The beginning of the month saw me off on a 548 mile round trip to Sunny Cornwall to visit a chap called Jack Hemming who said he had a pair of Regal doors for sale and numerous other Regal bits to. My parents said they would like to come for a drive out to (so they could walk on the beach) and so at 6am we set off. By 9:40am we arrived at Jackís and just could not help but admire the scenery. Every day I look at to a street full of houses whilst Jack and family look out to nothing but fields and trees - that must be great. After being treated to numerous cups of tea I was back in the barn wading through a mountain of Reliant parts and found the main prize for this quest - A driverís door with good metal work. Stopping to be amused by a chicken rolling around on the floor I got back to the bits. As I had a small trailer on the back of the car, I managed to pretty much fill it with all sorts of bits and bobs that were on my ďwish listĒ of things to get. Once the trailer was loaded I then had to tear my mum away from the house as I am convinced given the choice she would have quite happily stayed there all day chatting. My thanks go to Jack and his family for making us feel so welcome. So it was then off to the beach and after feeding my belly, back home.
Bright and early next day I went through all my newly acquired parts and immediately started to dismantle the driverís door. Iím not surprised that Reliant doors are so heavy in comparison to the body. They have so many components in them itís amazing. Unlike my driverís door the quarter light window opens with ease, the window still winds up and down and the metal work was fantastic. That was apart from a small amount of rust at the bottom of the quarter light window. I wondered whether to just treat it or take it apart and do the job properly. After coming this far I took it apart and realised that Reliant have a very strange way of attaching these windows as they have a stud at the bottom with a huge spring on. This I had to cut through. Sadly the passenger door I got was no where near as good and that had rusted all the way through. I was aware of this but thought it would still be useful. So I cut the quarter light window off the passenger door and thought, ďwho is the brainiest person I know?Ē Well the answer to that is easy - my dad. So popping over to my parentís house I showed my dad the quarter light windows. Within half an hour he has cut good metal from the passenger side, welded it onto the driverís side and then after making a small mould, bent the metal round to form a new quarter light window. I was most impressed - Thankís Dad.
Later that week, I also got my dad to weld a stud to the bottom of it so that its attached to the bottom of the door frame. With the driverís door completely stripped I spent ages sanding it down. Iíve realised that although the doors I got from Jack were green they are originally off a yellow Regal Supervan. Now isnít that strange ... most people are painting Supervans yellow and the parts I have were yellow but will end up blue. After giving it a good sanding down back to the metal, I have also primed all the metalwork with a Hammerite Rust killing primer. As the door is now totally stripped I may as well leave it like this and paint it, before putting it all back together again.
Looking at the back door I got from Jack I was pleased to see all the rubbers seals were on it as they are not on mine. Also unlike my door where the hinges go, the frame was not bent in and so I thought I shall use this back door. After taking the badges off I set about it with a sander. Sanding fibreglass parts is quite a task really as when you are sanding metal you can just press hard and sand to the metal. On fibreglass if you sand too hard (or too long) you end up sanding into the fibreglass. Iíve probably drove the neighbours mad with all the sanding but now the driverís door awaits a lick of paint and the back door just needs a bit more sanding. The task then is to fix the passenger side door.
Note: If you are wondering what the Tamworth BC is on the photos, I took the photos with the windows on the dustbin .. as provided by Tamworth Borough Council.
Go to page 2