Ok so I'm a long way off from being done - just unearthing the colours from the grime. In fact my mate said my Austin is just a dirty joke! But after speaking to a few people who've done the sincere restoration, they seem to have lost a bit of interest after that hill-climb has been climbed.
Now I'm all for the conservation and restoration of these cars. That includes the retention of the input from previous owners and families who've loved and laughed with these creatures. Physical history like this, is a kind of intergenerational respect, not just of individuals but also of societies (the 60s and 70s.) So I'm passionate about cleaning and restoring and bringing the car alive - with as much originality as a Castrol pennant on aerial can provide.
But what do you do when you're finished?
I followed the local Austin 7 car club through the hills and down to the coast the other month. For a few minutes in the mist, I could have been in Foyle's War - but only for a few minutes. And while everyone was very polite, just driving to a large carpark and eating fish n chips and driving home again was a bit of an anticlimax.
So what do you do? Can't just drive to work and back. Saturday driving might be ok.
However, I've realised that every good TV detective has to have a cool car - Morse, Inspector Linley, Rosmary & Tyme, Mr & Mrs Murder - So that's it: It becomes a Crime-Solving-Saturday-Austin.
First job - onto Amazon to get DVD! I know what you mean but there's a lot of more adventurous stuff going on if that's what you mean and the internet makes it easy to find out what and when. I certainly get the what next feeling with motorbikes and boats and sometimes the project is three quarters of the fun. Here's my latest! River boat with a ford crossflow that needed a bit of tidying up but no welding as it's plastic! Will use this a lot for two three years but will then be onto something else.
And when I get tired of current 1800 there's always that v-tec engined version I've had in mind..
Hi Andrew - I totally agree there's something of a double escape with a boat - its not just a hobby or a renovation rescue; there's also the allure of floating away down the river to who knows where. There's always a thrill when you don't know whats round the bend - but in a boat (and how I like to drive) just cruising is something of a therapy. Do you find that you're using similar knowhow and materials for this project? Paddy