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Restorations are like….

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Restorations vary. Different ways for the many different king of people. There are many who like to do most of the work themselves. Those skillful souls only give up work to specialists when needed – typically for bodywork or upholstery.

I guess there are some people who just send the car to a restoration shop and just sit back, and wait until its done. Sounds great – but doesn’t work for Lancias. For these cars, you have to be involved – the cars are just full of detail and beg for participation to get it right.

So what’s the work flow? Sometimes like popcorn – no action for a long time,and then things really start to pop. Like magic. Other times, its like being on a ship or a construction site – with a bunch of independent operations, all proceeding at their own pace in their own way. And yes, they should all come together, sometime.

Its been an interesting month – a few setbacks, and solutions found. First, a new windscreen had to be sourced from Omicron, who had two on their shelves! With their careful measurements, size was confirmed prior to shipping. They also had made up some window winding gears (a very interesting two gear assembly for the early cars, but not all of them) for a B53 they were restoring. They happily made a second set for this car too. Problem solved.

Then Scotty found problems with the ring and pinion, and upon deeper inspection, we determined the car had an incorrect B12 transmission. Since the car had been off the road since 1963, this must have happened long ago. After first hunting for  a new ring and pinion, Walt (to the rescue again!) found a s. 2 transmission. Again, solved.

On the parts situation, Mike Kristick is helping with some from his own spares, as well as assisting in finding some in Italy. Hopefully solved.

Werner (the trimmer) is in town for three weeks, working on the car. He is busy on the seats – and is working hard to match original detailing. Small piping, very small, not on the top of the seat, but off the top edges, like it was.

Skip’s shop is back to the body, first putting sound-deadening (a 1/8” thick almost lead-like adhesive backed material) under the roof, which should lessen the drumming.  Window mechanisms are in work as well. Hope is that the car will leave his shop around the first of the year, trimmed, glazed and chromed.

Work is preceeding like it probably did with Pininfarina and Lancia – body work finished at Pininfarina, car goes back to Lancia for mechanicals. This was typical for low-volume production in Italy for some time and makes sense. Images are recalled of finished car bodies hauled on trucks from carrozerias to factories – not just in the 1950’s, but even years later.  The  details of the car, like routing the wiring harness in the sills –  make this easier.

This makes a lot of sense, and just requires that the mechanicals are installed very carefully into the finished bodywork.  This process allows parallel work efforts to go on, as mechanical assemblies can be completed while body details are going on. The tricky part is the interface – like the dashboard –  luckily those are limited to only a few areas.

The wiring harness is due soon from California. The brakes have been finished by Tony Nicosia and they are on their way back, balanced and aligned.

Bill (the machinist) is getting mobilized on the engine. His big threshold is when he orders the (dimensionally correct)  pistons from J&E. We’ve had good luck before with their pistons and ring sets that Bill selects – good compression, good fit, so we’ll go that way again. The liners are pulled and  look OK. There was a small little bit of the water tubes left – probably the most important function of these aluminum tubes is their sacrificial role to protect the rest of the block from corrosion! The heads look good and clean, little corrosion.

All in all, a good month for progress.

Written by Geoff

December 1, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Aurelia

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