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Protowedge


Sam Glover

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The time has come to admit to owning this.

 

wedge1.jpg

 

wedge2.jpg

 

wedge3.jpg

 

wedge4.jpg

 

wedge5.jpg

 

wedge6.jpg

 

wedge7.jpg

 

But what to do with it? It can't be restored without destroying its prototypeness.

 

Far better, I think, to preserve it as a sculpture to commemorate British Leyland's failure. This was, after all, BL's glorious 1970s vision of the future. We're now in the future... and just look at it.

 

Sam

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The time has come to admit to owning this.

 

wedge1.jpg

But what to do with it? It can't be restored without destroying its prototypeness.

 

Far better, I think, to preserve it as a sculpture to commemorate British Leyland's failure. This was, after all, BL's glorious 1970s vision of the future. We're now in the future... and just look at it.

 

Sam

 

Admit to? I think you mean "brag about." What exactly would you destroy in the process? Yes, ok, you'd have to cut out and replace some of the original metal, but in the name of putting this back on the road where people can see it, surely it's worthwhile? It's not like you'd be replacing the entire shell, like they do with rally cars (eg "ex-Monte winner, reshelled in 1969, 1978 and 2003, engine rebuilt on new block 1967, 1972, 1974, 1994, 2009; etc"). You know how that goes, but they are still regarded as "original" as long as the original spec is maintained. In this case it would probably mean working out where this has been factory-bodged, compared to a regular production car and preserving or reproducing those bodges. That's what I'd be doing in your position. If you want to keep one as a rusty monument there are enough to choose from.

 

The future? In the 70s it was something to be so optimistic about. Oh. BL didn't fail; the future did.

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To me that looks like a candidate for a 'sympathetic' restoration in so far as the bad structural weaknesses are resolved but anything else is left as is. I don't think a super shiny restoration would be the way to go, the car needs to be seen as it is for at least a few years, running if possible, before a full back-to-new restoration should even be considered. This is an important wedge of automotive history (not that I'm at all bias) and ought at the very least to be preserved and not allowed to deteriorate further.

 

It's great to see more than tantalising glimpses of it, you are some kind of hero.

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Is that Wilson? I have often wondered what became of this car. Not sure what can be done with it really but it would be nice, one day, to see it totally restored. For now I think the rolling(ish) sculpture idea is the best thing for it...

I think wilson was a white wedge, the red wedge also been through Nick Larkins hands I think as it was featured in the staff Sagas in PC around 1996ish. Seem to remember it was registered later on a P but is a 74 build? Motoring journo Richard Bremner had a part share in an earlyish mini reg XLL27, he debated in C&SC the rolling sculpture/ do we restore thing in an article about said mini. I didnt think about XLL27 again untill I saw it in some auction results this year, still untouched, under the hammer for 14K!!

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Ok, I'm going to ask a silly question now, Is it a rare Wolseley version or is it a prototype to the ADO71?, What's different to it compared to the production model if that's so?

 

Nicked from Volksangyl's photobucket:

 

Morris Princess 1800 - From Reverendbluejeans: YJO71R is an oddball - it is chassis No.1 of the regular build and was kept by BL at the Cowley service department for dealer/mechanic training before being registered and sold. It is actually an Austin with the regular bonnet and Trapezoidal headlamps but was registered as a Morris in 1977 - by this time the 18/22 was neither an Austin or Morris 1800 but a Princess. I bought it in 1994 a few days after buying a white prototype Morris, KJO350N. I sold both of them to Nick Larkin. The above pic was taken by either myself or Nick at L.C Hughes scrapyard where both cars were found.

 

So I guess it had all different looks tried out on it over the years.

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Ive seen that before but didnt realise it was quite so bad.

 

I agree.

 

Restore. Why would sympathetic restoration destroy its originality?

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Blimey. Larkin really has had a clearout then. I knew this one had gone but not where. Until now!

 

Sod Gaydon. Believe me - it's much better off with Sam than it is with the Heritage lot. Gaydon doesn't have space for the vehicles it already owns. As to what to do with it, very difficult. You say restoring it would destroy the prototypeness, but nature has already had a pretty good go at it. Leave it or restore it, either way it is not what it was when it was created. I say restore.

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Wow Sam! My virtual cap is dually doffed in your general direction! :shock:

 

I personally dont see why a sympathetic restoration will destroy any heritage it has. It was a pre-production car (Not prototype*) which probably means it was an early model registered for demonstration purposes.

 

Usually, early cars have all sorts of little added extras, everything extra electrical luxuries to basic trim differences from production models.

 

* Just clear up any confusion - A prototype is a product designed to test and trial a new design. Prototype cars are often built by hand for early design and road testing analysis. Often, once the production line starts, the prototypes are often destroyed or dismantled for further analysis. As I understand it, pre-production cars are often built for demonstration and evaluation purposes.

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I remember that one well - rescued it in around 1995 and sold it to Nick. I am mistaken though - I always thought it was an Austin with the trapezoidal lamps but clearly, I was lying.

 

It wants restoring to a decent standard. It'll never be worth anything so you have to do it to keep, and use it. The engine was pretty smokey 17 years ago. It's YJO17R is it not? Pretty sure the VIN is 001 meaning it was the first production 18/22 and not a prototype. It may not be that expensive to restore - Princess panels aren't dear and the other bits are worth next to bugger all. Forget keeping it as is, because it's rubbish.

The white one was the car that needed buying as it was extremely tidy and low mileage. I wonder where that is?

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