Friday, 31 July 2009

Selling Lily

1958 Ford Prefect

4 door

1172cc Sidevalve engine - 3 gear + reverse

Tax free - historic vehicle. I get comprehensive insurance (including business use) for £68! So she is cheap to insure, if you limit the mileage.

(1 month left on road fund and no MOT)

886 UXR (coincidentally, UXoR is Latin for wife) Period plate non-transferable. Original sold by previous owner.

Comes with spare windscreens, filters, radiator etc

£500 (negotiable)

I have decided to sell my Ford Prefect....and finally I am getting round to putting details online; so far people are already talking about this car online because a friend of a friend mentioned it on a forum, and as there has been some mistaken info doing the rounds, I thought I ought to set things straight.

I have shown all the bad points because I want nobody to be in any doubt about the challenges involved in restoring and keeping Lily, though I do have to admit that all I have ever done was keep her running, mechanically.

Until I took her off the road to work on her underside last year, I had run her continuously for 4 years and she was even more reliable than my Metro in winter. Never had a trouble starting her. Engine is sound.

In 2008: new battery and starter motor, suspension bushes and drive shaft bush and new lockable fuel cap with Ford engraved logo. Previous year I changed the exhaust manifold. This winter I put her on ramps (see below) and comprehensively waxoiled the underside, which has no holes and needs no welding. The chassis is solid. Carpets have been removed because of a tendency to absorb moisture - the windscreens leak because the rubbers are perished. Oil changes done regularly and gearbox oil checked too. I garaged it for the first two or so years I had it but this got expensive.

It looks ropey and work does need doing but structurally she is sound. Doors will need doing and bubbling just starting on offside sill needs to be nipped in the bud. A small hole is developing in the nearside sill, just beneath the rust in the front door.

This winter I went to bleed the brakes and couldn't remove a rear nipple, so brakes will need to be done. Currently she is held on handbrake, which releases fine, but you cannot use the footbrake for towing. You will need a trailer.

My girlfriend has convinced that I am over-stretched when it comes to projects (restoring 3 other vehicles) and that I cannot afford the time Lily really deserves to preserve her. She has only ever been a daily run-about for me.

Lily is huge fun to drive (I love the old fashioned sound the transmission makes and her second gear engine growl ....and her heater makes her warmer in winter than my house!) and she turns heads - everyone remembers a relative having one or having learned to drive in one. Other drivers are courteous and friendly and lots wave, especially other classic car owners. She has taken part in several classic car road runs, including the Felixstowe Run, twice. She will give loads of pleasure.

Here's the deal: if, like the bloke who looked at it earlier this week, you turn up, suck in your breath and shake your head in disgust and start banging on about how much time and money she will cost you to restore (in order to get the price down), it'll be £500 and rising. However, if your first reaction is one which shows that you can see how sweet she really is and you seem like you are going to lavish love on her, can manage a smile for me and feel to me like a fellow-enthusiast (rather than a scrap merchant) ....the price will gently descend. It is up to you.