Saturday, February 28, 2009

The light of day

After probably its first night under cover in years, the GT6 was wheeled out this morning for a wash. She was imported in Sept/Oct 2007 and probably sat outside since then - and goodness knows how many years before that. She was filthy!

After the wash, I spent an hour going over her, noting what bits are missing and broken. The right hand rear quarterlight is gone - carefully removed and left somewhere. All four US-spec cruising lights have perished or lost the lenses, and need replacing. Various bits of interior trim have vanished or crumbled away, but as a full retrim is on the agenda they don't matter. All the window rubbers have perished, the tyres are cracked, the windscreen is broken, the wiper arms have fallen off, the tachometer is broken, the dashboard ply is falling apart, and the bumpers are pitted and dented. Most of the panels have small dents, but there really is almost no rust (except for the tailgate) so she'll be able to keep all her panels. California cars...

All the mechanical bits are in place, so I changed the plugs, leads and air filters, put on a battery and turned the engine on the starter. Good news, it's not seized and spun easily. I hotwired the ignition and ran a hose from the fuel pump to a jerry can, but couldn't get her to fire. There was spark at the coil but not the plugs. The engine service kit I bought had parts for a Lucas distributor, but mine's a Delco, so I couldn't do any more on that side. The carbs were seized, and spent a while with CRC56 freeing off all the linkages, only to find the accelerator pedal itself is seized solid! A pair of Dolomite Sprint 1.75" SUs are on their way, so I couldn't see any point persevering with the Strombergs. The radiator leaked like a seive, but the tanks look OK so a simple recoring should be all that's required.

Another impression. The interior was cleaned thoroughly for shipment (thank you Australian Quarantine) so it's not completely disgusting, but this car has spent years sitting in the sun. The seat foam is crumbly (high backed recliners, the best and still very comfortable), the steering wheel is falling apart, the dash foam is history... she smells like a barn find, dry, dusty and dessicated, and everything inside is dirty. The hinges, pivots and locks are dry and stiff (more CRC!). But the view down the long bonnet is the same as I remember from my only other GT6 experience, driving a white Mk1 on a grasskhana. She was worth the expense and the wait.


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