Of course there was a choice………
I suppose the decision revolves around COST, QUALITY, TIMING. I had three basic quotes and the range was HUGE, from £14,000 down to £2500. Choosing ‘AutoSpray‘ was not really based on the lowest price, the garage that stripped the shell made a suggestion where I could get everything done in one shop [disassembly, stripping the paint to bare metal, repairing or replacing rotten body areas and finally the quality of the finished job].
There is no doubt such a huge expense has to be considered carefully, but let’s face it, once any decision is made and the shell is handed over, you’re not likely to ‘re-posses’ the half finished work and look elsewhere if something goes wrong [liquidation, fire, theft] or just crap work being discovered along the way.
Andrew Maddocks did promise “8-10 weeks”…… Ha ha ha, the fact that it actually took 6 months, I really should have known. 1/ There were ‘projects’ in sight that had been there for a long time. 2/ There were ‘other’ (I suppose) more important crash jobs to take in. Stripping bodywork of all previous paint depends on weather, who’s actually going to DO the work and staff, their holidays and health. Unfortunately Andrew suffered a death in the family, his workers were off sick – so I really should have factored that into the timing.
I really missed the hot summer days, but at least the shell wasn’t rained on for a long time.
I’ve attached a gallery of some random images
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What’s going on here in the roof?
Going electric, has revealed some necessities. Instead of the voltage being 12volt or even 24v as I thought, the recommendation is 50volt. As I’m still going to need 12volt lighting and various ancillary gadgets (a heater would be nice – the A7’s in 1933 didn’t have such refinery) I’ve had fitted a transparent roof which will have as many solar panels as I can fit. These will make a nominal contribution towards maintaining the 12volt deep cycle battery now planned.
This 5mm thick polycarbonate sheet is an idea I had, but Andrew wasn’t happy about his new responsibility or the final fittings. I had no difficulty having the sheet cut to exact size – BUT workers in the Austin factory obviously made all the roof shells and sunroof sliders individually. The recess was by coincidence 5mm but not 100% square AND convex in a rounded roof.
Thanks to EBAY, I also found some finishing strip which worked pretty well. OK I broke three HS drills and struggled to find a sound fixing, but in the end it seems to have worked – and it’s waterproof (I’ve had the rain to test it).
The re-delivery homecoming………
Many thanks again to Steve at Bullock Street Motors, the rain came down in stair-rods, he got soaked loading the A7 on the back of his recovery truck. But, being pretty light with 240+ kilos removed, we still used the winch but man-handling the finished beautiful paint job into a tight garage was hairy.
So, what’s on the current agenda……?
Wheels……. All Austin Sevens around the early 30’s had thin 19″ spoked wheels. These are basically motorcycle wheels and tyres. The 85 years on the road [holy crap, I’ve just realised…85 years!!!] may have taken it’s toll on the bodywork and floor pan, but the wheels are in remarkable shape.
AVON Tyres are still made to compliment these 3.50 thin rims and I have been fortunate to find 5 matching tread brand new ones – with the inner tubes and spoke protection band for £375 – which is a bargain.
So the next job is ‘shot blasting’ the old black paint off and having the clean wheels powder coated in shinny beautiful black.