winter set in so I decide to start on the seats. I had never recovered anything before so it was with some trepidation that I started. I ordered the covers from Bob West and when they arrived, there was a single instruction sheet with them. There was also supposed to be enough leather to cover the wooden door tops and the side screen holding area. I've just finished the seats but I'm very doubtful if there is enough to finish off. As I bought them some time ago, I think it's going to cost me to get the rest. The seat bases were in very good condition surprisingly and only needed minor repairs to the frames, I used marine ply, and then painted them. I was really pleased with the finished article and glad that I went for Magnolia in colour instead of the original red. I walk into the garage now and get the lovely smell of leather that reminds me of bygone days when all cars had that smell.

 

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