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Pat H

Original Poster:

6,492 posts

143 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
I know that plenty of you are familiar with the story, but for those that aren't, read on. I hope it makes you smile as much as me.

Dad died in 2001. He was only 63 and had been retired less than eighteen months. He was my best friend. We had spent countless days together, whether it was fettling old cars and bikes, doing a bit of sprinting and hillclimbing or just chatting about cars over a pint.

He was a GP, so whilst hardly wealthy, had enough cash to indulge his enthusiasm for cars and bikes. And so through the 1960s he owned a succession of great cars, starting with a Lotus Six, then an XK120, big Healey, an Elan, and a couple of E Types.

Then in 1970, he bought a TVR Tuscan V6. It was to become one of his favourite cars.

Anyway, here we are, outside the factory in Hoo Hill, sometime in 1970. That's me in the Ventora.

The car is a Vixen, which I guess was the factory demonstrator at the time. Dad must have liked the colour.



Here's Mum, having a nosey inside the works.



And afterwards, we went to Squire's Gate airport and Dad showed me the Lancaster which was parked there for many years.



Dad ordered his Tuscan in late 1970. Here's an old TVR brochure that I found when clearing out some of his old things, complete with evidence of Dad picking over the options list.




As you will know, TVR moved to Bristol Avenue over Christmas 1970. Dad's car must have been one of the first cars (perhaps the very first?) to emerge from the new factory. Here's the relevant extract from the factory records, which shows the date of sale as the 4th January. It was registered on the 22nd.



And here she is, back in the Spring or Summer of 1971.



And here's a later pic, showing the Tuscan after Dad had it's arse painted black...





Dad kept the Tuscan for a few years, before eventually selling it to a local chap. And, apart from the fond memories, that is where the story seemed to end.

But it's now about thirty eight years later and Dad has been gone for more than a decade. My wife is away for the weekend and the kids are in bed.

I've just polished off a bottle of Rioja and I'm browsing the interweb. I find myself on eBay, trawling through the classics, when I stumble on an auction for a comprehensively knackered old TVR.



Through bleary eyes I reflect that Dad used to have one just like it. Then I look at the final photo and see the registration.



Shiiiit....

At which point I sobered up pretty quickly.

The following week was horrible. My sixteen year old daughter was unexpectedly admitted to hospital and ended up having major surgery.

I recall sitting in the day room at Preston Royal, waiting to speak to the consultant. Whilst I sat there, I renewed an old acquaintance and called Steve Reid. Turns out that he knew my Dad when he had the Tuscan. And also knew the chap that Dad sold it to. Small world.

The auction was still running, so I arranged to go to have a look at the car...



Jeez, it was absolutely fecked. But it was Dad's car and by this time I had made my mind up.

The vendor wouldn't end the auction early, so the auction had to run it's course.

A couple of nights later, I had a stiff drink and, with fifteen seconds to go and my heart in my mouth, I banged in my bid.

Two days later, this was the scene.







The car is in a terrible state, but at least it is now safe. It transpires that the chap who bought it from Dad only used it for a short time, before parking it up beside his house, where it remained for over thirty years, gradually deteriorating into the state you can see. Frustratingly, the speedo reads 25,000 miles...

Progress so far has been pretty modest, but I have made a start.









Lotus now sold to finance a start on the restoration.

Nice new floor tiles to make the garage more homely.











Almost ready for the body to be lifted.

I want to get the pedal box and the remains of the headlining out of the shell whilst it is still on the car lift. Then I will have a completely bare shell.



Then it will be time to start making final decisions about engine and gearbox.

Am I completely certain I want to keep the Essex engine and not fit a V8?

If I am keeping the Essex, then what about the Zodiac gearbox?

So there you are.

I'm absolutely overwhelmed that I've got the car, despite the state that it is in.

Just wish that this fella was here to help with the rebuild.

drink



pridaux

3,542 posts

36 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Thank You Pat
Will look forward to the next post.
Andrew

Sardonicus

11,598 posts

108 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Great post keep them coming thumbup love the old pics too wink

heightswitch

4,533 posts

137 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
So glad you got her Pat.
looking forward to future instalments

N.

kamilb1998

2,076 posts

64 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Look forward to the next post thumbup
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Rollcage

11,311 posts

79 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
I followed this on the "Left to die" thread - it's a really heartwarming story, and what a tribute to your dad.

I , and I'm sure many others, will be following the rebuild with interest - for however long it may take! hehe

DarkMatter

1,172 posts

118 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Great story, I look forward to hearing the progress reports.

I think you should stick with the V6 and keep closer to the original spec which your Dad bought, maybe fit a 5 speed gearbox if possible.

Bodie390

345 posts

74 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Excellent. I remember the original thread and I'm going to continue with this all the way to the end.

Good luck.

100 IAN

424 posts

49 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Surely you'll restore it as it was and not change the engine, gearbox, colour etc.

After all you bought it becasue it was your dad's car, not becasue you were after a Tuscan.

But there again to restore your dad's car and make it your own............

Podie

41,683 posts

162 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
DarkMatter said:
Great story, I look forward to hearing the progress reports.

I think you should stick with the V6 and keep closer to the original spec which your Dad bought, maybe fit a 5 speed gearbox if possible.
Build sheet says "overdirve" - how TVR! hehe

Recently seen a friend buy his old man's Stag - but looking forward to the build thread on this one Pat smile

ajprice

10,239 posts

83 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Never saw the original thread but after reading the first post here, it's great stuff thumbup

Ant.

5,182 posts

168 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Great story and great that you have a car that means SOOOOO much more you than "just" a car.


Good luck with the restoration, I am sure you will have a mystical assistance !

Podie

41,683 posts

162 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Stick with the Essex... just tinker with it a bit biggrin

gforceg

1,722 posts

66 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
I'm glad to see this thread has re-started, as it were. Great ongoing story, thank you.

On a trivial note, when did the rear panel go back to yellow?

Wacky Racer

22,444 posts

134 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Great stuff Pat...

Will be following this..

Good luck...thumbup

Pat H

Original Poster:

6,492 posts

143 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
gforceg said:
On a trivial note, when did the rear panel go back to yellow?
Very gradually over thirty odd years in the sun.

The black paint has simply faded away...

The car still wears its original paint and has never been resprayed.

pridaux

3,542 posts

36 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Hi Pat
If you would like a new set of kick plates in the OE Checkmate plate made let me know there is a set with you name on in the workshop as a little contribution towards the project just e mail me and let me know where to send them
Andrew

uk66fastback

11,001 posts

158 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic story - beings a lump to the throat every time I read it.

He is there Pat, it's just that you can't SEE him whispering in your ear ...

All power to your elbow (or whatever)

RichB

31,020 posts

171 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
Nice story Pat, you dad looks like a character! Rebuild it with the V6 and I'm sure there are Essex tuning experts out there who will help you add a few horsepower. smile

Warbbby

65 posts

88 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd December 2012 quote quote all
A few months ago I went to a local sunday morning autojumble at Garstang. As I started to look around two friends came across and told me about a Vixen on a trailer at the far end of the site. It turned out to be a yellow Tuscan in a shocking state, too far gone for me but if the seller didn't know what he had then maybe there was a bargain to be had. He said it was on e bay and wasn't interested in offers.

Glad it has gone to a good home and look forward to seeing it when it is shiny.
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