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1959 A35 van
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20335
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: 1959 A35 van Reply with quote

What do they say about things coming along in pairs - in this case estates - ??

Enquiries about this little van had been ongoing for some time, in fact I'd more or less given up, when the Standard Companion popped up on ebay and I bid on that, thinking that the A35 idea was history. Then I heard that my offer to the owner of this A35 had been accepted, so I ended up with this little belter too.

It had just the one owner from new, 46k miles on the clock, and the original sales invoice, addressed to the same address that I collected the van from. The first glimpse I got of it was in this old garage, its home for 50 years. It hadn't been on the road since 1987, the last time it was roadworthy.



The body is very sound, having rarely been outside. The underside is dripping in old engine oil that had been liberally applied over the years, so looks like it'll need no welding. The tyres (original crossplies?) were flat, but held air after a session with one of those 4.99 12v compressors.

The side windows have been in from new, as has the BMC rear seat conversion (it appears on the purchase invoice). The original tailored covers for the optional rear seat are still there, found in a bag. The interior is amazingly good in fact, as if hardly used. Hard to imagine that the van was used every year to take various children on holiday to Rhyl in North Wales. The original floor mats are still there, all the interior needs is a bit of a clean with a damp cloth. Although not in their first flush of youth, it still has its original BMC logo mudflaps in place. Inside the back, one of the original silver & black raised-letter reg. plates, with the supplying dealer's name on it (now fitted).

Since the old garage had been built, the house had been extended with a new garage incorporated within it. Fortunately they remembered to put an up-and-over door either end, so that access to the rear garage was still possible.



Despite being a little faded, 95% of the paint is original and will respond well to a gentle clean. A few area of paint have seen touching-up over the years, but not enough to worry about. The sills and front valance are quite oily still, which is probably why they've survived so well.



With a battery hooked up, most of the electrics seem to work (lights, indicators, horn, starter etc). A clean of the points produced a spark, after a new set of plugs had been fitted. Some fuel in the carb and it fired up ok, I just need to sort out the fuel supply from the tank (hence the other thread about fuel pick-ups).




Most of this year I've been pondering how to cut back on project vehicles, and a few have gone to new homes, so getting this wasn't really in the plan but I can't resist barn/shed finds... Smile

More photos on the main site soon, once I've cleaned it up a bit and got it running properly.



R
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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alapimba



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks in great shape.
that light green stripe is original?
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alapimba wrote:
looks in great shape.
that light green stripe is original?


I think the original owner was feeling artistic!! I've seen a few A30s and A35s done like this...

Rick
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alapimba



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will you keep it like that?

if the car was mine i wouldn't touch that wave Smile
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Rick
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alapimba wrote:
will you keep it like that?

if the car was mine i wouldn't touch that wave Smile


it'll remain exactly as it is (maybe not even polished). I'm hoping to get some copies of a few old family photos that show the van in the background.

R
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Richard H



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back to A35 ownership!

All the usual rot areas look good and solid. With A30/35's, the main areas of expense are the bodywork and brakes. Check the box section behind the front panel on both sides for holes, as this will quickly fill up with mud and rot away the front panel. Also I'd check all the hydraulic brake cylinders (master, wheel, rear frame cylinder) for leaks as they are very expensive to replace, although they can sometimes be honed and re-rubbered.

If you need any spares, the Austin A30/A35 Owners' Club sell heavily discounted spares for club members, also Bull Motif Spares near Evesham are very good. The club bought Auto Furbish's stock last year.

Good luck with it - she looks a lovely little car Very Happy
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1953 Austin A40 Somerset
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1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
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andycars



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely old van you have there Rick - that's the way to find them - so original and unspoilt. Shouldn't take much to get it on the road. Look forward to seeing some updates as you make progress. Small classic estates are such practical vehicles.
Andrew
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peter scott



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
alapimba wrote:
will you keep it like that?

if the car was mine i wouldn't touch that wave Smile


it'll remain exactly as it is (maybe not even polished).
R


Full marks to that man! Repair them don't restore to "as new".

Peter Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

p.s. But please swap out those horrible number plates. Wink
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Rick
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter scott wrote:
Rick wrote:
alapimba wrote:
will you keep it like that?

if the car was mine i wouldn't touch that wave Smile


it'll remain exactly as it is (maybe not even polished).
R


Full marks to that man! Repair them don't restore to "as new".

Peter Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

p.s. But please swap out those horrible number plates. Wink


Smile rear one already swapped for the original, the front one will also be replaced as n when

thing is - cut back the original paint a bit, or leave alone?? hmmmm

R
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Rick
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard H wrote:
Welcome back to A35 ownership!
All the usual rot areas look good and solid. With A30/35's, the main areas of expense are the bodywork and brakes. Check the box section behind the front panel on both sides for holes, as this will quickly fill up with mud and rot away the front panel. Also I'd check all the hydraulic brake cylinders (master, wheel, rear frame cylinder) for leaks as they are very expensive to replace, although they can sometimes be honed and re-rubbered.


Hi Richard

It seems ok underneath, its up on four stands at the mo (while the tank is out) so gave me chance to have a good poke around this morning. Its very very oily..a few photos from today:

Up up and away..with the original dealer rear no. plate back in position Smile


Oily but seems pretty original, including the handbrake mounting in the o/s sill (something I had to weld up on erindoors' A30). The exhaust is u/s though.



Inside, and the period gearlever extension


A Newmatic 10-4 transistor radio, shame one of the buttons is missing


Tank out


Battered but original BMC mudflap


The front panel, with the little "moustache" pressings at the bottom, near the grille, is in good fettle too


I've amassed quite a few bits for the Mk1 A40 (1960), so dug those out the other day. In there was a new frame cylinder, still boxed, so if the one on the A35 is shot, I could pinch this one and use it Smile

RJ
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Richard H



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly looks very solid and the front end is completely straight - unlike my own which is still bent from an accident years ago Sad

I see you have old crossplies on there, are you going to upgrade to radials, or fit new crossplies? The radials improve the roadholding by 100% - in fact I'm having a new set fitted on Wednesday hopefully Smile
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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poodge



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a little belter,Rick.I'm jealous Laughing
It was my understanding the vans were made till the late sixties,so why are parts so difficult?
It's in such a great condition,I would keep it as it is,just make it mechanically serviceable.
Looking forward to seeing progress.
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick congrats on a great find. How do you keep doing it?
I'm not certain about the flashing indicators, though. They look like an aftermarket fitting, as the rear panel isn't "shaped" like it is for the tail lights. Now if my memory is correct, didn't the A35s all have flashers, or (and I have a dim memory of this) were the early A35 vans fitted with semaphores, while all the cars had flashers?
The lamps fitted to your van appear to have screws holding the rim and lens in place, whereas factory fit was the ubiqutous Lucas job.
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Richard H



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emmerson wrote:
Rick congrats on a great find. How do you keep doing it?
I'm not certain about the flashing indicators, though. They look like an aftermarket fitting, as the rear panel isn't "shaped" like it is for the tail lights. Now if my memory is correct, didn't the A35s all have flashers, or (and I have a dim memory of this) were the early A35 vans fitted with semaphores, while all the cars had flashers?
The lamps fitted to your van appear to have screws holding the rim and lens in place, whereas factory fit was the ubiqutous Lucas job.


Yes the early (up to about 1962?) A35 vans had trafficators. This one has been fitted with aftermarket indicators, having said that they were probably fitted when it was nearly new.
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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Rick
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yup later indicators, not the factory ones. The semaphore openings have been closed in at some point, I'd like to find some of the proper blanking plates to go over the gaps (ukdave might be able to help here!!??)

RJ
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