Rosy - the cost of restoration

Re-building an old car is not easy; promises of repair and delivery of some of the items to be refitted were to say the least problematical.  I have come to the conclusion that renovating an old car, especially a pre war one is expensive, satisfying to do, but expensive to achieve.
To give you some idea of the cost involved, I will try and give you the prices that I paid with comments regarding the quality of service recieved from suppliers and contractors!  As I have said it is more cost effective to purchase a renovated car than to do one yourself, especially if you are not doing all of the work yourself.

This is why:-


Purchase of car2,000
Transport150
Shot-blasting310
Replacement x 2 wheels320 (a)
Rebuild tub and re-skin2,150 (b)
Renovate rear wings 80
Renovate x 4 shock absorbers225 (c)
Renovate brake cylinders x 4 & master cylinder276 (d)
Renovate road springs170 (e)
Trunnion outriggers x 2 replacements122 (f)
Differential renovation, 2 Replacement Half-shafts
Modified wheel nuts with seals, tie rod ends, Cotter
Pins, Kingpins, crack testing front axle & drop arm
1,310 (g)
Spray fill and undercoat wings, bonnet, body, etc.400 (so far) (h)
Re-spoke wheels 180 (i)
Polishing & Chroming550 (j)
Engine re-metal and line bore and sort camshaft bearings out. 1128.00.
Carburettors re-conditioned .260.00
Bodywork made to fit and painted5,000.00
Instruments rebuilt375.00
Re-chrome grill after hole drilling250.00
Other polishing50.00
Exhaust system150.00
Petrol tank293.00
Front apron85.00
Running boards80.00
Water pump re-condition55.00
Mascot95.00
Tyres, tubes and fitting425.00
Engine re-build after bearing fiasco400.00
Lights, horn, ignition switch, horn and dip switch, F27 spotlight, etc,572
Powder coating 5 wheels205(m)
Air filter and manifold (from Stoneleigh auto jumble)50
Steering wheel reconditioned (old one had fallen apart)159
Set of second hand seats to use for new seats30
Set of seats made to suit300(n)
Seat runners second hand20
Head lamps (lucky purchase)250
Fuel and brake pipes100
Wiring harness and fitting350
Batteries and Isolator switch with wiring200
Overhaul Lucas CJR 3 cut out box48(o)
Side screen trim and fixings150
Overhaul starter motor and dynamo170(p)
Hood, tonneau and carpets manufactured and fitted900(q)
Dashboard120(r)
Tool trays and some of the tools300
Body interior trim set and piping460
Choke and starter cables100
Oil, brake fluid, spark plugs plus distributor, etc150

I may have missed something out but this is the approximate cost of putting back on the road what was once a "basket case".
As I have pointed out if you cannot do all of the work yourself and want the car to be as good as new, this is what you are letting yourself in for.

Total to date:  £22,323  It is not cheap!

Suppliers that I would recommend are as follows:

a) PJ Hallewell (01895 674852)
To be honest when they came I was so impressed I fitted them as they came, on to my other TA, and took the worst two wheels off that and had those powder coated for this TA.  An excellent company to deal with.

b) Andy King (01949 860519)
If he is still doing tubs and re-skinning you will need a specification of the work he will be carrying out for you to ensure that what you get is what you thought you were going to get.  For what I paid I do not think it was too bad a job, more care should have been taken over the fit of the doors and I am still waiting for the three clips and starting handle to be returned!

c) Raj Patel (0116 244 8103)
The company is called Recon and Return and that is what they do, nothing but shock absorbers and fittings, a good guy to deal with.

d) Past Parts (01284 750729)
The brake cylinders were all seized solid, I could not free them, so I sent them there.  A quite excellent repair job on the cylinders and the master cylinder that I thought to far gone to salvage is now ready for fitting back on to the car.

e) Jones Springs (0121 568 7575)
Eventually they did a very good job, but if you have read the narrative of the rebuild to date, you will remember the problem I had with them linishing a spring down to eliminate the wear marks thus exasperating the problem.  However when I took them back, they did replace the two worn leaves when I pointed out the error of there ways.  I would make out a specification sheet so when the work is finished you will know that the job is OK.

f) Sports & Vintage (01939 210458)
An excellent replacement part it certainly saved a lot of trouble had these parts not been available.  Remind yourself of the nightmare of shot trunnion outriggers from the earlier text.

g) Roger Furneaux (01566 784111)
For any problem with transmissions then Roger is your man.  His modified half shafts and nuts prevent any oil getting to the rear brakes and are absolutely worth doing to your car.  It also totally eliminates the dreaded "clunk" when you engage reverse, a sure sign your splines are worn and about to snap!

h) Vidak Motor Bodies, 53 Midland Road, Nuneaton. CV11 5DU
Harold Harrod is the man to speak to. Any body work or spraying this is the Company to use. 02476 347818

i) S Phillips (0121 558 5942)
For re-spoking wheels an excellent service.  Established in 1954 they are a father and son combination that do nothing but renovate spoked wheels of all descriptions. (Phillips no longer exist, for re-spoking go to your local motor cycle service centre.)

j) Attleborough Polishing (02476 370501)
Lawrence is the man to deal with here.  Bearing in mind the depth of the corrosion on the steel parts and the damage to some of the brass parts, i.e. the radiator shell, excellent work so far.

k) The Coventry Boring & Metalling Co. Ltd. Tel. 02476 679948
Bought out Speyer & Walker but Graham Walker moved to the new company to train them in his art. Graham, however, retires at the end of November 2006. They certainly recovered the engine situation brilliantly!

l) Tony Hebden. Tel. 01142 351963.
Comes highly recommended so I am looking forward to receiving my carburettors shortly.

m) Lap Tab Powder coating, an excellent company in Birmingham 0121 3281697

n) Harborne in Birmingham, he does this work for a hobby, contact me!

o) Ian Harris, an excellent refurbishment, looked like new on its return. 01462 456330

p) Chris Wallace, does an excellent job 01332 703630

q) Car trimming, The Trim Shop, Redditch Roy Field will sort you out a bespoke tonneau to a complete trim. 01527 598488.

r) New veneered dash boards, Rique Linares 07787393926

s) E P Services, Wolverhampton. 01902 452914 does an excellent over haul of your pump and modifies it so it is more efficient. Paul King is your man.


The total to date, and that is all I am owning up to so far, is about 22,023 when you include replacement nuts, bolts and washers.  So don't despair at least the car is together now.  Now that the car is finished I can give the total cost of the exercise.  The engine has been rebuilt, having been re-metaled for the second time.  Do not forget, when you are using a tradesman or a company for the first time, remember, "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) check with people that have used the services that you wish to use, before you entrust them to do the work!

The gearbox and remote have been mentioned in my notes on road test - again!  When I checked the original box it was in very good condition and apart from new bearings it was perfectly OK, the remote assembly needed cleaning up but was otherwise OK too!  I repaired the box with parts of my other 'spare' gearbox.

The front spring saga, the ones on the car when I purchased it were not the originals, they had been replaced in the 60's renovation and were for a later TA not my earlier model.  As I had fitted trunnion bushes to suit a 7/32 thick spring which is correct I did not want to change it to the modern replacement ones which are a 1/4" thickness.  So as the car came with these springs, these are the ones that I will be refit!  Now that is finished the front road springs appear to work well so they should not need replacing.  Iit certainly drives in a straight line and steering is not a problem.  It has now been MoT'd twice so the steering geometry and suspension must be more than adequate.

The rebuild is now complete, it cost a lot more than I envisaged when I purchased it in 2001.  Some things I paid for twice over other items cost a lot less, "swings and roundabouts". Had I been able to do the work myself as Ken Williams had been able to on Flivver, I would have saved a lot of money.  But it has been fun, hasn't it?