I’d been thinking of getting another classic car to keep my hands busy (5 kids and a dog is not enough!), and went to a car show (Capesthorne Hall) recently to scope out my next toy. It had to be small as I have a narrow drive in my old semi, and was thinking of maybe a Dolomite, but also MGBGT or Spitfire (GT6 would be no1 but is out of the question unless I win the Lotto!). Then I bumped into some very friendly and helpful peeps on the TDC stand who let me look around their excellent cars. That was it: hooked! A few days later and I have a nice yellow 1850 sitting on my drive! I’ll post some photo’s soon when I work out how, but for now a little description:
She was born in 1974 with reg THU 232 M, if anyone knows the car?
It has MOT and is complete with only minor trim parts missing (gear console and 2x chrome peices outside)
A past resto has fixed much of the rot, including fibreglass wings (not for the purist, but won’t rot so I’m OK with that)
New vinyl roof, new carpets and good seats (all black, but should be chestnut according to the trim code - might change it back one day) and nice Sprint alloys.
The paintwork is OK from 10 paces, but up close is not the best. It’s also an unknown shade of yellow similar to Inca (original colour was honeysuckle which I don’t mind, and one day when I’ve saved enough I’ll get it painted this colour again)
The engine runs very well when driven, if a little thirsty, but idles rough to say the least (the whole car shakes violently at 1000 rpm). After I’ve checked the electrics and the engine mounts I’ll probably need to overhaul the SUs...
Someone has made her a Sprint replica, complete with badges. I’d have probably done the same myself a few years ago and don’t mean to offend anyone if they have done this too, it’s just this time I want my classic to be original with reasonable upgrdes that the factory might have done as options, and the Sprint badges don’t fit with this and ruin a great early 1850. So: whilst I’m OK with the vinyl roof and alloys, the badges will come off when I find the correct ones, and when I’m brave enough to move them (just prior to repainting probably).
An aftermarket fuel pump has been fitted - it failed on the way home to Stoke! However, the fella who sold me the car (good bloke and very helpfull) towed me home and knocked some off the sale price for a new pump.
The car stinks of fuel, but a check of all pipes underneath from tank to carbs shows no leaks - could be related to the bad pump or poor SU condition...
The steering is horribly stiff and wanders a little - the lower flexible joint on the column is shot, but I’ve ordered a CV type one to hopefully fix it.
Overall, I’m really pleased with my purchase and I’m looking forward to my life with Dolly (not that original, sorry, but my kids named her!), and to reading up on how to do stuff on the forum!
Current classic cars: 1974 Triumph Dolomite (Honey), 1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (Holly)
Current modern cars: 2010 Mini One (Rusty), 2018 VW Touran (Jack Sparrow)
Past cars: 2003 BMW Z4 roadster 3.0 (Marty), 1972 Triumph Spitfire IV with 2.0 I6 (Polly), 1972 Ford Escort 1100L with RS2000 running gear (Nora Batty)