Southside British Cars, Danville, Virginia


Project Notebook

Here is a cross section of the major reconstruction projects that are on going in our shop at this time. The TR3, one of three cars that have "original owner" history is currently in the paint shop. Because this car will be represented as a 100 point restoration we are spending quite a bit of time making sure all the right stuff is used as we put it back together. This is true even as we work with the painter. It's amazing how many little issues pop up when you are working to this level. Seems like everyday some issue needs to be resolved as to what gets painted what color......right down to the bolt heads!

Another car, also in final stages of painting, is a 1970 MGB. The car was purchased new by the owner when he was in the Army, back in day. He drove this car regularly for several years, put lots of miles on it and brought it home with him after his enlistment was up. A small electrical fire under the hood sidelined the car and it was put away waiting until the time was right to fix it and put it back on the road. That turned out to be twenty some years ago! But now we are very close to returning the car to him better than the day he bought it. How can that be? Well, what was once a standard roadster with steel wheels and normal drive line is now a wire wheel car with an OD transmission. Not to mention we are employing several improvements to the electrical system to protect against another fire.

And finally, the last of the "original owner" trio, is the AH 3000 BJ7. This car is also going through a transformation that will see the the original OD trans being replaced with a Toyota 5-speed. The engine has been rebuilt to jack up the horsepower and performance. We put the Dennis Welch rear disc brake package on the car as well. The thought being that with more ponies under the hood there had to be a better way to rein them in. We are still sorting out some challenges with this build but it will be worth the effort in the end.

Two more cars are worth mentioning here as well. The first is a MGB / GT that got fresh paint, some cosmetic improvements and general restoring. But most notable is the engine. The owner suggested that he would like a solid road car that can keep up with today's cars out on the highways. I think we may have found the formula......we did a street performance engine build using a cross flow head, a cam to match the build profile, electronic ignition, improved cooling and oiling plumbing. The fuel management is handled with SU / HS6 carburetors from an MG / C. We installed a Datsun 280Z five-speed transmission in place of the old BL hardware and generally tidied up all the other parts that needed to match the power improvements.

The second of this pair is a TR6 that is going through a frame-off restoration. We started with a powder coated frame, improved all of the suspension and braking systems and then turned our attention to the drive line. Again, the request was to make this a road friendly car. So we are boosting the horse power a bit and putting the power to the road through a Toyota Tacoma five-speed transmission. The car began life as a 1975 car but we are making it look like a very early seventies car. This will be a very nice driver and should look great when it rolls out of the shop this Summer.

One final car is worthy of mention as well. We are wrapping a restoration of a nice 1959 AH Bug-eye in BRG. This is different from the other cars noted in this segment in that it is very original without being overly done. By that I mean it is meant to be a nice daily driver as opposed to a trailer queen. We rebuilt the engine and restored all of the brake and suspension systems. And there are a lot of "new" parts being used in the re-build, but also a lot of the original parts are going back on the car.

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British Motor Trade Association
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912 Lynn Street, Danville, VA 24541
Email:jallen@southsidebritish.com

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