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1958 Austin A55 Cambridge MK1 Restoration
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: 1958 Austin A55 Cambridge MK1 Restoration Reply with quote

I bought this at the beginning of August, it had a very short MOT but was cheap. Maybe I should have suspected something? Anyway it was very local, drove nicely with a good recon engine and positive column gearchange, the interior had obviously been retrimmed to a good standard at some point and it was just generally a nice old car. So I put in my bid on Ebay, and won it!





After getting it home, the first problem was the brakes pulled sharply to the left. Further investigation revealed five out of six wheel cylinders were leaking and the (new) shoes were badly contaminated. A phone call to Earlpart and a considerably lighter wallet later and I had new wheel cylinders and shoes all round. We then attempted to bleed the brakes, which blew out the seals on the master cylinder. A new master was swiftly purchased from Ebay:







Once all this was sorted out, it was time to turn our attentions to the other MOT items. The wipers were next to useless, so new arms and blades were ordered from Earlpart, the horn not working was eventually traced to some bodged wiring, and the welding...well I'll let the pics do the talking...













This car had obviously been stored outside for a very long time, which had taken its toll. A lot of the welding that was already there looked half decent at first glance, unfortunately it had all been welded over the rust, so most of it had to come out and we started again from scratch.

Started T-cutting and polishing the very faded paint:



Note the new grille, a very lucky Ebay find.





And taken today Very Happy





It shares the conservatory with this:



and this:



Hope you like it!


Last edited by Richard H on Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:30 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering how the A55 was coming along - great update and photos - excellent use for a conservatory too Smile

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



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rick. It's coming along nicely, although there's still a fair bit to do.

Both front wings are completely rotten, although surprisingly the vulnerable rear wings are like new. Anyway front wings are as rare as hens teeth, a new fibreglass one for the drivers side came with the car so I will buy a matching one for the passenger side and these will then be fitted. There's also some rot in the passenger door to sort out, and at least a partial respray as the paint (on the roof in particular) is very crazed indeed.
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bob2



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 1722
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

already looks a million times better though, well done Richard!!
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I've just started using the A55 as my daily, and so far it's been great Very Happy

One job that needed doing before the winter was sorting out the heater, it had never worked and I realised the matrix must be clogged Sad

Unfortunately on these cars it's hidden away right up behind the dashboard and is totally inaccessible, I managed to get the hose pipe on and loads of muck came out, but still no heat would come through.

Luckily my dad had a brainwave, an old rusty Morris Minor heater from the depths of the garage, past experience has told us these are amazingly powerful and streets ahead of the 1950's Austin heaters. So a few coats of some 2CV Custard aerosol paint to match the dashboard, some rerouted pipes and wires and a bit of "dymotape" and I now have a half decent heater!







I think it looks rather neat. My dad also cut out all the rot from the top of the O/S front wing and welded in a huge repair section roughly 1' square, cheers dad!

Glistening in the garage. The stuff all over the front of the car is mud, but not due to my driving, it was a filthy truck coming the other way Rolling Eyes



I'm driving it up to Great Yarmouth tomorrow to collect a new exhaust for my A35 before I sell it (the A35), great car, anyone interested?
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brim-filled the tank before I left for Norkolk, drove there and back and got out of the garage and to the end of the road before it ran out of petrol (showing 1/4 on the gauge, I'll have to watch that one). Luckily I had a gallon of petrol in the boot so I sloshed that in, when I got to the petrol station it cost me 47 to fill up the car and my can. Seems expensive after the frugal little A35. Time for some calculations, 275 miles covered on a tank of petrol makes for roughly 31 mpg, which isn't too bad at all especially considering I wasn't hanging around and much of the journey was completed at 60-70mph, I think the Audi and Merc drivers must have been very surprised to see an old Cambridge zooming past them in the fast lane!
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Nic Jarman



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
Posts: 1035
Location: Stoke by Clare, Suffolk

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quite like the older Cambridges. Were they made in any other colour than black?
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1936 Morris 8 Series 1
1973 MGB roadster
1977 MG Midget 1500
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grey? Smile
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Nic Jarman



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
Posts: 1035
Location: Stoke by Clare, Suffolk

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Class Wink
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1936 Morris 8 Series 1
1973 MGB roadster
1977 MG Midget 1500
Dax Rush
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really an update, but the Cambridge started first time yesterday morning in -6 temperatures and all covered in ice! It ticked over nicely and half way to work I was getting toasty warm with the new heater. Unfortunately I snapped the rear exhaust mount on a speedbump (I wasn't driving too fast honest officer) so the exhaust is knocking on the floor at idle, but that can wait until the weather gets warmer as it's just too cold to be working on cars outside at the moment Sad
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Bellisin



Joined: 19 Dec 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cambridge looks great and that welding looks as neat as mine Cool

What I am most impressed with is the fact you seem to have build a double glazed conservatory for you cars? Now that is love!

Stuart
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote





Crying or Very sad
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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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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad Pourquoi?
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1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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FrazzleTC



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Dumfries and Galloway

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to see that you had to have the car recovered, my car went through a phase of spending time on the back of recovery vehicles which has since stopped, thankfully. It looks a very nice car indeed. What was the problem?
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similar to when I had the Devon delivered back home courtesy of the AA, although at least my old chariot (gone now) had the decency to expire well within daylight hours Smile

So what went bang?

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