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All posts for the year 2010

Primered, sanded and coated with silver basecoat, 100 micron silver flake and clearcoat. In a few days I’ll flat it down and add some orange candy and the final clear. Not really looking forward to flatting this down though!

The silver base is a fairly coarse metallic but the microflake really improves it. You can’t really see it under the crappy lights in my workshop but it should look amazing in the sun…

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The roof of the van is in primer now but more importantly, I’ve finally started attacking the colour. I’ve started with something small, namely the dash, primarily because I don’t know what I’m doing and if I fuck it up it won’t be too much trauma to fix. Having welded up the unnecessary holes in the dash, it got filled and primed with 2k. There’s been a slight change in my paint plans so it got hit with sparkling silver base then 100 micron silver flake followed by 3 coats of burnt orange candy. Before the candy went on I dug out my old model making airbrush, a £20 cheapo one but it seems to do the job. I masked up the design on the dash with 3mm fine line tape from 3M and sprayed it with “Root Beer” candy. I’ve never tried to do anything like this before but I’m chuffed with the results! If the rest of the paint job comes out like this I’m gonna be well pleased. Sadly pics indoors don’t really do it justice as the colour is way brighter than it look here and it’s very sparkly!

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Rust begone! Finally, the main shell of the van is all welded up and free from the dreaded rot. The last areas to repair were around the front footwells and bulkhead. As it turned out, the left hand front corner was the worst bit of the whole van, requiring two and a half days of welding and fabricating the repair all the rust and previous bodgery. On the right hand side, some repair work was needed inside where the heater intake is located in front of the passenger footwell. For some bizarre reason, this area had been hacked away in the past and a metal plate fastened over the hole with screws. I guess it was rotten but couldn’t be welded due to the plastic heater casing being located right behind. I pulled the heater and aircon out, chopped the whole lot out and welded in a section cut from another van. Pics after the jump…

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… I’d have no luck at all. That’s how it seems sometimes, anyway. The old mojo has been at a pretty low eb for the last month, as evidenced by my lack of posts on here. This was largely brought about by some knuckle dragging halfwits breaking into my workshop and taking all my tools, followed by another attempted theft the following weekend. Apparently I live in a “low crime area”. Hah!

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Mrs Ratdat seriously injured her hand whilst helping me sort things after this second episode, which required specialist surgery, five days in hospital and probably around three months off work. Surely, that’s got the be the bad luck quota for the year all used up?

Anyway, after dispelling the “why do I bother” feelings, I got things back up and running enough to make some progress with the van. After forcing myself to work on it during the recent artic weather (though admittedly it’s toasty warm in the workshop), the mojo has recovered somewhat and I’m now super keen the get it done by April. Progress pics shortly…

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Well, sort of. This months Retro Cars Magazine has six whole pages devoted to the rusty, oily goings on here at Ratdat acres. And the Acty sneaks into a picture in the RRG report too! Plus there’s a 2.3 litre Reliant Kitten, a 320bhp Impreza WRX STi powered Brat and a W108 Merc with a 4.9 V8. It’s a great issue all round, so go and buy it if you don’t subscribe already! The mag is on the up! Big gratitude to the legend that is Bryn Musselwhite for hauling his ass out here to the middle of nowhere on a pretty grim day to take some very professional pics and for doing a nice write up. Thanks man!

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Sorry for the extended break in posting! Making the swap from a desktop PC to using a netbook is going to take a bit of getting used to, but as my my PC had a little visit from Mr.Virus, it’s kind of necessary. I never had any virus trouble until I swapped to AVG yet within days of changing, I have ramnit.a rampaging through all my dll’s, html’s and exe’s. Go figure. It’s taking a while to get all the data and apps cleaned up, recovered and transferred over but I doubt I’ll be going to back to using a desktop full time, especially as I can now access the web on the move. So, things will be getting back to normal here shortly with the bonus of maybe having a few posts from shows etc whilst in attendance and even whilst overseas. So,with no thanks to AVG (which which appear to be useless), it’s on with the show. In celebration, here’s a random picture of a rusty Datsun…

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For the first time since 1973, my Datsun 312 wagon has hit the road albeit briefly, to make it’s way down the the MOT test station. Despite it’s long period of hibernation, it drives surprisingly well. Yeah, it’s a bit slow and a little noisy. The brakes don’t inspire much confidence either but hey, it’s 48 years old! The results of the test was a bit of brake imbalance and a little too much play in the steering box. Not bad at all! I decided to go for a full rebuild of the brakes, so the shoes have been off to Friction Bonding and Lining (link no longer active) to be sorted and all the cylinders are getting honed and rebuilt. Re-test soon and then it’ll be time to engage in battle with the DVLA to get it registered. That’ll be fun. Not.

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Shaker Run is, in my opinion, a classic of 1980’s Kiwi cinema. The movies stars Cliff Robertson as Judd Pierson, an ex race driver turned stuntman who runs a travelling one-man stunt show. Broke and down on their luck, Judd along with sidekick Casey Lee (Leif Garrett) get the chance to make a fast buck by driving Dr Christine Rubin (Lisa Harrow) to a secret rendezvous in Judd’s Trans Am stunt car called Shaker. Unknown to Judd and Casey, Dr Rubin is secretly attempting to smuggle a deadly virus out of the country and into the hands of the CIA and her superiors will go to any lengths to stop her and recover the virus.

No only does Shaker Run provide plenty of crash and stunt mayhem, it also gives a great snapshot of mid 80’s New Zealand scenery and traffic. The film isn’t really to be taken seriously but for any car movie fan it great fun, it is well worth a look. Luckily for us, it’s available in it’s entirety on YouTube! There’s a short add at the start but after that it’s and hour and a half of classic, car chase movie heaven. Check it out HERE!

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Looks like Italian model maker Bburago got bit by the custom van bug too in the late 70’s and early 80’s, if this 1/24 scale toy van I found is anything to go by. I was intrigued by this van as it’s design is totally wild, especially it’s forward hinging cab. A bit of web research revealed it was designed for Bburago by none other than legendary model kit designer Tom Daniel. That explains a lot, as Tom created literally dozens of wild custom car model kits during his years with Monogram from ‘67 through to ‘75, such as ‘Paddy Wagon‘, ‘Vandal‘ and the iconic ‘Red Baron‘. Apparently, he designed this for Bburago around ‘76/’77 and it was loosely based on the Chevy van of the time.Sadly Toms involvement with Bburago seems to have been short lived although it did yield a handful of other models based on existing Bburago moulds. I’d love to see someone re-create the forward tilting cab for real! Pic after the jump…

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