Thursday, 31 December 2009

Gotta start sometime............

Well, it was time to start! I was hoping to have spent some of my holiday taking Libby apart, but I came down with the lurgy and just didn't feel up to it.

So, this afternoon we started to strip some bits of. Got my roll of freezer bags and marker pens........... even a fresh notebook to make sure I remember where everything goes!..... how organised!

Assisting by the ever keen Bradley, I started taking off the side chrome trims whilst he got on with front grill and lights.............

I ended up finishing my bit, so I started on the front too.

Front end stripped...... except for the bumper. Seized bolts, leaving them soaking in penetrating fluid overnight.

Its amazing the collection of bits you get from such a short burst of work! Anyway, front end stripped, all exterior chrome trim off, top grill, wipers, wiper spindles, side repeater lights, wiper motor and washer bottle all now off and stored away.

Next job...... push the car out and do the bumpers, glass and interior.

In the back of the picture of Bradley is an Rental Truck............. on Sunday heading to London to collect a stag engine and gearbox, then off to Reading to drop the engine at Andy's to be's all happening I tell you!!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

So, is it any good?

So, time to see what I have bought, plus a few details on some of the interesting bits.

First off, the engine build plate, special tuning engine....... same as Andy Roberts Stag Saloon, which is kind of handy as he is building the engine to the same spec!

Engine bay. Note the engine mounts, the stag brake master cylinder, dual circuit brake lines and the PDWA switch (and corresponding light on the dash shown later), air horns and altered wiring loom.

Check out the flare on those rear arches!!! Standard Stag alloys look lost, hence the 15x7 Minilights on the way!

Underneath is perfect, it looks like this all over.............
Any 2000 buff will tell you, you don't see inner arches like this very often!
This is the tricky bit. Nasty dent on the front wheel arch............. might pull out, failing that it might need a back arch.
Note the uncut doorcards for the window winders............ this has electric windows!....... even the wood is pretty good!
Recaro seats.......... need some minor trim work on the faces, but the foams are perfect.
Original 8 track!! How cool is that?!!?

Perfect rear seats..........

Under the rear seat......... usually rusty on estates!

Battery tray, Stag item....... rusty, but only surface scabs.

Black headlining........... pretty good, couple of nicks, might replace it whilst the glass is out. Note the sunroof, no leaks at all!
More detail on those rear arches....... must be a good 4 inches between the tyre and the arch!
Stag front indicator repeaters

Original number plates with Ian Lines Motorsports on

You can just make out the outline of the "V8" and "3 litre" badges on the back.
and here is the proof, that it is DEL33. The build sheet from Ian Lines.
All in all, I'm as chuffed as a chuffed thing!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

DEL33 comes home

In June 1992 I bought my first decent Triumph. It was a Tahiti Blue 2500S and I loved it! In the boot the previous owner left me some back issues of "Six Appeal", the 2000/2500/2.5 Register Club Magazine and I read them from cover to cover in one night! In those magazines I saw a reprint of an article that appeared in the November 1972 issue of "Motor" and it was all about DEL33, a Lines Stag Estate.

From that moment on, to me, one of these cars was the holy grail, and I vowed one day I would have one. Even if I had to build a replica............ after all, there was no chance of finding a real one was there?

From the same set of magazines I learnt about the Register, and I joined at the National in Woolacombe a few weeks later......... the rest, as they say, is history!

Below are some pictures of DEL33, the car that to me, was the ultimate 2000 derivative.

So, fast forward to earlier this year and I decided that 17 years was long enough to wait. Having been in and around the only 2 other surviving Lines cars ("Janey", Andy Roberts Stag Saloon and TNH10, Andy's old Stag Estate) and knew that I still wanted one. The first stage was to part with my beloved Yellow estate. 2 estates just didn't seem right, space and money would be needed!

With the yellow beast with its new owner, the hunt was on for a decent MKII Estate bodyshell to start converting it to Lines Spec. That was until a camping weekend with Andy Roberts, who persuaded me that it would be far better to restore an original Lines car than build a replica.

Great idea, but where do you find such a beast??

Couple of months later, I got an email from Andy. He had tracked down Mike Collins, the current owner of DEL33.................... and would I like to go and collect it???

I had to sit down.

The actual car I had drooled over 17 years ago was for sale!?!? All I had to do was ring Mike and strike a deal............. I didn't take long to think about that one I can tell you!

So, after several chats on the phone with Mike, we settled on a deal and the car was mine. There were some issues. Mike had the car shipped to Spain, to Del Lines himself for him to restore it. He removed the engine, gearbox, exhaust and wheels, then did a runner............ so the car was now incomplete. That doesn't bother me at all........ easy to find items! It was also no longer DEL33 and now on LYB864K........ but has all the paperwork to verify it is the right car.........bring it on!!

Oh, did I mention that Mike and Libby (as she is now called) lived in Roggliswil, in Switzerland?

So, 11am Thursday morning finds me and my intrepid co-pilot Bradley sitting on the docks at Dover in the trusty Audi and a hired car trailer....... the game is on!

As soon as we got off the ferry, it started snowing. Bad sign we thought........... first accident after only 10 miles, fortunately the driver of this HGV was fine........ ouch!

We are such children............ for some reason we found this haulage companies name hilarious!

Like I said........... children!

So, after getting lost and stuck in traffic for what seemed like hours we arrived at our Thursday night halt, a Kyriad Hotel in Reims.......... and still snowing. Lovely steak dinner, followed by a snowball fight in the carpark.

We decided to build a snowman, like you do, and built it in the middle of the trailer...... I wonder how long he will last in the morning?

Next morning it had stopped snowing but the nights fall had deposited a couple of inches that was now frozen........made for an interesting trip out of the carpark.......... but once onto the French Peage toll roads they were wonderfully clear.

For those of you who know me best, and think that my cars are always immaculate, just check out how dirty this is! Mind you, I was crying inside and Bradley had to forcibly restrain me from washing it several times.

768 miles later we arrived at Mike house, he was still at work but would be home soon............. I got my first glance of Libby. Covered in snow and looking very sorry for herself....... but, very very solid.
That night Mike and his wife Martha took us into the town and to their local pub run by another British Ex-Pat. A Micro-brewery called Hasli-Bier....... and very good Beer it was too. Glasses were a touch on the large side for me though...............
The next morning we woke up with slightly sore heads, more snow and this wonderful view from the balcony. I can certainly see why Mike and Martha like it here.
We pushed the Triumph onto the road and loaded her up onto the trailer. Easy with a winch!
4 new Ratchet straps, one for each wheel and the winch still attached, just in case. By the time we had done this we were freezing cold......... it was Minus 8 Deg C! So, inside for a warming coffee, sort out the paperwork and then bid them a farewell. We have agreed to come back in Libby when she is finished.
Heading home it got progressively colder and colder until it peaked at -14.5 degrees!!!

Due to the snow, the channel tunnel chaos, the ferry chaos and the general disaster that seemed to have struck everywhere, we decided to forgo the Reims stop over and head straight for Calais and see if we could get an earlier ferry back. No problems and by 2am on Sunday morning we were heading back for blighty. Note that the snow on the bonnet is still Swiss snow!

9am Sunday found us napping at South Mimms Services, quick stop at Oxford for lunch..........

Back home by 1pm. I had rung some friends to help get the car up the drive. My drive is too steep to back the trailer up, so it had to be pushed up. Many thanks to Dave Marshall, Colin Marshall, Steve Bosworth, Craig Bennet and of course Bradley for putting up with my awful music for over 1600 miles!

But, it was all worth it...... Libby is home and in the garage........ pass me a spanner!

How happy am I?...............

Strip down, then off to the bodyshop for some minor fettling and then painting. Then to the trim shop for a new vinyl roof. Hopefully, the engine shouldn't be far behind that.......... more later!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Clearing some space..................

I just noticed how long it was since I last updated my blog!!! Sorry about that, been busy...........!

So, first off........ its official. I have the BEST wife in the world!! She took me Christmas shopping a few weeks ago and bought me my present!!

How about this then? Top wife!! Nice big tool cabinet. Spent a very pleasant few hours polishing all my spanners and finding places for things!

So, to making space. Some of you will know why and what I am making space for!! Those of you who don't yet know....... watch this space and all will be revealed in about 2 weeks!

"Eric", the Scottish PI has gone to a new home. It needed an MOT first. Nothing major, headlight aim, handbrake and front flexihoses........... simple really! Bradley (featured on here quite a bit!) took an immediate liking to Eric and pestered me ever since then to sell him Eric........... so I did!

The more observant of you will have noticed that Eric is the car I am entered into the 2010 RBRR in, but being as Bradley is my co-pilot it really doesn't matter who owns the car (this was Bradley's argument for buying it when I protested it was by Round Britain Car!!) Anyway, we are hoping to change our RBRR entry to a different car..... again, more in about 2 weeks!!

So, MOT and sold. Bradley was overjoyed at having another 2500, he took it home and polished it! (I think he may have been hanging around me too often).... anyway, I have to say, being as I never even washed it, never mind polished it, in the time I owned it.... it came up really well!

So, bit more space needed........ time for Sam's Moggy to go...........................

Yeah, right!!! Sam would get rid of me before she got rid of her Moggy. She has owned "Madison" since she was 18, so its safe to say its not going anywhere!

It did go to Lichfield today, to spend the winter at my Mum's house. My Mum has a big double garage and we usually keep the Moggy in her garage for the winter, as we usually have more cars than garages! So, little trip this morning. I took it for an MOT on Wednesday, and was horrified to find it had done 107 miles since its last MOT............ 70 of those were the trip to and from my Mum's last year!!

Still needed a bit more room......... caravan to go now!! Back to my Mum's!!! She has a proper caravan "pad" down the side of her house, tucked away nice and safe so our caravan usually spends the winter there too!!
First time I had towed with the new Audi and I was very surprised how good it was. Nice and stable, plenty of power and very relaxing............. fantastic!!

So, that's it for now............ more updates just before Christmas when I will introduce the latest project......!