This incredible example of a classic English icon came into the workshop in March 2020 and was stripped to the shell; suspension metalwork was shotblasted and powdercoated, the engine stripped, interior removed and the shell assessed.
Some rust was present in the usual places. but surprisingly little compared to it's contempraries; those issues were resolved, the engine fully rebuilt and car received a full respray.
The classic soft top, the one our fathers had, the evotic sound of the V8, the low lines, the roof down and all the memories that this car evokes, this beautiful machine is rapidly becoming one of the most popular classic cars to own.
This Stag is numbers matching, with the original engine and gearbox from when it left the factory, while the engine has been rebuilt, the block, heads and crank are all original.
When this car came to the workshop, it looked good, it drove well and the interior was better than expected for it's age, although it was showing signs it was shortly to turn 50.
Having taken the engine out, we stripped the underside of all running gear and suspension, giving access to properly assess the chassis. Thankfully it was in remarkable condition, thanks in no small part to the regular waxoiling it has received over the years.
With the old coatings off, a few fairly minor points of rust were found, cut out and repaired and the underside was re-coated to seal it and hopefully keep it safe for another 50 years.
With the old coatings off, a few fairly minor points of rust were found, cut out and repaired and the undrside was re-coated to seal it and hopefully keep it safe for another 50 years.
The engine was tested and with varying compression results it was decided that a full rebuild was requied. The heads, intakes and other elements were vapourblasted, returning them to a factory look, other bracketry was shot blasted and powder coated to make the finished engine as beautiful as the outside would be.
The engine block was checked and found to be in excellent condition; it was acid dipped to clean it inside and out and painted; the bores were re-honed the crank polished. The heads were skimmed, new guides put in, valve seats re-cut and then re-built with new valves, followers and seals. Of course, all new timing gear was installed, along with bearings, seals, gaskets and bolts.
A new set of Stronbergs were installed atop a beautifully vapour-blasted inlet manifold and to finish the look, the air box and cam shaft covers were chromed, a truly stunning engine.
The gearbox was assessed and found to also be in good condition, so all that was required was a clean up, service, new bearings and gaskets, all of which is married up to a powder coated (and re-balanced) propshaft.
The water pump impeller was removed, as was the thermostat and replaced with an intelligent cooling system, comprising of an electric water pump, electric fan, temperature sensors and a control unit. This system can circulate coolant at any speed and run the fans whenever the environment demands it, enabling far better cooling that ws originally possible.
An external oil cooler has been fitted, which mounts under the main coolant radiator; this has the dual effect of increasing the oil capacity, which in of itself helps to lower the temperature, but also provides specific cooling of the oil, which has a direct effect on the overall reduction in temperature.
An upgraded 4 core radiator replaced the original 3 core option, this increases the surface area and combined with the electric pump and fan, significantly helps in the reduction of heat.
Waterless coolant was added to complete the cooling upgrade; this liquid has a much higher boiling point (180 degrees), thus no steam is produced, which causes hot spots and pressurises the system. In addition, it will not corrode the water channels and causes less pitting within the system.
Once the underside was up to standard, the powder coated metal work was re-installed, alongside new shocks, springs, bushes and rubbers; the hubs were re-built with new bearings and installed, covered with new brakes front and rear.
The rear brakes were stripped and all parts replaced, including the piston, likewise on the front, all new calipers were fitted, to make sure this car stopped as well as it goes.
We were fortunate that the interior was fairly recently renewed; the carpets, door cards and seat covers were in excellent condition and only required cleaning and some minor repairs.
The dashboard wood trim however was faded and showing it's age, so it was replaced with a full walnut replacement; while the dash was in pieces, the gauges and dials were cleaned and checked, along with the electrical system, but very few issues were found.
The soft top wasn't in such a good state unfortunately, the roof itself was very worn and had to be replaced, the frame needed attention in numerous places, but with some TLC, it was re-installed and now works as it did when it left the factory.
Time had taken it's toll on the body, although again, not as bad as some of it's age; the old paint was stripped and surprisingly little filler was found and the rust that was seen to be coming through was surface and was treated easily. Some small areas needed to be replaced and some light dents were rectified, but over all, the body was very good.
The paint was kept the same colour, this car is numbers matching, so we didn't want to change anything. The body now looks stunning, with all brightwork and ancillaries back on, it looks incredible.
To finish off the look, the wheels were diamond cut and the centres repainted, making for a perfectly presented classic.
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