Rust, Now in a Bucket

A bucket of rust, not to be confused with the next picture.

Plenty happening at the moment although as usual work is carried out serially not in parallel so it takes longer than it should or to put it more bluntly, I’m a bloke.  First off after the debacle of the Austin 7 Special that I purchased on Ebay sight unseen, I thought the best way to make amends was to buy another Austin 7 on Ebay but this time bidding only after an inspection.  It’s a 1929 Chummy and was a stalled project with the last work done about 15 years ago.

The restoration up to my ownership had involved mostly chassis work, body work with some rust removal and the two doors had been remade.  English Chummy’s have an aluminium body with a wood frame however most of those that came out to Australia came without the rear bodywork to give the locals something to do.  My car probably has a Holdens steel body which will be heavier but I can attempt to weld steel so more involving (cheaper) for me.

Patches tacked, more practice before final weld.

Here is a picture of the rear wheel well, it was only about 20% rust by area, the rest of the body is better so I thought I would do the worst bit first.  I have ruined a lot of perfectly good steel in the name of my welding education, Mr Youtube has also had a bashing but only to save even more steel, welding wire and gas.  By the time I finish this I should be pretty good at this welding thing so I suggest if you ever have the opportunity to see this car just look at the side I’m doing last …the right hand side.

After two and a half years and 12000 miles of Lambda ownership I have passed the initiation all Lambda owners must pass, that is replacing the head gasket which is something that I now accept will not be my last.  If you look at the accompanying photo of the block you will notice a few things:

  1. Cracks
  2. Corrosion
  3. Only six studs holding the head on.

The corrosion and cracks can be put down to an aluminium block that probably did not have anything but water in it for most of its 92 years of life. But the six studs are more a real estate issue where the inlet and exhaust tracts traverse the head with not enough space left for a decent number of studs so no supercharging this one.

The other car that received some attention is the Bebe Peugeot that now has a nice new  leather  cone clutch, this was a little bit harder than expected as it required some solid geometry or should I say it required me to Google someone else’s solid geometry.  The radii calculated were scribed onto a bit of 6mm chrome tanned leather cut and riveted with some lovely copper rivets found on …you guessed it Ebay.  The Bebe now drives well but the performance is a little underwhelming which I think has to do with the carburettor jetting, I would like to use my gas analyser but I fear the high oil consumption as oil drips out of the exhaust pipe may taint the sensor so will resort to trial and error and will only attempt test drives when the neighbours are out.



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6 Responses to Rust, Now in a Bucket

  1. David Conway says:

    I enjoyed reading this. I once had a totally original 1927 Chummy on loan from a cousin when my 1932
    Morris was being converted from saloon to open 2.seater (mock M
    G). I could not afford the £35..00 to buy it.
    That was before I got the double chevron infection.
    Best wishes

    • Mark says:

      I know what you mean, the Double Chevron infection tends to take over the whole body, I’ve tried to quarantine it to the left ventricle.



  2. Peter Ransom says:

    Underwhelming echoes my experience of driving a Bebe in the UK. But they have one of the best-looking radiators……

  3. Mark says:

    It seems to be the case, although I’m sure it could go a little better, currently the Sizaire makes​ mincemeat of it and it’s design is much older at a time when five years was a huge step.

    Cheers Mark

  4. Andrew Cox says:

    The top of the Lambda block looks healthy with only a few cracks in the alloy and lots of thickness in the steel liners to make any expensive dramas an unlikely possibility now the overheating gremlins have been banished. Now why an apparently sane experienced car restorer would want to play with two of. “Herbie’s Horrors” is a mystery!

    • Mark says:

      A near perfect car as a Lambda does not provide any scope for improvement whereas an Austin …..

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