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oldcar

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  • Birthday 11/09/1936

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  1. Hello OCF, Chris You asked about the "Jacks" I am sorry but I do not know the American term for the "Lifting devices" used for raising the car to facilitate changing a wheel in the case of a puncture or "flat tyre". With a number of "Quality" English Motor cars made during the 1930's, 40's and 50"s these were "built-in" under the rear springs with the lifting screw operating shaft projecting si that it was easily accessible. This accessory it fitted to the rear of the LeaF as seen in the attached photograph. The idea being that you did not need to climb under the car to use these, perhaps risking soiling the driver's clothes. In effect these added to the unsprung weight of the car.
  2. Thank you Digger I have spent a lifetime working around bodies that do not contain any compound curves. It can be done but it all takes time. I keep saying that this will be my last restoration but that does not mean I have a bottomless purse. I still have to be perhaps even more mindful of this. I still have to careful not to over capitalise my restorations. I remain an "Impecunious Enthusiast". Bj.
  3. Regardless there is still two or three days work to finish removing the remaining parts of the body. I believe that there may be a spare engine available but will know more soon. I must admit that at this stage of my life I must be mad to even be thinking about a total restoration of this magnitude! This is not what I set out to be doing but having started, I am not about to admit defeat! With the steel disc wheels it lends itself to the Connaught style of body which will entail some ourside help from someone with an "English Wheel" for shaping compound curves, something I have always tried to avoid. I may be able to get around this by using some of the original panels and mudguards. But that requires a lot of cutting, shutting and welding. Only time will tell. I will talk with one or two of my Professional Coach-builder friends. Meanwhile I feel quite sick at the prospect. I can now see that by deciding to go down this path that there are months and months of work ahead. The only other option would be to bail out now but that is not really practicable. Once I have finished "cleaning up" the chassis I can make a start on a body frame. Please don't go away. Bj.
  4. Below is a copy of todays email to another Australian Enthusiast who bought a Leaf Saloon similar to mine from someone in New Zealand. "Having gone through the unenviable task of removing the body from my LeaF. i can only hope that the body on your car is not full of the unpleasant surprises that my car has revealed. To have attempted to restore what was a basically sound “looking” body I have discovered that the entire body frame is almost totally full of rust. There is not a single tube that could be re-used! I am now left with no other option but to build a new body. This will now become a “Sports Special” two seater. Having gone this far I will do a “proper job” and cut twelve inches out the chassis to reduce it to the catalogued length for a “roadster”. Please do feel free to come and see for yourself. I still have to decide what to do with the engine. I just hope for his sake that he has a better result than I have had with my Leaf.
  5. With some luck I should have the Saloon body all but gone by the end of today. To me (at least) this well be real progress. While it "looked" OK this body was all but ready to fall apart. Once it has gone I can start to clean up the chassis. In the process I will remove the fixed "Jacks" from the rear axle and cut off the excess overhang at the rear of the chassis proir to making a start on a new body frame using square tube steel. This is something that I do have some experience and enjoy doing. It appeals to my creative side. But first back to work. Bj
  6. Meanwhile I am still working away quietly on dismantling the saloon body in preparation to starting work on the LeaF Special. It is amazing just how the hours disappear. Ot seems as though the only things that disappears faster are the 100mm Angle Grinder "Cut-off blades. Bj
  7. The main focus of our club activities these days is on road/touring events. This and we are hopeful that in another three years we will both still be fit and well enough to have one last trip (in 2024) to the UK and France with the Lagonda. With this in mind I need to make the right decision on just what format the LeaF should/will take. I believe that this should be a sports-touring two seater. As well as shortening the wheel base by 12 inches there is another 12 to 18 inches, that can be removed from the rear of the car by adopting a slab (vertical) petrol tank with the spare wheel mounted, also vertical, behind it. At the front of the car, the traditional Radiator can be lowered by approximately 3 inches. This plus a fold flat windscreen could considerably change the character of the LeaF while retaining the 17 inch steel disc wheels. For comparison our Lagonda Rapier also has 17 inch wheels. Bj
  8. Another day and I really have to make at least on important decision. Which way is my restoration/rebuild of the Leaf going, It seems that I have at least three choices. 1. As a 2/4 seater "tourer" This is the softest of the options open to me and would appear the easiest. 2, As a traditional two seater retaining the original radiator etc and rear section. This will require 12 inches cut from the chassis and two doors "widened". 3. As a "Competition two seater with the chassis shortened, the scuttle lowered and a new "nose and tail constructed" This would entail a completely new body based on the L2 Connaught. This would also entail disposing of all the original body work and making a pair of new "bucket" seats. There is one more option. This would mean building a two seater along the lines of the Connaught but retaining a lowered "Traditional" radiator and bonnet. In some ways this is the most attractive option but requiring potentially, the most expense. Something similar to the SS Jaguar special I built some years ago. It may be just possible to lower the original radiator while still in its original location. To my thinking this is the most attractive option. One way to simplify this would be to adopt a rear mounted "Slab" petrol tank. It would also involve new rear mudguards. Not unlike the Lagonda Rapier two seater
  9. And now much of the debris has been removed includeing one interloper who had overstayed it welcome! Tucked awaybehind one of the trim panels was this once handsome rat. I have no idea how long it had been there but I have just finished the delightful job of removing it along with a pile of droppings ! At least it is now gone and I can move along with the job. Once again space to store all the body parts that I MAY yet decide to reuse is something of a problem. NO! not these body parts! Bj.
  10. Perhaps if you repair the engine, first. Then you can decide later what you want to do with the body and chassis, or sell a running car, in need of a body restoration. Back at the start of this exercise one person contributed these words of wisdom. Now some little time later I feel that I should reply. Perhaps ten or perhaps even five years ago I would have agreed BUT Under todays world it seems that no one can be really interested in actually driving their "old car" anywhere. Right now here in Victoria we are permitted to drive to our nearest local shop to buy only sufficient to keep our body and soul together for only as long as absolutely necessary. I have entertained myself this afternoon cleaning a lifetime of debris from the interior of the Lea F.
  11. Thank you Chris, at one time I used to use "An impecunious enthusiast" as a by-line but gave that up quite some time ago.It is some years since I wrote any serious magazine articles. I still try to make a additional "ID" plate to go on the bulk head of my "completed" restorations. For one reason or another, I do not seem to have actually completed many cars recently. I will endeavour to finish this one as it may well be my last. Re using panels from the LeaF, I have just been thinking that the rear window opening is just about the right size for the air intake. That is really being "Back to Front! To use that I would need to turn the radiator on its side. This in turn means moving the water filler cap too. That is still worth considering. I doubt that the finished car will be doing any "long distance drives" so direction of water flow should not be too critical. Bernie j.
  12. Thank you OCF, My own leaning is towards the earlier all enclosing sports/racing body. This is based on the simple fact that I have memories of driving a borrowed Connaught all those years ago. Also it is questionable if the body you have chosen is any easier to construct than the one that I prefer. I guess that it all comes down to personal preference and to who is doing the actual work. When you look at it constructively there are less individual components than on the version with the four cycle type mudguards(Fenders). From memory the "Racing" car I had driven was even more "basic" than those shown above. The entire front section hinged across the front and the rear section lifting to the rear. Basically five parts. Front, tail, two doors and engine hatch. Depending on availability my car could have either a Connaught or a Lea Francis "badge". This may depend on the availability of a Connaught badge. Bernie j.
  13. Hello Chris I actually had the use of the Connaught for just one (3 day) weekend but it did make a lasting impression on me! I think that my over-all target is to get a car together and going. The one problem is that my LeaF has a beam axle front end, not that I think many of todays "critics" would know the difference. I need to brush up on my aluminium welding if I am to patch together a "Connaught" body from the panels salvaged from the LeaF sedan. First thing will be to get the debris cleaned off the chassis and 12 inches cut out of it to bring it down to the catalogued 8'3" (sports) wheel-base. With that done I can make a start on the two seater body frame. Looking at photographs it seems that these bodies were made in two halves linked together by the doors. I have now got the doors of the sedan and the roof ready to lift off. So despite our (mid winter) weather I am managing to get something done. Bj.
  14. I may need to enlist some "outside assistance" with this body but I should be able to keep that to a minimum. More especially if my Special is based directly on "MPH 329" Bj.
  15. Thank you OCF, While it is a passing thought, I am not about to rush out and spend anything up to and possibly exceeding five or six thousand Aust$s on converting my Lea F to "KO Wire wheels". It seems that as an almost forgotten Marque, the value of my Leaf is almost negligible! Rarity is not always proportional with cash value. The minuscule amount of money that I have invested so far in the car is little more that its "Scrap value". My interest is mainly based on my own limited (one weekend) experience with a Connaught some years ago. While this car was an original "works racing car", it too had steel disc wheels. One thought is to build my LeaF as a replica of this car. The slim young man (in pale blue overalls) bending over the car in the first photograph and seen again in the third photo, almost entirely obscured, seated in the car is none other than myself.
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