Vehicle Restorations

1954 - Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon

1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1 - Alan McMillan

On our way home from the Barossa Valley Tour in May 2016 we called at the Robson’s home in Urana. Way back in 2002 I had swapped with Michael a Ph11 DieselVanguard for a Triumph Dolomite. That Dolomite which now belongs to Colin Berriman, is another interesting story in itself. The Diesel had been under cover at the back of Michael’s extensive property since then. I mentioned to Michael that I was thinking of restoring a Ph11 that I had at home and he suggested that the Diesel would be a more interesting project. As I had always liked the Diesel Vanguard and had restored a diesel ute and an estate car previously, I asked the appropriate question and yes, another swap could be made. Late in June 2016 I duly loaded up several doors and a variety of other bits and pieces as requested and the swap was done. I was now the proud owner of the Ph11 Diesel Vanguard again!

At this time the 58 ute was stored waiting for warmer weather to arrive so painting could begin so in between sewing the interior pieces for that, we stripped the Diesel, took the body off the chassis and started the repairs of the sills and lower front and back panels which were quite rusty and had suffered some damage.

I wanted to make sure the engine was still in working order so I managed to get it going by the end of August. The startup can be seen on the You Tube video on the club website. By mid October we had repaired all the lower section of the body and painted all the underside black. The chassis had been dismantled and all pieces checked or replaced, cleaned and painted before being reassembled. This work was finished by the end of November and so both the body and chassis were stored separately until March 2017 while the 58 Ute was painted and the interior fitted.

We resumed work on the Diesel body in early March and completed about half by the end of April when it was stored again for the winter. We did manage to fit in a driving tour of outback Queensland to Port Douglas and return in May.

June to August we concentrated on sewing the interior pieces, seats, door casings etc. There was some damage to the left side rear wing and the sills were rusty. Above: This photo shows the rust cut out of the front guard. Work was also done to both sills and rear wing sections.

When the warmer days appeared in September we recommenced the body work which was completed early November. Concurrently as Sue worked on the body, Alan checked, repaired and replaced the wiring. We painted the interior of the body black as well as the engine bay and the boot. The body and the chassis were now ready to be united again. A trip to

the chain block tree, some manoeuvring and the body dropped onto the chassis sweetly.

All those bolts and nuts which hold the body and chassis together now had to be tightened and then the engine could be connected. This was all done by the time The Forest Picnic arrived so it could be "driven" to the amusement of all who came. The final part of the story will follow in a few months when the vehicle is on the road.

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

  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1
  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1
  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1
  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1
  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1
  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1
  • 1954 Vanguard Series II Diesel Saloon
    1954 1954 Diesel Vanguard Part 1