Monthly Archives: June 2006

Get on with it!

No progress on the Aston today, but I did receive an email.   Here it is in full:

 Hi Malc,

Get the pesky thing started & stop writing about it!

Regards, John

I can’t think of better advice than that.  

Pirelli Advert

Pirelli are doing the viral marketing thing. Put something cool on the web and hope people to link to it in their blogs. It’s worked:

http://www.pirellifilm.com/thefilm/viewFilm.jhtml

Pirelli’s “The Call” is an excellent 8 minute film. John Malkovich is a priest in Rome who is called upon to exorcise an unruly TVR Sagaris, represented in spirit by a rather naked Naomi Campbell. In the film the TVR’s wheelspinning antics are finally calmed by a set of Pirelli tyres.

Of course in real life a TVR doing doughnuts in Italy would normally be cheered on by the locals (even the priests), but don’t let that detract from the excellent film.

You’ll need to select a movie format and quality from the menu on the left before it’ll play. It’s a real movie, so if you end up looking at a sequence of freeze frames then try the middle quality for the windows player (the one that looks like a flag with 4 squares) as that’s the one that worked for me.

Organisation – that’s not like me!

It’s not like me to be organised, but there are a couple of things I did early on in the project that I’m very grateful of now:

  • All the little screws from the interior ended up in plastic bags marked with the general area they came from – ie doors, dash, rear seat, boot etc. That’s so helpful in working out which screw goes where at the end of a project.
  • I took hundreds of photos during dis-assembly which have been great in working out where all the bits go, how the wiring connects, and importantly the sequence of assembly.

Sounds obvious. But I’ve been very lucky with my photos – I forgot to record the assembly sequence of a few bits and pieces, and it’s quite important on the Aston. It’s easy to spend a week working on the car and then find everything has to be undone again to fit some daft screw.

Some before and after photos.

I’ve been flipping through some photos from the start of the project (mostly to try and figure out where all the bits came from). It’s interesting to compare then and now:

Original sill rust

Sills repaired and painted

Original front arch

Front wheelarch with shiny bits

But who is going to see the underneath? Maybe just the MOT tester and the occasional unlucky pedestrian.

Interior to go in and then the project is finished. There are a whole load of things that I’m keen to finish at the moment. For crazy reasons of my own I’ve set a deadline of 4th July to finish everything. Work like mad until then, and have a break once everything is over and done with.

Waxoyl

I waxoyled the Aston this morning. It’s always a messy task, but made a lot easier and more effective by using a compressor rather than the nasty hand pump things that you can buy in Halfords. I invested about £60 in a “wax-auto international” gun, and it’s been fantastic.

Waxoyl gun

The cleaned interior is laid out on sheets in the middle of the garage now, so there’s half a chance the car will be almost complete by the end of the week. Of course completely complete is another matter.

Astons on Islands

Congrats on the OI Malcolm! the tennis elbow is slowly getting better, so I should soon be back at work on ROJ – although I’ve got a way to go to catch up with you!

Have just had fun with some big toys – flew to the Isles of Scilly from Bristol on a Twin Otter – saw a pair of Basking Sharks swimming slowly down Bristol Channel. Travel between the islands was by Hamilton jet boat at 50 knots…
Flew back to Penzance in a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter and from Newquay to Gatwick in a BAe Dash-8. It may have been work, but the commute was fantastic!

Very few classic cars on the islands – the salt air would disolve a centurion tank before your eyes. One resident did bring over an Aston Martin DB4, but sent it back to the mainland pretty quickly.

We did find a BMW with sat nav highly amusing, I mean, on an island of 1554 acres!

And the flies!! It was a bit like Australia. You would have had little tracks all over the OI if you had painted it there.

And Finally Painted!

It’s painted – the last major step. I’d been quite worried about how the paint was going to turn out, especially as the last metallic car I painted turned out rather badly. To be fair it was a Renault 4, and the main reason it looked bad was every panel had dents which reflected the light all over the place giving a rather uneven appearance. I ended up re-painting that car in a light solid colour.

Finally finished painting the sodding thing

It turns out 2 pack base coat and clear lacquer is a remarkably forgiving paint system. Much easier than cellulose. So long as the base coat isn’t sprayed too thickly it will smooth itself out and align the metallic flakes to give a smooth, consistent appearance. The lacquer goes on just like any ordinary solid colour paint.

I’m in three minds about the finish. The first is that it’s worked out better than the nasty respray the car had in the ’80s (and which still exists on the rest of the car). The second that I’ve not achieved an Aston Martin finish, and that feels disrespectful. The third is it’s probably on a par with the factory painted Mercedes parked outside the garage (not mine), so overall perhaps a good result for someone who claims not to be capable of spraying a metallic finish.

Although I’d like to know how Mercedes get the flies out of their paint. :)

More Painting

I’ve found a better match for the paint. There are no records of what colour had been used in the respray, so I took a filler cap into the paintshop and found the nearest match. It’s a Mitsubishi colour (B67 ICI).

The match is very good. I elected to paint the whole side of the car rather than mess around with blending as there were some other defects in the paint. Here’s a photo before the lacquer coat:

Whole side in base coat