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Can it be Restored?

KVH

Luke Skywalker
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I love these cars, but some really get worn out:

Ebay: 270329257827

TR4A Red

I'm wondering whether it could possibly be worth it. I can't imagine the expense or where one would start, or why.

I haven't seen a good condition TR4 on Ebay in over 3 weeks.

Even TR6s were getting thin.
 
D

DougF

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The car is currently at $500 and would be worth that in parts...depending on the cost of getting it home. Indiana to Arizona wouldn't be cheap.
That car needs everything. Body panels are getting rare for TR4. Fenders can be fixed in some areas using TR6 panels. The deck lid is rusty along the bottom lip. This is a difficult repair, and finding a good one would be difficult and expensive. The doors need new skins at minimum. Not enough visible to determine how the frames are.
At over 100,000 miles, the drive train would probably need totally gone through. The first thing would be to get it running and find out how it is mechanically.
The interior is basically shot. Some of the surround panels may be salvagable.
For the cost to restore this, you could probably buy a couple nice driver TRs.
I would consider buying it as a parts car if I lived within an easy tow of the car.
 

Number_6

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Looks like it's restorable, looks pretty much complete. A lot of work though, probably would need a complete nut & bolt restoration. Reread DougF's post, and he's right, body panels would probably be the biggest problem.
 

tdskip

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Here is the car in question (thought I'd make it easier to everyone to take a look).

631c_1.JPG


8938_1.JPG


8c1d_1.JPG


9211_1.JPG
 

tdskip

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While far from an expert I've learned a thing or two about this sort of project.

Rule #1 - what ever rust you see is 4x worse on the inside of the panels. I'd be scared to take the outer fenders off this car without a good stiff drink first.

Rule #2 - everything is do-able with time, the willness to work like a dog, and generous quanitities of money.

If the drive train needs sorting, I bet you'd be into it for $15k <span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">easy</span></span> without the car being totally finished.
 

kodanja

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550px-NCI_swiss_cheese.jpg
 
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ANYTHING is restorable if your pockets are deep enough and your S.O. and/or accountant can be avoided! LOL
 
D

DougF

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If you are seriously thinking about it, get a parts manual and a current price list and start figuring. Figure the worst case scenario. Then consider the labor for things you won't want to do yourself. Chrome costs are high. And then estimate 2-3 years, more or less.
If you're looking for a project, great. Or do you want something you will be driving soon?
I have found that when you have a good running car, it is a lot harder to get motivated on a restoration project. It doesn't help that my project is 6 miles away. But my spare time is usually spent tinkering on the driver.
 

Number_6

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I think Kodanja's post eloquently sums it up the best.
 

angelfj1

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My current project, The Grey Lady, started with a one owner , very good, TR3A. That was back in 1986. The car was complete, albeit very worn, and it did run. I paid $800. for it. Basically, except for putting around, it sat in my garage for 13 years. In 1999, I decided to take the plunge and go for a complete restoration. If I knew then what I know now, I would have waited for a much better car. Considering that the photos on eBay can not show all of the sins, I would walk away from this one at any price. My 3A was in much better condition than this and we have replaced just about everything. It has taken almost 10 years and many, many $K. I am very happy with the progress we have made, but a better car would have cost much less.

Bottom line: Find the very best car you can to begin with. Don't make the mistake that you will find a cheap one and fix it up. If you do , you will regret it!
 

kodanja

Obi Wan
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I've always tried to find the best candidate for the money I have to spend.


You'll have plenty of work even with a running vehicle with no cheese... JMHO!

It's always good to research whats avalible in the southern states & pay a little extra for a non salted car!

((((((Either way yer gunna pay!)))))))

basketcase.jpg
 

mallard

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As they always say about restoring cars. Get the best car that you can find and afford. Body work is the most expensive part of any restoration. I would not go near that car. Living in AZ you do get spoiled about cars with little rust. If you are looking for a TR4 for restoration there is someone here in AZ that posts on this forum that you could contact to purchase a car.
 

kodanja

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I find that body work is one of the least expensive items on my list.
Just time consuming...

My rule is:
1. frame
2. mechanical
3. cosmetic
 

rlandrum

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Don't underestimate the draw of a "complete" car. It's easier to rebuild a car when you know you have all the pieces. Our TR3A was "disassembled" about 5 years before we got it. In the mean time, parts weren't exactly tracked, and as a result, we ended up pouring cash into things like the interior. Since we aren't TR3 experts, we had no idea what we were missing when we started. Turns out, it was a lot.
 

kodanja

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their just my rules of thumb....

of course I bought my mirrors before my engine was running....lol
 

NickMorgan

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You know we used to restore cars much worse that that here in the UK. Many restored TRs here were almost all new metal. Anything is possible given time, money and skill!!
Of course now we have discovered the rust-free cars that you have in many areas of the USA and so we have been re-importing those for years now!
 

kodanja

Obi Wan
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yur taking our car huh.......lol


no wonder theres none left on ebay.......
 

NickMorgan

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kodanja said:
yur taking our car huh.......lol


no wonder theres none left on ebay.......

I know, I do feel a little guilty. But then again one supplier in Texas joked, "It's OK, we only send you the rubbish and keep the good cars for ourselves!"
And, how many countries, other than Britain, would sell you a car for about $1,000, let you use it for 30 or 40 years and then buy it back for three times that amount?! :crazyeyes:
 

2wrench

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My two cents? Buy the best you can afford, and hopefully, it's a little
nicer than this unit.

I think 15K is a conservative figure to restore this car, and while
you're spending it, you're working early mornings/late nights/weekends.

That's okay too, but it's more fun if you are doing it on a car that
is drivable and won't embarass you. Suffice to say, whatever level
you buy, likely you'll be working on it anyway.
 
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