The second block passed the pressure test. So, after the weekend, I’ll take the crank, main bearing caps and pistons down to the engineer’s and they can decide whether or not they’re all OK to put back together as is. There was a tiny amount of pick-up on the top halves of the mains shells but the big-ends looked fine – to me. In effect, a zero-houred engine is quite appealing but if it’s just for the sake of it, it’s probably an expense I could do without.

Internal panelling

Buoyed by the news of the block being sound, I got on with the panelling on the inside of the frame. I’m using aircraft ply which, as I’ve mentioned in the past, is boil-proof – well, you never know. I’ll attach with spray glue a layer of scrim foam and then cover that with leather-cloth the same colour as the seats. I looked for some carpet in one of the big stores, hoping to find an off-cut of a lighter green to provide a bit of contrast but was out of luck. I was offered a short piece, less than 2 metres long and only about 48″ wide by one of the upholstery supplies companies but they wanted £50 for it. Very good quality they assured me. It would have to be; I carpeted my workshop for less than that.

Filing and sanding

I left the filling and sanding of the turtle deck to The Ambassador’s Daughter. The first two applications have been finished but it’s going to take a couple more before I can put some high-build primer on and get down to the fine work.

Filling and sanding

One of the problems that’s been thrown up by the interior panelling is that the driver’s seat is too close to the side wall and scuffs the ply when adjusted fore and aft. I can move the seat rail bolts 15mm towards the centre of the car which should help but that leaves only a swire or so between the seats and the upholstery will take up that space – bit of a squeeze all round really. The other thing is that when the driver’s seat is fully forward, engaging reverse is impossible so I’ll have to re-bend the gear lever to suit; that’ll be a bit tricky as I’ve not a lot of room to play with.

Seat positions

I checked up on the roof line while the car was outside and, although I’m not going to make a hood immediately – I’m still undecided as to whether I want a ‘V’ screen or to replicate the rather rakish straight screen of the Talbot I photographed the other day – I’ll have to make provision for its attachment along with the tonneau at this stage in the build.

Interior panelling


The fiddle with the interior panels was making the blocks to support the unsupported bits. Some of the blocks were quite complex angles and curves so a couple of goes on one or two of them was required.

Whilst I had a sheet of ply in my hands, I pushed it up against the outside of the frame – it fell into place very easily, indicating that the aluminium skinning is going to be a piece of cake…… Excellent!



2 comments on “Excellent!

  1. Elliott says:

    I just wanted to extend thanks for this wonderful blog, I’m in awe of your craftsmanship, and it’s an utterly inspiring read. I know this may be somewhat off topic, but I’m in the middle of a special build myself, with a previously unregistered Suresnes Talbot chassis and Model A engine. I wondered what thought you’ve paid to getting you car through the DVLA hurdles? I’m starting to get somewhat concerned, after looking into it, that a world of trouble awaits me when trying to convince them of its vintage status, despite all vintage parts, because it’s not a restoration of an identifiable model.

    • Hello Elliott,
      Thank you for your very kind comments; I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the read. I had enormous trouble with the DVLA when I came to tax the Austin Special but at least I had a log book. I would recommend that you contact the Talbot register and talk your situation through with them; I’m sure they’ll be of help.
      All the best with your Special.

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