Hello to all.
Another newbie of sorts here, in the home stretch (fingers crossed) of a 1951 E493 Prefect restoration project. Found this great site after doing some research and am hoping to learn enough (and maybe pick up a few obscure parts along the way) to finally get over the hump of a long and expensive haul.
By way of some background, we bought our Prefect back in 2012 from a heavy-duty diesel mechanic, Brian, in the small town of Redwater, Alberta. He himself rescued the vehicle from another person who'd found it sitting in a barn, where it had been laid up for some time. Apparently the barn-finding owner never got around to working on the vehicle--particularly since it wasn't running at the time--so he sold it to Brian for a song (pardon the pun).
Amongst other things, the Prefect's engine (which wasn't original to the car) had seized up, so Brian tried to source a working one, which is something of a hen's tooth here in Canada. He eventually found a serviceable motor on a nearby farm, which we believe came from a Fordson tractor as it, as well as the attached transmission, was painted blue. Brian eventually got the Prefect running again, and he drove it, occasionally, for about 10 years--mostly to the local ice cream shop with his grandson--before deciding to put it up for sale.
After buying the Prefect from Brian, it was soon realised that it required quite a bit more work than was originally thought, both inside and out. The interior had been "updated" at some point along the way (circa early 1970s), with the front bench seat being removed (replaced with two small bucket seats secured to a wooden platform) and all of the leather/vinyl-covered surfaces (including the door cards) re-finished in a gold-coloured crushed velvet. The exterior of the car had also been re-done in a dark brown paint with sparkles in it, and the body, while very sound, was missing a number of smaller parts throughout (some of which I'm still looking for). Mechanically, it was good enough for a sedate drive up the block, but needed an overhaul if one wanted to be sure of returning from the trip.
Due to the amount of work involved, a business specialising in restoring vintage British imports, Brit Bits in Edmonton, Alberta, was sought out and kindly agreed to take on our Prefect project. Although Brit Bits prefers to work on higher-end imports, as we wanted to do an off-frame restoration, complete with a period Aquaplane upgrade, they were sufficiently interested to take on the challenge. They've done an excellent job thus far, and we're hoping to have the Prefect on the road (and into a few shows) by the Summer of 2017.
In any event, I'm looking forward to reading through some more of this forum's very informative threads, and hope to be able to eventually do some custom with anyone looking to get rid of some of their less-interesting Prefect bits. I certainly anticipate having some spares of my own by the end of this project (not knowing any better at the time, I bought a variety of parts that I thought were needed prior to Brit Bits starting their work), so this might be a beneficial go for all concerned.