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Peter Thornton 1964 3.8 S-Type

Peter Thornton

click for larger pictures

Model: 3.8 S Type Automatic Car No: 1B 50078 BW Body No: 4B 50042

with Varamatic power steering. (converted by me)

I purchased this car late in 1988 "needing a coat of paint" - famous last words. As I did not have storage facilities at the time, I took the car to a farm where my Cousin worked. I showed it to a panel beater and said the job was there if he ever felt inclined to tackle it. On initial inspection, he also thought it looked reasonably sound. A year or so later Dave collected the car and attended to the panel work. The sills had been replaced very badly and the rear guards were only lightly tacked on! Rust was not extensive but was certainly in evidence. Being two hundred miles away, I was not able to closely monitor progress. At one point I phoned up and was told it had been primed so I better choose a colour. (I had earlier suggested gunmetal) When I rang in a few weeks to confirm gunmetal as my choice, I was informed that I was too late, it was already painted! The painter had started with gunmetal, decided it was too dark and lightened it until he liked it. Must have been a good choice as everyone else seems to like it too. (It is very close to the factory opalescent grey)

Over the next 3 or 4 years I had the engine, gearbox and rear suspension rebuilt. In November 98, we stripped the front and rebuilt the front suspension with 420 components, (crossmember, stub axles and brakes) so now it has the varamatic steering as per the very last S Types. I am still using the pump on the back of the generator. At the same time I fitted the correct wire wheels. As purchased, the car had bolt on wires which were nearly 7 inches wide and caused some problems (particularly trying to remove rear ones). I sold these wires to Frank Hatch for his Mk1 race car with a MkX engine.

Incidentally, the car was bought to NZ from Australia by Greg Short about 1986. I know absolutely nothing of its history prior to that.

Peter Thornton
New Zealand

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