After a weekend of poking a screwdriver through rust and builders bog I have come to the conclussion that I will have to scrap the body of my '35 Ruby and build a special.
I'm neither a tin smith nor a cabinet maker (though I do have a tame cabinet maker in the family) but having done a bit of research with uncle Google I've seen some inspiring shapes using ply as a base and feel this is the way to go ( if it was good enough for Mr De Havilland then it most certainly is good enough for me )
Your thoughts and inspiration will be greatly received and appreciated.
I would ask myself,Do I want a special or a ruby saloon Mike.
Building a nice special body takes as much work as repairing a "restorable" body.
In the UK the options may include finding a better discarded ruby body.
What do you want from your restored car?
If you don't have the skills, time and equipment I would advise looking for another complete body to fit or another car to drive away.
You have to decide what you want to do with your time which is infinitely more valuable than money IMHO.
Someone out there (could be me if you were in the UK, there must be others out there?) will buy your rotted out car and do something interesting with it which would at least put another Austin back on the road or track and maybe give you a couple of grand towards the replacement...
Thanks everyone. I will take that all on board. The build wouldn't be about the money as this is a hobby and lets face it all hobbies are just great big holes that we throw money into ( a bit like a divorce?). I live in a town that calls itself "The Art Deco Capital of the world" and am a member of the NZVAR. I would like a special and believe, having run a few numbers that it could be done for less than the repairs to the Ruby body.
Hi Mike, if he hasn't already contacted you get in touch with Ian Williams (he posts here or email me for his details). There is a special builders group in the NZ VAR who can help you and Ian can tell you everything you could possibly want to know about special building.
Material costs of a special aren't that bad if using steel and aluminium. Time, that's another story though!
Yes please do get in contact, I would be very happy to assist if I can, if your car is in the system and restorable it seems a crying shame to break it up, If you want a special there are far less destructive ways of achieving this. We are currently running some panel beating workshops here in Auckland for VAR members, if you felt like trailering your car up to one of these I am sure we could solve some, if not all of your issues.
Mike, there is much to be said for retaining the original identity of your car and I am sure Ian is the man to help you to an informed decision.
May I echo his remark that there are ways to build a special that might be ultimately preferable.
I kind of do feel guilty about breaking up the Ruby but the body really is quite a mess and the ideal of a special appeals as it would be quite usable in Napier/Hastings.
The body is missing its builders plates the engine and chassis numbers don't match the Rego. papers and its mostly held together by its paint and builders bog.
I have read the threads on here in regrades to specials builds and Ian's input - obviously you are a man of great knowledge in this area, I have been following Simon's Blog as well and that is a big inspiration along with that of Max Betterigde who I have had some correspondence with.
If the body is bad a special is probably more fun to create. My Ruby body was not at all bad, and I do all my own welding and spray painting. Many times I felt it was an awful lot of work getting it back to a good condition. I might even finish it one day.
Jan 19, 2017 - 9:28AM
Re: I need to be talked out of this... don't I?
I vote for the special. It seems that A7 specials are becoming an art form in their own right. There are some quite elegant ones around.