NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:48 pm

OK - so it's New Year's Resolution time.

One of mine is to get on with the restoration of the McEvoy this year. The car has been here for about three years now and last year I pulled it completely to pieces, which was a necessary first step to restoration in this case.

I could start by having the chassis blasted and then start building up the rolling chassis - but that's all the easy work, and even when at a rolling, or even driving chassis stage, that's only a fraction of the total job, and the easiest fraction at that. On top of that, if I restore the chassis first and then use the frame to jig the ash frame, the chassis will need restoring again when the body is done!

So I propose the bite the bullet and start with the body, and the first part will be to build up a new floor assembly on the chassis. The floor is the worst part of the body, as most of the ply has delaminated over the decades in damp storage. I am hoping to save much of the ash superstructure. It's far too cold in the workshop to do much before the spring, but that gives me time to source the ply, ask, screws, etc. and to make plans.

So, what's in your garage awaiting attention?!
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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:06 pm

So today was the first opportunity I have had this year to get out into the garage and sort things out after the winter. I spent the day gathering together the rolling chassis parts of the car which I had stripped down to the bare chassis last summer and roughly re-assembled the rolling chassis which I will now use as a mobile bench to rebuild the body on. Only when the body is complete will I go through the chassis, so that it doesn't get ruined while the body is being sorted. This ploy also has the advantage that the project is mobile and can be easily rolled outside to work on in through the summer. Also, it gets the most difficult part of the project out of the way at the outset. I'll post more photos in the coming weeks as the restored body comes together.

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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:58 pm

Almost two years have passed since my last post - and the last time I did any significant work on the McEvoy. My excuse is that I joined Boeing shortly after the last post and I'm extremely busy designing the Boeing 777X computer flight control system. The 777X is the latest Boeing airliner and its first flight is scheduled for late next year.

The other difficulty I have had is lack of space. My garage is crammed with cars and Moths with no space to work! However, I'm planning to build a large workshop this year which will sort that problem out.

The other major boost to the restoration came this week. I was chatting on the MMM forum and I noticed that another poster was located in the USA. It turns out that Brian Sullivan, owner of an MG PA, lives less than ten miles from VMR HQ in Washington State! How does that impact the McEvoy restoration? He has numerous local specialist contacts for seasoned ash, expert panel beating and he also runs a furniture restoration workshop so I'm taking him my original instrument board next week for restoration!

So hopefully, serious progress will be made in the coming weeks and months.
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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:03 pm

This morning I took the instrument board to Brian Sullivan for restoration. It is in excellent original condition with no extra screw holes, but the varnish has faded over the decades, as witness the un-faded area under the steering column bracket. Just a small scuff under the left side. Brian is a high end furniture restorer and here's his analysis of the board:

"The McEvoy instrument board is of Honduras Mahogany. The wood has been grain filled prior to finish. The small dents to the left side of the bottom edge can be steamed out I think. The color original is Natural Red Mahogany and most likely a varnish. We could do a high end yacht varnish as I plan for my own P-type which is probably the proper historic finish. There is so little damage to the original wood that little else other than finishing is needed."

So I gave Brian the go-ahead to restore. I'll post before and after photos here when I get it back. The instrument panel itself is going back to England for restoration shortly.

Meanwhile, I'm boxing up the radiator to go to the Vintage Car Radiator Company http://www.vintagecarradiatorcompany.co.uk/ (now moved to the Bicester Heritage Centre) and the fold-flat windscreen is going to Wessex Workshops for restoration.
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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:39 pm

The before photo. The after photo to follow soon!

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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:31 pm

While the instrument board is away being refinished, I decided to tackle the panel itself. I was thinking about sending it off to one of the professional restorers in the UK, but I have decided to have a go myself. That way I can probably save more of the small, original parts. And I'm looking for something with a bit of patina rather than completely overhauled and new-looking instruments.

The panel is in a bit of a sad state - see below - but under all the filth and decay, it is 100% original and complete.

The only difference between a standard SV Minor panel and the McEvoy panel is that the slow running control on the right side of the panel has been replaced by a starter cable and pull knob that connects to a relay switch on the firewall. This was an original McEvoy modification. (As far as I can see, there was no slow running control on the McEvoy.)

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The speedometer is definitely beyond restoration, but I do have a sound replacement. After cleaning up the front of the PLC2 ignition switch I now know that I need an MRN 27 key.

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Some of the original varnished cotton wiring was still in place, but interestingly, there were a couple of lengths of plastic-covered wire. Since the car has not been on the road since 1957, I'm wondering when this wire became available.

The next step will be a few coats of primer filler to fill the corrosion pitting, and then the finish coat.

And here's the panel stripped and cleaned up:

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And the reverse showing the stamped number 333 and the letter D just above the speedometer hole.

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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:59 am

Here's the instrument board as Brian Sullivan progresses through the restoration of the finish. He reports, "We have stripped the original finish,(such as it was). We repaired the gouges at the left bottom edge of the board. The wood sanded to 220 grit surface, grain was then filled twice with matching color grain filler made in the shop. ( Note: whitish discoloration on stripped face shows previous use of grain filler on the board face). Filled board has now had three coats Epiphanes Yacht varnish in place and starting to look good. The coats will be sanded out to smooth between coats ( four more minimum to go) then final coatings will begin."

I can't wait to see the finished article and refit the restored instrument panel.

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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:04 am

Meanwhile, I visited Crosscut Hardwoods in Seattle today - an incredible emporium that stocks every hardwood imaginable - including dozes I have never heard of. They also have a great supply of Russian Birch ply - perfect for the McEvoy floor

Here's their American Ash stock:

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And here's their birch ply:

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There's a McEvoy hidden somewhere in this little lot!
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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:09 pm

More progress. The instrument board is back from Brian Sullivan's workshop and looks super:

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And I collected the McEvoy radiator script while in England. here it is as a rough casting before fettling:

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Now that I have the radiator script, the next job will be to ship the radiator to England for a full rebuild. I'm also sending the windscreen over to Wessex Workshops for restoration. I'm trying to get all the 'big tickets' jobs out of the way!

I also brought back from England a set of the correct pulley kingpins and bushes from Ian Harris, together with a pair of ignition keys to match the original PLC2 ignition switch that came with the car. I am now in the process of disassembling this switch to restore it.

Now that I have the birch ply and some ash, I am hoping to make a start on the ash frame before the winter sets in.
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Re: NV 2803 - 1933 McEvoy Special

Postby Ian Grace » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:35 pm

When I got the McEvoy, it had been converted to hydraulics - '34 Minor. I've spent some time sourcing all of the parts needed to convert back and now that Peter Hills has sent me two brake SV cam levers in exchange for a pair of 1929 levers for his tourer, I have virtually everything except for the hand brake cable and footbrake rod to the cross-shaft. I have asked Ina Harris if he has these. I have also ordered from Ian Harris the four swivel pins and brass adjuster nuts. I have the brake pulleys and chassis brackets.

If anyone has a need for any hydraulic brake parts, I can supply, ex-McEvoy.

The restoration of the McEvoy has been a slow process and has not got very far in the last few years, due to pressure of work, other projects, and life in general - not to mention running the Register. However, two things are going to change all this. First, Jayne and I are planning to retire back to England in about 7 years from now, and we will be bringing back the McEvoy and the fabric saloon KR 5670. So I'm thinking that if I can get the driving chassis and ash frame all sorted here, I can get the paneling and upholstery, etc. done professionally in England, unless I can find the right specialists here. Either way, the ultimate goal is to have it back on the road and fully sorted before the Minor centenary in 2028.

The next major job on the list is to send the windscreen over to Wessex Workshops for restoration. I want it sorted before I reconstruct the scuttle on which it will sit.
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