I had been cruising eBay for a decent looking shell for some months. Despite a few gems, they were nearly always accompanied by ‘needs welding for MOT’ or ‘sills need welding – have been quoted £7.50 for this by a man I met in the pub.’


Bollocks to that, if you’ve had the car long enough for the sills to start rusting then fair play to you. Buying into something I was going to have chuck a few hundred at before I even started was already pricing myself out of the game. I had way more time than money.


Until one popped up on eBay with a list of tasteful mods and an undisclosed mileage, but the magic words ‘no rust’. ‘No rust’ is a strong statement for anyone to make, and put me in a good position to haggle.


Not being too bothered about the condition of the engine was a luxury I’d never experienced before. Nevertheless, a sizeable oil leak also worked in my favour when it came to negotiating. From experience, this was more than likely caused by removing the air con pump without replacing the waterpump seal, which can easily result in a steady but manageable oil leak. We’d see for sure when the engine came out.


The main attraction was the fact it already had a TR Lane rollbar, V-Maxx shocks (cheap but very cheerful), and crucially – a hardtop. I had no intention of leaving without the vehicle but managed to agree on £650.



The paintjob was a point of entertainment alone. Evidently the 3L silver had proven too pedestrian for one previous owner and they’d snapped – making the trip to Halfords to blow £50 on satin white rattle cans. On closer inspection there was overspray on nearly everything that wasn’t glass. Even the exhaust and rear number plate lights had fallen victim to the snowstorm.



Once back in the workshop it was time, naturally, to take it to bits.


One mod I wasn’t too keen on was the racing style bonnet pins mounted on the bootlid. I planned on making the car at least a little bit streetable, and I live in Sheffield so I decided to return to the regular boot release mechanism. 




One of the most exciting reasons for the vehicle being the workshop, however, was to test out something new we'd been working on - a set of reconditioned, blasted, prepped, etch primed and painted wishbones fitted with beefed up aftermarket balljoints.  I figured this was as good a time as any to put them to the test. Although installing the balljoints was suitably onerous (as well as the massive circlip holding the thing in place), I just wanted to give them a few thousand miles of fast road/drift hammer purely for our peace of mind before they go on sale.


Plus it was an excuse to spend a day at Blyton on the company.

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