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Restoration
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Wheel Arch and Boot Opening

Wheel arch cut back.JPG (927366 bytes) (Left) Wheel arch cut out

(Right) The section around the lower door hinge was rotten on both sides of the car, having also been badly repaired at some time in the distant past

Door hinge area.JPG (928760 bytes)
P9300017.JPG (923340 bytes) (Right) Trial assembly of the wing with the repair section help in place with one bolt. Wing & Repair sections.JPG (854739 bytes)
Boot corner.JPG (888498 bytes) (Left) The boot opening had been built up with filler and fibreglass. When that was removed, the rot was clearly visible.

(Right) the entire boot surround was cut out

Boot repair 2.JPG (892031 bytes)
Boot repair 3.JPG (881836 bytes) (Left) New repair section fabricated and welded in place.

(Right) After the repair sections were welded in place, the original boot lid was refitted to assess the extent to which the edges need to be buiilt up, in order to achieve nicely fitting "gaps". As with many other parts of this car, the boot lid was heavily built up with body filler. This will all be removed and new metal inserted where required.

Boot repair 4.JPG (873353 bytes)
     

 

Passenger Side Sill and Bulkhead

DSC04500.JPG (1377957 bytes)

(Left) This is the inner bulkhead. The bottom half of this bulkhead was rotten, and the door jamb had to be remade.

(Right) Detail view of the femade A post inner stiffener and the body mounting. The inner sill is shown here (obtained from Mike Evans)

DSC04502.JPG (1418188 bytes)

DSC04511.JPG (1398143 bytes)

(Left) The BC post outer stiffener diaphragm also had to be remade.

(Right) The D post section likewise had to be fabricated. I later decided to remake the entire rear wheel arch so this was cut out again!

DSC04510.JPG (1500232 bytes)

     

1939 Rover P2 before restoration

As I mentioned, this car was bought at auction in 2004. The previous owner had put a lot of effort into the restoration, but took too many short-cuts. I wasn't the only person to be taken in by the restoration- one of the well known Classic Car magazines in its auction report commented favourably, though in fairness they did say that the restoration "was not quite up to the mark".

I drove the car home on the day of the auction, taking 9 hours to drive from Duxford (near Stansted Airport) to Holyhead. The main problem was fuel starvation (which I only found out much later) due to a partially blocked pick-up tube in the fuel tank. Probably just as well, because the very poor mechanical brakes scared the c**p out of me.

When I got the car home, up it went on the ramp for an inspection. Even then it looked OK- the sills looked a bit corroded but didn't seem too bad. Plenty of underseal and chassis paint covered a multitude, as it subsequently turned out.

I didn't have sufficient covered space to store the car at that time, so it was left outside for a few months. I can't remember how long it took, but gradually bubbles and bumps appeared beneath the paintwork. Using a paint thickness gauge it became apparent that there was a lot of filler, and multiple coats of paint, over most of the bodywork. In the worst areas the newly applied underseal and chassis paint was lifting away- it must have been applied over heavy rust without any preparation whatsoever. 

The bottoms of all the doors had been very badly "repaired" by tacking on repair sheets, lap welded over the original corroded doors and plastered with filler. Hammering the sills showed up the full ghastly extent of the bodging which had been done- a mess of lap welded patch repairs, filler and fibreglass.

So, decision time- to scrap it, or repair?

Since the mechanicals and trim were in very good order, and at least some of the chrome quite good, I decided to set about a proper restoration of the bodywork.

DSC01383.JPG (921290 bytes)

Left- 1939 Rover P2, 6-light saloon, 1500cc engine.

Right- No chassis number in the usual place

Chassis rail stamp.jpg (1462387 bytes)
D.S A post from inside.jpg (1370927 bytes) Left- Driver's side A-post from the inside

Right-Driver's side A-post external view

Driver side A post.jpg (1395574 bytes)
Driver side sill external.jpg (1412081 bytes) Left- Driver's side sill, front section

Right- Driver's side sill, rear section

Driver side sill rear end.jpg (1495488 bytes)
DS B Post from inside.jpg (1494702 bytes) Left- Driver's side B-post, inside view

Right- D-post inside view

Inner sill rear door from inside.jpg (1374976 bytes)
Pass side B Post external view.jpg (1459368 bytes) Left-Passenger's side B post external view. Note thickness of body filler

Right-Passenger's side A post from the outside

Passennger side A post.jpg (1395651 bytes)
DSC04473.JPG (2100524 bytes) Left- Passenger's side sill being cut out. Note timber support for roof

Right- Rot at the D post, and previous owner's repairs

DSC04474.JPG (2089692 bytes)
DSC04476.JPG (2121599 bytes) Left- A post outer skin removed to get at the repair area. The inner bulkhead was very corroded up to the level of the fresh air vent

Right- The D post again

DSC04481.JPG (2091837 bytes)
DSC04483.JPG (1975220 bytes) Left- section just aft of the BC post showing layers of repairs over the years

Right- Lower part of the A post outer bulkhead peeled away exposing the A post stiffener, very corroded

DSC04485.JPG (2401450 bytes)