Al and Marsha's Journal



New pictures - Oct. 23, 2006
New pictures - Oct 30, 2006
New pictures - Nov 30, 2006
New pictures - Jan 8, 2007
New pictures - Jan 28, 2007
New pictures - Feb 20, 2007

July 19, 2006

While we were in Ontario attending some family events, we drove up to Innisfil, on Lake Simcoe to look at a 1951 Ford Prefect which I had found by Googling. It was on a tiny little web site started by an enthusiast.

I had been looking for such a car for a couple of reasons:

1. I had finished the restoration (my first) of a 1976 MG Midget, and wanted another project.
2. I had owned a 1949 Ford Prefect when I was eighteen, my first car.

Originally, when I decided to find one of these I had the idea of doing a frame up complete restoration, but when I saw these pictures I fell in love with her.

As the web site contained an email address, I promptly sent off an inquiry and soon came the reply that the owners, Ron and Sonia Taylor had just decided to sell her. Talk about serendipity. After some backing and forthing via email I arranged to drive up to see her when we were to be in Toronto, and we did.

We went for a couple of drives in her and I was extremely pleased to see that she was better than even her pictures showed. There is some work to be done, mostly on the interior, so I can still make a contribution. We did a deal, and when I got home I arranged for CN rail to ship her to Vancouver from Toronto. Sonia put a lot of effort into arranging a really good price to get her taken to Toronto on a flat bed tow truck, and then on the appointed day, drove down to Toronto to ensure that all was well, and so, on July 28th, she was loaded on a train.

By the way, the Taylor's named her Annabelle, and that is such a totally great name for this car, I am going to continue to use the name.

Annabelle on her way to Vancouver



October 22, 2006 - Winter Project begins

Today I started with getting the engine ready for removal next weekend.
The major tasks after removing the engine will be:
    Replace clutch plate, clutch pressure plate, release bearing
    Remove and replace the wiring harness
    Remove 56 years of gunk from the steering gear and other assorted bits under the car
    Refurbish engine compartment


Day 2 - Remove interior seats, floors and tranny cover  
Removing the tranny cover is for the engine removal next week
after which I will be doing the wiring harness, etc. When all of
that is done I will be making new wooden floors for the interior.
I am also going to have a steel bar fabricated to weld to the
frame for the attachment of seat belts.



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October 30, 2006

Today is the big engine removal day.... I had done as much prep as I thought I could do by myself. There are a number of bolts which need two people to undo... Me under the car, and my friend Mark working from the top. I have purchased an engine hoist which I had assembled yesterday, and I reassembled my engine stand. So by and large all is ready.

Mark arrived at the appointed hour and we began the task of undoing the remaining bolts to remove the grill and the crank start tube. After that we spent considerable time discussing whether to take out the engine and transmission at the same time, or just the engine. After undoing the linkages, etc on the tranny we decided that the manual was entirely too vague on this matter, and in fact appeared to say that we had to drop the rear end to be able to remove the tranny and separate it from the universal joint.

Discretion being the better part of valour, we agreed to do it in two stages. We then set about finding the obstacles to success and removing them as we came across them. There were a number, but including the ones which were very difficult  to reach (and therefore caused more than their fair share of expletives) we got the job done without damaging Annabelle or ourselves.

The tranny comes later, but now that the engine is out of the way, I think we can do it without involving the rear end.

Following are some pictures taken during the course of the day.




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November, 2006 the work continues





January, 2007 and so on....


January 28, 2007

More refurbishing and fabrication......

Engine Ready to re-install                                                 Transmission Ready to re-install

Fabricating new kick panels - foam and vinyl

February 20, 2007 - still taking Annabelle apart

For the last several weeks I have gotten deeper and deeper into de-building Annabelle. I have completely stripped the engine compartment and almost all of the interior... Today I took out the last of the door/window trim and the headliner. On the weekend I removed the seal around the roof vinyl which had shown the ravages of time. It is going to be much easier than I had thought to replace the seal... the roof vinyl is another matter. One of my friends who helps me when I need another pair of hands insists that I replace the roof vinyl but I am resisting.  Anyway, here are some more pictures as of today>>



More to come......

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