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Which 1930's, 1940's, early 1950's AutoShite ?


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#31 OFFLINE   eddyramrod

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 03:53 PM

I sat in a Riley RM a couple of years ago at a show.  I'd have one now like a shot!


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#32 OFFLINE   castros_bro

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 04:31 PM

From experience don't get a Jowett Bradford if you want to go anywhere and arrive there, sidevalve flat twin three speed with non-existant brakes and a brick to chock a wheel if parking. Go for post war A35/Minor (Minor for brakes) or Wolseley 4/44 or 15/50 all non chassis with hydraulic brakes or Standard 8/10,  Have used A35, 4/44, minor, Standard 8/10s on long euro trips with not too many issues. If you must go earlier try a motorcycle like BSA M21 which also were made till 50's and have good part availability.



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#33 OFFLINE   Nibblet

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 04:38 PM

My father had an MG Y type,
At that time cheap, easy to drive and well put together with hydraulic brakes. Downsides, slow and old fashioned styling even in 1950. Probably silly money nowadays.
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#34 OFFLINE   Nibblet

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 04:40 PM

There were a couple of Vauxhalls made just prior to the War which were fairly practical and powerful enough to mooch about in; there may have been Holden versions which had a bit of clout about them too.
Ford V8 Pilot and Chrysler Airflow possibilities, Renault made a streamliner with enough power, would be rare though.
Then there's the Volvo PV60 if you can find one.
1972 Saab 96 in 2000 bits.
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#35 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 06:10 PM

I was looking at that Riley on t'Bay last night and had pretty much exactly the same thoughts about the seller.



#36 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 10:28 PM

.

Great experiences / replies, comments, links, and recommendations.  Big thanks to one an all. 

 

It's a real pleasure looking up the different cars suggested. I have very little experience or real knowledge of this era of motor vehicle.  Although I still have a 1948 and a few '50's motorcycles, the oldest car I've owned was a TR3A ..which (despite having no weather gear) was my daily driver when I worked in Virginia during the mid 90's.  I also had an MGA 1600 and an XK150S - both projects. Although I drove others I never had my own on the road. Regrettably another redundancy experience forced me to sell them both. I also had a TR4 which I brought back from the States, restored and sold to an officer in the Dutch navy.  That was a brilliant car in every way ..and if I could afford one - I'd have one tomorrow.  Mind you the XK150 is still my all-time favourite.

 

Some years later, about five years ago, I sought to buy a Riley RM 21/2ltr.  Accordingly I joined the owners club and enthusiastically read the authoritative works, but at that time the prices rocketed and the pickings became ever more crumbly.  The interior is very small but I really like these cars.  I toyed with the idea of an AC 2000 saloon, but in the end went another direction.

 

Aside from what I learnt about the Riley RM's - I've so much to learn about the pre and post war cars, and thank those who are offering advice.

 

I guess I have to face the fact that unless the motor and gearing has been swapped out for something of a later specification - then any 1930's and 40's / pre and post-war Autoshite would be low on power, side valve, long stroke engines with low compression ratios that are unable to comfortably sustain 55-60mph cruising / traffic speeds. And I know from riding my post-war Sunbeam motorcycles - that means keeping off busy motorways.  Going across country via B-roads can be very pleasant on a dry summer's day - but also very time consuming in any circumstance.  So really I'd be better to look out for a car which has already had its engine and gearing swapped out for a later type ..if only for a 1950's OHV type.

 

It also makes me think - a late 1940's and 1950's cars would be so much more usable for most of us. But then I also note that post war cars and those into the fifties and later got quite a bit heavier, so the power increased but the performance of non-sporting types and exotica didn't.  So then I might have to consider a car of this era with again a later engine fitted. At least they tend to have better steering and brakes.  

 

I'd love to buy the Riley that's been suggested but I'm not in a position to do so right now.  I need to sell a bike or two and then also to make the decision as to whether I ought to keep the Ami-Super I have or else take a substantial hit on what it owes me.  I like the Ami and I've invested a lot of time n' money on her, and I do enjoy driving her, but tbh - I'm too just a bit too tall and getting less agile for a super-mini-sized car.  If I were just 6'-2" then it would be great, but I'm even more lofty than that.   So, for now I'm just enjoying looking and learning about the potential options.

 

Because I found the Riley RM interior small for my length, I'd probably find the same in most any other chassis car ..where like the A-series Citroen and the Ami one sits aloof the chassis frame.  Other chassis cars like the TR3 and 4 and the MG sports, and even later types like the Triumph Herald and Spitfires I once owned - you sit with seat n' feet within the chassis frame rather than on top of it.  For me and my size 12's - that's a big deal.  But I'm not looking for a low slung sports car, and the Herald / Vitesse is more modern than I'd like.  

 

There are a few 40's or 50's cars around where the floor pan is low because at least part of the body is unit construction, Citroen's Traction Avant and the Volkswagen Beetle are examples of these.  Off the top of my head I can't think of others from that era, but I suspect they were probably more commonplace in France.  And I have absolutely no knowledge nor experience of most European cars of that era. 

 

Older American cars tended to be bigger and more thirsty than European - and so around-town driving / parking, and then petrol usage, and the shipping costs of spare parts might well prove to be off-putting.   I don't really know what I'm talking about - I'm just thinking out loud here  

 

Bfg ;)

 

p.s. ..keep the thoughts, comments, and pointers coming ;)


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 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

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#37 OFFLINE   Saabnut

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 11:22 PM

Most pre war cars have bugger all room in the footwell. Even the Royces I have to use the side of my foot for the throttle, and I am size 10!


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#38 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 11:32 PM

My father had an MG Y type,
At that time cheap, easy to drive and well put together with hydraulic brakes. Downsides, slow and old fashioned styling even in 1950. Probably silly money nowadays.

Aye, but they're an XPAG engine, so easily tuneable with MG TC bits (which are probably not cheap these days either though).



#39 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 11:35 PM

There were a couple of Vauxhalls made just prior to the War which were fairly practical and powerful enough to mooch about in; there may have been Holden versions which had a bit of clout about them too.
Ford V8 Pilot and Chrysler Airflow possibilities, Renault made a streamliner with enough power, would be rare though.
Then there's the Volvo PV60 if you can find one.

If we're talking about pre-war streamliners then the Peugeot 02s are the obvious choice - 202s are available relatively cheaply in France, although they're not exactly quick from what I gather.  A 402 would be pretty much my ultimate '30s car, but they're huge and good ones are bloody expensive.  They also did a 402L, which was a 302 body with the bigger 402 engine, which are supposed to go quite well.  They even did a version with the 402 engine in a 202 body, complete with comedy elongated bonnet, but there aren't many of those about.



#40 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:07 AM

Most pre war cars have bugger all room in the footwell. Even the Royces I have to use the side of my foot for the throttle, and I am size 10!

 

Flat-footed size 12+ need not apply for a job as your chauffeur then !  :-(

 

Again without really knowing much, it seems that raising the roof-line was the choice solution to bigger interiors, and that of course did nothing useful for performance or fuel economy.  Those which might be deemed chauffeur-driven (which I guess we now call : limousines, and are popular as wedding cars) had plenty of height and legroom, and even a good width ..in the back, but were still 'tight fitting' around the driver.  

 

Of course, short wheelbase types and those with longer (six or more cylinders in-line) reduced the interior space even more.  And those with a narrow track &/or the more magnificently broad the front wings - offered least interior width for the driver and front passenger.  In the 1950's semi-integral wings, mostly with integral headlamps, sought to change this, as did floor pans that dipped inbetween chassis outriggers.   Am I correct in thinking that many continental European cars appear to have been designed for somewhat shorter limbs.?

 

Are there any particular 1940's / early 50's marque or model - which was generous or clever with their interior driver's space ?


 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

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< Here > is a link to my former Sunbeam S7 / S8 motorcycle restoration business website.

And the story of my buying & now restoring a  1974 Yugoslavian Ami-Super  is < Here >

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#41 OFFLINE   barrett

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:18 PM

Yep, people were smaller back then so cars were too. I have size 11 feet and have never had a problem driving any old car. Things like driving position, seat comfort, how much room there is by the pedals etc just aren't a relevant factor in buying an old car in the way they would be buying something for your daily commute. Lots of cars from the 1930s onwards have pretty flat floors with far more room than a modern fwd car, often with a column change which makes things even better. Cars designed around Vintage technology will often have very narrow footwells between the chassis members - the only way to know if you'll fit in something is to go and have a try. There are plenty of dealers who specialise in this sort of thing, so ring one up and have a go. I would speak to Mark at The Motor Shed, Bicester. He's always got fairly porridgy family saloons of all eras for sale and he would be a good person to advise you if you were taking your first steps into prewar car ownership, even if you don't buy anything off him.

https://www.vintagea...s-for-sale.html


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#42 ONLINE   PhilA

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:45 PM

Depends if you want austere shite or deluxe shite, I think.
I'll agree with the American design vs. European; post-war America was booming compared to most of Europe. Looking at the design of my Pontiac and comparing it to that of a similar era Humber you can draw a number of parallels.

Where that falls apart is that the Humber was something like a military staff car whereas my Pontiac was for the everyday well-to-do.

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#43 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:46 PM

American or Traction Avant are all I'd consider prewar.

I ran an ex-Paris taxi TA a few years ago complete with old phone numbers a crawled over the sun visors, it was no bother apart from the exhaust which fell off about 10,000 miles in. The owners club one was made from mild steel and not cheap, so for £70 bought some new bits (80s renner iirc) and made up my own with a front silencer as well as rear to improve torque. It was a huge improvement (many old French exhausts are restrictive, for the CV rating) and mpg (32-36) was no worse, despite accelerating faster.

It was amazingly capable (including a dash from darkest North Yorkshire to Hampshire and back for a wedding, the return journey took just 3.5 hrs) and apart from oil, grease and a set of tyres it wanted nothing in over 30000 miles.
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#44 OFFLINE   colc

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:47 PM

Austin 16...............same 4 pot as early Healeys...........brakes/steering dismal, but pretty quick in their day.


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#45 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 07:11 PM

American or Traction Avant are all I'd consider prewar.

I ran an ex-Paris taxi TA a few years ago complete with old phone numbers a crawled over the sun visors, it was no bother apart from the exhaust which fell off about 10,000 miles in. The owners club one was made from mild steel and not cheap, so for £70 bought some new bits (80s renner iirc) and made up my own with a front silencer as well as rear to improve torque. It was a huge improvement (many old French exhausts are restrictive, for the CV rating) and mpg (32-36) was no worse, despite accelerating faster.

It was amazingly capable (including a dash from darkest North Yorkshire to Hampshire and back for a wedding, the return journey took just 3.5 hrs) and apart from oil, grease and a set of tyres it wanted nothing in over 30000 miles.

 

I think I could be happy with a scruffy traction. 8)  Although a shiny one wouldn't suit me at all. :roll:   What's the driver's space like inside.?  I'm guessing it ought to be pretty fair considering the floor is not sitting on top of a chassis and the engine / gearbox is so far forward, but I've only ever sat in one ..and if I recall its seat didn't go back very far and the steering wheel was so close that steering turns had to made a little at a time.


 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

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#46 OFFLINE   egg

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:08 PM

What's the best price m8 for a usable Traction Avant?


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#47 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:06 PM

probably £7 - 8k


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 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

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And the story of my buying & now restoring a  1974 Yugoslavian Ami-Super  is < Here >

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#48 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:39 PM

No, much less than that if it's in oily rag condition. Perhaps 4.5k if you're lucky. Cars with original white metal bearing engines are worth a good bit less, but there's nothing wrong with them if they're smooth and not rattling.

Yes, the front seat leg room isn't huge by contemporary standards, but re-attaching the seat runners shouldn't be too difficile with flat floors.

The brakes and steering are late C20th standard, only the gear change harks back to the pre war days. Roadholding and handling exceeds plenty of moderns, especially in wet condiitons. Even though I'd had mine a couple of years, I was surprised by how well it handled averaging 70mph over a near 300 mile journey, I was expecting to be knackered given I'd driven something from the 1930s.
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#49 OFFLINE   The_Equalizer

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 11:39 AM

Most pre war cars have bugger all room in the footwell. Even the Royces I have to use the side of my foot for the throttle, and I am size 10!

 

Shoe or dress size? ;-)

 

While on topic I'd always fancied a Derby Bentley which was technically possible up until the most recent rapid raise in classic car prices. More realistically would be a Rover P3 or perhaps a 1950s Alvis? Still not cheap mind you.


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#50 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:34 PM

if it's in oily rag condition. Perhaps 4.5k.

 

I guess 'oil rag' might mean different things to different folk, but to me it's something like : Roadworthy, legal and reasonably safe n' reliable to journey 50+ miles in it.  So, mechanically smooth and structurally sound, and without significant rust holes or cracks in / through the chassis, body, panels, glass or tyres.  Essential electrics working, and at least the essence of a usable interior, even in inclement weather.  Also generally complete, although some parts may not be OE.  Previously owned by someone of mechanical aptitude, with responsible attitude and understanding for the type.  The paintwork and chrome finish may* not be to standards expected of the A1 concourse annually held in St Moritz.
 

Traction Avant for 4.5k  - If I could find a genuine one at that price then I'd buy it now 

...                      ..and work out how to pay for it later :mrgreen: 

 

Out of interest which model did you live with  ..and which might you otherwise recommend ? 

 

Thanks. ;)


 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

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< Here > is a link to my former Sunbeam S7 / S8 motorcycle restoration business website.

And the story of my buying & now restoring a  1974 Yugoslavian Ami-Super  is < Here >

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#51 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:47 PM

Given that the late Traction shared an engine with the early DS, how difficult would it be to fit a DS23EFI engine and semi-auto 'box to a Traction?  That would make for an interesting machine.



#52 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:54 PM

^ I understand the DS 19 & 21 engine were used and made the car very usable.   There was a Familiale so converted on the TOC stand at the 'Wings & Wheels' show I went to a couple of years ago. 


 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

.

< Here > is a link to my former Sunbeam S7 / S8 motorcycle restoration business website.

And the story of my buying & now restoring a  1974 Yugoslavian Ami-Super  is < Here >

.


#53 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:16 PM

Given that the late Traction shared an engine with the early DS, how difficult would it be to fit a DS23EFI engine and semi-auto 'box to a Traction? That would make for an interesting machine.


Big job, introduces lots of new problems which didn't exist with the original lower output - brakes, handling, suspension. The easiest swap is with an early DS engine, but even that requires numerous alterations unless the car's an 11D - from late '55 onwards (and so has the later engine as fitted to the DS and ID).

I sold mine to someone I knew, he went on to damage the original engine by using the wrong oil (he ignored advice and rang a vintage oil specialist) and driving unsympathetically then spent four years pulling various engines and combinations of them in and out, hindered by a specialist near Huddersfield who didn't do a proper job with the original head. Which in turn led to the gearbox being damaged by too many revs.

Motto - stick with original, do any remedial work properly/don't beat a garage right down on price. Buy what others shy away from, if you don't mind a bit of work or can live with it.

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#54 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:41 PM

If you bought a late Traction with the hydro rear suspension, you ought to be able to plumb in the DS brakes as well - and why not DIRAVI steering from a CX if you're feeling really adventurous.



#55 OFFLINE   barrett

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:46 PM

There's at least one Traction running an XUD from a BX (and possibly the hydro suspension too) which seems like the ultimate shiter's weapon to me. Looks totally stock from outside, too
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1985 Citroen BX 16TRS
1997 Peugeot 406 TD


#56 OFFLINE   Bfg

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 04:22 PM

^

You've got an interesting collection of cars there barrett

 

 

^^

I recently saw a photo of a Traction Avant with a V-8 in it.. American as it happens. Rear wheel drive too. Oh and the body was sitting on another chassis and running gear, etc.  In short, most of what was best about the car was lost..   

 

No, for me at least, irrespective of whether I find myself in an Austin-7 or a Traction -  I wouldn't want to change much, for risk of loosing what I wanted in the first place.  Equally.. even though a Honda 90 is probably quicker - I wouldn't want a Hayabusa engine in my Sunbeam motorcycle !  My Sunbeam's brakes are pretty poor, but one learns to set them up correctly and then rides / drives accordingly..  It part of the pleasure and satisfying aspect of riding these bikes.  Anyway, if I were to upgrade the brakes then I'd also have to change the bike's suspension too.  And before I'd knew it - I'd not have a Sunbeam S7 or S8 but a bitza this and bitza that. 

 

Likewise each of my bikes have their 6v electrics, and aside from renewing the 60 year old wires and switching to a halogen headlamp bulb and gel battery - they are to original spec., without indicators or LED spot-lamps.  Indicators would be a safety thing - if I were to use the bike further afield during the night ..but before I retired I used the bike to commute in the dark through town and into the farming countryside - and it wasn't really an issue. 

 

On these particular bikes, the things I do change are ; the oil filter (for a modern disposable type) and sump capacity, I add a crankcase breather pipe, change the clutch plate (for a sprung centre type) and I also like to lighten the flywheel, and then swap the carburettor for the less leaky concentric type.  I have fitted a screen and leather panniers to one bike, just to make it more practical in light rain and when shopping, but overall I like my bikes as they are.. standard and not over-restored.

 

If I were ready to buy an oil rag Traction then I'd most likely be very happy to find one with a 4-speed gearbox and an early DS engine (..which I might only guess has big end shells and a more advanced head design and carburetion) but overall I'll be looking for the 'best condition' in preference to any upgrade.  And if I were to buy a standard one - then I doubt I would change its mechanical spec ..unless there was a massively costly failure prompting me to do so.      


 ...its a bloody motor car  ..not a Fabergé egg. !

.

< Here > is a link to my former Sunbeam S7 / S8 motorcycle restoration business website.

And the story of my buying & now restoring a  1974 Yugoslavian Ami-Super  is < Here >

.


#57 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 05:50 PM

If I were ready to buy an oil rag Traction then I'd most likely be very happy to find one with a 4-speed gearbox and an early DS engine (..which I might only guess has big end shells and a more advanced head design and carburetion) but I'll be looking for the 'best condition' in preference to any upgrade. And if I were to buy a standard one - then I doubt I would change its mechanical spec ..unless there was a massively costly failure prompting me to do so.


With that approach you're less likely to go too far wrong. Keep it as standard as possible is my tack, I've watched too many spend hours and hours and £thousands in ruining what was originally a pleasant old car.

I'm not sure I'd want 80hp+ in a TA without uprating the gearbox, brakes and suspension at the very least. Which in turn would stress the structure more, and so on. The original 56-60hp (previously 36 or 46) was enough to maintain good progress in modern traffic and made you use and delight in the sweet handling to maintain faster speeds on winding roads.

An original engine is lighter, smoother (lower compression ratio) and sounds sweeter in my experience. Those with later DS engines have a little less charm, for me. They sound gruffer, vibrate more and deliver the power without the finesse to match the exquisite lines of the body - the ones supplied with the cars in the last two or three years of production are the sweetest, having the lowest CR.

With a good quality 15/40 (Total, everytime imo) why should white metal bearings suddenly start to cause problems if they've lasted over 60 years and are still good?

But of course, they all want TAs with engines from a D - and values echo this. Given you can pick up a serviceable original engine (with good bearings and running fine) for peanuts and it's a straightforwards job to hoik one out, there are bargains still to be had if you keep your eyes peeled.

The larger body of the Normale (rather than the Legere) makes engine and box removal easier.

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#58 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 07:36 PM

Out of interest which model did you live with ..and which might you otherwise recommend ? Thanks. ;)


Twas a '54 BL, so the old Perfo engine with white metal bearings. The gearbox was the third and latest iteration, so the strongest (so a rivet-counter informed me). I bought it cheaply (for a little under half of what good ones were fetching), the paint was patchy, the clutch juddered and the interior original and worn. It had been over-polished and driven carefully by its English owner - 50mph tops, and he expressed some doubt over the condition of the engine.

Having changed the engine and box oils, I took a slight risk and steadily worked it harder. It was clearly well-gummed and carboned up but what was this hiding? I'd worked out it'd gone round the clock at least twice, probably three times, compression rose amazingly to near-new levels on all four cylinders but the main bearings felt slightly loose on a cold engine.

I learned to warm it up at low to medium revs and not tool along at 70 with a tailwind/light throttle for extended periods with the engine spinning fast but cooling and so shrinking - it was 60-65 or 75+. On the flat with no wind, it would sit at a genuine 85 (the exhaust had improved this a lot). It served me well, I'll never forget the flat out run back from Hampshire.

Here's one which could go for little money, https://www.ebay.co....tm/183565110101 Whether it's worth it all depends on what's missing, where the body needs work, and how much.

But never forget there are plenty out there at £10k+ which look smart but would, in my book, be better described as spares/repair.
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#59 OFFLINE   puddlethumper

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 09:55 PM

Back in the early 50's my old man had an Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane rag top.

Even at 5/6 years old I thought it was well cool. Don't remember anything about how 

reliable it was. He got rid of it, coz famlay, for a Rover 14, which at 7 I thought was a proper chariot.

Black with red leather, you know, that old, worn, proper cow skin.

I remember every summer in the early 60's we used to drive to Eastbourne.

Now you might think that isn't so far. Well it fuckin well is from Aberdeen.

Ferry across the Forth, could be an hours wait, no motorways, trucks grinding up the hills in a cloud of clag 

doing 20, few places to overtake. 

I looked on it as an adventure. Waving out the back window, none of that seat belt stuff, at truckers

and checking their reg in the AA book to see which was the furthest from home and ticking off the ones I had seen

and trying to find the more obscure plates. I can clearly remember seeing a Jersey plate once, and nearly wetting myself with excitement.

Anyhoo, I don't ever remember that Rover breaking down on any of those journeys

which considering it was from the late 40's seems to suggest a certain resilience which a Rover

that was aimed at Doctors and Country bank managers would have to have had.

No heater, fuckin cold in winter, blankets and woolies, had to put a small paraffin heater under the engine 

overnight otherwise it wouldn't start in the morning, and a blanket over the engine.

Suicide doors, opening flap vents in the footwells, shite and drafty in winter, wipers that you could have one or two

working, really small boot, no bloody room for the clubs, or much else.

Old man chopped it in in 64 for a brand new Cortina 1500 de luxe.

De luxe ? Vinyl seats, no arm rests, less room, no presence. The only reason I liked it was that it went faster.


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#60 ONLINE   Lacquer Peel

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 09:57 PM

There's at least one Traction running an XUD from a BX (and possibly the hydro suspension too) which seems like the ultimate shiter's weapon to me. Looks totally stock from outside, too

Was that in a Practical Classics feature some time ago? I half remember them using a rear engined Skoda gearbox in the conversion.




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