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Rusty Classic Cars
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1418
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:51 am    Post subject: Rusty Classic Cars Reply with quote

A recurring theme in current threads is the suggestion that certain cars which we now consider as classics were notorious for rusting: Minis, Lancias, Fiats, Renaults, Japanese cars - they all seem to have earned a reputation for rusting away.

But really, was there any car from the forties, fifties, sixties or seventies which didn't rust as soon as they hit the road? Anything, from Anglias and Escorts, through Victors and Minxes, to Rovers and Mk6 Bentleys, all could be seen rusting away before ones eyes before they were four years old.

The few exceptions were probably the fibreglass bodied separate chassied cars like Lotus Elans and Reliant Scimitars - but they were just hiding their sins for later ...
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Rootes75



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
Posts: 2447
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall always being told that postwar Vauxhalls were particularly prone to rust due to poor material quality. Wether thats true or not I don't know?
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Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 914
Location: Upper Swan, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first 1957 Vauxhall Victors were notorious for rusting. Almost as bad as the 1960's Datsuns. They were a very smart modern design in their day but were beset by ferocious rusting. The exhaust pipe ended through one of the styling circles at the ends of the rear bumper. The whole lot would rust away!

Keith
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 1950s/60s Victors are very thin on the ground relative to their competitors from that period.

Peter
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lancias were famous for rotting away in the 1970s (didn't the company end up buying many of the Betas back again?).

You'd think that the rust situation was well under control now (electronics usually being the most fragile part on an ageing modern), but Nissan bucked the trend with rampant chassis rot on their mid-2000s Navara pickups. Recent(ish) Citroens have also had their rust issues.


https://www.parkers.co.uk/vans-pickups/advice/2017/nissan-navara-snapped-chassis/

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Miken



Joined: 24 Dec 2012
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the 80's a friend of mine had a newish Fiat Panda (hardly a classic i concede)that would rust badly, not only in all the usual areas, but also in places like the middle of the roof panel or bonnet for no apparent reason.
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1458
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The first 1957 Vauxhall Victors were notorious for rusting.


I emigrated to Canada in 1964 and an abiding memory was in the first days that I was there I had to go and register at the Dept. Of Labour. Outside the building there was a Victor and it had rusted through in a line from the rear window to the wheelarch and it was held together by a length of perforstrip and the rear springs.

Thatís whatís missing from Rickís Datsun picture. Perforstrip. Laughing

Art
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lowdrag



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1162
Location: Le Mans

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1983 a friend, passionate about Alfas, took me to Roger Clark's showroom at Narborough to look at a new GTV. I had been doubtful anyway given the history of Alfasuds and Lancia Betas but went along eyes wide open. The car was sitting there, resplendent in red with beige interior - and the headlamp reflectors were already brown with rust. Needless to say I gave it a wide berth.
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Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 1365
Location: Betws y Coed, North Wales

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Lancias were famous for rotting away in the 1970s

RJ


In the May 1971 the son of one of our neighbours bought for himself one of these brand new, A Lancia Fulvia 1.3s Coupe in white :



When he submitted it for it's first MOT in 1974 it passed after extensive welding to the nearside sill and floor and was warned about imminent rust about to break through in the front and rear wing arches.

He part exchanged it shortly afterwards for a new Vauxhall Victor FE.

By the way, looking at Rick's Nissan Navara photo, the problem isn't confined to Nissan, have a look at this chassis from a modern Isuzu 4 door pick up.


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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1174
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had five classic Range Rovers, all of which suffered from rust, but the last two were special long wheelbase models, called LSE. Both of them rusted to oblivion, but in places which could not be detected without stripping out carpets and seats, so could not be an MOT fail until it was too late.
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3369
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Lancias were famous for rotting away in the 1970s (didn't the company end up buying many of the Betas back again?).

You'd think that the rust situation was well under control now (electronics usually being the most fragile part on an ageing modern), but Nissan bucked the trend with rampant chassis rot on their mid-2000s Navara pickups. Recent(ish) Citroens have also had their rust issues.


https://www.parkers.co.uk/vans-pickups/advice/2017/nissan-navara-snapped-chassis/

RJ

Nissan also offered to buy back or repair these Navara's...albeit after some negative publicity, still very surprising that a post millennium vehicle would suffer this way.
Back to classics I remember my dad cursing that his 3 year old Austin 1300 failed its mot with corroded sills.

Dave
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kevin2306



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 1331
Location: nr Llangollen, north wales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can pretty much guarantee that, at each show or meet I go to in the Singer, someone will take great delight in telling me how the floors always rotted out of the various roots offerings.
Mine however has never been welded nor does it have any rust, it does have lots of grommets through which the previous owner used to squirt oil. I donít think it ever seen roadsalt either.

Kev
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MikeEdwards



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 1704
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know Vauxhall did have quite a reputation in the seventies, which was probably carried over from earlier cars. But it wasn't for lack of trying - they made a big thing about how much corrosion protection was put on the vehicles, to the extent of printing a brochure about it.

protectors_spread by Mike Edwards, on Flickr

I wonder whether that led to a false sense of security, with owners not bothering to check the underbody sealant for damage. I know on my cars (Viva HC shell) there are shields behind the front wheels to stop mud getting in the wings, but they rot, so mud gets trapped behind the remains of the shields where it can't be seen. If the shields couldn't be made of something more resilient, they'd almost have been better off not fitting them, so it would have been easier to clean out and inspect.
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victor 101



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 449
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Lancias were famous for rotting away in the 1970s (didn't the company end up buying many of the Betas back again?).

You'd think that the rust situation was well under control now (electronics usually being the most fragile part on an ageing modern), but Nissan bucked the trend with rampant chassis rot on their mid-2000s Navara pickups. Recent(ish) Citroens have also had their rust issues.


https://www.parkers.co.uk/vans-pickups/advice/2017/nissan-navara-snapped-chassis/

RJ


My local breakers yard has hundreds of these that are ready for breaking, No doubt they are all buy backs from Nissan.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A major contributing factor in the rust reputation on all models is the treatment of the car. Many cars gain a reputation for being either bulletproof or rubbish and it is these that get neglected the most and by the time a problem is bad enough the car cannot be used, it usually is much too bad to warrant fixing.

It works the other way too, there's a belief that Reliant Scimitars never rust because they're not made of steel. A similar belief exists that Landrovers aren't prone to rust due to their aluminium panels. We all know how wrong both these beliefs are.

That said, Herald era Triumphs are temples to iron oxide. I'm yet to see a Herald, GT6, or similar that hasn't got rust problems in the floors, arches, valances, gutters, and windscreen surround. The obvious exception being those cars that have been meticulously restored, of course.
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