Vauxhall PA Cresta - The Pink Lady

Subtitle

The Restoration

 

(2007)

 Last time we used her the door came off in my hand! She needed some serious TLC….found lots of horrors…no strengthening panels, parts of chassis gone…holes everywhere…roof pillars rotted, door posts rotted away, wings, doors, bonnet, boot all needed repairing or replacing, new sills…etc, etc, etc….I think anyone else would have scrapped her, but we are determined to save her.

 

We have done lots of welding on her now (nearly all round everywhere with poor Mark patiently spending hours fabricating plates and panels to replace all the missing or rusty parts) and so, she is sitting straighter now and much stronger, don’t know how she didn’t break up!

 This took months and months and you couldn't see any progress.

Anyway, need to start on the actual bodywork/cosmetic side and hopefully by next year she will be restored to nearly her former glory with a nice new shiny coat of paint.

 

 

(2008)

Jan/Feb/March

Finished off any welding/repairing and started on underneath. The whole of the floor and underneath sealed and painted black. Propshaft, axles and anything else underneath removed and cleaned and painted black.

Started sanding down, filling, more sanding down body and parts.

Engine bay done and primed - 1 day...tried to hang a door....3 days later!!! 

 

April 

I spent 2 days with a Da sanding down 5 layers of paint from the bonnet down to bare metal.!

We have managed to get the doors to fit back on after lots of hammering, banging, adjusting bits here and there, you would never believe they were off the same car! and have to try and fit the boot and bonnet and front wings, all are being rubbed down, filled where necessary and rubbed down again, prepairing for primer.

I thought we were on the easy bit now, but it has been weeks of extremely hard work, but it will be worth it in the end (so i keep telling myself!) It seems like we have been filling, sanding, filling, sanding the same bits for ever, but our son who is going to paint it, assures us it will be worth it for a good paint job.

May

All panels, doors, boot bonnet etc re-fitted temporarily. Still sanding, filling, rubbing down. We have taken the roof back to bare metal, discovering the original black paint under the white!

We were hoping to have the relaunch at Luton Festival of Transport on 8th June which is only 5 weeks away.... looking very doubtful, but you never know.

Changed boot lid as we were not happy with one on her, she now has the old one off the famous green & black one, took this down to bare metal.

Car is now ready for primer at last...

Saturday 10th May... The day we have been working hard for and looking forward to is not going well, sealed and primered doors and boot lid underside - reaction to paint in places, bonnet underside is ok. So, we have now had to re-strip paint off all the doors and will have to take them all down to bare metal and re-do them. Obviously todays hi-tech stuff isn't compatible with old paint.! Doing car shell now, and touch wood, it is going on ok... so far.

Good news... the shell has had its 1st coat of primer & all is well. Will be rubbed down in a few days, ready for the 2nd coat.

Saturday 17th May... After another week of rubbing down and preparing, second coat of primer is going on.

And another week of rubbing down, still reacted in a few places which after all the hard work is heartbreaking and frustrating, but we are getting there. Primed all the little bits and pieces of trim from inside, which takes some time, lightly sanding them again and re-masking car again tonight (Thursday) as tomorrow is the big day of the first sign of colour. Engine bay and door shuts, inside of bonnet etc are being painted at last, and i can't wait to see that pink. Once dry, we will re-hang the doors and next week it is going for the re-spray. Engine has been cleaned and we will probably paint this and other bits while waiting for the car to come back.

Had more trouble with boot area tonight, cleaned ready for tomorrow, but more paint came off. So after a bit more rubbing down and sealing it is finally sorted. (hopefully!! )

Friday 23rd May... Yahoooo....We have Pink!!  Very bright at first, but looking good. It has cheered us all up after the long hard slog, and set-backs, it seems now finally we are getting somewhere, and was hard to imagine ever getting to this day.

Saturday 24th May... All looking very good this morning. Apart from a pink garden! Some nice shiny pink panels, and now the white is going on, and this is looking very good. We are only doing the inside boot area and all the inside trim bits, as the rest of the car is going to a spray booth for the main spraying.

We are going to get the doors back on over the bank holiday and re-fit the front axle and probably the engine once it is painted and do as much as we can re-fitting wise, as it is now going for re-spray the week after next, which will then only give us about 2 days before the show!!

Doors and boot lid back on and engine and gearbox back in (Thanks to help from Daryl....cheers mate) looking more like a car now.

Another week of hard work... we are putting about 50 hours a week into this car.. on top of working! Practically living down the garage  Anyway, final rub down on Saturday, sprayed interior dash, painted more bits, wheels back on. Sunday spent all day just re-fitting wiring and dash panels, steering wheel, clocks, boot lock etc.. so time consuming these little jobs, which seem easy but always turn into something more complicated. Car came outside for first time, and looking great. Loaded on truck to go off for her final paint job tomorrow. Monday, the roof and boot are being done, Tuesday the rest of the car.... I can't wait to see her.

Watch this space....

 June

WOW...The Pink Lady has risen again...Looking fantastic, very pink and very different.

Now we have got to try and put her together.

10pm Saturday night... nothng gone right today, little jobs became major ones!, but engine, gearbox and other bits in, boot trims, bumper and lights in, back windows in, front bumper and lights in... she has some chrome to make her look pretty, but we have run out of time, So she is going how she is.

Wow... she looked fabulous and had a lot of interest and a lot of photos taken, See gallery (misc pics), Now to carry on and get her finished.

Less than 4 weeks to Billing, so back down the garage every night and weekend... put in door seals...doors won't shut, so spent 2 nights trying to get that right, put wiring loom back in, all needs connecting, put back various little trim panels inside. Got a new capet for her... that also took 2 nights to fit, but looks good ... nothing seems easy on this ol gal. Back wing chromes re-fitted, gutter rails fitted, seems like you need a hammer to help everything fit better!! Nice blue sun visor fitted. Still need to connect engine up and wiring and fit brake and petrol pipes, which we probably should have done first before making her look pretty, but needed some incentive to keep at it... but she looks good, so we don't care, everything has to be done at some point.

Well, we have been very busy still trying to put her together... Billing next week, so hopefully we are nearly done. All the doors back together now which wasn't easy. nothing seemed to fit on the first door, glass, quarter lights, rubber seals etc...and took a whole night to do, four days later we were getting the hang of it and managed to finish them... i thought we would do all four in one evening!! Engine all complete and everything filled up, gear linkage was a slight problem but hopefully sorted now. Engine fired up and she started straight away, bless her. Wiring and lights, horn etc (after some technical problems - as usual) are all sorted and working. Seats and door panels back in, these need doing but, we don't have the time or money to do them, as we want to use her this season. Brakes etc to bleed and a few odd jobs...not that i take that lightly anymore! and hopefully she will be going for MOT either this week or early next week....and our first drive ...can't wait.

4th July.......  A great day......  SHE  PASSED MOT!!  No advises!  We went straight out and taxed her and went for a cruise.... brilliant. Well worth the hard work. Loved it. Went to a small rally Saturday night, see pics. Now to get her ready forBilling. We still have the interior to do, but that is another project, and a few finishing touches.

A few more technical hitches with wiring and lights, but hopefully get that sorted.   

Billing 2008 .... Yes we finally made it and had a fabulous time (apart from the weather) and she looked great. We were so pleased, and proud of her sitting there amongst all the other lovely PA's.

Attended a few more shows throughout the year, and she performed well.

We did a few more bits and pieces to her over the winter, and actually took her to the Ace Cafe on 22nd December, and to a local show on New years Day, but the heater is not like my focus and it was a bit too cold!

March 2009  

Well, we got her out of the garage and took her for a cruise  as it was a nice sunny day and it was fabulous to be back in her again, we can't wait for all the rallys and have plenty to go to - nearly every weekend, so a busy season this year!

I had another go at driving her, but still can't get the hang of changing gear on the column, and when to change! Had to do a 3 point turn though up a dead end road, and built up my arm muscles!! Think i need quite a few more lessons yet though!

Monday 23rd March ~ Great day, we finally got the side trims on. It looked a little strange at first as we got used to her without.

Tuesday 24th March... went down garage to see if the trims were still on, and yes, all fixed great and looks much better now, it really changes the look of the car, and she now looks like a proper PA at last.

We still have the interior to do, but it is so nice to say the actual car is back to her former glory, and it is such a great feeling after all the months and months of hard work. She is also booked in for a photoshoot with a vintage lingerie company in April, so will post a pic when i have some.

.......... and now for the next project