First… a few small jobs…


As I posted yesterday, a very nice Nissan Cherry Europe GTi has joined the fleet, which saves me a huge amount of work restoring the crusty example ! already had. Although the car is in pristine condition, it still needs a few minor things sorting on it. For a start, it was lacking its Nissan badging, apart from the ‘GTI’ emblem on the tailgate. This car didn’t have any badges when I first saw it several years ago and, as it was originally sold via an independent Alfa Romeo specialist when it was new, it may never have had any. Also, having been re-badged as an Arna Ti at some point, it was lacking the distinctive green stripe on the grille which was what I tackled first…

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What to do…?


Bit by bit I have been thinning out my fleet of projects-in-waiting and I’ve now got down to the last few, and this is where I have had to make some hard choices. One of these tough decisions was what do I do with my Cherry Europe GTi? It’s a total wreck but it’s just so rare! It took me quite a while to find this car and I have long wanted a Cherry Europe but I need to be realistic. It’s not only going to be a huge amount of work, it’s also going to cost quite a lot of money. By my calculations it would need at least £4000 putting into it to make it nice again and even then there are a couple of parts missing that might be almost impossible to find. But then if I parted with it, I would never find another!

Initially I decided that maybe it was wiser to simply sell it and resign myself to the fact I’d never own a Cherry Europe. I listed it on eBay but although it attracted a number of bids, the top two bidders were both deadbeats who didn’t follow it up. Then a couple of other buyers backed out. Fate seemed to be telling me I should keep it and restore it.

But then I considered that maybe there was another way…

Continue reading What to do…?

Handy Van

As I drove home from a recent trip into town, I spied this Nissan Vanette parked up by the roadside with a for sale sign in it. I figured it might come in handy, so it followed me home. It’s a pretty sedate 2.0L diesel but drives great. Amazingly the seats aren’t ripped to shreds which seems to be the norm for these old vans. Bit of rust here and there, but solid where it counts. It won’t take much to get this thing into decent shape, but for now I just want it as a parts hauler. However, before it could be used, one important change was needed…

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Test Time

For the first time since 1973, my WP312 Datsun Bluebird Wagon has hit the road, albeit briefly, to make its way to the MOT test station. Despite its long period of hibernation, it drives surprisingly well. Yeah, its a bit slow and a little noisy. The brakes don’t inspire much confidence either but hey, its 48 years old! The test resulted in a fail, bit not a bad one. There was a bit of brake imbalance and a little too much play in the steering box. Not bad at all! I decided to go for a full rebuild of the brakes, so the shoes have been off to Friction Bonding and Lining (link no longer active) to be sorted and all the cylinders are getting honed and rebuilt. Re-test soon and then it’ll be time to engage in battle with the DVLA to get it registered. That’ll be fun I’m sure :/


Here’s my 510 peeping out from its long term storage. Hard to believe it’s been five years since it was last out and about! I’ve got an SR20DET sat waiting to go in it… perhaps. I’ve got a rear disc brake conversion and an LSD for it… I’ve got new wings, new door skins and new sills. It’s all there waiting. I’ve just not got the time to do it…Yet. Damn, I miss this car.

Some pics from back when it was seeing action on the track after the jump…

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Back in a Datsun

Remember that C31 Laurel I spotted for sale on the roadside a couple of weeks ago? Well, I just couldn’t resist it any longer and now it’s joined my fleet of old clunkers, although thankfully for two thirds of its original asking price. Although it’s only got about three months MOT left, I think it’s a fairly good deal. It’s a bit flaky around the lower extremities, but nothing too serious, and of course being two tone means I can do the necessary repairs and just repaint the lower half. It could do with the bonnet repainting too, but that can wait a while. I think I’ll be hitting the lower flanks with a much paler gold, probably Ford Champagne Gold….

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Spotted: Datsun Laurel (C31)

I spied this Datsun Laurel C31 parked on the side of the road today. I have seen it about before but I’ve never been able to grab a photo. It’s actually up for sale at a slightly optimistic £900. The wheel arches are looking like they’ll need attention all round very soon, but it was nice enough inside. This would look pretty sweet sat low on some deep dish Star Sharks or Phantoms and I’m loving the executive style two tone…

Old Friend

Just got a scanner for doing old photo negatives. There’s a surprising number of pictures I don’t have as prints, including this shot of my Datsun 1000 (VB10) estate. I bought this back in 1996 and ran it for about a year until MOT time came around and I lacked the requisite parts to make it roadworthy. B10s were mega rare even then. It’s still with me but has been in storage since ’97, although I do now have heaps of new parts with which to rebuild it, including a load of new panels. Finding this picture of it wearing some old school 12″ Cobra slot mags reminded me what a rad little wagon this is and I really should get the damned thing fixed soon!

Past Cars – 1973 Datsun 1200 Coupe

When I bought this little 1200 coupe back in 1998, it had a mere 28,000 miles on the clock and was in absolutely lovely condition. At the time I paid what was then considered to be really strong money for a Datsun, £1300! A lot considering that even now, ten years later, it’s only the best cars that fetch that kind of cash. Of course now they are incredibly rare here. Possibly the only criticism that could be made of its condition when I got it, was the rear panel which had at some time been replaced, no doubt due to previous accident damage. It wasn’t the tidiest repair and certainly not up to my standards, but the car looked perfectly presentable, so I left it alone. The coupe originally ran the registration SYD18M, but the seller wanted to keep the plate, which was a bit of a pity, but not a major problem.

Continue reading Past Cars – 1973 Datsun 1200 Coupe

Violet SSS Project – Windscreen Surround

I had been hoping that I wouldn’t have to remove the glass from this car, as the front and rear screens are bonded in. There was only one tiny rust hole just above the screen on the right hand side, but closer examination with a torch revealed there was rust visible under the bonding inside the screen, so unfortunately it had to come out. With the stock original glass, it’s not to much of a trauma to get the screen out, but this car has had the original glass replaced with a laminated screen. These are a lot harder to remove without breaking them, especially as it seems many glass fitters tent to go overboard with the adhesive, making it harder to cut through. I only have one spare screen and I wouldn’t expect to have much joy finding a new one, so I really needed to remove this one without cracking it!

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