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T-Series Coming down the home stretch...

Sarastro

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...on the TD restoration.

I've had a lot of work to do these past few months, so I couldn't work on it a lot. I spent most of my time working on the dashboard and electrics. I made a walnut-veneer dash, gave it several coats of varnish with sanding in between, and I think it looks pretty good. The instrument panel has been restored, and I have instruments and switches and all that stuff in place. I just got it all hooked up today, and it was exciting to see all the lights and other electrical bits working.

I didn't want to drill the instrument panel, so I left out the panel-light rheostat (which seems pointless, anyway) and put a turn signal switch in its place. I still need to install the choke and starter controls, but that's minor. I'm happy with the way it's turning out. As soon as I get an interior into it, I can drive it.

panel_4080.jpg
 

JPSmit

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Gorgeous!
 

Keoke

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THe reason you did not get more comments is they all jealous--WOW-!!!--:cool:
 

JPSmit

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the grain almost makes it look like a guitar body
 

drooartz

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Looks really nice, great to see you're getting close to driving!
 

Brinkerhoff

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Steve, the TD is looking really good ! What kind of varnish did you use on the dash? I'm in the middle of a TC restoration and would like to re coat its dash also. Where in Long Beach do you live? I used to live there 20 yrs ago.
Kevin
 
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Sarastro

Sarastro

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Thanks for your comments.

The varnish is Varathane urethane varnish, but probably any good-quality varnish would work as well. The main thing, I think, is to do several coats with sanding in between. It's laborious, but not difficult. I did spend a lot of time trimming the glovebox door and getting it to fit right, and trimming the dash edges so it would fit into its space without big gaps. I'm not a woodworker by any means, but if you apply enough care and go slowly, it should be OK. Like anything else, I guess.

To answer the question, I live in the Bixby Knolls section of Long Beach. Not many TDs in this neighborhood!

Now, I just need to get an interior into the thing! If it had seats, I could probably drive it now.

Just for fun, here's what I brought home a year ago. Pity what someone did to a poor little TD who never hurt anyone.

a_IMG_2755.jpg
 

JPSmit

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Wow! What a contrast!
 

DrEntropy

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Nicely done, Steve!
 
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Sarastro

Sarastro

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Thanks, guys, but I really wasn't trolling for compliments. I just thought you'd like to see how it's going.

I have to say, this is the first car I've restored from the ground up, and the last year of working on it has been more fun than just about anything I've ever done. Even though a lot of it involved being perpetually up to my elbows in grease and crud. It's so much fun to start with something that is just plain worn out, and see it turn into something that looks almost new.
 

drooartz

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When you get the TD done and you want to continue the year of fun, come over to Utah and you can help me with my Bugeye. :smile:
 

DrEntropy

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There's a certain ~ADDICTION~ to making something worn down to the nubs into what it was.

Good job, Steve. And good attitude!

:thumbsup:
 

drooartz

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WillR

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plus for years after your "done" every time you turn a corner you mind will run through the details allowing your car to handle flawlessly through the turn. when you open the door and sit a smile will cross your face and a feeling of satisfaction creeps from the comfort of the upholstery knowing you didn't cut corners. your a lucky man. Just wait till your out and about with it and you see peoples reaction to it. How will that feel knowing it was your hands covered in crud that brought smiles.:encouragement:
 

beachbumbarry

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When you get your TD finished, drive it down to San Diego the first part of Oct. One of the best British Car Shows in the West. I'm sure that they would love to admire your work. I think that it's about 120 miles each way. Your car is looking good.
 
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Sarastro

Sarastro

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Thanks. I'm aware of that show; I can see myself going down there to participate. I'm not a big car-show guy; I'd be happy showing it, but the competitive aspect doesn't appeal to me. I understand that there is a "non-judged" category at some shows, and that might be perfect.

In any case, I still have some distance to go. I took apart a seat bottom today, and halfway expected to see little yellow eyes winking out at me. It was pretty cruddy. Most interesting, though, were some pieces of the original seat covers, which were not removed when the seats were last recovered. I will replace the bottom wood pieces, but the other wood parts are OK. I'll fix the seats a little, give the wood parts a coat of varnish for protection, and rebuild the seats with new covers and foam.

This past weekend I put the floors and transmission tunnel in place. I'm getting excited; I can see the end of the project off in the distance now.

BTW, if anyone is interested, I've documented the restoration at https://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd.
 

JSabah

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Nice job Steve! I still have my TD that I did in high school as a father/son project.....35 years ago! One of the first jobs I did was to make myself a dash. I veneered walnut onto marine plywood and finished it with vera thane poly (which just happen to match the moto lita steeringwheel I put on a few years later). I almost sold it about 5 years ago, but when my youngest (then 14) teared up at the thought, I kept it although it wasn't driven much. It still brings bake great memories and it is really great to see him (now 19) take the car out to the store, movies, friends etc. If you make it up to the Queens English show (in Van Nuys) in late April, let me know. And btw, this is an addictive hobby.....I am now onto a frame off Daimler SP250 ( a bit more power than the TD). Enjoy!
 
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Sarastro

Sarastro

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Sounds great! Good luck with the Daimler.

I love to hear stories about how people keep these cars for long periods of time. Mine was with a single owner for about 30 years, but I don't think he drove it much toward the end of that period. Maybe just getting old; I don't know.

I am aware of the show in Van Nuys, although I've never gone to it. I will be out of town three or four weeks between Feb 1 and April, so I'm not sure it will be in shape by then. But I'll try.

I'm working on the seats now. I found some of the original seat covers under the present ones, and some bits of paper with cryptic things written on them, from 1951, stuffed into the seat back. I feel like an archaeologist.
 
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