Austin A35 2 door

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gazza82
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:17 pm

Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

Just before Christmas I finally dragged my 1959 A35 2-door from its storage hole and had it trailered home. It has been languishing in my Mum's garage since the mid 70s when a blown alternator (positive earth!) and loose core plugs meant it was replaced with something larger (Triumph 2500PI Mk I Estate). But as the A35 was the car I learnt to drive in (and my car maintenance skills) I didn't have the heart to part with it

So as 2020 will be when I hang up my keyboard and mouse (at least as a way to earn a living) and we are having to sell my late mother's house it seemed the right time to retrieve "Bitza" ... it's always been on my bucket list to get back on the road.

When I first bought the A35 we pretty much rebuilt it ... two of my Dad's work colleagues ran a stock car team so taught me the basics and a bit more. Engine seemed fine so we rebuilt brakes, front suspension and the clutch and all four tyres were replaced. Plus sorted some of the dodgy wiring bodges we found. We also resprayed the Court Grey (actually a cream colour) body White as all the panels were actually different shades of cream. And some had seen better days. It only cost my £5 to buy so wasn't too surprised .. just a bit shocked that the only reason it stopped was the rivets on the brake shoes were digging into the drums!! Passed her first MOT with me with flying colours.

When I used it in the 70s I added 5 1/2" banded steels with 185 tyres, van springs (it had a habit of rubbing with passengers in car) and a remade dash (100mm diam speedo and tacho and some 52mm dials). I repainted it "Le Mans Blue" and re-trimmed it in black vinyl with foam padding, and covered the blue vinyl seats with a set of 70s bucket seat covers from an ad in HotCar magazine. A very typical 70s "Econo-Custom" as HotCar referred to them (done on the cheap basically!)


I used it a lot until it just became a bit small (family taxi and only driver!) and then it started to break, which wasn't great as I had just met the girl of my dreams .. and she wasn't overly impressed with the Austin or the fact I was always fixing it .. hence the arrival of the Triumph. (Later she realised I was useful to have around as I kept her A40 going until it was smashed up while parked outside some friends and I rebuilt a MkII MG Midget for her ... even if my finger nails were never that clean .. when I had any!)

First job was to clear the space around it of junk .. including a cooker I'd never seen in my Mum's house! (Why?). Then replace the 40+ year old tyres with something that held air .. in doing so discovered I'd put the 8" A40 Farina drums on from my wife's scrapped car. The original 7" drums were in the boot along with some other ex A40 bits. Will provide some much needed funds.

I was surprised when it moved so easily .. not so surprised when I found the brake shoes from said 8" drums in a cupboard and the brake return springs under the car! The handbrake wasn't on (and is now firmly jammed off!).

So what are the plans?

Full strip down and then put the shell on a spit. I know both sills are shot as are the bottom of the front wings (near the sills). One hinge panel (N/S) is rusty so that will get cut out and a new one welded in. All the panels will be with me later this month. Remove the rusty bits and the gunk and spray the underside with anti-chip. Fully rust proof the cavities, and a full respray.

The running gear will be upgraded to MG Midget (1330cc) as will the gearbox, 3.9 diff and Midget half-shafts, and disc brakes on front with a Metro pedal box (dual circuit master and servo) with fully hydraulic drums on rear. I've got a set of 6x13" Minilites (which is why it moves). Lowered all round (not stupidly). And replace the interior .. mainly due to mouse nibbling! Full re-wire (DIY) to make it more reliable and more up-to-date accessories (negative earth obviously).

Hence the nickname "Bitza" .. she'll be bitz of this and bitz of that by the time I'm done. Just for fun yesterday I removed the steering wheel and popped on a 10" Motolita from that old Midget we used to own .. I may need more muscles to turn it though with 6" rims and 175 width tyres .. it was more to see if the steering wheel boss fitted ok as club members were asking on our forum!

I'll add some pics soon .. have to get them down to a reasonable size to add here or host somewhere.



PS I'm still married to that "girl of my dreams" ... and she's still not overly chuffed the A35 is still around :lol:

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woodypup59
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:28 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by woodypup59 »

Pictures please. Use microsoft picture editor (part of office) to compress pictures to under 500K (100K is fine) and upload them here.

The boss has his folks' 4 door '55 A30 in the workshop waiting for a "spare moment".

This forum is useful http://forum.austina30a35ownersclub.co.uk/

Supersonic
Posts: 1905
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:25 pm

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by Supersonic »

PS I'm still married to that "girl of my dreams" ... and she's still not overly chuffed the A35 is still around :lol:

Good story and welcome to the Mk1 Forum, hope you sort out posting photographs. I'm in the same boat, wife not chuffed with old cars still around :lol:

Alan

gazza82
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:17 pm

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

woodypup59 wrote:Pictures please. Use microsoft picture editor (part of office) to compress pictures to under 500K (100K is fine) and upload them here.
They are on an Android tablet at the moment ... and came off a Canon EOS DSLR so multiple megabytes each ...
The boss has his folks' 4 door '55 A30 in the workshop waiting for a "spare moment".
I've been waiting for that spare moment since 2013! :roll: And tell him to join the Austin A30/A35 Owners' Club - may give him the inspiration he needs :lol:
I know .. Project 757 is my thread on that one ... been a club member since 2013 and their Web Editor since 2015 (which means I manage and code their website, manage and moderate that forum and also their facebook group, and am on the Club committee .. preaching to the converted my friend!! :D )

roymck
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 7:19 pm
Location: Dorking , Surrey

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by roymck »

If you search for project X on that site you will find my 1275 A30 build . Fully sorted rebuild with 5 Speed box etc on a rust free low mileage car .
8662 FN Austin Mini

I know its not original I like it this way

My wife says I don’t listen to her or something like that !

gazza82
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:17 pm

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

My first view for several years ... after I'd removed a coupe of step ladders, boxes a,d gardening equipment (most of which was broken!)
20191204_body_side.jpg
And no, nothhing special to warrant the twin exhausts ... apart from a cheapo trim piece that connects to a very small pipe and a 948cc engine!

Jackson Pollock was practicing!!!
20191204_rear_end_annot.jpg
Seems I did some mods without realising ... these are 8" A40 Mk II drums and hubs (thicker kingpins).
20191204_front_suspension_annot.jpg
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Last edited by gazza82 on Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

gazza82
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:17 pm

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

The nearside sill is a lot worse ...
20191208_100330.jpg
And I doubt I'd try using that manky jack point ... the n/s one has dropped off!
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Last edited by gazza82 on Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mk1
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by mk1 »

What a fantastic story!

I look forward to following your progress. You are so lucky having your first car tucked away at your Mum's for all those years.

It doesn't look like Bitza has suffered too badly being tucked away for that long.

Glad you got the picture issue sorted.
Mark F
I'm a rather fat feathery Owl called sage.

gazza82
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:17 pm

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

I shrunk them to fit on the laptop .. and added a few comments.

I'll try and remember to post pics as I go ... or link this to my other website (not the forum .. google sites) so you can get an idea of progress ...

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Costafortune
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by Costafortune »

Thinking back, the A30/35 was never a really rot prone car was it? They became tatty but not falling to bits like most other cars of that era.

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