'93 BRG restoration.

Had this 15 years, it’s got “form” you could say.

It served as my daily for many years, never missed a beat doing that 50-odd mile a day commute.

It’s been tracked, ragged through the local glens, did 2000 miles in the UK in a week on a charry-dee “rally”, been driven in snow, rain, filth and generally got thoroughly abused…while being properly maintained. It’s had a “new” engine, a few springs, new radiator and God knows what else over the years. 

Then 2 years back, it “retired” with me, got shoved into the lock-up to “Rust in Peace”…which it did with aplomb. 

The leaves blew in, the tyres went flat, the brakes went back to Mother Earth oxide, the calipers all did what calipers do…even the OEM polished alloys went porous…epically.

The hood stitching went soft and split.

Decision time. Scrap, or restore? Here’s the increasing dilemma these days.

For what the restoration was estimated at I knew I’d not be able to buy the Mk1 I’d want to be seen in sans paper bag.

What did it have going for it? 

Most of the paint is less than 8 years old, and it would mop well.

The engine is an oil-tight spinner…much better than the original which cracked it’s oil rings.

Recent cambelt & water pump.

Recent 4 PIN coilpack & leads, plus NGK plugs.

All the Good 'Ol Boy Nippon Denso leccy things do their leccy things as leccy things do.

Oh…and Raybrigs.

Moving on swiftly, the shopping list.

Discs, calipers, drop links, all wishbones ( a mix of refurb & new) brake hoses,  boots, Koni SRT coil-overs, Autotrans sump, filter, 7 litres of ATF, radiator hoses, sump oil & filter, new ( used but perfect Prestige hood  & frame, and a set of rare Panasport 14" alloys…and breathe. OK… Phew! New tyres, new header tank, K&N filter, anti freeze, Vs Type 2 brace bars, & single exit SS exhaust. I think that is about it. Oh…new Panasonic gel. 

And so, down to the workshop. Out with the angle grinders & spanners…plus several tins of Rotty Botty nut loosening stuff. 

The CAT was OK though…




Thankfully, the tub was far more solid and original than feared. No new wings were justified, so German quality steels are being used to fabricate. ( They do TRs & Moggies etc…so are used to hand making patches & panels) .

Anyway…supposed to be going to paint middle of this week…so looking forward to seeing some more progress. 

Looking good there R!

Glad you decided to save her Robin ,  our little BRG Mk1’s will probably outlast us !   All taking shape nicely and looking forward to seeing the finished article ??

Looks good, can’t wait to see the finished result. 

Good job Robin and should be ready for the nice weather.

A small price to pay to create the car you want.

One piece of advice - don’t put it back in that lockup! It is obviously way too damp in there.

Best wishes


Ah Rob…the Cooncull lock up.

You could buy your local authority house as we did 30 years back, but you cannot purchase their lock-ups.

The issue was, right outside mine and 3 others, there is a main drain which flooded and allowed water to ingress into them all.

The one next to me houses a rare Vincent and a 50’s Harley…you can imagine his face. 

We pay ÂŁ38.00 per month each for this privilege.

Only a month back, we went “legal” on the Council and embarked on a collective rent strike via a very good solicitor who detests our Council with a passion after 3 years of argy bargy.

She did it Pro Bono.

Consequently, the drain was unbunged and re-routed only last week.

In addition…at my expense…I had mine dug out to the base brick, thick DPC liner sheeting laid and about 4/5" of large granite whin laid. The stuff is big enough not to embed into the treads.

Now it’s ventilated and dry. £450.00 well spent I think. Oh…and we are getting a 6 month rent “holiday” to keep it out of Court.

But, you are right…no way could “The Bruce” be shoved back in there as it was. Pointless. 


To be honest, the more we stripped it back, the more became evident of bits and pieces on their last legs…while I would still have been using it. 

Little things like the ATF cooling return pipe to the radiator was ready to go, cracked springs, a porous (!) Autotrans sump, seized wishbone bushes which would account for the soggy/crashy ride, a seized shock, rotten boots, crumbled boot floor heat baffle, rotted rear silencer ( a KwikSpit “special”)…I’m sure you get the picture!

Incidentally, keep your eyes peeled please for good tan door cards (tear -drops) with the black door pulls…but tbh I’ll think about any good tan cards.


Great to see someone working on their car. Not a clean thumbnail in sight !  I remember the Scottish winters in the seventies. Weeks of driving on sheet ice honed your driving skills. But the rust on the cars was unbelievable. Sills on our Mini’s and Austin 1100’s any any other cars we had would only last a couple of years. Welders used to not bother removing the old sill, just tack on the new ones. On wet days the floors would flood with rainwater and never dry out. The carpets were only dry in the summer. Happy days ! Spent my teenage years rubbing down bits of rust on my Dad’s car only to find it came back the next year. Can still smell the Plastic Padding


Thanks Rob.

The entire chassis is “finger tight” plus a turn till it get piggy-backed up to John at Progrip locally. Our “W.I.M” if you will.

Then, it’s a 104 mile trip to Andrew at Autolink to fit the new hood & frame.

Andrew has been a epic getting bits on the hoof as needed and I doubt I’m finished with him yet. Probalby never will be finished…it’s an old car.

The thing will never win an Amelia Island concours rosette underneath…it looks like Bismark deckplating here and there if you know where to look but by 'eck it’s solid and proofed to Kingdom come. I’ll be happy with 80 points decent visual car whose bum won’t crumble any time soon…just need a useable old fart to zoom around in …but dry days only…ever! 

Sorry to hear about the garage problems. About 37 years ago  I rented one out from the council - about £2 a month IIRC. Seems like a massive increase in price but I think housing has probably increased similarly.  

A shame the council are now to busy and cash strapped pandering to na’er do wells than to put right problems they cause for the people who actually fund their activities - you know that rare and getting rarer breed the tax payer.

I would say the damp charged air in that lockup with little or no air movement has caused most of that corrosion. 

Good on you sorting out the issue with the garage and rebuilding the car. Good for the soul and there is a place for you in heaven:-) I think the vast majority would have thrown in the towel on the garage and MX5 and let the council off the hook. 

I was thinking about the problem of cars rusting whilst stored. There is little point in keeping the car off the road in winter and only driving on sunny dry days if it is rotting from underneath you whilst sorned in a garage. You can buy a kind of heated bubble for a motorbike to create a corrosion free environment. Perhaps there is similar for a car, although probably cost a fortune to heat. 

Here we are and it is air recirculation not heating at a cost of 2p a day.   

Lock-ups are around 100 yards from the house Rob, no power.

However, it’s not getting a winter SORN. However cold, it’ll come out if dry  for a little Italian Service and a good airing.

I’m limited there, best I can do. We have driveways though, so will be able to plug in power tools eg DA polishers ett…and trickle the battery day time to top it up.

TBH, since we did up the Mk2.5 Sport ( remember the Crystal Blue re build a few years back?) it’s still fine on that diet…it’s a daily still!

I guess so far…the BRG has had around 6 to 8 litres of anti rot pumped into it’s veins…so that will help.

It will try to rot here and there in time of course…but I’ll be on top of it this time.

So looking forward to seeing this after our wee blether on the phone Robin. Mind give me a shout when you get The Bruce back!


Will do. 

We’ll figure some where equidistant. 

It’s in the paint booth today getting debadged (permanently!) had sanded ready for paint…but there’s a bucket load of fitting & fettling to do so maybe next week.

It’ll be a few days yet for sure.

They are are just going to strip & paint a lot more than first thought in the interests of decent fading.

I cannot complain…the end result will be better.

I’m going for a 100% debadge…sorry but I never did like any Roadster badges…bar the Roadster one perhaps.

It means…being pinned, the nose & rear will need paint.


Base coats & clear coats this week.

3 stage mopping & a nice dose of carnuba to finish it.

Not using water based 2 pack for some resson.

Might take possession this weekend…if it’s not raining.

Then it’s up to ProGrip for lasering.

At the moment, the new chassis is pretty much “finger tight plus a turn”

I’m supplying ProGrip the complete chassis OEM torque settings.

Then it’s a dry run down to Autolink for it’s new tan hood.

Managed to get a good deal on solid door cards. These alloy tear-drops with the black diagonal pulls are pretty unobtainium now.

Last job will be a coolant flush & general coolant system check.

All engine, transmission & diff fluids are changed.

Surprisingly, the OEM diff oil looked pretty fresh…after 26 years.


Then…it’s a trip to Skye after a few shake-down trials & final checks…

Liking this a lot! 


It’s coming along nicely

Sounds like it will be perfect very soon, just in time for the better weather.

Well done side stepping the door cards - getting very hard to find.

Best wishes


Thanks all!

Rhino…I may be on to you for an alternator. It’s either screeching belts, or a duff bearing. Jury is out, but I’ll let you know.

I’m not getting charging warning lights though, and the ignition start up display goes off immediately as it always did. 

If it has the original Mitsubishi A2T80391, 65 amp alternator and the charging voltage is correct at 14.5 - 14.7 volts, very unlikely to be the alternator.

Check all the pulleys that the belt runs over with belt off. MK1 alternators are very robust and unlikely to have bearing or seizing issue. Turning the pulleys with the belt off will usually locate the problem if the belt is in good condition and correctly tensioned. 

Feel free to PM me if needed.