Vehicle Restorations

1949 - Vanguard Phase I

Black Phase I Standard Vanguard - Bruce Beresford

After owning a 1951 Standard Vanguard back in the mid-60s, my first car, I have always had a soft spot for the vehicle. Since 2009, I have been looking for a replacement Vanguard, something to restore. There have been plenty around but mostly junk requiring years of work and a big wallet.

I finally found a single web page with images and a story of a 1949 Black Vanguard. The images displayed a pristine almost as new looking Vanguard. There were also images of the original registration papers and purchase invoice. There was an associated story of how this car had never been on a dirt road or been out in the rain. This was worth investigation, so I contacted the owner in Victoria and arranged to travel down to Victoria and inspect the vehicle.

As mentioned, the images of this vanguard displayed a black 1949 Vanguard in pristine, almost as new condition with an associated story of how this car had never been on a dirt road or been out in the rain. We later discovered that the images were from photos taken in 1984, 27 years earlier.

An initial inspection of the Vanguard was carried out in early March 2011 on the return motorcycle ride from Phillip Island after attending the Superbike Races. We travelled to Nutfield Victoria and found the address and the vanguard. It was located in a large shed, where I think it may have spent many lonely years. I carried out an inspection, as best I could in the cramped conditions, and decided it was worth the effort of restoration. I settled on a price and arranged to pick up the vehicle early April 2011.

On 7 April 2011, a friend and I headed off from Nerriga NSW to Nutfield Victoria with car trailer in tow. We arrived to pick up the Vanguard the morning of 8 April 2011. The vanguard was pushed out of the shed and winched onto the trailer and by midday we were heading back to Nerriga NSW.

The return trip was interesting, looking in the rear view mirror and seeing this bloody big black monster tailgating us. We made it back ok, less quite a bit of rubber from the soft Tarago tyres. The following day I travelled to my son's home at Albion Park NSW where we maneuvered the Vanguard into its new temporary home, the shed and started the restoration project.

After a concerted effort of 6 months rebuilding I had it on the road and road registered. This was now the start of about 4 years of work getting it to completion, if that is ever possible.

More detail available at http://www.1949vanguard.com.au

('Click' image for larger view...)

  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Original purchase receipt 29 July 1949
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Original registration certificate - (NO-606)
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Commission Number - V23934DL
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Body No - 434811, Stock No - 1855
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Pickup from Nutfield Victoria - 8 April 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    And so it begins, wheels off, brakes off. Location Albion Park - 9 April 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Stripping down - 19 April 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Headlights removed, some wiring repairs to do as well - 14 May 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Tightening the head bolts - 21 May 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Fitting the new hub bearings, brake cylinders and brake shoes - 29 May 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Finally got the auxiliary valve springs; now fitted, valve rocker clearancers set - 19 June 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Clutch replaced and gearbox now re-installed- 17 July 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Gearbox pulled down, seems in good condition, just need to replace all seals and gaskets 26 Jun 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Generator replaced with alternator - 28 July 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Installed the radiator and fitting all radiator hoses - 27 August 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Seats all fitted - 28 August 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Started her up and drove her out of the shed where she has spent the past 5 months - 28 August 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Registered and on the road - 17 September 2011
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Respray - 27 January 2012
  • 1949 Vanguard Phase I
    1949 Black Phase I Standard Vanguard
    Finished...