In 1978 brother decided to restore the car at his home in Davis CA. He took it apart totally, stored the pieces that fit in his shop and left those outside that didn't. But life, as it does, got in the way of the restoration. The only progress was restoring the four side curtains. Finally in 2016 Weller returned to the project and made a start. He dug the frame out of the mud and sand blasted it. Then he got a start on building the tub on the frame. I joined him (he was now living in Woodland CA), and together we made some headway. But his facilities and resources were not conducive to such a project. We consulted with Doug Pelton of From the Frame Up, as to whether a rebuild was worth it or whether we should list the most valuable pieces for sale and part it out. Doug counseled that it would be a shame to take another TC off the road. We agreed and decided to go ahead with the project, thinking we had made a good estimate of the cost of replacement parts and that the car would be worth far more than that at the end. Hah!
In June 2017 we loaded a trailer with the parts we could find and towed it to my home in Niwot Colorado, near Boulder. Some friends came to see the U-Haul contents. They were shocked at the disarray and predicted a hard road ahead. I had had some experience at refurbishing Jaguars (E-type and XK120) but not with the serious body and mechanical issues that the TC had.
Luckily a good friend (Bob Scott of Tucson Arizona), who had owned a TC and who had also owned an automotive machine shop, offered to restore the engine. Tragically he died recently, but not before he had attended the motor starting ceremony in 2018.
Over the last 2 1/2 years I slowly but steadily cleaned and/or blasted parts; repaired, straightened, welded, filled, primed sanded and painted 25 pieces of sheet metal, finished building the tub and covering it with body panels; and all the other chores that go into a proper restoration. The final result is pleasing, but, as hinted at above was not a financial triumph! Many parts that we thought were salvageable weren't, increasing the budget by more than 50%. Much of the increase is also due to my vanity. I sprung for chrome wheels and Blockley tires for the bling factor, for instance. Another bling item (although not expensive) was the use of redwood burl veneer for the dash. The source was 100 year old stumps from redwood timber destined for rebuilding San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of 1906.
I still have the XK120 so the need to go fast in an old British car is satisfied. The little TC will be used for lazy outings in the foothills of the Rockies, local car meets and parades. I now need another project to keep me out of the bars, but it won't be a car, at least not for a while.
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- Steve Simmons
- Site Admin
- Posts: 886
- Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:48 am
- Location: Southern California
1949 TC9849 EXU / XPAG 10507