The Spanner Report

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MODERN TALK Laying Tools On The Cars Of The Future. If You’re Still Living In 1990...

LAND ROVER Our Series Three Projects Reveals More Of Its Secrets - Mostly Rust And Trouble...


Ultra Rare Mini Takes One Step Closer To Being Back On The Road

NEW PROJECT Just Because The Shed Isn’t Full Enough Already - Bringing Home The Next Hopeful

S p a n n e r

R e p o r t

REPORTING... DOWNTON GT We’re finally getting the Downton GT back into shape



STORY SO FAR We’ve been hiding away in the shed for a good while - a quick catch up on what’s been through our hands

LAND ROVER Our SWB old truck is slowly moving from rusty wreck to functioning vehicle. We did say slowly



ELF SERVICE There’s always room for another project. Even if there isn’t...


Welcome to the first Spanner Report. Spanner Addicts has been around for a while - there’s the blog at www., we’re active across social media and there’s our YouTube channel where you can watch us breaking stuff in real time. We’re old school print mag journailsts at heart, and it wouldn’t have felt right if Spanner didn’t have its own mag. So here it is. If you like what you see (and please do let us know), we’ll bring you more details of each stage, job and process in future issues. And who doesn’t want to read a blow-by-blow report on how to weld air while piecing back together a Land Rover bulkhead...?

THE SPANNER REPORT Editor: Gerard Hughes Marketing: Holly Daffurn The Spanner Report is produced by T5 Publications. Contents may not be reproduced, stored or distributed in any form without prior written permission. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure all information contained in this magazine is accurate but the publishers can accept no responsibiilty for effects arising therefrom. All rights reserved. We receive compensation for some products featured. We only work with companies whose ethos reflects the intention of this publication. All of the written content is copyright Spanner Addicts (unless stated otherwise) and full rights to this material belongs to Spanner Addicts (or any other named authors).

© T5 Publications 2018

DOWNTON GT Inspired by Broadspeed, rebuilt by idiots...

By most standards, it’s probably the most exotic vehicle currently residing in the gang hut. But it’s also the one that struggles to get any attention for any sustained period of time. The Downton GT seems to have followed me through my magazine career, and then into my personal life. It’s like an old friend I barely know, but I know it inside out. Confused? Welcome to my world… Back in the 90s, I found myself in the editor’s chair of Mini Magazine. It was a good time. Loved the scene and the people, got to pretend to be important on a few press trips and drove some very lovely cars. A favourite was the Downton ClubSport, produced by the reinvigorated Downton over in Norfolk. I thought the car was beautifully detailed, thoughtfully built and drove incredibly well. When the same team announced they were to build a Broadspeed GT inspired car, we got a little excited. The car took some time to appear. The development time stretched but we finally test drove the car for the magazine. It was impressive. But the starting price of

£16k reassured us that our paths were unlikely to cross again. When my oldest friend started to look around for a quick Mini to put in his garage, he gave me a call. He tried another bespoke builder, but was disappointed with what they had to offer. A couple of months later he called - he’d remembered me raving about the Downton ClubSport, had given the company a ring and had bought something special - the Downton GT. To this day, I’m not absolutely sure how many were built. We know that a few rear bodies were pulled out of the mould that Downton had made, but from conversations I had at the time with the company, I’m pretty confident that this was the only complete car they ever made. My friend used the car for a while and then put it into storage. Bad storage as it turned out. It was finally transported to us, and after a few false starts, we started to restore it. I feel like I know the car well, but I think I’ve only driven it once. I have stripped it back to a bare shell

TECH SPEC Downton GT Engine 1298cc four cylinder, in-line. Built by Slark Racing Engines. Twin 1.5-inch SU carburettors, LCB, Maniflow exhaust system, 123 ignition. Transmission Four-speed manual gearbox Brakes Front: 7.5-inch solid discs with four pot alloy callipers. Rear: Standard drums Uprated to twin circuit master cylinder. No Servo. Suspension Rubber cone with Hi-Los. Fully adjustable with anti-roll bars front and rear. Wheels & Tyres Yet to be confirmed Body Two-door fastback

The GT will enjoy a choice of wheels and tyres, including these Cooper reverse steels with Falken FK-07 165/70R10 tyres


October 2018 The Spanner Report

and once another good mate, Gav, had laid on the new paint, started to rebuild it. I know pretty much every nut and bolt on it. With the rebuild, the plan has been to address the parts of the GT that the owner felt had never worked. We both agreed that the original duotone paint job was one of these. The silver over blue paintwork broke the wonderful flowing lines of the car, so when the paintwork was stripped back to address a few tiny rusty areas, we both felt that it was a good excuse for a compete colour change. The Smoke Grey is timeless and classy. And it suits the car well. Originally fitted with Minilites, these were stripped and beautifully painted. We fitted new tyres and only then found that the alloy had gone porous. Not holding air is one thing, but if the alloy is that compromised, you have to wonder about structural integrity. They’ve been turned into wall ornaments, and the Downton now has several sets of wheels from


which to choose. What it will wear when it finally makes it debut, we shall have to wait and see. Work is currently focusing on the wiring loom and electrics. A correct MkIII S loom has been fitted and this is having to be modified (properly) to accommodate the pre-enaged starter, custom dashboard, a dash mounted push button start, the unique fuel tank and even small touches like the reversing lights. Wiring is the work of shamen and magicians as far as I’m concerned, so there has been a lot of pain inducing thought given over to wiring diagrams and tracing wires. It feels like it’s almost there, and as soon as it’s neatly tucked away, the final assembly shouldn’t take too much time. The engine is a Slark built unit but we’ve decided to run with twin 1.5 inch SUs and a 123 distributor. It was quick before, but now, we’re hoping for very quick. The interior trim is yet to be finalised. The original black vinyl was period correct but a little gloomy. It will have to be something special for this unique Mini. We’ve only just released the first video on the Downton, but we have recorded the whole resto process, so there’s a load more to come. We’ll also be capturing the final stages of the build on film, so subscribe to the Youtube channel if you want to keep up with our progress.


WP3EU Gas Soldering Iron Kit They say: “This easy to use butane gas operated soldering iron, complete with automatic piezo electronic ignition system, is supplied with accessories in a sturdy storage box. Operated by butane gas this iron requires no batteries or power cord and can be refilled in seconds using a Weller gas refill canister (not included). This versatile tool can be used in three modes: Soldering up to 450 degrees C, Hot Air (heat shrink applications) up to 450 degrees C and Open flame up to 1300 degrees C. Operating time with a full gas tank is around 30 minutes.”

2 0 1 4 The new wiring loom has been fitted to the GT, and Weller’s WP3EU gas soldering iron has been perfect for carrying out in-car modifcations

Spanner says: It heats up very fast, there’s no cord to get in the way which makes it very easy to get into those awkward under bonnet and under fascia spaces, and it’s very light and easy to use. It was a relevation after cheap corded irons. The clear fuel level window makes it easy to see how much gas is left in the torch, meaning you’re not going to run out halfway through a job. Plenty of accessories, and feels like a tool that’s going to last. The Spanner Report October 2018



The Hunter was technically a Chrysler Rootes was bought by Chrysler Europe - so we thought the R/T badges were appropriate. They weren’t really


October 2018 The Spanner Report

Our Saab 900 was another hard worked and unloved old motor that was given a new lease of life with a mop and the Instant Valet

STORY SO FAR How long have we got left? Even in the heart of Boondock County, you can’t escape the feeling that legislation of every colour is lurking just around the corner. Whether it concerns speed, pollution, green issues, fuel supply, even Health & Safety, there is a banner under which the car haters gather and they want to stop us. Us law abiding, tax paying voters appear to be public enemy number one, purely because we like old metal. Preferable with a functioning motor strapped onto it somewhere. On the other side, I sometimes feel that I don’t quite fit in with the enthusiast crowd either. It’s not a problem for me, but it does appear to be for some people, as I resolutely refuse to be a car snob. I’ve spent a lot of around Minis, old Fords, and in fact,

classics of every badge and persuasion. But I’ve never thought that any of my cars are better than the next fellow who is afflicted by the same old car habit, just because mine might be either older or newer, have more or less badges or horsepower, or that mine was built in Longbridge, Munich or Dieppe rather than Linwood, Wolfsburg or Paris. And I’m far more likely to be excited by a crumbling Farina than a Ferrari. Simply put, the Spanner approach is every car has potential. You can make them look better, go better, sound better, smell better… The cars that follow us home like lost strays tend to be the unloved and the un-championed. People joke about pulling cars out of hedges and giving them

The K11 Micra was in a dreadful state when it arrived, so we left the roof untouched to remind us just how bad. A bacteriologist would have had a field day up there

The Spanner Report October 2018


THE STORY SO a rub over with an oily rag. We really do it. Our Micra was bought for £30 Dave spotted it on a front drive of a house near to home, knocked on the door and offered to take it away. It had been abandoned because of gearbox issues and had been consumed by the surrounding vegetation. The MX-5 was bought after a late night eBay and Stella session, the latter adding fuel to the ‘just one more bid’ fire. We won, then realised we had to go and pick it up. The vendor counted the cash so fast I didn’t even see it disappear into his pocket, and then he left us to the process of loading it. Luckily we went in a mate’s recovery truck as the winch was handy to pull it out of the ditch under the hedge that hid the front end of the car. No-one was more surprised than me when we found we’d actually bought a complete car. The Hunter had been orange when it left the factory, but its faded paint was covered in dirt and algae when we ‘found’ it. Technically, it wasn’t in a hedge


October 2018 The Spanner Report

- but it was very close to one but it had a lot of organic matter growing on it. There has been a surprising amount of cleaning since we started doing the Spanner cars. I’m really not the sort of person to break out the Autoglym at every opportunity. Washing and polishing cars is something you do when a car is dirty. As in, you can’t see out anymore. But a deep clean has become part of the Spanner approach and has instantly transformed the cars from hopeless cases to serious contenders, if for no other

reason than it’s allowed us to see the full extent of the rot and failing paint. We don’t claim to be experts on this. It’s stuff we’ve picked up along the way, and don’t doubt that any professional body workers and valeters who tune into our Youtube channel will have kittens when they see us repairing, painting and polishing. But we get results that make us happy. And the cars look great under the lights in the reveal shoots… We try to tackle the jobs that the typical owner will encounter if they choose to own that

The Hunter was bought because we wanted to build a typical 70s rear drive car, but were too poor to afford anything wearing a Blue Oval. It was very Starsky & Hutch...

O FAR particular make or model. The MX5 has had paint correction in our usual bodge it and scarper style, but it’s still holding up well - a repair to the notoriously fragile thermostat housing, the hood has been cleaned and reproofed, the brakes have been replaced and the cambelt and all associated paraphernalia have been changed. Most of it has made it onto the channel. There’s still more to come. But it’s all been done with a regular tool kit and a down to earth approach. If we don’t know, we ask. And if our mate Marc doesn’t know, we google it. It’s worked a treat so far. And that’s the Spanner Addicts plan. For as long as we’re allowed to own and drive cars on the road, we’ll continue to find, restore and return to the road the most hopeless cases we can find. Some will be ‘classics’. Some will be cars that are cheap, cheerful and common. Some will make you wonder whether our medication has been changed. But we’ll have a laugh doing it. Stay tuned.

We love the NSU so much we ignored it for years and it became buried under a pile of debris in the corner of the unit. When we discovered it again, we made it shiny and functional. It makes us laugh a lot.

CATCH UP ON YOUTUBE We’ve been making videos of our car bodging expolits since day one, so there’s a lot of footage there. You can see a lot of it already on our YouTube channel, and we continue to add new material all the time. Subdcribe to the channel and don’t miss a thing.

The Spanner Report October 2018


LAND ROVER An exciting voyage into oil leaks and rust...

What a handsome beast - the day the truck came to stay. Still with roof, many lights and awful chequer plate bonnet

There must have been something very special about the steel that British Leyland used to make their nuts, bolts and fixings out of. Anybody who works on old cars is familiar with the routine of spanner, penetrating fluid, spanner, socket set, T-bar, breaker bar, heat, hammer and chisel. But most fixings, particularly on cars from the 80s onwards, tend to give in after the WD40 stage. You rarely have to resort to caveman brutality to remove anything. The Land Rover has proved to be an unpleasant stumble down memory lane on this front. Factory or not, every nut and bolt has been so completely corroded that if they haven’t snapped clean off at the first sign of pressure, they’ve needed to be ground away or cut clean off with an angle grinder. With that said, it hasn’t been all bad news. Soon after the truck arrived at the unit, we discovered that the chassis was a replacement galvanised job. No

rotten outriggers or dissolving rear crossmember to deal with then, but as we’d like it to still be looking good (and ringing like a bell…) in a few years, we will be painting and wax injecting it as part of the rebuild. The engine is the later five-bearing unit - stronger and longer lived apparently than the earlier threebearing. It’s still a proper old school death rattle diesel, but it suits the Land Rover. And if you really want to go fast, you shouldn’t do it in an old bus with off road tyres and cart springs. The early stages of the project basically consisted of scraping off years of muck and nature, then peeling off layers of previous owners’ modifications and bodges. Standing back to review the situation of this point, we were reassured by our lovely sound chassis, the healthy engine and box, but there really wasn’t a lot else that wasn‘t going to require work. Working from the outside in, most of the body panels are salvageable. The fixed roof and rear door have been removed and won’t be going back on. It’ll be replaced with a full tilt when we’re feeling wealthy again, but until then, it’s going to be strictly al fresco. Some thrifty manoeuvring online has netted a tailgate, a couple of doors and several seatboxes - these all seem to be rotten or damaged in some way, but a bit of make do and mend should see us end up with one decent one, even if it is made out of several… The bulkhead didn’t look too bad at first glance, well, if you ignored the multi layer footwells for a moment. But a few well aimed hammer blows - aimed at TECH SPEC 1980 Land Rover SWB Engine 2.25-litre (2,286 cc) four cylinder, in-line NA diesel. Bore/stroke: 90.47mm × 88.9mm Power: 62 bhp @ 4000rpm Torque: 103 lbf.ft @ 1800rpm Transmission Four-speed manual gearbox with two-speed manual transfer gearbox. Selectable fourwheel drive Wheels & Tyres 16 inch steel wheels with 7.50x16 AT tyres Body Two-door open pickup style

A lot more of the Land Rover has disappeared in the course of the resto than we would have liked. Solid, painted parts are slowly reappearing...


October 2018 The Spanner Report

the aforementioned rusty bolts if you’re interested - saw the A-posts disappear in a puff of ferrous oxide. It has been pieced back together with new A-posts, footwells and several miles of welding wire. It doesn’t look too bad at all. The tyres are shot and will have to replaced. This has already caused a bit of head scratching, not least because of the price of these 7.50x16 monsters, but also because most of the modern offerings just don’t look the part for an old Land Rover. Under the skin, we haven’t really started as yet. In the best Spanner way, we’ve gone at this project in the exact opposite way to that in which the experts will tell you. Cosmetics and body are well under way, while we are still to really touch the greasy stuff. Isn’t it much nicer to work under a clean, freshly painted vehicle as opposed to a filthy, rusty one…? The to-do list grows daily, but we do know that it will need rear springs, some ball joints in the very convoluted steering system, all new brakes and hydraulics, all new clutch hydraulics,


and an exhaust and a battery. The wiring is scary in that special way that only 40-year-old Lucas electrics can be. A clump of (mostly blue) wiring is currently hanging out of the (broken) instrument cluster housing. It’s a mess of crimp on connectors, Scotchloks, twisted wires and tape of some description. I take comfort from the fact that the truck started and ran before we took it to bits, so if I were to stuff it all back into the instrument cluster, it may just run again. But a better approach may well be to sort through, remove the later additions and make it look something like factory. Then we can start from scratch and fix the problems, rather than wiring around them with some heavy household cable, which is what I suspect has been done. We’ll keep a fire extinguisher to hand anyway. As I write, the chassis is halfway through being painted and we’re praying twice daily for a lottery win so we can start buying the big ticket items like the tyres and the springs. If the Lottery fairy is actually listening, can we please have enough for a new tilt and frame as well…? If you check out the videos and the blog, you’ll see we’ve been experimenting with the final top coats for the bodywork, and overall, it does feel like we‘re starting to move in the right direction as opposed to having a decomposing heap hidden in the corner. There’s a way to go, but it wouldn’t be Spanner if there weren’t plenty more issues to work our way through before the Land Rover rolls out of the workshop.


260W Power Belt File 13mm They say: “The Silverstorm 13mm electric belt sander from Silverline is ideal for descaling, sanding and polishing of welds, and sanding tasks in difficult corners and hard-to-reach places. Its 130mm long file arm has a maximum belt speed of 550m/min and is adjustable to the required working angle. At the base of the file arm sits a tensioning / release screw which tightens or loosens the belt to improve performance, as well as making removal and replacement easy. Compatible with 13 x 457mm belts.”

2 0 1 4 Silverline power file did sterling service of clearing away layers of paint, filler, rust and flaking metal. Not a lot left when we’d finished...

Spanner says: A power file has long been a core part of our tool kit, and is incredibly useful when carrying out rust repairs, but is also brilliant for grinding off rusted out fixings in places where no other tool can reach - particularly true of the Silverline thanks to its slim design with in-line motor. The Silverline has enough grunt for most jobs, and we particulalry like the quick belt change and the all metal nose bearing - a rubber covered one on another file we owned quickly wore out when continually grinding metal. We don’t give grinders an easy life, but this feels ready for many more years of use and abuse. The Spanner Report October 2018




The 2003 Ford Ka joined the fleet because we had fond memories of them when new, and they are now so cheap. They are also rust prone and have plenty of fun little quirks...

October 2018 The Spanner Report

We searched for a rust free example. They don’t exist. Holly tackles some of the more obvious rust spots.

ERN PRACTICE So where does classic end and youngtimer begin? The truth is, we just love messing about with old cars. It’s just that they’re not as old as they used to be… You get used to being branded in this game. You’re an enthusiast, a collector, a Mini/Ford/Nissan fan (delete/add where appropriate). The truth is, if it has an internal combustion engine, I’m interested. I don’t really care how fast, how slow, how refined, how rough and ready. If it involves burning fossil fuels in the name of forward motion, I will happily spend time with it. Maybe drive it. And almost definitely take bits off it in the name of ‘fixing‘. I’ve been like that since I can remember, and I have always possessed a tool kit of some shape and form. I started off borrowing stuff from my dad’s tool box - and conveniently forgot to return it. And as a teenager, I picked up tools from wherever and whenever just as readily as I picked up records and shocking haircuts. And it’s never stopped.

The kit now covers everything from the specialist to the goodness knows, as in “Goodness knows what that thing is or where it came from, but it’s perfect for drifting in wheel bearing races…” Some you buy, some you’re given, some you find in the boot of yet another old wreck. The one thing you never forget is never let one pass through your hands. You never know when it might come in useful… I’m a part of that generation that grew up with cars that had points ignition and carburettors. The only vaguely electronic component I ever came across in a fuel system in my youth would have been an SU fuel pump, and the only specialist tool they required was a hammer. When they became reluctant, an increasingly sharp tap would either fix it or ultimately, remove it. Replace and start the process over.

We wanted the full Ka experience and to tackle all weakspots in due course. In reality, we had to tackle them because it kept breaking down.

The Spanner Report October 2018


MODERN PRAC Fuel injection did exist. Who could forget the Triumph PI with its shocking reputation for reliability? Owners ultimately abandoned it and converted their cars to SUs or Strombergs. No one understood in an age where things were measured in thousandths of a inch, a system that needed tolerances worked out with a micrometer. So it’s no wonder that when they arrived, new fangled motors lacking distributors and bearing EFi badges were viewed with suspicion. Computers in cars were mildly amusing when they told you how much MPG you were achieving in a prototype Stephen Hawking voice. They were not so funny when they silently started being vital to everything working. Alright, they worked exceptionally well, but they were sealed in smooth alloy boxes and wiring looms ballooned in size to cope with these inbuilt super brains. It was the end of the driveway mechanic, the enthusiastic tinkerer.


October 2018 The Spanner Report

I suppose I believed that for quite a long time. My daily drivers got ever more complex, but my classics stayed firmly in the knife and fork era. I mean, where would you start if you didn’t have the correct computer to plug in? I remember being around a lot of modified Fords in the 90s (I worked on a well known Ford tuning magazine). I talked to owners and tuners. I saw the cars on rolling roads and at shows. I learnt the language of chips, maps, MAFs, ECUs, sensors of every type and persuasion, injectors of every type and colour, (“Eight greens, yeah,”). I knew the theory. I knew where the stuff was in an average engine bay. I just never felt the need to work on it. If that Ford Ka we’ve just borrowed from the Ford press fleet has a problem, it’s only going to one place and that’s not going to be my lockup. Skip on a couple of decades. Old bangers now come with everything we could only dream of back in the days when a Popular

The approach doesn’t change, just the tools. And no matter how compex the engineering, you can now buy the tools to tackle any job. Problems can be a lot easier to diagnose when the car actaully ‘tells’ you what’s wrong. But don’t believe everything your read...

CTICE Classic was a Morris Minor or a Singer Gazelle. Luxuries like electric windows, heated seats, air con or even climate control, stereos that actually work and play CDs not just AM/FM radio. Under the bonnet, your £300 banger will have complex engine management, multipoint fuel injection, coil pack ignition, and ECUs controlling everything. So the simple fact is, the toolkit has changed. Code readers and engine management light reset tools are as cheap as that socket set you used to crave in the ’80s. All the parts which work by magic and electricity are being knocked out in factories on the other side of the planet, and selling for a fraction of the price on eBay than they do over the original manufacturers parts counter. The tools and the parts are there for us, and at Spanner, we embrace the modern classic, the young timer, the snotter you bought off the bloke down the pub. Whatever you call them, or however they found you...

Some youngtimers have enjoyed proper rust prevention treatments. The Micra we transformed had genuinely lived in a hedge before it came to us, but was as close to rust free as you could hope to see. Others may have been sold as corrosion resistant, but a couple of decades have proved that to be empty marketing speak...

CATCH UP ON YOUTUBE The video camera is with us at all times at the lockup, so we make sure we capture everything in full colour moving images. With sound. See us fix stuff, see us fail to fix stuff. See us bodge the un-bodgeable.

The Spanner Report October 2018



We couldn’t say no… meet the latest Spanner pro Does anyone actually plan their next project? I mean, does anyone sit down with a pen and paper and draw up a list of exactly what car they might like, the pros and cons of that particular model, cost analysis of how much to buy, how much to restore and how much to run…? Like most people, I have a mental list of cars that I’ve always wanted to own, motors that would occupy a space in my dream garage. But as I’ve wanted them for so long, I’ve watched the prices of most of them skyrocket so they will remain a dream. I’m also really fond of the cars I already own, and as storage space reaches critical levels, it should be a case of one in one out. I couldn’t live with myself if I sold the 1800 though, even if it is a crusty old bus. Over the years, I have owned a fair few Minis. And when I sold my Mini City, I thought I was done.

There were models I would have liked and I’ve never managed to acquire, but with Mini prices being as crazy as the rest of the classic market, I’d given up on owing an early Cooper, a Moke or one of the booted Minis - an Elf or a Hornet… Mates. They’re dangerous. I’ve known Alex for years, and we met through the Mini scene. He rang

oject one afternoon and said, “I’ve got your next project here…”. I didn’t realise I was in the market for a project, particularly as I’m currently waist deep in a Land Rover. “I need to create some space, and I’ve decided I need to let something go. Winky needs a new home and I know you’ve always wanted an Elf…”

Winky is a 1969 MkIII Riley Elf which Alex had bought many moons ago, enjoyed driving only briefly and then took off the road for a few, ahem, MOT related issues. For one reason or another, mostly the fact that Alex always has many of his own and friends’ projects occupying his time, the Elf kept getting sidelined. He came to the sad conclusion that he was never going to get around to restoring the

Yes, it’s low and in answer to the most asked question so far, no, it can’t be driven like that...

The original, and no doubt hens’ teeth rare, hubcaps were removed and stored in the boot during transit.


October 2018 The Spanner Report

Riley, so it should go to someone who would. And he decided that someone was me. It’s at this point that reason goes out the window. Space? Well, it’s only a Mini and a bit. Money? Well, they’re never going to be any cheaper so it’s now or never. Time? Well, I won’t start on it until the Land Rover is done, but then I’ll have plenty of time… So the next thing I know, I’m stood in Alex’s workshop and we’re getting ready to load the car onto his trailer. This presented it’s own particular set of issues. The Elf is one of the hydrolastic Minis, and the pressure in the system had long since vacated. If the Elf had any bumpstops, it would have been sitting on them. As it didn’t, it was as low as they go. Great for that stanced look. Terrible if you want the car to go over a door jamb and up ramps. We tried re-pressurising the

The Elf installed next to its bigger sibling. It’s already building up quite a fan base.

suspension and it was going well until we moved onto the second side. As the pressure from the pump split the pipes on the nearside, the offside decided it didn’t really want to hold that many psi, and the Elf was back on the deck, albeit this time in a pool of hydrolastic fluid. We pondered chopping up some timber to put in place of the bumpstops, but Alex then reasoned that some tightly bound workshop towels would do the job and may even afford a little suspension. The man is a genius. It worked a treat. The original hubcaps were carefully removed and stashed in the boot - it really would have been stupid to watch one of those bounce away during transport. And after a leisurely drive up the motorway, we have now installed the Elf in the shed. It’s a lovely thing to behold, even with its healthy layer of storage dust, and is already winning many friends. And it looks comedically small next to the Landcrab. The plan for now is to think up a plan. The bodywork doesn’t look that bad until you get underneath where the floors

are ‘compromised’. The Riley is brilliantly original though, with the factory engine and ‘box, and all the tricky stuff like interior trim and brightwork all present and correct. I really can’t be distracted from working on the Land Rover, so until that is done, the Elf will remain something of a workshop ornament and conversation piece. But I can’t think of anything I’d rather look at, or talk about for that matter.

TECH SPEC 1969 Riley Elf MkIII Engine 998cc four cylinder, in-line Transmission Four-speed manual gearbox Brakes Drums all round. Twin leading shoe at front Suspension Hyrolastic Wheels & Tyres 10 inch steel wheels with 145R10 tyres Body Two-door saloon

2 0 1 4

The Spanner Report October 2018


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