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Tommy's A-series Misery - Engine teardown and MGF prep


Tommyboy12

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Lets start with the exterior! Genuine barn find this one. Lived in an actual barn for the last two years and comes covered in actual barn find dust. Its 35 years old and has done 281k. So you would think the worst. But actually... Its not that bad!

The paint. Oh the paint... Its lifting, peeling and cracking everywhere. And I havent even washed it yet!

The doors are the worst so far. All four are bowed at the bottom and crispy. I cant see any major holes but theyre all in a pretty poor shape.

The front wings are ok. Rough round the arch edge but not rotten and not thin. Theyll get some brushed on hammerite to help them last.

Rear arches. Drivers side is fine. Again rough round the edge but not thin. The passenger side is worse. See picture. Its holed and very thin. However the plastic arch liner has saved most of the wheel well. Im undecided what to do here but I really like the rough look so whatever it gets will be minimal.

Floors and sills. Really good! No holes. Paint is flaking but the car seems to be undersealed so floors and sills have survived well. I will wire brush and reseal.

Bootlid is the wrong colour and theres paint sag in various places. But it has all the correct badges in my opinion!

It definitely needs a new set of tyres. Two dont hold air and the two that do are cracked like nothing I have ever seen. Every tyre is different but they are at least imperial so easy to source. Anyone got any recommendations for an equivalent modern size for 165R13?

montego 9.jpg

montego 12.jpg

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montego 8.jpg

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The interior! Its horrible! Its not original. It stinks! 😂

The front door cards, dash, plastics and carpet seem to be the original blue/grey combo to match the outside. The seats and rear door cards have been swapped for some genuine moo skin. Theyre actually pretty comfortable and supportive with plenty of squish.

Its had a hard life. 281,000 miles does a lot to a car but all everything seems to be present and the doors all lock and windows all wind (manually of course).

The headliner is something to behold. Its had all the fabric and yellow foam removed and its been painted a lovely shade of blue. Its held in with screws, bolts, original fittings, and a chunk of what I can only describe as 1980s dark wood cabinet. Everything is filthy, everything is scratched, everything is awesome!

Obligatory shot of the epic mileage included. That crab is glued to the dash. Its staying.

montego 7.jpg

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Just now, Dick Longbridge said:

Someone has done almost 300k in a 1300 petrol Montego? I'm not sure who to congratulate - you or the previous owner! Intrigued to see the recommissioning on this one. What a find!

200w (2).gif

Its a one owner car too! Someone was committed!

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The Montego was a great driving car when new.  The estates were are really good bit of kit and popular.  A real AR hit at the time.

The web says 68 bhp for the 1.3. The earlier Marina estate and these were popular with farming folk so for collecting eggs and going shopping etc would have been just fine with a very good mpg.

Nice find and a nice car...good luck - certainly worth some love.

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That’s even better than I thought it was going to be.

It looks like somebody has paid good money to have that interior recovered in leather. The factory leather in both VdPs and later GSi Executives was nothing like that , I’m pretty sure you could never get leather in an estate anyway. I suppose the interior might have been taken from a higher spec scrapper that had been re-trimmed when it was much newer, seems more likely than a person so tight they had 1.3 estate , decided to spend hundreds on a ra-trim.

As for the bodywork , couple of hours and I’d happily send that in for a Taxi Plate test- I have done with worse!

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1 hour ago, Tommyboy12 said:

an equivalent modern size for 165R13?

You can still buy 165/80R13 tyres.  They're often van tyres, but they do exist.  There's also a plethora of other sizes that can be selected with a rolling diameter within 1%/2% of the originals.

Also... 280k miles on a 1275 A+ engine, dragging a montego estate body with it?  That cannot be the original engine.  Surely Shirley.

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13 minutes ago, NorfolkNWeigh said:

That’s even better than I thought it was going to be.

It looks like somebody has paid good money to have that interior recovered in leather. The factory leather in both VdPs and later GSi Executives was nothing like that , I’m pretty sure you could never get leather in an estate anyway. I suppose the interior might have been taken from a higher spec scrapper that had been re-trimmed when it was much newer, seems more likely than a person so tight they had 1.3 estate , decided to spend hundreds on a ra-trim.

As for the bodywork , couple of hours and I’d happily send that in for a Taxi Plate test- I have done with worse!

Or an eccentric landed-gentry type owner...being local this was not off the Sandringham  estate...you may own the Queen's runabout shooting-break or some such? This car may have an unusual past. Worth some research. 😁

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7 minutes ago, Talbot said:

The MOT history data suggests it has been on 278k miles since 2006, so it's done intergalactic miles earlier in it's life.

I make that about 14,000 per annum - so that means a 'working' car or a long communte?  That is quite a lot of services. If its a local Norfolk car that means a local AR dealer?  Interesting history - all these old cars have a story to tell.

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27 minutes ago, NorfolkNWeigh said:

That’s even better than I thought it was going to be.

It looks like somebody has paid good money to have that interior recovered in leather. The factory leather in both VdPs and later GSi Executives was nothing like that , I’m pretty sure you could never get leather in an estate anyway. I suppose the interior might have been taken from a higher spec scrapper that had been re-trimmed when it was much newer, seems more likely than a person so tight they had 1.3 estate , decided to spend hundreds on a ra-trim.

As for the bodywork , couple of hours and I’d happily send that in for a Taxi Plate test- I have done with worse!

I think the interior is out of a later Rover Montego Countryman although im not sure. I dont know my Montegos very well.

The attached brochure shot vs. the rear door cards makes me think that from the door cap at the top which is missing from the front door car.

The rear bench is very plush though. Missing its head rests but 🤷‍♂️

 

Rover-Montego-Countryman-Estate-Interior-1991-92-Original-UK.jpg

monty 16.jpg

monty 15.jpg

monty 14.jpg

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Actually... thinking about it, as it's registered as a Montego 1.6, but has a 1.3 engine in it and is correctly identified as such on it's paperwork, I do wonder if it started life as a 1.6, but was then downgraded at some point in it's life to a 1.3 (same car the tailgate came from maybe) in order to exploit the cheaper tax bracket.

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