I have personally restored two vehicles:
I have owned my 1964 Thames 7CWT Van since 1993.
I had it restored four times but each time I was never really happy with the result.
In 2008, I decided that I would restore the van myself as any mistakes would be down to me.
I had some help with the restoration with a friend who still runs a body shop. I was taught the basics of restoration and paint, which stood me in good stead for the future.
Twelve years on and the van is still looking the best it's ever been!
When I bought the van in 1993, I decided that I would like to restore a saloon one day. I spent 20 years collecting difficult to source parts for a saloon that I didn't even own!
My goal was to restore a saloon to it's original form without modification. I managed to locate a shell from a friend of mine that was situated locally. He had inherited the car in 1991 from his uncle, who bought the car new in 1962.
He has stripped the car for restoration soon afterwards, but left the car for 20 years before selling it to me. He had many offers in the meantime, but didn't want the car to be butchered or modified. He wanted the car as he remembered it as a child in the 1960's. He sold it to me on the condition that it was restored in it's original form.
I bought the car in 2011 and started the restoration in 2013.
The only thing I did differently on the restoration was painting the floor, as the car was only painted in primer when it came out of the factory in Dagenham. I know this, because I spent two weeks removing the 30 years of yearly underseal (35 kg no less) only to discover that the floor was just painted in brown primer!
I tried to replicate as best I could, the car is it came off the production line. I think that I may have added a little extra to the underside which, in my view, should have been done from the start!
The Anglia as it arrived at my workshop in 2011.... Totally original with all original panels.
The little boy on the right is Tony Mason, who I bought the Anglia from.
This is Tony at Tatton Park June 2013, where the Anglia had it's first outing! The car won 'Car of the day' out of 1,500 other cars!
The interior of the Anglia is original apart from the door cards and the new carpet.