Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Restoration Day 1

Welcome to my first 356 Speedster Restoration blog post. I've just started this blog for my partner who has a 356 replica Speedster. This lovely classic motor car is in desperate need of some work after being neglected for several years.
I thought it would be a nice idea to record the restoration along the way. The picture above was taken a few years ago on our way down to St Tropez. We've had some amazing adventures in this lovely little motor car, I just can't wait to see it when it's back on the road.

My partners owned the car as his daily driver for 8 years but it was built in 1994 by Chesil. A few weeks ago he noticed a knocking noise coming from the rear passenger side on uneven roads and later found that the subframe had rusted and broken behind the drivers door pillar.

With a guestimate of a couple of hundred pounds to cut out and weld a repair he took it to a local vw restorer who soon found that it requires quite a bit more metal replacing and will need the body removed to tackle it. Being busy themselves with customer commitments they wouldnt be able to tackle the job for a few months at least and having no experience with the kits they couldnt give a quote on how much it would cost.

Well at first he was horrified, he had bought the car 'factory built' as neither having the time nor patience to build a kit himself. The task initially sounded daunting, but after seeing some helpful build sites :



And after a few telephone conversations with Tony at Pilgrim, he felt better knowing his task was going to be quicker and easier than building the car from a beetle starting point.

The fibreglass body needs to be removed so that the subframe can be repaired or replaced. The VW chassis is in good condition so just needs a rub down and rust prevention/repaint.
Pilgrim offer a galvensized subframe which seems to be the best option. Chesil are nolonger in business and Tygan nolonger offer the car as a kit.
However, he’s still to confirm if the Chesil body mould will sit onto a Pilgrim subframe without much modification. A trip to see a Pilgrim speedster with a tape measure and camera seems the best that can be done prior to trying it.
After a day of tidying up and making space in our garage, he was ready to get the car home from the restorers.

Day 1 (16th June 2008)

Brought car home and started to strip the interior, can now get a better look at the extent of the damage and can see how and where the body is pop riveted/bonded and bolted to the subframe. Ripping the carpets from their glued backing wasnt too painful as he intended to replace the interior for a more authentic replication at some point in the future anyway.

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