The pace of the build is not letting up. The petrol tank is now almost complete and all the seams etc are beautifully welded together, the only items left to do are the mounting straps and the final placing of the filler neck. The filler cap itself will wait until the rear wheel mount is welded on and the TWO spare tyres are in position. In the picture below you can see the spare wheel and the petrol tank being mocked up prior to fitting. The filler cap obviously needs to be accessible but it does not need to be sticking out as much as the second photo shows.
In the top picture, note the rear of the bodywork curving above the spare wheel subtly, I am really pleased with how that worked out – somehow it makes the car look more sporting as do the rear wings presenting quite a lot of vintage rubber tyre.
Moving to the front of the car, the bulkhead is temporarily fitted as is the firewall. These were not fixed into position until I had sat in the car and we had agreed the maximum and minimum height of the steering wheel. Interestingly the throttle pedal sticks out the side of the car so we talked about how the ‘bulge’ around my foot will look because it will be in plain sight when viewed from outside the car. Although this sounds a little strange, it is quite normal for vintage sports cars to be ‘fitted’ to the driver. Take away the expansive saloon bodywork and you are left with not much foot room so its fairly common to have bulges in the bodywork shaped around the driver. Plus i think people in the 1930’s were a lot smaller than we are these days.
Below is the first real chance to see the interior (minus the transmission tunnel). It is so much cleaner now with the handbrake moved to outside and the gear lever is on the steering column so there is nothing else in the middle. What you see is what there is. The gearbox cover has been designed to be left visible to passengers. I will probably only fit carpet to the wood floors.The side panels will be trimmed in a simple manner as befits the intended use of the car.
What was pleasing today was finding that getting into the drivers seat from the passenger side was really easy, you merely climb over the side, sit in the seat then swivel your legs under the steering wheel. All i have to do now is work out how to get into the seat from the drivers side. Getting out of the car was also easy, the bodywork easily supported my weight as I lifted myself up, out of the seat so many of my fears of struggling due to a lack of strength in the body-frame have been diminished. Before the strength was only a theory but now it is clearly a reality. Joy.
Above you get a better view of the firewall and foot-well – all of this will be visible when the bonnet is open but this area is not yet complete. The bonnet now needs to be temporarily fitted so that all the constituent parts can be matched together. So that is the next step – a plain bonnet will be built, then all the louvers, bulges, cutouts etc will be added later.
Meanwhile and less visible to this blog, the fuel tank support frame, straps and mounts are all under construction. I am rather lucky that I have had the time to visit the workshop twice a week, otherwise I would have missed a lot of the build.
As Toad of Toad Hall would say…. ‘poop poop – exciting times’