Jump to content

Phil's 1977 Princess 1.8 HL - Time to Say Goodbye


Recommended Posts

I took advantage of a sunny evening now the clocks have changed, rolled out the Princess and gave it a coat of wax.  This is very much turd polishing, what paint there is isn't worth polishing, but it does make it look slightly better from 10 feet away and protects it a bit.  I did the windows with some glass polish inside and out too, something that was long overdue.  Unfortunately the windscreen has suffered from 28 years of being caked in dust and having things on top of it, a low sun means all I can see is scratches and swirls and the polish hasn't really helped much there.  Still, the windscreen is otherwise undamaged and fine in general daytime use, it's not like I can get a new one from Autoglass.

Polishing has also fully shown up something I was aware of but hadn't seen quite as clearly...the lovely shiny new bonnet paint is breaking out in lots of tiny dimples; it's the same issue that is all over the car.  My mechanic sidelines in bodywork and does good work, he slaved over this bonnet and didn't charge anywhere near the amount of time he put into it fixing corrosion, previous repairs and layers of old paint.  When it was in having its clutch done I didn't really want to bring it up with him but he noticed it straight away and says it's corrosion breaking through again; he couldn't sandblast it as it was too thin and fragile already and did his best with paint stripper and sanding.  I've seen photos of it mid-prep and they spent ages on it but sadly despite being painted with rust inhibitor and primed/painted it's not lasted.  He's offered to have another go at it but he's so busy at the moment I feel bad asking him to.  I'll see how it progresses, it's still by far the best panel on the car and looks fine until you look closely at it but I think it'll have to be redone at some point.

The alternator belt was shrieking again so tightened that up once more - seems to be needed quite regularly but it's now nice and quiet again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Just as a heads-up, this will be coming up for sale in a few weeks.  The suspension is being topped up on Monday and I have it tentatively booked in to attend the Haynes Breakfast Club meet on 9th May which will be a mildly ambitious run for it and then I'm going to call it a day on this project, it'll be time for someone else to carry it on. 

The main thing it will want for is some bodywork attention, which I'm just not interested in, plus I really need the space at home.  I may get a bit of welding done where it really could do with a repair on the driver's rear sill area and then an MOT before it goes plus a couple of other bits will continue to get fettled in the mean time but overall I am ready to move it on.

Just noticed it is almost exactly 1 year ago I posted this up - time flies!  It was only ever meant to be a fun project during the first lockdown and it fulfilled that brief perfectly, I've had a lot of enjoyment out of it but it's time someone else took it over.

I'm not sure on value, I'd like to think £3k is attainable with it brought up to full MOT standard and it is mechanically very, very good with rebuilt hydragas and a healthy engine plus structurally it is exceptional for an unrestored 45 year old BL product but the paintwork is absolute pants (which I actually quite like) and the interior is a bit tatty.  Personally I thoroughly enjoy its shabby charms and wouldn't want to restore it anyway but it will need some proper TLC at some point to prevent it deteriorating.

20200823_180622.thumb.jpg.2dfd178dcc75e5267f62332c19a87bb3.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • phil_lihp changed the title to Phil's 1977 Princess 1.8 HL - Time to Say Goodbye
9 minutes ago, phil_lihp said:

I have it tentatively booked in to attend the Haynes Breakfast Club meet on 9th May which will be a mildly ambitious run for it and then I'm going to call it a day on this project, it'll be time for someone else to carry it on. 

I'm booked in too on that day, I'll keep a look out if you're around! We will both be filling the Somerset air with oily residue and clatter with 1970s B-series. 😆

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, phil_lihp said:

Just as a heads-up, this will be coming up for sale in a few weeks.  The suspension is being topped up on Monday and I have it tentatively booked in to attend the Haynes Breakfast Club meet on 9th May which will be a mildly ambitious run for it and then I'm going to call it a day on this project, it'll be time for someone else to carry it on. 

The main thing it will want for is some bodywork attention, which I'm just not interested in, plus I really need the space at home.  I may get a bit of welding done where it really could do with a repair on the driver's rear sill area and then an MOT before it goes plus a couple of other bits will continue to get fettled in the mean time but overall I am ready to move it on.

Just noticed it is almost exactly 1 year ago I posted this up - time flies!  It was only ever meant to be a fun project during the first lockdown and it fulfilled that brief perfectly, I've had a lot of enjoyment out of it but it's time someone else took it over.

I'm not sure on value, I'd like to think £3k is attainable with it brought up to full MOT standard and it is mechanically very, very good with rebuilt hydragas and a healthy engine plus structurally it is exceptional for an unrestored 45 year old BL product but the paintwork is absolute pants (which I actually quite like) and the interior is a bit tatty.  Personally I thoroughly enjoy its shabby charms and wouldn't want to restore it anyway but it will need some proper TLC at some point to prevent it deteriorating.

20200823_180622.thumb.jpg.2dfd178dcc75e5267f62332c19a87bb3.jpg

I was going to go to the breakfast club too. May have to cancel now, cause if the Mrs sees that, she will try and make me buy it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been nice to see the progress made on this one and, hiccups aside, the enjoyment it's brought you.  £1800-3000 would be my guess on the value given the price other Princesses have gone for recently, they're starting to hold their value better these days and solid ones like yours tend to command more because of the scarcity of repair panels.  Good luck with the sale, and I hope Mrs @Cookiesouwest is very happy with her new purchase ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad you’re selling it, but your reasoning makes eminent sense and you’ve done a fantastic job in getting it to this point.

Would be great if it stays on here somehow. It appeals to me but I’m lacking space and have an excess of projects.

This has @Shite Ron’s name all over it, doesn’t it?*

 

*I’m not calling Ron a princess here — you know what I mean.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Skizzer said:

Would be great if it stays on here somehow. It appeals to me but I’m lacking space and have an excess of projects.

This has @Shite Ron’s name all over it, doesn’t it?*

I do like 70’s brown cars, this cannot be denied, I may also be a Princess,  but only on weekends.

I have really enjoyed seeing this car brought back to life. As much as I love Princesses there are other cars higher on the wish list, and a Lotus Eclat or Elite and V12 Jag are both near the top, added to this my lack of space plus the fact I am a tightwad. I missed out on a Cortina with green interior because I wouldn’t pay three grand. I am not saying this car is not worth three grand, just that I am  stingy and have more cars than garage space.

I hope someone here buys it as I would like to see it used and improved.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Just had a very pleasant early Sunday morning blast around North Devon in this one, it really is running and driving remarkably well for a 45 year old unrestored BL product.  I've probably done about 60 miles in the last 24 hours and apart from the alternator belt coming loose again yesterday, which was pretty quick and simple to resolve, it's been behaving very well.  Apart from a couple of issues with dirty fuel early on and a recent whoopsie where I ran it out of fuel, it's been totally reliable - it's clocked up just shy of 600 miles since I got it which is hardly a lot but frankly I'd have expected more issues.  My method of ensuring perishable things like pipes and hoses were all replaced and going through the cooling system has worked out well as I think I've managed to iron out most of the issues before they had a chance to occur.

With the suspension now topped back up the ride and handling are properly sorted; I don't have experience of the competing Citroen hydraulic system but the fully rebuilt and correctly adjusted hydragas system on this car is working really well, it eats up bumps, potholes and rough roads and can be pushed surprisingly hard along windy B roads.  It's only on budgety tyres but it has loads of grip, the handling isn't exactly sharp and the unassisted steering is quite heavy at low speeds but it's really rather pleasant to bomb along in.

Next weekend I want to take the exhaust front pipe off and have another go at the manifold join as it's blowing, I'll reseat the stat housing with the right goop to stop a miniscule leak and might give it another oil change as it's done 500 miles on the stuff I put in last year which is the first change it's had since 1992, then I think I'm more or less done.  It'll be time soon for it to move on to someone who can sort the essential bodywork out and/or give it a more thorough restoration, although if it were me I'd keep it in its survivor state for as long as possible, it wears its history well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Princess got a present in the post today.

No wonder the old one was wonky, the screw holes aren't remotely in line.  It's very battered but will stay with the car.

New one was stuck on for a photo but needs attaching properly at the weekend, I'll have to brave drilling holes in it.

 

20210420_185304.jpg

Nothing too horrible hiding under the old plate, just dust, cobwebs and a bit of surface rust.

20210420_190255.jpg

20210420_191101.thumb.jpg.41e6374c74e88a7b1ceb866abbc08332.jpg

20210420_190119.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is where I could get carried away with stripping off lights, bumper etc, rubbing the paintwork down and painting it to spruce it up but the valance is crusty anyway so I need to leave it alone, it'd be a bodge anyway.  The new plate doesn't look out of place to me, I was a bit worried it'd look too shiny against the shabby paint and rust backdrop.

I'm toying with the idea of getting it MOT'd before I sell, I know it'll need a bit of welding on the rear sill and probably one or two CV joints but it'd make it more sellable and I think I'd feel better about it, exempt or not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I reckon the suspension was well worth doing, they're just rubbish without the hydragas working properly.  As I've said before, this one seems to have been built in a critical time window between strikes and walkouts as it seems quite well screwed together!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Zelandeth
      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.


      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.

       






      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...









      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.







      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...



      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By captain_70s
      Hullo,
       
      I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at £300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
       
      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:
       

       
      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
       
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:
       

       
      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
       
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:
       

       
      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
       
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
       
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By Shirley Knott
      Greetings all.
       
      After lurking here for a short while, frankly liking what I see and enjoying the various shite, the site has well and truly struck a chord with me. I'm a serial buyer of ropey sub £1k vehicles, don't have to but genuinely enjoy it.
       
      I feel like I might (Just might) have found my 'spiritual' home here
       
      I've been posting across the web on owner specific forums (Usually using either my JoeyEunos or RandomPrecion handles) for a while now, but from here-on-in I will pull my threads together and merge them here into one ghastly topic.
       
      My current steeds...
       
      Lupo 1.7 SDI
       
      SAM_5560 by
       
      and the work/story so far...http://forums.clublupo.co.uk/index.php?/topic/102863-joeyeunoss-sdi-beater/
       
      Golf Mk4 SDI
       
       
      SAM_5531 by
       
      and the thread.... http://uk-mkivs.net/topic/597074-project-slow/
       
      Early (1989) Mk1 Eunos (This one was recently sold)
       
      SAM_4656 by
       
      the thread...http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=213274
       
      Other shite I've owned and moved on in the last year include this ropey Passat...
       
      SAM_6011 by
       
      and this legendary £300 Fiesta Finesse...
       
      Festa by
       
      Cars I'd like to own/actively looking for in the forthcoming weeks/months/years...
       
      Rover 75 (Dizzler)
      Peugeot 405 (XUD)
      Mk1 Octavia (Estate/dizzler, pre pd or SDI)
      Honda CRV (Gen1)
      Volvo 240/850
    • By SiC
      Placeholder topic for now. Currently in @Steve79 mums garage but hopefully transported sometime this month. Mostly down to when @worldofceri passes by next. No rush as I have plenty of other projects on the go, just with Spring coming up quick, I'm looking forward to buzzing around in this. So don't expect anything too exciting to happen for a few weeks yet.
      I was hoping the Dolomite would be drivable by now but that's not looking likely. So I'll have to either do the work on this on the drive, cart the Dolomite down to storage over spring/summer or send this off to a professional for it to be sorted. It'll need an MOT anyway, but I'd like to get some of the key things sorted before then.
      Main issues for the MOT:
      Dash clocks don't work. Battery has leaked in the original board and damaged the traces. Have another set of dash clocks here and I hope to make a good one out of the two. Something I'll definitely have to do as most mechanics won't want to touch soldering up PCBs. Brake pedal doesn't fully go to the top of its travel, unless you assist it by pulling it up. I believe the Rev mentioned corrosion at the top of the pedal or something that just needs cleaning odd. Cambelt. This one scares me everytime the engine is started. Label under the bonnet says last changed in 1998 and that's almost certainly true. Steve has done a few hundred miles on it two years ago, but I don't have the guts or will to do a cambelt roulette myself on it. Plus I don't believe they're that difficult to change. Possibly needs some welding on the NSF. I'll clean the area up and if it's small I may do it myself. Alternatively let my local garage pickup on it at MOT time and let them sort it if it's a problem. So hopefully a quick project to get back on the road. That's the intention anyway as I don't have time for too much more, given the Dolomite is taking my time up and the others need fettling too (1100 front calipers and also selling it, MGB service). Likely scenario is getting the above list done so I can drive it to the MOT station and let them sort anything else out needed for that if anything other comes up.

    • By mk2_craig
      Folks.  I don't care that the subject matter of this thread is, relatively-speaking, basically a new car.  I'm calling it shite and anybody who disagrees after letting the pictures do the talking can vanish off up their own arse as far as I'm concerned.
      With that out the way, here's the first bit of the tale.  I'll be brief.  Up until last August my wife was running this Astra Twintop of 2007 vintage.  Luxurious with the top spec "Design" trim level complete with comedy useless early built-in satnav tech, quick with the 2 litre Turbo motor.  Just about 34k on the clock at that point, and it had been treated to four new tyres the previous month.  Drove lovely.

      She then decides that a Mini convertible would be the way to go.  Here's the newest one she could find within budget :

      R57, registered mid 2010, Cooper S with the 1.6 turbo engine.  Looks alright eh?  




      Ok, it has some wheel and tyre-related issues.



      Admittedly, some perished rubber seals would want dealing with.



      Granted, those wipers are shagged.

      And those shitty, SHITTY "Cooper script" decals are way past their best, as are the faded and peeling bonnet stripes.


      Chunk missing outa that A-pillar trim, and what about that aerial?

      Oh.


      Someones only gone and nicked the COOPER S badges, but at least the bodywork's tidy, right?












      Hmmm.  Well, at least it still has a full set of locking nuts, doesn't it?




      OH COME ON!!!!

      So the background is that one of our local Polish car traders took it in as a part-ex against something better.  Usually he would smarten it up to punt on at a nice profit, but with his bodyshop man out of action he wanted this one off the books pronto and put it up for a couple of grand below the going rate.  I think most on here would have probably recommended walking away as rapidly as possible, but I can only conclude that I was high that day, because apparently we agreed a deal in which he took the Astra PLUS CASH against this tatty BINI.   Therefore it's been on fleet strength for the last seven and a half months.
      WCPGW??
×
×
  • Create New...