As we looked under the skin, it soon became apparent that the car was in very poor condition. In particular, the steel components such as sections on the underside of the chassis, the steel bulkhead and engine bay side panels.
The first major task was to completely strip the paintwork and quantities of body filler (much easier said than done!). Most of it was done with a high pressure blaster using a fine soda mix. This proved a dirty and time consuming job, which had to be done out in the open (weather permitting!) due to the lack of suitable sealed inside space. Thought a set of younger eyes would be better for this – so Lloyd pulled the short straw!
This car had not turned a wheel since 1976 and had spent the last few years out in the open with limited protection from the elements. Therefore, we expected to find plenty of water damage to the interior and corrosion – we were not disappointed!
The doors, bonnet, boot lid, twin steel fuel tanks mounted inside the rear wings were removed. Both were badly rusted – one with a hole right through the bottom. The heavy copper cored radiator appeared, on first inspection, to be in good condition. This was removed, together with the surrounding inner panels.
The hood was already off the car, but all the pieces, including the side screens were there. Next job was to remove the hood frame, bucket seats and remains of carpets and badly rotted and disintegrated plywood floor panels. All the screws and coach bolts had to be cut, ground or drilled out. As most of the many inner panels were steel, not aluminium, all would have to be replaced due to corrosion.
Dismantling of the dash panel, instruments wiring loom and panels in the bulkhead area proved to be one of the most difficult tasks, since we needed to use everything as patterns, including the wiring loom, which was carefully marked or numbered, along with all the other items. As anyone who done this sort of work knows, there are loads of different parts – one offs in the case of this Allard!