The following article is contributed from our sister club in Western Australia and is reprinted with the permission of the author, Terry Egan. It was originally included in the AMVCWA's May/June 2017 "Austin News". We wish to thank the WA club and Terry for the article - enjoy Terry's story!
Since owning an Austin A40 Somerset for 9 years from 1986, I have considered myself as an Austin enthusiast. The car was used in a number of Club runs from 1987 when we were original Club members.
About 4 years ago I was looking at a classic Austin car to restore as I was spending considerable time at home when my contracting job became quiet. I eventually found an Austin 8 for sale in Cowaramup that looked complete and was fully licensed.
I soon travelled to Cowaramup where the car was inspected and found to in reasonable order and nearly complete, I subsequently purchased it after a short test run. The ‘8’ was later found to have originated from a South Australia Vintage Car dealer after it was traded.
After completing a major service on the car and after a few test runs I found that the engine required some attention eventually establishing that it will be required to undergo an overhaul. This work was completed at Engine Machining Services (EMS) in Bellevue.
To bring the car up to a ‘presentable’ standard we commenced the restoration of the ‘8’ and over several months we stripped off the many layers of paint from the body and panels (mostly back to bare metal). It was then stripped of all body panels etc, including all glass along with the interior.
A few rust areas were located and cut out from body and panels (the worst area was the lower section of the left rear door), new metal was then fashioned to fit and MIG welded into place (by my Son, Ben). Overall the car body was found to be in good sound condition.
The ‘running’ body and all panels were later taken to a panel shop for sand blasting and polishing in preparation for priming and painting. The ‘8’ was painted in two Pac enamel, colour - British white (a pale cream).
The above photos are of the body and some panels during the preparation for painting.
The above photos were taken after painting.
The chrome work was carried out by Vinci Chrome in Malaga.
Most of the new rubber was purchased at the Bendigo Swap Meet in 2015. Also purchased were aftermarket fibreglass running boards and a gear box cover along with a new carburettor and other parts/ accessories.
Some rubber parts were later purchased at Woodsies (London Pride Restorations & Windscreen Repairs) in Dianella.
The casting of metal parts that were required (e.g. boot lid hinges) were done by a local Foundry in Bellevue.
Towards the end of the re-assembly I required a complete horn assembly unit and eventually obtained one from a seller near Adelaide S.A. (Advertisement found on ‘Gumtree’)
Over the 4 years of restoration, the ‘8’ was near complete when it was found necessary to remove the fuel tank for flushing and fit a new fuel filler hose and electric pump
Note: it was found that several engine valves were sticking as the engine had not been running for some time. The advice I received from the Engine Shop was NOT to add any upper cylinder lubricant in the fuel as it gums up the valve stems causing them to stick. After running the car now on ‘clean’ fuel I have not had any problems with the engine’s valves