Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Bernie, This is great fun watching this come along. Thanks for keeping us involved.

 

What is the wheelbase on the Lagonda? In my mind, they were large cars, on the order of a contemporary Bentley, but that is not based on anything, not even having ever seen any in the flesh.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill 

There is no shame in not knowing about Lagonda Rapiers, The company built about 250 chassis from July 1934 until  they went into receivership in July 1935. Three of the departing exceutives took over the unassembled Rapier parts and assembled another  approx 90 chassis from 1936 to 38. These later cars were badged  as Rapiers the Lagonda name being ground off the Cam covers and a new radiator badge fitted. They have a 1100cc 4 cylinder 2ohc engine that is built like a Swiss watch They used an ENV 4 speed Preselector gearbox. The "factory" never built bodies on Rapier chassis sending them out to independent coachbuilders for bodies to be built to order for the custoner. These days about 75% of the cars sold still survive thanks to the efforts of the UK based Rapier Register. Our car has a replica (coachbuilt) Eagle two seater body, over the years the engine has grown to 1500cc. The engines had an unheard of in 1934 fully machined counter-balanced crankshaft with 2 inch big end journals. As they left the factory the engines were safe to rev to 6,000 rpm and many still do this on a regular basis. Our car has a comfortable 90+mph top speed with two occupants and luggage for a weekend. I bought the car in 1978 as a broken down very scruffy racing car, Since I restored the car shortly after buying it, it has travelled over 100,000 miles both in Australia and on holidays in the UK and Europe. It has an impressive list of European Alpine Passes climbed during our various holidays. I have a dedicated thread "Lagonda Rapiers" under British cars in this forum. http://forums.aaca.org/topic/183184-lagonda-rapier

This is the fifth Lagonda Rapier I have owned, I have never owned any other car as long as this one so I guess that you could say that it is something special.

The photo below shows the car racing in 1977 in England shortly before I bought it. The two engine photographs show the engine as it is today.

post-94860-0-77519000-1439957164_thumb.j

post-94860-0-11501800-1439957221.jpg

post-94860-0-73633600-1439957255.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Terry

Thank you for your interest. Looking at your friends blogspot it would appear that his approach to steel tube body frames is very different to mine. I have been using the same basic approach for years but that does not mean that there are not alternatives. I have a very simple basic tube bended which will give me wrinkle free bends without applying heat in square tube with a wall thickness of 1.6mm and up to 22 X 22 mm square. I made a mistake and ordered some 1.2 wall thickness tube and found that it was impossible to bend without cutting "snipes" at about 3-5 mm centres. No doubt the purists will be horrified that I use steel tube instead of the time honoured "English Ash" but a very long time ago I discovered that I did not have the right temperament for wood working but I can do very satisfactory gas welding of thin wall tube.

The end result is at least as strong and much lighter. I can carry a completed body frame by myself which is important as I work solo 99.9% of the time.

 

Bj

post-94860-0-66276600-1440112554_thumb.j

post-94860-0-21750400-1440112628_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It seem that everyone is too polite to ask about my trusty if aging Peugeot in the second photo. This is a 1996 405 SRi. As such it is among the first front wheel drive Peugeots. It has a 2 litre single overhead cam motor with fuel injection coupled to a very smooth five speed all synchro manual transmission. It has all the modern European features, cruise control, anti lock bakes and etc. It even checks the oil level in the sump without opening the bonnet (hood). Every time you start the engine from cold it shows the oil level in the sump on a little gauge on the dashboard. I cannot remember when I last found it necessary to add oil. The odometre shows 248,621kms. We bought it when it was 12 months old as an Dealer executive driven car. As such it was among the last of the model to be sold locally. I have only recently sealed up the electric sun-roof as it had started to leak and the cost of importing a new seal from France was prohibitive. It has a multi function am/fm radio with a tape player and a six stack cd player. It was originally bought for Helen to drive, it was then passed on to our eldest son who eventually decided that after being rescued two or three times from "out back" 4WD only tracks it was time to give it back to me albeit with a slipping clutch. He then bought a Land Rover Discovery.

The only real problem I have had was when it decided to eat its accessory belt and bent all the valves in the process. I decided that it is such a good car that it was worth repairing. I only drive it two or three times per week mostly local drives. It is such a pleasant car to drive in every way, its typicaly French velour seats have a huge range of adjustments including lumba support and  are wonderfully supportive and comfortable, I can see no possible reason to replace it any time soon. I think that I will probably wear out long before it does. Prior to this one we had a 2 Litre 505 sedan that provided wonderful family transport. A very long time earlier I had a very rough 203 for a short while as a badly mistreated, teenaged boys hack.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

As I mentioned at the end of my post a week ago, I work (on the Renault) solo 99.9% of the time. Thinking about this, it has nothing to do with my personal hygiene or that I live on some remote island, quite simply I am working on what must be the most ignored and or disparaged of all pre 1940s cars.

When working on what must have been one of the ten rarest cars in the world, The Dixie Flyer, I had regular visits from interested people and it created comment from people all around the world.

By contrast the Renault if we are to believe our French friends, is one of the greatest Marques anywhere and yet of the thousands of Monasix built, the Renault d'Avant Guerre forum can only identify less than 20 of this model surviving and of those the vast majority have never left France.

But the sad part is that it would seem that while my car is the sole surviving example of the RY1 model in Australia, no one here is really interested. As the English motoring magazine "Autocar" stated in a contemporary (1930) article; "Renault differs essentially to any other car."

To say that in their design and construction they are idiosyncratic is an understatement in the extreme and yet ask the majority of old car enthusiasts and they will tell you "Oh! Renaults, they are so boring!" Even the members of the English, Renault Freres club, while passionate about the pre WW1 models, they would not cross the road to look at a 1920s example. Worse still this attitude is contagious, at times, such as the present, I find myself thinking "Why am I doing this?" Can it be true, rareity in itself is not necessarily a virtue. And yet I find it difficult to think of any other car that has so many unconventional design elements. Perhaps rather than "boring" they should be described as "frightening!".

 

Bj

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ben/John

But is it a chuckle or manic hysteria ? One can only wonder about what went on inside Louis's mind. It is no point asking a Frenchman, they all think that he is GOD. I just wish I could arrange some divine intervention. Either that or adopt the Louis mentality and just"Do it MY way!"

 

Bj.

 

Who would want to be considered "conventional" anyway?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile work on the body IS progressing with the two large sheets of aluminium being cut up into ever smaller pieces.

It was a chilly 10-12 degrees C and raining yesterday with more of the same forecast for today. Being Friday it is our weekly shopping day so not too much time left for Renault activities, perhaps I will get the top of the tail section cut out this afternoon. I think that I will need to anneal the edges where some tight folds are required. Either that or the (one) door skin which is a fairly straight forward job and is more or less self contained.

 

Bj

Link to post
Share on other sites

The work on the body continues to progress. Tomorrow's task is to cut the hole in the top of the scuttle to accommodate the combined cowl-vent/petrol filler cover. For anybody in the immediate vicinity, it may be advisable to wear earplugs and to look well away. I will probably hold my breath and to keep my eyes shut until this delicate operation is completed.

 

Bj.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As promised in yesterdays post, another tiny step forward is well on the way with the hole cut in the top of the scuttle and the original vent temporarily fitted. Time right now is exactly midday making this a good mornings work.

 

Bj.

post-94860-0-10025600-1441072767_thumb.j

post-94860-0-64931200-1441072831_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello "Onsafari"

If I told you, you would not believe me! But as you are new to this thread I will briefly explain. I will be 79 years old in two months time, I work by myself 99.9% of the time. The only new tools I have bought in recent times is a couple of posi-drive screwdriver bits to go in one of my electric drills. I needed these to open up the crate that the Renault engine came in from France.

I have two electric drills, an angle grinder and a jig-saw. I have recently bought some new "metal" blades for this saw. I have a collection of ancient "G" clamps, three or four pair of vice-grip plyers, I have a thirty+ year old Oxy-acetelyne torch that is used for welding and heating. and most importantly a selection three of hammers. My favourite has a special handle made from a 1918 Dodge Four wheel spoke, really well seasoned Hickory. I have three pair of "snips" a Right and a Left hand pair of "Aviation" snips and a pair of long handled Gilbrows that I bought almost 60 years ago. Much of the time I work in an open "car-port" where the (natural) light is better. As officially we have just yesterday started 'Spring' here in Australia I should soon be able to put my 'thermal" underware away. Finally there are two or three lengths of 2X1 hardwood, salvaged from the afore mentioned French crate. Apart from these specialised tools, I have three metal tool boxes, one each for Metric, BSF, and SAE/UN spanners, a rack of worn out screw drivers and a tin of mainly worn out files. I have just one trolley jack and a chain lifting "block" and four jack stands and a selection of plyers. On the bench in my 'work space/single car garage' I have an 'off-set' vice at one end and a smaller vice at the outer. I have one bench grinder with coarse and fine wheels and another with a wire brush and a buff. Looking at the attached photograph, I note that I also have a small selection or "hole" saws and an "pop" rivet gun.

 

I notice that you have a couple of Minis. When our four children were younger (teenage and early twenties) at one time we had fourteen, my wife (Helen) drove a Cooper S and I had a Mini-moke as a run-about. I also built a small trailer based on a Mini rear sub-frame that I towed behind my MG Midget (1275). All the Minis were "modified", one son had a bored & stroked "1480" that would "torque-steer" in top gear on dry bitumen. We also had a Riley Elf. All that was many years ago, these days Helen drives a VW Jetta (diesel) and I have a Peugeot 405 SRi and have had the same 1934 Lagonda Rapier since 1979. I like to have a 'project' car to help keep me (in)sane.

 

Bernie j.

post-94860-0-04189900-1441168435_thumb.j

post-94860-0-17322600-1441176794_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly I spoke too  soon, I broke the handle of my favourite hammer yesterday rather than discard the historic handle it is now about an inch shorter. Still works fine but I have had a warning! Somewhere among my piles of things that may be useful someday there is one more hickory spoke. I had better start looking for it.

post-94860-0-45688000-1441251403_thumb.j

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bernie, you have been a busy boy. The body looks great! Can't wait to see it test mounted on the frame. I can almost see you running on the byways. I know you have lots more to do, but you have made great progress.

Question: Is the firewall original or did you have to fabricate one?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John

The body went straight back onto the chassis, It is held by 8 bolts. The firewall is the original as is the cowl vent. The one problem with the firewall is that it weighs a ton but I have all the original control cross shafts and fittings including the mounts for the petrol tank that sits in brackets between the firewall and the original support for the dash. This can be seen in some of the photos (painted black). Access to the petrol filler cap is throught the Cowl vent as original. As the 1920's writer in the English "Autocar" magazine said "Renault differs essentially from any other car." With the body temporarily in place I can get on with some of the detailing work on it. Eventually it has to come off for painting. "Dave the Painter" who has done my last three or four cars will only paint the various components when dismantled and with the body off the chassis. First I have to trial assemble everything and have the bonnet (hood) etc fitting properly. The bonnet is a very bulky one piece affair that hinges upwards from the centre of the scuttle (top of the firewall). Being steel, it too weighs a ton and is very awkward to lift by myself. 

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just started reading Anthony Rhode's biography of Louis Renault. So far there have been no dramatic relevations other than he was the fourth child, out of six, of a Bourgeois button manufacturer based in Paris in the 1880s. Whether the tale is sufficiently "gripping" for me to complete reading the 220 pages remains to be seen. So far it has succeeded in sending me to sleep after two or three pages. As "bedtime reading" it has been successful in its required task.

 

Bj.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another day..... well, half a day in fact but some progress either way. While it does not look like it at present, one of the two pieces of steel strip on the floor is the spare wheel carrier but not just yet. If you look very closely you can just see the brass channel which is the start of the windscreen frame across the top of the cowl, this will ultimately be a shallow "v" windscreen. It is just that all these things take time and a little thought.

 

Bj.

post-94860-0-59243600-1441799107_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello John 

The approximate witdh is 4 ft 6inches and length 12 ft 6 inches. There will be space in the tail and behind the seats for luggage and provision for some light luggage on top of the tail.

 

On Safari

My present thoughts are "butterfly" type mudguards similar to those below.

post-94860-0-91773300-1441843239_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

 "Little steps", having turned the car around I could make a start on the front. Todays task was to make the "board" that supports the front of the bonnet (hood). This is cut from marine 5 ply and clad in 1.6mm aluminium sheet.

 

Bernie j.

post-94860-0-12809800-1442212357_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both, as I said in my earlier post "little steps". I still have a long way to go at least with it on four wheels I can move it around a little more easily. One thing that is apparent is that Depanoto's "Enjoliveurs" (hub caps) were a good investment. The addition of the runningboard tool boxes will make a big difference too.

 

Bj.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh! Oh! It seems as though I am getting into a bad habit of never finishing things. Looking back, not all that long ago I abandoned the project I was working on http://forums.aaca.org/topic/219228-my-next-project-la-petite-chanteuse/page-8?hl=%20petite%20%20chanteuse.  This little 1928 Singer Junior was at almost exactly the same stage as the Renault is right now. Some how I don't cope with frustrating situations very well and the Renault seems to be able to dish out frustration in spades. Having attended two clearing sales run by the widows of two gentlemen whom had died recently and having seen the mountains of "stuff' that both had left for their poor wives to clean up I promised myself that I would never leave such a task for my wife. After taking stock of my own situation I have decided rightly or wrongly that the Renault project would have to go. The way it is going I can see that I may never finish it. The body is the easy bit but I can see that the mechanical side is potentially both frustrating and expensive. If I had unlimited cash available it may be different but that is something I do not have. So that you are not hearing this second hand I can tell you that I have started to advertise it for sale. Aust $14,000 represents the money I have actually spent on the project to date. This is near enought to US$ 10,000.

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Dale and John

Of course you are quite correct John. It will probably take some time to find a buyer for the Renault in the meanwhile I finished the spare wheeel mounting and fitted it to the drivers side of the scuttle yesterday. I am now waiting for Depanoto in France to find the time to frais Fixes d'expedition (parcel up) the fifth enjoliveur (hubcap) and four ecrou de roue DROIT (right hand thread wheel nuts) and send them to me Colissimo Suivi International. The last item (Colissimo), the French budget air mail will probably be the most expensive item on the invoice.

Coping with the constant need for translation, into and out of French, and the cost of freight has been the two most difficult parts of the restoration of the Renault. The attached invoice for wheel nuts, hubcaps, two reproduction tail lamps and a second-hand clutch fork will give you some idea 605 euros translates into almost Aust $1.000.

Packing and postage is just on 70 euro (Aust $ 135.)

The fourchette d'occasion (clutch fork) was the wrong one but being d'occasion (second-hand) (and rusty) was ne sont ni reprises ni echangees (not returnable) 35 euros (Aust $ 50) down the drain. No wonder I become grumpy and depressed.

 

Bj

post-94860-0-33847500-1442965165_thumb.j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Bernie, about the shipping costs and wrong parts: restoring a US car in Europe requires most of the time buying parts in the USA. Shipping costs are sometimes higher than the part's price; for the same reason, wrong parts are not returned because of the shipping costs. I'm playing with that aspect of the restoration since more than 30 years...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...