View Full Version : First restoration

11-06-2003, 07:30 PM
I am glad to see the addition of this forum to the sight. My first restoration was a 71 Midget, three years ago, given to me by a friend. After one year and what amounted to a nearly complete reshell. this is what I ended up with. Honed my welding and paint skills and had to buy lots of neet stuff like a new compressor,blast cabinet, hvlp paint gun ect.
Through that first part of the restoration my wife and friends would come out to see how much more or the car had disappeared. I had the last laugh in the end. Keep them an the road. Rick

Trevor Jessie
11-06-2003, 08:27 PM
Looks very nice. Do you have a web site with other pictures of the process?

11-06-2003, 10:09 PM
now thats Pretty~~!! graemlins/cheers.gif

11-06-2003, 10:23 PM


11-07-2003, 01:22 AM
Was that your first restoration job ever, or just your first spridget restoration, because from the pictures it looks like a fantastic job! What part of the restoration did you find most rewarding? What part did you learn the most about? What were a couple of the lessons you learned that you wouldn't mind passing on to others here on the forum? What part of the restoration are you most proud of? I'm just curious because I'm in the middle of my first complete ground up restoration.


11-07-2003, 10:45 AM
NW Spriteguy, This was my first restoration. Read lots of books on welding, paint and body work. This cor is to be my daughter's when she is old enough to drive. A word of advice: keep and label everything you remove from the car.(Ziplock baggies and a sharpy marker are essential) Take lots of pictures and make drawings. These shells will bow when a lot of rotten metal is removed, so be sure to support the shell before welding in new pannels. I was able to do all of the work myself except the machining of the engine, and I haad the gear box rebuilt by University Motors in Ada Michigan.Additional pictures are on my websight. sight.https://home.comcast.net/~r67cat/wsb

Trevor Jessie
11-07-2003, 11:25 AM
I looked at the pictures on your web site. Looks like there is alot of new metal in the car. I've been working on a rolling "refurbishment". Nothing this extensive. However, I hope to do a full blown restoration later when I find a more suitable car. I may do another Midget, but the wife realy wants a big Healey. She may have to settle for an MGA or such. images/icons/wink.gif

11-07-2003, 03:33 PM
There is a lot of new metal in this Midget. Replaced:Rt&LT inner and outer rockers,both lower door hinges and lower A post,Rt&LT rear outer wheel wells, Rt&Lt rear lower fenders, rear valance, reskinned both doors, new Left front fender, drivers floor and forward foot well and part of the trunk floor. What ever was rusted I replaced. Time consuming but wanted to learn to gas mig weld, with a little practice even a Dentist can become a pretty good welder. A lot of satisfaction to see the car come togeather. Hopefully it will be something my daughter will appreciate.

11-08-2003, 03:13 PM
I just finished looking at the pictures on your web page. Very nice! Now that you've completed the project and it's been awhile, was it worth it?
You obviously spent more time, effort and money on the rebuild of a car that's doesn't generally command high a value. I've got to think that no matter what, its got to feel good and rewarding to look at your accomplishment and the knowledge you learned from your endeavor. It's a great accomplishment - congratulations! Would you do it again? images/icons/smile.gif


11-08-2003, 03:24 PM
r67, now that you're all practiced up, I've got a few sitting around that you can practice some more on!
Seriously, it looks like you did a thoroughly fine job. I'm not all that far from Grand Ledge, so when the weather regains its sanity, in about eight months, maybe I'll motor over.

11-08-2003, 05:54 PM
Bugeye and NW, Interesting question as to weather I would attempt such an extensive reshell. The fun was working with my then 12 year old daughter, showing her how things go togeather( and come apart) She was the polisher and the bagger of the parts. These cars are quite simple to work on and that also made it fun. This could not be the type of project one could undertake with the idea of getting their money out of. Out of all my cars (all of which get driven often) the Midget gets more thumbs ups than any of the other cars. People remember these little cars and are amazed to look in or under the hood and see a brand new 1971 car. Would love to have anyone who is in the area stop by. Rick

tony barnhill
11-09-2003, 01:36 AM
r67....tell me how you reconditioned those early Midget rostyles...I've a set I want to put on my '74 round wheel arch...did you chrome part of them or is that just real nice chrome paint?

11-09-2003, 10:18 AM
Tony, First bead blasted the wheels, shot them in silver, then using fine line tape, taped off the silver highlights, shot them in black then cleared them. Used Dupont chroma color base/clear. added the polished rings. Probably over kill but they should remain nice for a long time. Rick

Trevor Jessie
11-09-2003, 01:47 PM
I'm considering buying a set of Minlite "lookalike" rims for my '70 RWA midget (don't ask images/icons/tongue.gif ) but after seeing how nice the early rostyles look on your car, I may just refinish mine.

tony barnhill
11-09-2003, 05:43 PM
It took me too long to come up with 5 good early Rostyles...thanks, I'm going that route on my RWA Midget!

11-11-2003, 02:31 PM
Beautiful job!

Getting ready to do inner and outer rockers myself next season. You're sure right about the thumbs up.

Winston: Triumph TR4A IRS

11-11-2003, 10:38 PM
Winston, when you are ready to replace the inner and outer rockers, be sure to leave the doors attached to help keep the unibody straight. Support the floor and be sure the gaps remain correct around the door. You may notice the gaps changing as you remove the rockers. I adjusted the gaps by raising or lowering my floor jack that was positioned at the jacking point tube. I placed jack stands at the front of the rear spring, and the engine crossmember. Time consuming but not that hard to do. I borrowed a 120V spot welder to duplicate the factory weld. If I can be of any help let me know. I have lots of pictures. Rick

Gary Lloyd
11-14-2003, 11:14 AM
Nice job!!! If you are like me, when I ws done with my '66 'B, I was wondering why I didn't get a better shell!! You did really well!!!!!