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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 Jan 13, 2011 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 2:15pm I was on my way home from work, slowing down for a roundabout, and the car suddenly skidded to a stop. I got out and noticed the o/s track rod end had popped apart and the wheel was sticking out, which is why it had stopped so suddenly. It was 6:30 before the recovery truck finally arrived. Unfortunately it was a tilt-bed truck so I had to drive up the bed while the driver kicked the wheel to get it to go straight! It was nearly 7 by the time I got home Sad

Today we stripped it down, and the guilty component came apart without too much fuss. The unit that had failed was a cheap, no name "sealed for life" one. It would appear the rubber boot had failed some months ago and over winter the joint had filled with damp and salt until *snap*!

The offending item:







Had a look through the spares and found a couple of NOS ones, unfortunately they both had the wrong thread so a pair are on order from Earlpart with guaranteed next day delivery as I need the car at the weekend!

To be fair, it's the only major failure I've had on this car so far, apart from that it's been spot on, and I've covered nearly 2000 miles in it since November. Smile
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just got off the phone to a previous owner of my Cambridge who owned it in the early 1980's. He took some tracking down as he had moved from the address I had years ago, luckily I managed to find his wife who works in a different department where I work, and she passed the details on, as he owned it before they were married.

He said he bought it from a mechanic at Lookers (SMAC's) in about 1983, it was in good condition but needed a pair of new sills, which he fitted around this time, and work on the front wings (it still does). Apparently he owned it for a couple of years, and when he sold it in about 1985 it still had the original registration number and a lovely original valve radio, both now gone....hmmm Confused

Update on the original number, I've spoken the the DVLA who have told me it's on retention, and as the owner of the car it belongs to I can apply for the owner's details via form V888. I plan to try and buy the number back if possible. I've also started restoring some original Bluemels numberplates to go back on the car, hopefully - fingers crossed.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick update on said numberplates. I decided a while ago it would be nice to make up some original-style Bluemels plates with the original registration for shows and possibly to go back on the car at some point!

Unfortunately Bluemels plates are quite rare, but luckily after posting my wanted ad on a few forums I found someone who had a good supply of secondhand plates + digits. I sent some money, and a few days later a parcel arrived Smile

Here's the plates after I offered the digits up to see which ones fitted the original holes, filled the redundant holes with body filler (I think there were about 10) and drilling a few new ones!



The original registrations on these plates were SLL 544 and RAB 620, both long gone I'd imagine.

Mocked up:





Primed:



And that's where I got to today, I will try and paint them tomorrow and get the digits permanently fixed on.

I then got the Austin onto the drive for a bit of maintenance:









Engine and gearbox oil, antifreeze and washer fluid all topped up, it's nice to be able to top up the oil every 2-3 weeks instead of every 2-3 days with the A35! Embarassed I also put the correct rear wheel back on, it's been in the boot since before Christmas when the car went through a spate of punctures and I put the spare on while it was being repaired.

Found the source of the damp smell inside which started just after I washed it yesterday, the driver's carpet was soaking wet! There must be a pretty major leak somewhere. It does leak a bit in rain, but it really doesn't like the hose!



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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20850
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small details like the choice of numberplate make a big difference imho to the overall look of an oldie. Looking forward to seeing the finished job Smile

How's the landcrab doing?

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: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the Landcrab needs a new steering rack which I hadn't anticipated, 400, exchange...so I'm still undecided as to what to do with it. I'm also a bit short of money at the moment, so I might have to get the work done and sell it on unfortunately.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More progress:







The digits need another couple of coats but they're nearly there!
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Show plates Reply with quote



Nearly there



A couple more coats...



Finished!





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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20850
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come out looking well eh! That A35 bootlid will never be the same again Smile

R
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Come out looking well eh! That A35 bootlid will never be the same again Smile

R


Wink I was wondering who would be the first to spot that!

I'm going to try and track down the owner of the original registration number, to see if I can buy it back, although I'm not holding out much hope really as I reckon they'll either ignore me or give it the old "I had it valued at two grand three years ago so it's probably worth more now". I really hate this cherished plate business. Evil or Very Mad
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Ironhead



Joined: 28 Mar 2010
Posts: 458
Location: Leicestershire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i checked,and that reg.is not on the DVLA database Richard,PJN 565 is though.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ironhead wrote:
i checked,and that reg.is not on the DVLA database Richard,PJN 565 is though.


Yeah it's on retention according to the DVLA. I don't think it's a mistake as I have a 1984 tax disc application from the DVLC with 656 on it.

565 is on a Mercedes SLK Rolling Eyes
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Ironhead



Joined: 28 Mar 2010
Posts: 458
Location: Leicestershire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes,seen it was on a Merc.! i've got a 'PNJ' reg.on an old Raleigh moped...if i ever get round to restoring it Rolling Eyes
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More Cambridge updates



Last week I made the fatal mistake of poking around the crusty looking drivers floorpan, and decided to chop out the many years of MOT welding and repair it properly.

There were about five layers of plates in this lot:







All welded in





Here's the 'new' toy, and expensive rental gas bottle, good service though.





And the reason it had rusted out in the first place was that this car has always had a persistant leak into the driver's footwell. I've tried sealing the windscreen several times, and around the bonnet hinge/bonnet surround with old door seal, sealant and a proper rubber buffer. No luck. Then I wondered if it was coming in through a rusty sunroof drain tube (this car has a rare factory steel sunroof) and once we had a Somerset with a leaky drain tube. So headlining down, to reveal this:





In the picture of the floorpan you can see the A series bypass hose I tried first of all, it was too small sadly.

Repaired



To celebrate I gave the engine a clean and tidied up the engine bay with a coat of Smoothrite, it's not perfect but looks a lot tidier I think.





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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking for a suitably period radio for the Cambridge for some time now, it did have one originally but sadly it was pinched by an owner in the 1980's Evil or Very Mad

I bid on a few on Ebay but kept getting outbid, anyway this old Ekco came up which I thought would look great with the cream dashboard. I won it and here it is!













I'm afraid I don't know anything about it at all, the model number is "CR 117" and I'd say it dates from the mid-to-late 1950's. In fact I'm not even sure if the valves are inside the unit or if there is a seperate amplifier box that is missing. I would like to get it working, and have joined the Vintage Radio Forum for inspiration Smile

Certainly looks the part though!
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Aar0sc



Joined: 12 Apr 2011
Posts: 99
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks lovely!
(If a dodgy fit Razz )

Ask Josh on YGC; he's amazing with old radios Very Happy
I think I put it on YGC; but if I didn't; I was wondering about in my schools libary when I came across a massive section full of old books on old cars - including "Family Cars of the 1950s"; with a Cambridge on the front! (Took a photo but I can't find it Embarassed ).

Aaron
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