Project Zella

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This topic contains 113 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  secretagentcat 4 months ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 114 total)
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  • #236140

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Howdy folks,

    What a learning experience it has been for me over the past few weeks.  
    This all began a few years prior to my time on this earth, roughly 1983.  My grandfather Ted’s dream car was a legitimate 1952 MG TD.  When the replica kits became available he bought one to partially fulfill his dream of owning one.  He purchased a red British Coach Works Model 52 kit and located a 1965 VW Beetle donor.
    With the help of a best friends he completed the car and had aspirations of becoming a builder for folks in the area.  That never quite panned out as he passed away February 14th, 1985.  He was able to enjoy his dream car for just a short period of time.  In every picture I have of him and this car, he beams with pride for this car he built.
    Once he passed, my grandmother Zella approached his best friend and offered the car to him.  He purchased it and he has owned it for just over 30 years now, driving it on and off and displaying it at local shows a few times (more on that later).  
    His health hasn’t been the best and growing up I’ve always wanted to have my grandpa’s car so I decided to call him and offer to purchase it from him.  I gave him a weeks time to think it over and he responded by saying he would sell it to me, but only under certain conditions.  These included that it should always stay within the family, and most of all he wished that it would be brought back to life, driven and enjoyed.  
    There are 58XX miles on the car as it currently sits, and he regrets he was never able to enjoy it as much as he always wished to.  With failing health and lack of funds to get it on he road again, he decided to sell it to me.  We agreed on a price that was fair to both him and myself, and I’ll be getting the car within a few weeks time.
    I’ve been mulling over what to name this car, and have decided to name her Zella, after my grandpa’s wife who had passed away 15 years ago.  I was never able to spend time with my grandpa Ted as he passed away 3 years prior to my birth, but I was able to grow up knowing my grandma Zella.  So as you can probably already understand, this car means a great deal and is invaluable to me.
    The current owner has a briefcase with all the original paperwork, and he has kept it stored in his garage all these years.  It sets on a 1965 VW Beetle chassis and is pretty much untouched.  The tan canvas top is still in great shape and has very little surface rust on the pans of the 51-year old chassis.  It’s overall in great condition, but requires a few repairs including a clutch cable, some interior carpet fixing and a general detail job.
    I’m sure many of you are aware of the Auburn, Cord and Duesenburg family of classic vehicles.  Well my grandpa lived in Auburn, Indiana and this TDr has resided here ever since.  It’s an area full of rich classic-car heritage and home to the Auburn Auction Park (formerly Kruse Auction Park) and hosts the Auctions America car show and auction every year that is aired all across the world.  There are also multiple car shows in this area that this car has been shown in over the years.  I live about 15 miles away from Auburn now, and throughout the years the current owner has had many offers for the car.  He has always said he would only sell it to a blood relative of my grandpa Ted, and I’m fortunate and have been blessed enough to be that guy. 
    So there’s the back story to Zella, my 1952 MG TD replica built by my very own grandfather.  It’s coming back to the family.
    Here’s the only picture I have of this car at this time.  It’s only fitting that it should include my grandpa Ted, showcasing the car and advertising for his aspiring business.

    OH_Varmntr2016-05-23 10:39:11

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268192

    tjmarrone
    Participant

    @tjmarrone

    Great story

    #268193

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    That is a great story. Congratulations.
    That isn’t, by chance, your father sitting in the back behind the seats?

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #268194

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Thank you guys.  

    As far as who is in the car, no one seems to know.  This is my mom’s side of the family and she wasn’t sure.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268195

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Welcome to the club, Bryce. Your true story is pretty close to the bogus one I made up for my own BCW, purchased 7 years ago.

    We’ll help you any way we can.
    Start by pulling the gas tank and emptying it, cleaning it out, putting new fuel lines and filters.
    Drain and change the oil.
    Drain the brake fluid. Inspect the hard brake lines and replace the soft ones. Fill up the brake fluid reservoir (DOT 3-4, please–non silicone) and bleed the brakes.
    If the tires are older than about 6 years–and I bet they are–buy a new set and have them mounted and balanced.
    After that you should be good to go. Let us know!

    edsnova2016-05-23 20:13:57

    #268196

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Thanks for that!

    My grandpa on my dads side has a shop with 2 lifts and a tire changer/balancer that I’m very familiar with.  I spent all my summers when I was young in that shop with him.  
    I also noticed that none of the fuel lines had hose clamps on them.  As anxious as I’ll be to get this going and driving again, I’ll be going through everything and bringing it up to my mechanical and electrical standards.  I’m an electrician by trade, motorcycle mechanic prior to that.
    The tires are original so I’ll replace them and probably incorporate them into a coffee table for my man cave. 
    As good of shape as it’s in, I know it will take some TLC prior to getting on the road.  I’ll be working on it slowly as my wife and I are expecting our first baby due here in July.   

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268197

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    You never hear stories like this from Pinto Owners! This is the Trifecta of TDR stories. A gift from the past has returned to the present preparing for the future. What a great way to welcome your future baby home!

    With your experience you’ll have no problems getting her on the road in no time. Keep us posted on the progress and more pictures when you get them. By the way Zella is a great name for your car, I think it has a little “spitfire” ring to it!
    Best wishes for a healthy baby and Mother-to-be! You’ll find that the moment your baby is born your shoulders get a little wider, your voice gets a little deeper and your heart gets a whole lot bigger… Enjoy the journey, after all, life is but a dream.
    #268198

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    Welcome to our group!
    You have a wonderful story to go with your car.
    It’s great that it’s never been far from home.
    Naming your car after your Grandma is very nice.
    This site is a gold mine of information about getting and keeping your car on the road.
    Good luck with your growing family.
    Glad you’re here!

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #268199

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    This place seems to have a classic air to it.  I’ve frequented many forums of various topics and from what I’ve combed through, I’m glad to be here.  Besides, I find this to be quite a niche group of enthusiasts.  

    I’m interested in finding out the contents of the briefcase in its entirety.  I’m currently away for work and plan on picking the car up early next week.  Pictures will be inbound as soon as I get them.  🙂
    I forget to mention, after my grandpa passed and the car went to its new home, a plaque was made for the front of the car, under the grille, that is in memoriam of my grandpa Ted.  He will always be a part of that car, and I plan on having a copy of the above photo laminated to ride along in the car at all times.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268200

    crash55
    Participant

    @crash55

    welcome I’ll be at jim,scustomvw swap meet on the east side of the  state in july  I’ll pm you the exact dates

    #268201

    davearoy
    Participant

    @davearoy

    Don’t forget to change out the Transmission fluid as well. I added a “Ford Starter Old Style Relay” to help start a hot VW engine. It also helps to improve starting, due to some possible deterioration/corrosion of older starting circuit wiring. Be sure to take lots of before and after restoration pictures, as we like to have you share with us your creative, and talented ideas, of how we can make our cars better. Wonderful story, and congratulations on obtaining a part of your grandfather’s legacy.

    Dave

    Dave
    Lakeland, Florida, where we drive Topless every day

    #268202

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    I’ll add that to the list of things to do.

    I’m currently in the middle of a large scale garage remodel (tore down everything but the walls) and am currently installing steel roof.  I hope to have that finished this week and pick Zella up and have her sitting in my brothers shop to keep his Mustangs company until my garage is done and she can come home.  I didn’t plan on buying a car right now as my extra funds are tied up in my garage remodel but this sort of thing is why I invest in the stock market.  
    I will definitely take a lot of pictures and update here as soon as they’re uploaded for you all to see.  

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268203

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Well the title has been signed over to me and we will be going to get her in a few hours.

    So I have a briefcase full of original British Coach Works documents including sales order forms, component sheets for both the front and rear engined cars, an assembly manual in a 3-ring binder, hundreds of business cards that my grandpa had made as a representative for the company, information cards that interested parties could fill out at car shows for more information, receipts for EVERY cent my grandpa ever put into this car, sales brochures, factory shipment check-lists, info from the National Sales Manager for BCW in Arnold, PA, a comparison guide along with tons of other interesting information all included in a “BCW52 Representative Kit”, and the list goes on.
    TONS of cool information that I will eventually scan and put online.  
    Pictures to follow!

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268204

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    Too Cool!
    You have something most would envy, a true legacy. Its great to have all the paper trail to go with your car, it takes ownership in a whole new direction.

    #268205

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Well the engine has an H5 code, with the complete stamping indicating build date between December 1968 to July 1969.  1500cc 44hp M157 engine.  There’s probably receipts for the engine in the documents but I haven’t had a chance to timeline it all out yet.

    The following pics are fresh out of her 29 year garage home.  Still in remarkably good shape.  The previous owner purchased the car 6-6-1987, so a shade under 29 years.  She’s number 162 from BCW and titled as a “1952 MG Kit Vin 162”. 

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268206

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268207

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    Ssschwankey!

    #268208

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Looks great.

    #268209

    schu
    Participant

    @schu

    Looks great but can’t figure out why he drilled the big holes in the license plate.

    #268210

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    schu wrote:
    Looks great but can’t figure out why he drilled the big holes in the license plate.

    😆 Must be for aerodynamics…
    A VERY NICE car. A true “barn find”  It’s cool that you have it in your family again.
    You should be proud of your Grandad. He was part of a great generation. I know I was very proud of my Grandpa and his abilities.

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #268211

    johnsimion
    Participant

    @johnsimion

    I can’t really understand why people bother to blank out their license plate when posting photos on the Internet. Everywhere you drive or park, people see the actual letters and numbers. There are a lot more people seeing the actual plate than would ever see it on the Internet. If the numbers can somehow be used at all, the risk seems a lot greater parking at Wal-Mart than in a photo on td replica.com. But maybe I am just not enough of a criminal to realize the risk.

    Nice car, too, BTW …johnsimion2016-06-03 10:59:19

    #268212

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    Id block the plates too. We live in a very different world than our Grand Fathers did. To put it bluntly, theres too many freaks out in the cyber world. Although we all try to be on our best behavior, here, you never know how someone will react to what we write if they took it wrong or are overly pollitacaly corrrect. Many people are just envious of our toys; Eliza Jane has been egged three times right in front of my house.
    Remember, freaks are often the most resourseful people and I dont want to give them an advantage. Id hate to hear that one of our cars was stolen by someone fishing for plates in our fourums.
    Safety Fast on all fronts.

    #268213

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    I blocked the plate not only because it is the previous owners plate, but also because these are indeed different times.  Like said above, there are tons of whackos out there and they can easily hide in plain sight due to the anonymity and ease of access the internet offers.  Maybe this gives me a false sense of security, but I particularly like how small of a group this is. 

    In my grandpa’s days, there was a certain respect that everyone gave and earned.  I like to think of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry.  I feel nowadays much of that has been lost to the ideals of the new generations, many of which don’t appeal to me nor do I support.  I work hard for what I have, I don’t believe others should help themselves to what I have, but I won’t hesitate to help someone in need.

    So now that’s been said, thanks for the kind words everyone.  I’ve been really busy as of late and as much as I want to dive into her, I’ve got a bunch of work to do still.  I rented a 45′ manlift for a few days to get my steel roof on my garage and had to go back to work.   So the next few days hopefully I’ll have that all finished and can start finishing the inside.  I’d like to have everything sprayfoamed but due to the money I have already spent I may just fiberglass everything.  Gotta have a somewhat heated garage for the wife’s car and Zella to stay in.

    Back to the car.  Were BCW’s delivered with a ballast box for the front?  I’ve read about the sand-filled boxes but mine doesn’t have one.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268214

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    BCWs did not have front end ballast. 

    #268215

    johnsimion
    Participant

    @johnsimion

    In the interest of group harmony and keeping things on track, I have deleted the response that I had posted here.  My apologies.

    johnsimion2016-06-04 03:11:29

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