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1951 Lanchester LD10
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:22 pm    Post subject: 1951 Lanchester LD10 Reply with quote

Introducing our latest acquistion, a 1951 Barker bodied Lanchester LD10



We will be its third owner. The previous owner acquired the car from the first owner in 2008 and despite appearances, it is a remarkably complete, original, and solid car.

Our goal is preservation rather than restoration, so while we will be addressing any mechanical and structural concerns the car presents, it will fundamentally remain looking the way it does now for quite some time.
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 21781
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a great candidate for sympathetic preservation/TLC Smile

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



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4210
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like sealed beam headlights may have been fitted at some time. Do you intend to replace them...if so with what?
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not actually sure what the headlights are, we didn't think to check. There was some bubbling to the silvering on the reflectors, which isn't usual for sealed beams, there was no sign of the little nubs on the lens either. They could be halogens, since it was taxed into the mid-80s it's possible they were upgraded, if so they're past the first flush of youth.

I wouldn't be surprised if they're the original headlight set up with no upgrade, the light output was quite dim and yellowy, slightly more so than I'd expect from sealed beams and certainly nowhere near as bright as even 1980s halogens. That said, given the battery we were using was tired, any lights fitted could appear dim and yellowy, and it being on a dynamo rather than an alternator probably wouldn't be helping either.

We'll find out on Saturday as that's when it's due to arrive.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4210
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am mistaken,,, they can't be sealed beam.

I imagine you must be well pleased with your find. Just how we like to find them. Plenty to be getting on with but not so far gone that you can't enjoy a run out now and then.

Well done.
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Sid



Joined: 20 Sep 2017
Posts: 75
Location: From whence cometh the mighty Lagonda

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only thirteen cars younger than the one I used to have according to this http://ld10.awardspace.co.uk/docs/cars.htm
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alanb



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 514
Location: Berkshire.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was about 17 my uncle who owned a small local garage took a Briggs bodied one in part exchange and I used to get to drive it when doing errands , it took me a little while to get used the the preselect gear box, (I kept forgetting to select the gear before pressing the pedal ) but once mastered I thought it was great especially at the traffic lights gran prix, select 1st depress pedal select 2nd when the lights changed floor the accelerator when the revs rose dab the pedal and instant gear change great fun, the performance was not at all bad for the early 60s. It was I suppose the equivalent to today’s premium brand executive car, a cut above the average, lucky guys, enjoy it.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really has been the perfect find so far, exactly the sort of thing we've been trying to find.

---

Not long before noon, the Lanchester arrived. There was good news and bad. The good news is that there were two people doing the unloading and the drive was empty so that went smoothly, the foot brakes worked well enough to unload the car safely and the handbrake works well enough to keep it from rolling off the drive. The bad is that one front tyre was completely flat which made pushing it a chore, and the battery that was in it when we viewed the car now wasn't, so it couldn't be driven. Had I known it needed a battery I would have bought one in advance, so that's a job for tomorrow.



After giving the car a much needed wash to remove the barn dust and cat prints, followed by a much needed rest to rehydrate, I got back out to inspect what exactly we had. In the boot are two spare tyres and a bare spare steel. The two boot floors, both the wooden one and the steel one, are in remarkably good shape. The split cover for the fuel filler neck is present but not screwed down, I suspect the screws I found in the glovebox are for that. The rear light lenses are different on each side of the car, but there's a matching one for the light on the right in the glovebox, I might fit it, I might not.




In the engine room up front, it seems to be intact. The fuel line running to the carburettor is currently disconnected with a bit of copper pipe taking its place that served as the feed line for the remote fuel tank we ran on viewing day. We will correct this, it's not difficult. To the right of the image you can see the sediment bowl and the Irn Bru looking fuel in it, the sediment bowl is plastic, surprisingly, I'd expected it to be glass. There is coolant of some sort in it, though it does smell like something halfway between household emulsion and thinners, so goodness knows what's actually in there.


Let's have an overview of the outside then. It actually rolled off the trailer fine, slowed a bit by the flat front tyre. The brakes did work and the car is holding quite happily on the handbrake, which was a pleasant surprise.










There's a lot of dents and scrapes and paint damage all over and that's okay. What rust there is on the car is very minor, not at all what I'm used to. The worst of the paint defects is on the aluminium roof and boot lid because a lot of the paint is just flaking off. Obviously it's not a problem because it's aluminium so we're just going to leave that be. You'll notice it's wearing hubcaps now too, these were in the car and are a nice snug fit, they've been painted at some point, though not badly, you can still read the Lanchester script on them. The chrome on the bumpers is shot and there's a good amount of pitting on the handles and boot hinges, again not an issue for what this car is.

Let's move inside. There's what looks to be part of the exhaust sat on the back seat. The battery lives under the passenger side of the back seat, it's gone because of course it is, so I'll have to get a new one of those once I figure out what type it needs, I'm not sure if this car is on 6 or 12 volt. The back seat is actually in much better condition than I remembered and probably just needs a clean and feed and nothing else.


Up front, the worst of the damage is to the passenger seat where a cat has been using it to sharpen claws. Both seat bases are a little flat feeling, as if the springs or stuffing are tired, but are otherwise incredibly comfortable.




Both front door cards are not as bad as I feared when I first viewed them, now I can see that it's not so much water damage as rotted out stitching that's the problem, with the driver's door being much worse. Careful unpicking should allow me to completely save these with the original materials.


Am I still happy? Absolutely! The smell inside this car is that perfect old car smell, especially with it being so warm outside today. What's left of the paint does take a shine and I've a plan to spruce that up without compromising how the car actually looks. Thanks to having the garage, keeping this car looking like it does now without it deteriorating should be eminently possible.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After washing the car it was a good time to see where any water might be getting in. Looks like some is getting in past the boot seal, happily going no further than the rubber mat on the boot shelf.


Some is getting in past the front passenger door seal too. There's signs this door has blown back on itself at some point so that could be what this is about. For how much water I threw on the car, this is far less ingress than I was anticipating so that bodes particularly well.


Rust next then. Now that I've had chance to really get into the nooks and crannies and find out what's what, there's very little to report. The worst bits are where the sill meets the rear arch and this will have to be repaired. I will probably give this to someone else to do, this area is pretty close to the timber frame and I don't trust myself with a welder that near 70 year old wood. Also, if it turns out there is some damage to the wood here, it would be sensible to get a specialist to deal with both metal and wood at the same time. Not a problem for now, the car seems pretty solid and it's not going to be venturing out an inclement weather any time soon.




I knew there ought to be a coachbuilder's plate somewhere and eventually found it on one of the door door steps, covered in paint. I'm torn between shining this up and leaving it as it is, I like these details, and yet it being painted over badly years ago is kind of what this car is about, so I feel like I should leave it be.


The tyres that came on the car are all dead. The front driver's tyre goes flat, and the two spares chucked in the boot are also dead. What's more, none of the tyres are the same brand. We've got Dunlop Gold Seal, Atlas Grip-safe, Avon H.M. Tourist, and a single Firestone Town & Country. I wouldn't be surprised if all of these tyres are older than me, none of them should ever be allowed to touch the road again. I can also now confirm they're 16" by 5.25, thankfully a very common size so there's decent choice on tyres, for what this car is at least.




Attention then turned to the interior. The car has, unsurprisingly, been smoked in. and all the butts and ash left in the ash trays. There's a little ashtray in the dash that swivels around, and one in each rear seat side arm rest, those are the things that look like a bakelite cigar lighter. Most of the dirt inside is from cats padding about with muddy paws, it was surprisingly clean. I've dealt with dirtier cars that aren't even half the age of this one. The battery lives under the car under the back seat, you lift the seat squab out which isn't held in with anything other than its own weight, then you can either lift out the big panel whole, or remove the smaller panel - I suspect there's supposed to be a little leather tab on this - and use the hole as a handle to lift out the big panel. I assume the smaller hatch is to make it easier to keep a refillable battery in good health. Sadly no exciting treasure under here, just a lot of dust and a bit of straw.




After vacuuming all the dust and debris out of the car, it was time to get cleaning surfaces. I used baby wipes for this, if they're mild enough for baby skin, they're mild enough for 70 year old leather. They also smell nice and clean very effectively. Later I will put suitable treatment on the various surfaces in the car, including some leather feed to keep the leather the best it can be. First shot is the rear seat base, cleaned on the right, dirty on the left. This car also has the largest arm rest I've ever encountered in any car before. It is very much a car to enjoy riding in the back seat of.




The headlining is in remarkably good condition, even the trims that run along the sides are in great shape. They're a little dull from age, perhaps, but a vacuum with a soft brush attachment got rid of all the dust and cobwebs and really, I see no need to change any of this or redo it. Quite remarkable. Even the dome light is still intact and in great shape.


The varnish on the door cappings and dashboard do need to be redone to protect the wood, and will get done. Slightly more difficult to sort out is going to be the scumble on the instrument cluster, sadly most of it has flaked off. The switches are in great shape too, these need the letters repainting, a quick and easy job. It is nice that the various pulls are labelled so you know what they do. The mileage is something I'm not sure of on this car. It's no cream puff so it seems unlikely to be a genuine 29K, equally I'm not sure I can believe it's been around the clock, for all it's dents and issues. I'll likely never know, the car has no history with it.




We did find the knob under the dash that operates the fresh air vent in front of the windscreen. The foam seal around it has gone quite disgustingly sticky so that will have to be replaced. There was a very small amount of treasure to be had inside the car. Some of the seals on the car look to be in exceptional condition, not at all what I was expecting, and when we found this receipt (unfortunately too faded to read what for), perhaps it's a hint that some of the seals had been replaced before the car was laid up.


There's also a handful of spares. Amongst this is what looks like a bit of exhaust pipe that goes over the rear axle, some sort of coolant pipe, a metalastic mount for something, a pedal rubber, a spare rear light lens, a mystery gasket, a couple of original style 'acorn' spark plugs (it currently has modern ones that don't really fit properly), a pair of boot hinges and trims, and some floor board fixing bolts and washers. The tobacco tin is a little bonus and will carry on living in the driver's side glove cubby.








The only bit of history we could find was in the passenger door pocket, a little Lion Brand cash book, the sort my late Mum would buy when I was little. Inside, there's just the one entry that hints at it being for the Lanchester, the rest of the book is empty. The odometer in the car reads 29025 and the single entry for Lanchester reads 26743. Given the only date in the book is '81 and the car's last tax expired in '84, it's reasonable to assume it did around 2,000 miles in the last three years of its life on the road. As for that VW, it was last taxed in '83 and was a 1600 of some sort in white from 1969.




With the interior all wiped down, and no real need for the usual deep clean, it was looking and smelling significantly better inside.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was another discovery made which is that the car only has one door lock, and it's on the passenger door. When we viewed the car it wasn't really clear why this would be until the car had been cleaned and we could get a better look at things. There's signs that the passenger door has been sprained at the hinges and, given it's a suicide door, we wonder if it flew open at some point and scared the occupant who then insisted on having a lock fitted to keep the door shut. Given the lack of anything to keep you in the car if the front doors open, I can't say I blame them. It's part of the car's history, so it's staying.





After the wash, the next thing to do was give the glass a clean. It is always astonishing how much better a car looks just for having the glass cleaned. I haven't polished the glass, just regular cleaner for now, they're going to get dirty again when I polish the frames to get rid of what oxidisation I can. The big, plain windows on this car lend it a more modern air than the rest of it feels it has, and the crank speed on them is wonderful, they're a delight to use.




Then, because I couldn't help myself, I got the T-Cut out to see if the old paint would come up with a bit of a shine. The paint on this car is very thin in places, so thin it's missing in others, so this isn't a job that can be done with a machine polisher, you have to do it by hand. It's going to take a fair bit of time but this paint will come up and, once polished up with the T-Cut a coat of wax will help keep it that way without need of oily rags. It shouldn't go flat again for some time since it will be living in the garage. I only managed to do the C pillar and half of the rear door on the passenger side, and I'll do a little bit at a time like this until the whole car is done. I'm leaving the dents, the blemishes, the thin paint, the overpaint, and even the filler if it's in a spot that it does no harm. The polishing is just to bring everything up a bit. It should end up looking like a nicely weathered old leather seat when it's done, comfortable in its old age.






All that done, it was time for a photo with the Princess (now my modern daily driver since I sold the Citroen BX) and then push it back into the garage. I'm either a genius, or an idiot, because the Lanchester only just fits in the space available in the garage. The drive is slightly inclined and we found it SO hard to push! As soon as it got onto the flat of the garage floor, it rolled with no bother at all. It is a tight fit in the garage, but it does fit! Tomorrow, we'll get a battery and see if we can drive it a few feet under its own power.


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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2612
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations !. Look forward to reading the progress on this. Is it a"He" or a "She". whichever, it really needs a name and christened in the age old fashion of applying "bubbly" across the front....
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6576
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a very nice and interesting car. I'm sure many folk on this forum will enjoy reading about your progress with it. It has 12 volt electrics. Given that battery is out of sight under the seat I'd just buy it a modern sealed battery that fits the enclosure. I buy classic batteries because it is visible in my old car but they need topping up and they are a pain. If you you need some basic service information I have the Motor Trader pages for it. PM me your email address if you want a copy.

Actually you don't need a copy of the Motor Trader article from me. It's already on the web: http://ld10.awardspace.co.uk/articles/trader138.pdf

Peter
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Last edited by peter scott on Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4210
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I share your delight with the Lanchester. Perhaps you could call him Barker?

Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to find for your treasure.

Again, well done.
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2612
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Ray White"]
Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to find for your treasure.
/quote]

Money !! .... Laughing Laughing
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The car does indeed have a name, it earned one very quickly, and it's a good, solid, dependable name. I might tell you what it is one day.

Thank you for the info on the battery, that confirms what others had said too so we'll be picking up something suitable and modern for it tomorrow. As you say, peter, there's no point putting a classic style battery in since nobody will see it and anyway, since it survived on the road until 1984 it would likely have got a modern battery during it's years in service so it's allowed.

We are missing a rear view mirror and the escutcheon for the driver's door window winder. It's also missing the tool kit, so we'll have to get things like a grease gun and possibly some imperial and whitworth tools if I haven't got the correct sizes already. It does at least look very easy to work on and Catherine Jones' videos on Youtube have helped show how things should look and work in a real world sort of a way.

This weekend will be all about trying to get it to move under its own power. I did find a physical user manual specifically for the Barker bodied car which is due to arrive early next week, and of course there's the useful LD10 info online.

It's been quite surprising just how much information and support there is for this car, even quite a few of the parts are still available, which is remarkable for a car they only built a few thousand of 70-odd years ago.
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