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Re: GE Sunshine Restoration..

OK, here's prob more than you want to know about my little car:

Still have instrument panel to do, maybe today!

For a look at some shiny cars, try:
Yearly car show at Portland, Oregon, just across the Columbia River from us.
- John

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

For reference, here's a picture of John's car in London in the early 1960s.

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

....and still they're found!

There's no doubt that this *is* another Sunshine and it is/was KO 9954 which was shipped to the USA in the early sixties. (I seem to recall that 20,000 were built but I could be wrong) It was 'rebuilt' for advertising purposes in the USA and John Edwards bought it in 1969. He removed the body in 1969 and, in his own words "My mistake was in removing the body and (Bosch?)wiring - I never got it back together, and the chassis had its share of rainy days, even in Tucson. The body shell, I regret, is long gone - about 1978." Not only has the body shell gone but it also appears to have lost most of the distinctive little features which make GEs so interesting.

Being such a rare, car it's difficult to be definitive and say with certainty that some of the bits that John has were not on the car when it left Wembley in 1928. However, mainly for John's benefit, I'll comment on some of his excellent pictures, in the order in which they appear, and try and suggest what's worth keeping and what's a product of 'creative engineering' at some undefined point along the trail. My comments are based upon the restoration of my own Sunshine from 1981 to 1984 and former ownership of both a GE Cup and a GE Stadium. Anybody wants to disagree or add their own penneth - feel free!

3469. Dash Panel. Crude and certainly not original, except for the Smith's clock! See my own 'as found' dash panel picture elsewhere in the thread. I don't recognise any of the switches or other fittings except for a (fifties?) Lucas indicator switch.

3371 etc. Door. Correct and largely intact. Glass is correct although the sliding pane appears to be missing The sliding latch is pure GE but somebody has refaced the interior panel, incorporating the oval slider surround but has left out the pocket which, fortunately, is still visible in outline on the back face.

3300 etc. Floor Pan. Not much one can say! Just a few rotted fragments from the back end but obviously useful if John decides to have a go at rebuilding a GE body. The simple bracket visible top rear, with similar ones at the feet of the two front door pillars, carries the weight of the outer body shell, including doors, windscreen etc.

3276 etc. Bonnet. My bonnet handles are 'standard' horizontal 1928 A7 type rather than these unusual vertical handles. I can't see any empty holes in the pictures and I can't think why anybody might want to change the original handles if these are not original? The corners of the lower panels are missing. Each section of my bonnet was fabric covered with a thin metal 'U' shaped trim covering the edges at front and rear. My car has screw-type locking catches. The picture of KO 9954 in London shows a badly fitting bonnet which appears to be painted?

3232 etc. Scuttle. Much chopped about but definately 'fabricated' GE, and unlike the 'standard' 28 scuttle which is generally flat. Note the 'heater' slots in the passenger's footwell and the bit of box section on the correponding underside. The holder for spare bulbs is a nice little touch which I didn't have. Lucas 6v regulator and fuse box are correct. The large piece of plate across the front of the scuttle has been added and is not original. Can somebody please tell me what is the item connected to the loom and visible in the middle of 3232...a bit of switch panel??

3441 and 3227. Tunnel Cover. Can anbody identify the hinged panel in the foreground. It appears to be metal and only the narrower section on the right has holes, suggesting it's an opening lid of some sort. Perhaps it's something somebody fitted to the (missing) wooden floorpan tunnel to allow access to the chassis for servicing? I have not seen this on any other GE.

3386. Seats. Wooden construction, Identical to my own, even down to the moth holes! However, I can't make out what's appears to be a metal clip of some sort on the front of each squab. John, give us a better picture! I suspect whatever they are were added and are not original.

3227 etc. Other Fittings. The major comment here is that the gear lever appears to be completely wrong for a 28 car. Can anybody say if that's also a 1929 gearbox? It has a long ball change lever, not introduced until (late?) 1929, rather than the shorter gate change one. The battery box has an open side, I think mine had four. Sidelights are standard period Lucas and are, together with the Boyce Motometer and the badge bar, the same as shown in the London picture. I'm twenty years out of A7s now and don't have much reference material any more. It would be helpful if somebody with good eyes would have a look at the rear wings. John has a concern that they may be of a 'later type' - I can't find his actual comment - are they compatible with a May/June 1928 car? I don't see a petrol tank,which should have a float and an articulated arm which connects it to the back of the specialy made GE petrol guage on the dash. I don't see a magneto and I don't recognise the circular flange on the steering box, where the column joins it. Perhaps it's just me being out of touch. Sadly, John tells me has no windscreen frame. Bummer!

Conclusion. It would be difficult enough over here to restore this car, with the ready availability of spares and reference material. He sure has a mountain to climb if he's going to rebuild it as he wishes!

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

Just to correct one minor mistake. My Sunshine doesn't have any bonnet handles of any sort, just the screw-down catches. I was getting confused with my 28 Top Hat.

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

Messrs. Edwards,

A few more images of the Chris Edwards car, from Romsey in 2005 when exhibited by current owner Bernard Griffiths, which might be useful.


Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

Wow - too much to reply to completely right now - I'll have to make a list.
I can't express how grateful I am to you guys who are interested and sending photos, tips, etc. If only I had had contact with somebody knowledgeable years ago, well, you know what I mean.

The Austin/Bantam Society in the U.S. now includes A7s in their membership, and is about to put me in touch with a good engine rebuilder, if it looks like too much for me (prob will).

I just posted shots of a forgotten piece to Photobucket a few minutes ago - the rear seat (vertical seatback), which of course has been six feet from all this excitement in plain view. Reupholstered, but the wood looks original(?)- and box construction. Think I have the (crunchy-centered) seat pad somewhere also. The bracket at the rear of my floor pan also bolts to the seat back, but the bracket on the seat looks new.
The ring bracket on the steering column holds a felt seal, and bolts to the floor to keep out mice.
Petrol tank and gauge were as Chris describes, but gauges have wandered (still looking, may have them yet), and tank was "nicked" by persons partly unknown.

Sorry to hear that the rectangular instrument panel is prob a fixup - I was (am still) hoping it might be a GE variant - somebody surely went to a lot of trouble to imbed two long carriage bolts with heads under the top shiny lamination layer to support the whole thing. We'll see.

Please, anybody with input, join in!
They say you stay mentally active by learning new things - and now I have to learn mountain climbing..... I'm ready.
- John (magneto and clip pics to come, prob today)

Re: GE Sunshine Restoration..

Chris - tried to find the mystery part on 3232.
I think you get a better look at it in3414, 3416, and especially #3406.
I'll take another shot of it and post.
Sorry about the fuzzy outdoor shot - should have known to use a tripod, even in sunlight.
- John

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

Self-corrections while I'm thinking of it:

The rear seat bracket I mentioned does not bolt to the floor pan, but probably linked to a spot below the rear window to hold it upright.

I have not mentioned the lower shroud/splash guards/? below the engine - they are alumin(i)um - is that unusual on a saloon chassis?

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..

I think the 'mystery' item in 3406 1s probably a horn, not A7, I'm afraid. Similarly your rear seat back isn't anything like the original, which had a dozen or so pleats across its width, like your front seat squabs (cushions). You may well find the original, or some of it, beneath that horrible cover which seems contemporary with the door liningsl. Needless to say the bracket is also wrong - and unnecessary - the top edge of the rear seat back is attached to the timber waistband of the car by hidden tacks. The cushion for the back seat is also fluted and just sits in place without any need for restraint. See below for original.

Re: Grey Mag - Articles re. GE Sunshine Restoration..


I don't think you have a problem with your rear wings. The only reference I have is "The Austin Seven" by R J Wyatt, which suggests that Type B (your wings) were fitted between 1926 and 1928. My car has the same type.

incidentally, the same book, page 177, tells me that 1024 GE saloons were made in 1928. That's a much more credible figure than the 20,000 I talked about earlier - I can't think where I got that nonesense from!

Re: GE Sunshine Restoration..

Finally back - regarding the "mystery part" attached in the wiring in 3406 and others (STILL need a better angle on this).
Prob not a horn - I had one, with a holey diaphram, but in one piece. - it attached by the two-bolt bracket on top of the block - see in #3590.

Re: GE Sunshine Restoration..

Guess I should have mentioned - when I talked with the Truly Nolen (the US owner) restoration workshop people just after buying it, they told me it had been reupholstered by their usual shop in Tucson, Arizona.
So all the inside of the doors, seats, and some of the headliner were probably naugahide or something, not leather. Once I looked behind the inner roof layer, I saw the characteristic "X" and center lamp-holder of the Sunshine model. On buying R.J. Wyatt's book in 1976, I saw his illustrations and was sure that is what I had. There are original strips of the Rexine around the doors, and covering the bonnet. I "think" the carpet is original material, and it is also on the lower rear of the front seats.
The top of the roof was covered over with bondo and possibly sheet metal.

I can't imagine what happened to the inner flats of the rear wings - see 3609 & 3606 - it looks like the metal ripped under the stress of the overweight body.
Can the flats have been welded in later?
After I bought it, I found that the weight of the body was supported on a short piece of leaf spring across the driveshaft tunnel, just forward of the rear axle. That is the point in 1969 when I decided to remove the body.

I know this is in no way a full collection of original parts, and cannot come up to the level of the other GE-SS as far as utilization of original wood, but I promised myself long ago (decades!) that I would try to restore it as best I could. I'm learning more with every email, and do truly appreciate all input.

As to the question about the gearshift, I've posted a closeup of the part number under the "lid". I'm embarassed about the red rust on the gears, but it seems to be surface only.

Still I have no idea what the dashboard/instrument panel is made of - ?