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oldcar

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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.
  16. No doubt there are some people who are wondering about the sanity of an 85 year oldd man even thinking about starting another project of this magnitude. My reply is that, this is how I got to be 85 years old, Without my involvement with Vintage and Post Vintage cars I could well have been dead 20 years ago. I will let you know if I need a "push start" for my wheel chair! Normally I just push it down a hill and run along-side so I can jump in once it starts. Bj.
  17. While almost 20 years older this Austin 10/Six has had it's chassis "pruned" by a similar amount to bring it to "Two seater" length. Just how the LeaF finishes remains to be seen. With its 17 inch steel disc wheels the Leaf will require some slightly different treatment, just how different remains to be seen. Perhaps the Jaguar special is nearer time wise. See also below.
  18. Now a week later with the Lagonda safely tucked up in its garage, work is commencing again on the Lea Francis. The more I look the more I have become convinced that the saloon body will have to go, it is simply falling apart. This will now mean a slight change in my plans, the body will have to go. The chassis will then need 12 inches cut from the middle to shorten it to the factory "sports two seater" length and a complete new body built. Not at all what I had in mind when I first bought the car. It is not a problem, it is something I have a lifelong experience in doing. It will just take a little more effort and time. Bernie j.
  19. Hello Digger Last Sunday was an ideal day for the Rapier, good roads with almost no traffic, good company at lunch in an older style "Country Pub". I am sure that you would enjoy it. I find it hard to believe but It appears (to me) as though you do not even drive them to your "Shows". It is a very long time since I even owned a trailer. I do still have a towing "Hitch" on the rear of the Peugeot but I cannot remember when I last used it. Bernie j. It seems (to me) that most people in USA just don't drive their "old" cars. I must admit we have only visited a very limited amount of your country so I could be wrong. I doubt that we will ever visit again. All our over seas visits these days seem to be restricted to the UK and Europe and even then I imagine that our next visit will be our last. I hate saying that because it sounds so negative and defeatist. Bernie j.
  20. Looking at my fur hat you have to remember here in Australia our seasons are the opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. July is "mid-winter" while December-January is summer. We are lucky that we can still find days to do our motoring with the hood(top) carefully stowed away. We can go from one year to the next without ever putting the hood up. You just dress to suit the season! If you go fast enough the rain goes over your head, so you may never get wet. Bj.
  21. Hello Digger You must learn, Koalas only ever come down out of their tree is to go to the toilet. Once they find a really comfortable tree they will stay up there all day. The effort of climbing up there is just too much. It is only after they have eaten all the best and juiciest leaves that they may decide to try another tree. Meanwhile "H" and I had a really good drive yesterday. The Lagonda Rapier did not miss a beat. Now I must go out into the garage and give it a quick check over so that it will be ready for our next outing. Bj. After checking the water and oil levels, it just needs the carpet in the drivers "compartment" being given a quick "brush" with the little hand broom. I must also put my fur cap and warm gloves away for another winter's day of open air motoring! The one question after all this is, Why am I wasting my time messing about with the Lea Francis when all I need to keep me smiling is to go out and look at my faithful "Little Lagonda"? I really must be mad! Bj
  22. Thank you Digger. Before we return to the LeaF, we (Helen & I) have spent the entire day today driving in a remote corner of Victoria (Australia) Naturally this was a day for the Lagonda Rapier. Narrow twisting roads that took us around in a BIG circle. It was great to be able to spend most of the day driving. I am sure that the Lagonda Rapier enjoyed the outing too.. Remind me sometime to talk about the Rapier's engine. Bernie j.
  23. Thank you Digger, There is really just one car that is close to my heart, It has been mine for almost 50 years! This since buying it as a very run down and incomplete racing car. At last after months of "on and off lock down" we are going on a VSCC of Vic (Australia) day navigation run tomorrow. I have had it out today to top up the petrol tank and to check the tyre pressure. These are Michelin "Super Comfort" designed to run at a maximum of 20 lbs psi. Make them any harder and the car is "all overthe place". It will be great to have it out on the road again. There may be one or two looking at this for the first time. That lever on the floor and working fore and aft through the quadrant, just where the drivers left hand falls is an important part of the package. It is the gear selection lever for the close ratio, ENV 75 Preselect transmission. I really can not explain why I even bother to become involved with lesser cars such as the LeaF. Bj.
  24. I am the first to admit I am next to useless working with wood which all my restorations have welded steel tube frames. For some unknown reason (old age) I can never get to finish any of my restorations. Most are sold and disappear behind someones garage doors, most never to be seen again. Recently I have been attempting to find a Lagonda 3 litre that I sold 3/4 finished a long time ago. It disappeared from sight about twenty (or more) years ago. It is one car that I would really like to finish. It was so close to finish and now is so far away. Bj.
  25. Good Morning Digger The attached photo shows the remaining timber in the windscreen pillars. Once the panels are fitted the timber is buried and difficult to photograph. YThje timber is also clearly visible along the top of the door in the first photograph. You need to enter Automotive coach-built body timber frame into your search engine. Bj.
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