Thursday, 16 May 2013


"I will arise".......

For a while now, in fact since this blog started, my Alvis TA14 drophead coupe has sat, figuratively, in the 'About me' byline, and actually, in my Mum and Dad's garage in Bournemouth.

I bought the Alvis on ebay in April 2006.

It was immediately christened 'Car'.

(Well, you are dealing with a couple who named their cat 'Thomas'.....).

It's purchase was the end of a long story and, very probably, the beginning of an even longer one.

I'd wanted a TA14 dhc since I saw the story of the restoration of one in 'Practical Classics' magazine in the mid eighties, but I will spare you the long story of the search.

(Perhaps another day...... When it's winter...... Just think how those long evenings will simply fly by...... :-)

Despite looking like it had just been pulled out of a barn (not surprising really, when you consider that it had.....), Car had passed an MOT. When I acquired it, there were about three months of this still left.

I actually drove it from the previous owner's place in Cheltenham to Bournemouth. (Remember that when you see the pictures later.....).

And I got it through another MOT too! So Jackie and I got to enjoy some runs in it.

I got very good at roadside repairs. My best time from breakdown to motion was just under 20 minutes: not bad for stripping the carb, de-silting it, stripping the fuel pump for the same job, reassembling and blowing through the fuel line (with naught but an actor's lung-power) to dislodge rust particle blockages......

Oh, the fun we had!

(Well, I thought it was, anyway........)

Around the time we got married, I had to move Car from the garage I had been renting into Mum and Dad's. This meant 'farewell' to my dear old 1962 Wolseley 1500, which was sold via ebay to a nice chap from Hampton Court.

After we had settled down to life on Pippin and I'd found work locally, there wasn't much time to spare to make the trip from Cambridge to the South Coast to continue the restoration.

Thus, the project stalled.

This year, however, three factors conspired to get things moving again.

Firstly, I inherited some money from my godmother's estate: money in place, i.e. the 'how'.......

Secondly, Dad had been politely enquiring for some time if there was any likelihood of him getting his garage back anytime in 2013:.........motivation in place, i.e. the 'why'.......

Thirdly, I was introduced to a restoration outfit in Wisbech who have done truly excellent work on cars belonging to other Alvis Owner Club members:  Skilled labour in place, i.e. the 'wherewithal'.......

Car was picked up from Bournemouth and loaded onto the back of a breakdown truck on 4th May.
This is how it looked when it arrived at The Body Shop in Wisbech.

Since then, it has been stripped right down and assessed, the deposit has been paid and work is going to start in earnest at the end of next week.

And, er, his is how it looks now.........



  1. Oooo - mechanical porn

    Fantastic, absolutely love it - keep us posted


    1. Oh, don't you worry, Chris.

      There's more.

      Lots more......


  2. I once restored a BSA motorcycle. I found that when I had the time I didn't have the money, when I had the money I didn't have the time and when I had the time and money I couldn't get hold of the parts I needed. Happy days.

    1. Graham, I now that frustrating 'Catch-22' only too well!

      There's bound to be plenty of scope for all sorts of snafus in this fairly epic restoration, but, for the moment at least, the time and money are available and so are the parts that I have been quietly gathered over the last six years or so.

      Sleeves rolled up, spanners out, and into the valley we charge!

  3. When you are finished there is a Triumph TR7 in Norfolk with rust patches coming through you could help with! was only restored 11 years ago, bloody Triumphs, seriously, looks an interesting challenge, hope you asked the restorers to keep a photo log. Good luck with it.

    1. Hi Andy,

      Didn't they tell you that 'TR' stands for 'Triumphs Rust'?


      Eleven years doesn't sound too bad, though, when you consider that most cars are looking decidedly dog-eared at that age.

      The TR7 was a much under-rated motor, in my view. It would be worth giving it another restoration.

      At least, for you, woodworm is not an issue.........

      The boys at The Body Shop in Wisbech will be taking lots of photos and I shall be up there at least once a week to take more.

      I shall also be writing large cheques and getting in plenty of whimpering practice.........