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1935 Standard 12 - my first prewar car.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: 1935 Standard 12 - my first prewar car. Reply with quote

I've owned loads of classic cars, but never anything made before WW2. I've wanted to rectify this for the last few years, but with prices on the up it's taken a while to find the right sort of car.

My criteria was:

1930-1947ish
Saloon
Not an Austin Seven or Morris Eight
Four seats and mid-size - I didn't want anything tiny, but didn't want to have to garage a limousine either.
Oily rag/original condition
Good history
Running and driving (not a complete project)
Original reg number

I kept looking, but even those cars in need of full restoration were fetching top, top money.

Then, in the summer, my friend Andrew offered me his 1935 Standard for a very reasonable price. The car was just what I had in mind, but there were a few things that I was a bit concerned about. For my budget, though, I had to make some sacrifices:

There was no history, and the original reg had been sold years ago. It's now on an Audi (sniff!).
The front seats and headlining have been retrimmed, though at least it retains its original rear seat, which is in need of some repair. It was running, but had broken down with some unspecified fault, possibly distributor related, so was being sold as a non-runner.
Paintwork was tatty, though it was a poor respray in the 1980s instead of genuine patina. And, perhaps most importantly, some parts were missing. Most notably the sunroof, hubcaps, bonnet catches and horns.

Here's some of Andrew's pictures when he found it, and once he'd done a bit of work and got it running and driving:









I agonised about it for a while (as I'd just bought the Vauxhall Royale) but decided to go for it. The other problem was that the car was up in Penrith, Cumbria and I needed to get it to my parents garage in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. Fortunately, Andrew's dad Geoff agreed to deliver it on his trailer.

This was my first view when it arrived outside!



We rolled it off the trailer, removed the tarp and pushed it down to the garage.



Andrew had had some fun and games with the Standard club trying to get the car registered, as there was no paperwork when he got it. After being given some duff information and, having had no luck with the club, he went direct to the DVLA who did a search using the chassis number. It seemed the car did have a number, MSJ 262, which it was given when the original number was sold in the '90s, but plates had never been made up and the logbook had been lost after the then owner died.

First job I did was to make some better number plates for it. Most satisfying!





The 1608cc sidevalve engine had allegedly been rebuilt, and once dad and I got it running, we had no reason to doubt it. It's smooth and sweet, with good compression. It came with some ancient 'Lodge' plugs in a box of spares, which it now, unsurprisingly, runs better on than the modern NGK items it came fitted with. The 'failure to proceed' was indeed a very worn dizzy, now fitted with electronic ignition so it runs happily, but the distributor will be rebuilt in due course, as will the carburettor. The water pump is leaking slightly and needs a new bearing, so I'll send that off to the magicians at E.P. Services in Wolverhampton.




Inside, it's quite tidy but there's more bits missing here including the clock mechanism, some trim panels and the end pieces from the under-dash shelf. The windscreen mechanism operates well.






The rear seat base is original. It has some mouse damage so will have to be carefully repaired.



Five wheels, four with new tyres, and a stainless exhaust. The body has been removed from the chassis, which was cleaned and painted before the body was fitted back on with proper sound deadening etc. All four shock absorbers have been replaced with later type and the pivots modified accordingly - we think the fronts are A30/35 rears and the rears are Morris Minor fronts!



The next job was to take the window frames, dashboard and wheels to where I work, Past Parts in Bury St Edmunds, where I stripped and cleaned them in my lunch hours. The window frames and dashboard should be painted with wood-effect paint - sadly this is long gone and they had been painted flat brown which I stripped off. I need to find some method of recreating the original finish.
Three of the wheels have now been powdercoated black. One is worse than the others, which will become the spare.



The missing sunroof was arguably the biggest problem. I tried without success to find one. We decided we'd have to go down the route of building a wooden frame and adding strengthening ribs. Then, we had a stroke of luck. Work were clearing out a load of steel shelves, so I saved a few to use as sheet steel. Anyway, dad saw them and had an idea, he measured them and found that some were exactly the right length to fit the roof aperture. So, some slight modifications later, and we have a roof that opens and closes perfectly. Still needs final finishing, a better handle, headlining and covering with black vinyl on the outside, but for the princely sum of £0, I can't complain.







After that, we removed the front and rear wings and spent some time knocking out dents and filling where necessary. Both door bottoms were fairly rotten and had been filled in the past. These received welded repair sections and the wooden frame below was filled to line it all up. The running boards are custom made aluminium items, which are very strong. All the wooden floor has also been replaced to a high standard.


_________________
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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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1094
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post Richard!
Wonderful that you are able to save this car and get it into a better condition. Until a few years ago I never ever looked into prewar cars but now find these increasingly more interesting. I would have preferred your Atlantic though Very Happy
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20826
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent stuff Richard, really neat to read of another pre-war car being saved. Threads like this - with or without photos - are very much appreciated!

RJ
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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: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



The sunroof has four drain tubes, two above the windscreen on each side and one each on the side of the car towards the back. These had also been replaced along with all the channelling for the sunroof. One part I wasn't happy with were these little exterior drain covers. I didn't know exactly what they should look like, but I knew these weren't original as they were the only square thing on a streamlined, curved, Art Deco era design. I removed one and found that it had indeed been made out of thin aluminium. So I made some more appropriate ones out of sheet steel. I'm not sure exactly what they should look like as the cars are that rare I haven't seen another up close, but they certainly look the part. I'll get them silver zinc plated at work before they are finally fitted.





While I've been at work, dad's been continuing rubbing down, filling and priming. He took the boot lid off and spent a lot of time knocking out all the dents and filler in it. The car has clearly been driven into a lot of things over its 82 years! He also discovered that the lower valance panel is in fact fabricated from aluminium. It's a very good job, so it's staying.

Eventually, we got to the 'turning around' stage, so had the tyres fitted back onto the two offside wheels I cleaned and had powdercoated, and got it off the axle stands and back onto its wheels for the first time in two months. Note my Clarke's Atlas valve radio on the left, which is a similar age to the Standard.



Also note the boot hinges, which we think are from a MK1 Mini! It should have internal hinges, but these are missing.



Reconnected the battery, and without priming the fuel pump, the engine started second pull of the starter and ran well on choke. I hadn't driven it before, so I reversed it down the drive for some pictures. It feels great, with a really smooth clutch and gears. Can't wait to take it out on the road, but while it is taxed and insured, it's some way off being road legal yet!



















Managed to find one hubcap on eBay - does anyone have any more?



And reversed back into the garage to start stripping the shoddy paint off that side:


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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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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

badhuis wrote:
Excellent post Richard!
Wonderful that you are able to save this car and get it into a better condition. Until a few years ago I never ever looked into prewar cars but now find these increasingly more interesting. I would have preferred your Atlantic though Very Happy


Thanks! Yes I was exactly the same, never used to like prewar cars enough to want to own one, but as I've got older, they have become more and more appealing.
I would have liked to keep the A90, but they are moneypits and my one needed everything bar engine and upholstery. It was really rotten and needed total restoration really - and I didn't have the time for another major project.
Although the Standard looked rough, the previous owner spent a fortune having all the expensive bits done, bar paint and chrome.
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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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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Excellent stuff Richard, really neat to read of another pre-war car being saved. Threads like this - with or without photos - are very much appreciated!

RJ


Thanks Rick - I'm not very good at keeping project threads updated (and the photobucket ransom put me off posting pictures on here as it became a faff) but imgur seems to be working ok at the moment.

I put the thread in 'other' which I suppose is correct as it predates the Triumph merger? There are other Standards in the Triumph section but they are later ones.
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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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troutrunner



Joined: 03 Dec 2012
Posts: 185
Location: South Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Richard, as said above good to see another pre-war car heading for the road, keep all the updates coming and lots of photos too. Very Happy
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Paul
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1937 Ford Model Y.
1939 Austin 10.
1955 Austin A30.
1958 Ford 300E van.
1961 Austin A40.
1964 Wolseley Hornet.
1965 Series2a Land Rover.
1968 Wolseley Hornet.
1994 Peugeot 405 Est. 2of.
Nil illegitimi Carborundum
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Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 948
Location: Upper Swan, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard, what a wonderful car! You are to be commended for your enthusiasm and dedication. It's great when a father and son team can acheive so much. Cars built in the interwar years are so much fun! Enjoy!

Keith
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1926 Chrysler 60 tourer
1932 Austin Seven RN long wheelbase box sedan
1950 Austin A40 tourer
1999 BMW Z3

You are either part of the problem or part of the solution
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1468
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard,

Great story so far.

The wood grain effect can be created by hand. There was a wife of a member of the old UK Buick club which was run by a guy called Alfie Gascogne. She did it for pre war Buicks. It wonít be cheap! I think they are now part of the Pre 50s American auto club http://www.pre50aac.com. An enquiry there might lead you somewhere.

Edit: A quick search of tinternet indicates itís a skill that could be aquired. EG. http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/decorating/how-to-paint-a-faux-wood-grain

Art
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Rootes75



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
Posts: 2734
Location: The Somerset Levels

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its nice to see some interest in saving a pre-war car, as discussed on the forum many times before, pre-war cars seem to be diminishing on the show front.
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1937 Hillman 80
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1947 Hillman Minx
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1522
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wood grain effect is created using a technique called scumbling; if you google scumble wood grain you will find lots of guidance.
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recently departed: 1967 Singer Chamois, 1914 Saxon, 1930 Morris Cowley, 1936 BSA Scout, 1958 Lancia Appia coupe, 1922 Star 11.9 ... the list goes on!
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Phil - Nottingham



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 1254
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work
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winchman



Joined: 21 Feb 2014
Posts: 217
Location: Merseyside

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent
I have a 1930's trailer and as strange as it sounds I would now like a 30's car to tow it!
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3182
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like your Standard, Richard. It has obviously found a good home. Getting your Dad involved was a stroke of genius!
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andycars



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 238
Location: South Wales

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always had classics from the fifties to the early seventies but I wouldn't mind something just pre-war or just post-war (or at least in that style - e.g. Rover P2, Riley RM, Standard similar to this one, Triumph Renown, etc.). While interest seems at a low due to the age of enthusiasts compared with the cars, this is not yet reflected in the prices. I'm after something in similar condition - don't mind originality, patina, and putting in some work. You've done a great job on this one - well done to you both!
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