Spridget

08/26/11

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This project started out because I found a cute 1973 MG Midget that had been sitting in a field since 1985.  Looking it over I realized that there was little rust.  Less than any others I had seen, so a handful of dollars later, some digging, a tow truck and a surprised wife, I had a non running car that was a chicken coop for the last 15+ years.  I even found chicken eggs throughout the interior.  I also found lots of nice spiders.

I bought the car from the original owner, and his field was full of nice toys.  It sounds like he is keeping them until he needs a little cash and then will quietly let one go.  I tried to get the 2 ford broncos in his field, but he said that he is too attached to them.  The first one he bought brand new, a 1967, that he drove until he broke the pinion in the rear end offroading in 1975.  He then bought a 1974 Bronco that he drove until he lost a head gasket in the mid 1980's.  He replaced it with another running 1969 bronco that he uses for getting around his property (at the base of the San Bernardino mountains.  I call him once a year to see if he is ready to let go of either of his broncos.

When I got the car home I cleaned it really well, to see the extent of my new project.

 

   Of course right when I was cleaning it up, my wife came home, so I had to do some quick explaining.  People don't understand how these little cars can just follow you home some times.  I was finding that the car was in generally better shape than I thought it was when I looked at it in the field.  I still had not found any rust larger than an inch or two across.

 

 

  The interior left a bit to be desired, but I was not planning on using most of it anyhow.  This was going to be a car that is destined for track days at Buttonwillow and Willow Springs.  My dad won't let me take his 911 out to buttonwillow, and my 68 Camaro has too big of an appetite for both petrol and rubber. 

I figured a nice respectable LBC would take care of my needs for track time (even if it will not take care of my need for speed).

1) The first step was a plan.  I tried to think of everything that I would need, exactly what the outcome would be , and how much I needed to get what I wanted.  I also wanted to see if I could schedule a realistic time budget.  For some reason I am finding that it takes longer and longer to do this.  It seems as I get older I never get the chance to play like I used to.

2) Once I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do it was time to carefully disassemble and make a list of everything that needed to be repaired or replaced.  Every part was photographed, and put into a labeled plastic bag.  The labeled plastic bags were put into clear plastic storage containers w/ a list of all the parts contained within.

3) Now that anything to be removed, has been taken off, labeled and stored, the hard work begins.  Just so you know I HATE body work.  I do it because I cannot afford to pay anybody to be as detailed as I will be when I do this.  Also if I screw up.  It's my fault and I can deal with that.  If I pay $5,000 to $7,000 (the going LA rate for a good job) and I find a mistake....I just could not deal with it.  Every time I send a car out, it takes 2-3 times longer than estimated and it almost always has to go back for numerous repairs.  A few years ago I gave up, and do it myself.

ON TO THE FUN STUFF

4) Now that the body is looking better, I started by undercoating the underside and color coating the undercoat and the interior floors, engine bay etc.  This really got me motivated to move forward.  I love when a project gets to this stage.

5) Putting the suspension back on with all new components is so much more fun than disassembling the 30+yearold parts that came off the car.

6) Adding the wiring harness from Moss, as well as a brake pipe kit. 

7) Trial Fitting the body panels to make sure nothing shrank.  I am also trying to get some room back in the garage.

8) And the Engine is in the car!  That's right.  Another milestone is hit.  This is where the motivation gets harder.  1 week old at home.  Little time in the garage.  weather is terrible.  I NEED a ride in a LBC.  Can anyone in CA help me out.  I need to remember why I am doing this.

9) The parts keep showing up.

 

 

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