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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Well after lurking on here for a while (& commenting on a few threads), I decided last November to start my own project.
Having modified loads of classic saloon cars in the past I've had a little bit of experience, but I've always found myself looking at vintage Bentleys, Austin 7 specials, ratrods, etc.

After a good rummage in the garage I'd dug up a set of wire wheels (well 2 pairs of 2 anyway!) with splined hubs, an old M.G bonnet & a set of Healey 3000 carbs.
So the plan was hatched, build an Austin 7 special on steroids using as many Austin/Rover/BMC parts as possible!

Next job was look for a chassis & within a week I had 2 Austin Devon ones. 1 was rotten, but the other is surprisingly good.



Here's some bits mocked up in my garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Getting the idea? The missus said that it's gonna look like something that "Toad of Toad Hall" would drive, hence the name of "Toadster"!!

Next job was to look for some sort of body to start off with & Fleebay came to the rescue with an old "Opus" kit. I took a load of photos of it, but can't find them? So we'll have to make do with a piccie of the engine.



I can only assume that the chassis was home-made as it was horrendous & I snapped most of the welds by hand, so lucky that I didn't try to drive it anywhere!

After stripping it & selling the useful bits I started to cut the Devon chassis about.




 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
There were 3 Opus' (Opii ?) at Wheels Day this year, I don't remember ever seeing one before & as James says, the axle is way too far forwards (for my liking anyway).

Back to the thread, as I started this last year there's a bit of catching up to do. I really wanted to find a Westminster axle for it, but after phoning around people who I know break them I couldn't find one, or a Sherpa axle which was the second choice. So went for a MK1 Jaguar axle that I was offered, it's an early one with drum brakes & a 4.5:1 diff, lurvly :tup:




Mocked up in position.

Also bought some tyres from Dez on here, 7.50 x 16 on the rear


& 6.00 x 16 for the front.


I think that they look spot-on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Next job was to fit the rear axle, plan is to weld bits on so that they won't fall off until it's more or less complete, then strip all the bits back off & attach everything properly.


Located the axle using Landrover radius arms that were knocking around, they look old, were free & should easily be strong enough?



The leaf spring was on the front of the Opus, I think that it's an E93A Pop one with possibly a couple of leaves removed, it'll do for now but I expect it'll need some leaves re-fitted? I can now move the chassis around like a wheelbarrow!!!

Next on the list was to start mocking up the front suspension, using the front axle from the Opus (Ford Pop again) & some Rover P4 bits ( it's handy knowing banger drivers ).

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Nick, yes they are beefed up a bit already & more to follow.

More changes to the original plan, I'm making it up as I go along really, I was going to fit an Austin Westminster engine & Healey it up with triple S.Us, etc, but seeing as any on offer needed a major re-build & they weigh the same as a small planet I started to look for another straight 6 lump that I could run on carbs.
Enter this:


A 3.6ltr Jag AJ6 engine out of an XJS, it came with the correct early dizzy so that I can use an earlier Jag ignition module & a manual flywheel, all for £25! They were all injection, but the banger boys have manifolds made to run 'em on 2" S.Us.
Here it is after I'd ripped all the crap off & slapped some paint on the block, sorry about the colour, but it's become a bit of a trademark.
The only major problem I could foresee was that the manual 'boxes are used by the E-type boys to convert their cars to 5 speed, hence big bucks. I did enquire with Flying Phil about the g/box that he got for his Ronart project & he offered it to me at a sensible price (thanks Phil), however I decided to keep everything as cheap as poss & snaffled a Transit gearbox for a tenner. Now all I had to do was join the two together.


I spent some of the money I saved on a rad from a '32 Ford that the owner replaced with an alloy one, also got a grill large enough to cover it all from a Rover 14.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A couple more photos, a bit of chassis cross-bracing, inc rear axle radius arm mountings beefed up.
Plus the gearbox mocked up on the steel backplate template.


Then chucked a chair at it to get a rough idea of where the steering column should sit (the bit of yellow tubing is just for mock-up purposes)


The steering box (105E Anglia) is also re-build & fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well now that summer's over I've got back on with the project, the inlet manifold's finished (I've had it running :D ), made an exhaust (in that order!), cut the bulkhead out & fitted a steel one, etc, etc.
Here's a few pics & more to follow.








 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well I've been tinkering away on the Toadster, most of the brake pipes are run, even though I haven't fitted the front callipers yet.
Also managed to aquire a Rover P2 bonnet which is pretty close length-wise & fits the Rover grill nicely, so I've been cutting that about.



This popped up on Ebay the other day too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I bought an old (possibly military?) fuel tank on Monday & managed to sneak away from the D.I.Y today & make up some mounts for it, along with rear shock brackets & a few other bits.









 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Also, seeing as I'm unlikely to manage to find "Toad of Toad Hall" to test-drive the Toadster, I borrowed the Missus' fluffy frog "Fred" & started to get him into cars.


I think he's hooked? :pmsl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks to everyone for the comments.

Ivanhoew, I'm not entirely sure? If my memory serves me correctly (I've had 'em pugged away for a good few years) I think that the rears are supposed to be sporty ones for a XK150 & the fronts are A.C Ace? I have just acquired another pair of fronts that are 48 spoke (like the rears) & slightly dished (the current fronts are 60 spoke).

I've been plugging away at it, the fuel tank is away being cleaned as it is full of loose rust.

The handbrake lever is in.


I've started on the front shock upper mounts.

I know that they look a little O.T.T, but I'm going to notch the underside of the chassis to give the track-rods a bit more space for travel, so these put a bit of strength back into it.

Best of all is that I've driven it, running off a set of jump-leads & a plastic fuel can, but it makes it a whole lot easier to move around:tup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I have been plugging away at the Toadster, I realised that fitting the new front wheels meant that the track was too wide, so I handed the front uprights to a machine shop & they've made & fitted new stub axles so that I can now fit Healey wire wheel hubs directly to them resulting in a much narrowed track.
While they've been away mainly making little brackets & painting stuff, I'll try to remember to take a few photos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thanks for the comments guys, I am plugging away on it, but to be honest I detest bodywork, so modifying various bits of bonnet to fit is taking time!

The manifold was made by myself, I bought a cheap plasma cutter & cut the flanges, then bought some thick walled exhaust 180 degree bends & trimmed them to fit. The throttle linkage is very much temporary at the mo, but will be built up properly when the engine comes back out & is sat on the bench.

Banger boys usually use twin 2" S.Us rather than triple, but I have seen a manifold made to take a pair of DGAS Webers!
 
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