Posted on 9 April 2012
Simon bought this 1953 car as a rolling wreck for $1700 whilst living in Chicago in 1989. It was the first classic he had restored, and his increasing involvement in the project at the time meant that the bug really bit deep...
The car was subject to over 2200 hours of work, and became something of a labour of love. Every external panel was saved, and everything on the car was rebuilt - the engine being done by Jerry's Automotive of Illinois, who specialised in race car engines and had never had one break - the 4 cylinder motor with the big pots was the smallest they had ever worked on! Since the car is still running well today 21 years on they must have got it right, building it to stock apart from a 100M camshaft, although it was blueprinted, ported and polished - perhaps to a standard beyond its original Longbridge days.
At one point the Thornley garage contained the 100, a Frogeye Sprite and a 3000 Mark III, but it is the early car that remains - better balanced, better looking and a nicer drive? Over the years Simon and Wayne have mildly modified the car - one too many lost exhausts finally led to a side exit system (sounds great), bumpers were ditched, front auxiliary lamps fitted, 72 spoke wires replaced the original 48 spoke items, and finally Blockley tyres fitted. The car is used regularly - including Simon's traditional Christmas Day drive, inaugurated post-restoration in 1991.
The car is waxoyled annually, spanner checked and the vital fluids replaced each spring, ready for another year's faithful use.