Vehicle Restorations

1950 - Vanguard Phase I

Phase I Vanguard Restoration - Greg Campbell

Start of 1950 Phase 1 Restoration.

On the way back from the Tenterfield Get Together our old ‘Pink Panther’ the clutch started to slip badly as I put on the power so the trip was very slow, some hills like Ben Lomond necessitated the use of first gear and very little throttle, anything past that point just brought up the revs, slowed down the car and increased the burning smell. The trip would have been more daunting but for the fact that Allan and Sue McMillan travelled with us so I knew help was on hand.

The decision was made to fix the problem so with the help of my every so handy son Andrew we set about the task. Firstly I had to get the motor out which is no easy task as we found that the cross member is fixed unlike the Phase 3, the front grille doesn’t come off like the Phase 3 and there is very little room between the sump and body as the motor comes out. We cheated by dropping the sump to give a little more room. The clutch plate that we were sent was 8¼ inch diametre and not the 9 inch that was needed, I made a comparison with the Fergie plate, same diameter but no springs, however what it did show was that the thickness of my plate was good it was just glazed over. I cleaned it up with a rough paper and numerous layers of brake cleaner spray until I could not get any more oil out of the compound. Everything was ready to go back in along with new gaskets for anything that would leak and new kits in the petrol pump and carbie.

Andrew said that there was no sense in wasting good time and effort getting the motor in and out without doing a paint job in the colour I want it when fully restored. We found that the original colour was green and that the walls of the engine bay had been painted (term used loosely) with black and it came off easily with thinners. I set to work cleaning the motor, engine bay and the top part of the chassis that can either be seen or is covered by the motor. I know that in the future I have a big job ahead of me to clean under the car. I used the POR 15 paint in black on the chassis and grey on the engine bay. Next step was undercoating with Epoxy primer then 3 coats of colour. After much searching of colour charts we selected the one we wanted but it only came in enamel, no good. Next choice was suitable and came in 2 pack and is surprisingly just called ‘red’ but does have a burgundy finish. I used a spray pack paint for the motor and other black parts, Rustoleun mat black BBQ paint that will tolerate 1200 degrees and a POR 15 spray pack silver/grey exhaust paint for the manifold and other parts that would normally be metal finish.

With all parts cleaned, polished and painted it went back together, this time we cheated even more by removing the oil pump for more clearance. After getting rid of the rotten cloth around the wires I wrapped all the old wiring loom in “Fleece Tape” as it has the old style look and feel of cloth but does not sweat like electrical tape. Next was to push the start button, nothing but a winding motor, further investigation revealed the distributor was 180˚ out so I put it back in the correct manner. Next it still did not want to connect the shaft and rotor button I found that I had spread the shaft thus lifting the drive components apart. Easy fix, loosen the bolt and push top and bottom parts together. Fixed. The motor started and I am pleased to say that I don’t appear to have a slipping clutch problem anymore.

Andrew is still not happy in saying “the ugly duckling is turning into a beautiful swan” but is happy with the transformation from pink to red. When time permits we will finish the job, hopefully by the end of 2017, if I can find time in retirement. I will complete the story then.

Greg Campbell - 1 June 2017

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  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration
  • 1950 Vanguard Phase I
    1950 Phase I Vanguard Restoration