This car was purchased in February, 1998 from an advert on the VTR Ad pages. The listing read something like: “1961 TR3A Project Car – has been sitting in garage for 10 years – dismantled. Partially rebuilt engine and overdrive transmission”. The project then sat until September 2001, when my wife said “finish it or get rid of it.”
Well, to finish it, I first had to completely dismantle it. All of the ‘little bits’ were removed, then the interior, accessories, electrics, etc. The engine and drive train were removed and the body came off the frame. My wife’s comment at that time was “you made a bigger mess and now have both sides of the garage cluttered up”.
Body work was eventually completed and after much discussion and research, it was sent out to be powder coated as the undercoat. I selected a color that closely resembled the standard (if there is such a thing) British Racing Green with the intent that those areas that would not be painted would match. While that was taking place, I completed the building of a 24×36′ metal garage in the back yard. Moved everything to its new home making my wife ecstatic about being able to park her car where it belonged.
I also completed the dismantling of the chassis and took it to the powder coater when I brought the body home. It took about 3 months to do the final prep for painting and in February, 2010 it went to the paint shop for the first coats. The chassis, in the meantime, was reassembled; the engine and transmission completed and they were reassembled. When the newly painted body came home in August, the two became a car again just under 9 years after they were separated.
The car was again sanded down and prepped for the final paint process. In December, I began to put back together all of the “little bits” – pedals and linkage, the electrics, some of accessories, etc. I am still working on that… several delays because some of the electical components didn’t work when they were re-installed. Rebuilt the wiper motor, replaced several switches, redesigned/upgraded the wiring harness, etc.
I am now almost ready to tackle the interior, windshield, and soft top/tonneau. The hardtop will sit in the corner until the car is on the road. I am hopeful to make the first drive before the end of August, 2011 but I am not rushing it. If I make it before the 10th year anniversary of the beginning of the project (Sept 27) that would be great.