Welcome to Jasmine, she's my 1959 Austin A35. She's still +ve earth and is running the original 948cc A-series engine, in fact the chassis and engine number are matching on the V5. Not only is the engine original, the car has done a genuine 46,500 miles (mileage going up as I am using her as much as I can).
So, let's start at the start....I purchased this awesomelly original little car from the 84year old previous owner on the hottest recorded day of the year (it was 30'c+). I managed to drive a whole 4 miles before the car died on the exit of a very busy roundabout...
Now, I know a thing or two about mechanics but I couldn't figure out what was at fault, the car just died...it wasn't electrics, it might have just overheated? It did seem like it was fuel related. Maybe it was stale fuel? Whatever it was, I had brought spares and tools for everything except fuel related problems!
I had to concede and called the RAC...btw - the above photo was taken at about 2pm...and the final photo dropped the car off onto the driveway below was about 9pm....
Okay, it was a bit of an iffy start....my missus was not the happiest bunny and my earlier confidence in the little car was a little dented. There was nothing else to do, but get her into the garage and figure out what was at fault.
It turned out to be pretty simple in the end. As I said, this is a 100% original car, the previous owned had done a great job of keeping it all original. Working upwards, the mechanical fuel pump gasket had split, was leaking some fuel and had a small gap for air to get into, the fuel filter had seen better days and upon checking the SU carb choke "thingy" (technical term), the black thing that sticks out the bottom was stuck out, a quick tap and it went back into place (apparently this was the original "fault" that was causing the carb from ticking over).
Now, key in the ignition and a pull of the starter and she fired up and ticked over perfectly okay. She did this repeatedly and confidence was restored...
I decided to take the wheels off (you'll see why in a minute!) and there was a lot of spider webs and grub/dust/dirt showing me that this little car hasn't had much usage recently.
I was also pleasantly surprised at just how good/clean the suspension setup is.... some of the parts still had the stickers on them. (Reading the history article below, it makes sense now, back in 2008 the previous owner had replaced the entire suspension setup! No wonder it looks so good!
Here is why I was kind of glad that I didn't drive the 65miles home, the two front tyre walls were completely cracked. Now, I could have kept with the purism and got cross-ply replacements, but I decided to get some new 155x13 modern radial tyres all round.
I decided to get the car up in the air and take a look at how it looks underneath... was it time for me to get more gas for the welder? After a bit of cleaning up, I was pleasantly surprised, the floors had never been welded and were in really good condition for a 60year old car.
Time to get the underseal / waxoyl out and a paint brush....
Whilst I was there I noticed a couple of very small cracks/leaks in the original fuel pipe.
Thankfully, I happen to have some "spare parts" in my garage, so out with the old and in with the new. I also decided to change the fuel filter whilst I was there. Then I remembered that the fuel tank was 3/4 full! So, I had to drain it the old fashioned way.
Job done. She now starts and runs on the pull of the starter first time, every time and happily drives / zooms along at anywhere between 0 and 50mph (no, I've not been brave enough to take her any higher, not until I get a temperature gauge and a few other things sorted out).
As you can see, the interior is also 100% original....and the seats are surprisingly comfortable!
Not sure if you can tell from the photo's, but the paint work is cellulose and really needs a respray. Suzanne wants a nice purple colour, so will have to have a chat with Andy about that.
After a week of preperation and hard work, I decided to take JASmine out for a spin and took her to the White Horse Classic & Vintage vehicle show (up the road), we visited it last year and this was the 2nd year it was held. Over 300 vehicles attended and it was a great day!
As you can see, if you look closely, JASmine is in the middle of the following photo taken at the event. I'm talking to somebody about the car and my missus is sitting down at the back of the car protecting herself from the heat (no tree's for shade). JASmine received a lot of praise and notice, which surprised me a lot, it was a great day and I'm hoping to take Betsy to the event next year.
"So, what's the PLAN for this lovely Austin A35?", I hear you say...well, not a lot really, just maintain it, keep it original.....ah, who am I kidding?!?!
It's going to get a full purple respray, lowered by a couple of inches all round - fit MG Midget front disc brakes and possibly a 1275 MG Midget A-series engine with a whopping 90bhp, possibly fit a supercharger or turbo....who knows?
All I do know is that I'm going to take it to as many classic car shows as I can drive her too!
It is quite subtle - until you see it in person, but I have actually lowered the car by 1.5" all round.
Here's the BEFORE and AFTER images. She has settled since these photo's and does sit a little bit lower and she looks so much better for it.
The give away is the distance of the rear arch to the top of the actual wheel and the lack of a chasm of black holeness above the front wheel! That what triggered me to give it a drop, it was way too high.
And no, I didn't just cut the springs.... I did get the proper MG Midget replacements and fitted them all properly and modified some MG Midget lowering blocks to fit the rear. It kept me busy during August and I think it really helps with the overal look and handling of the car. She is so much fun to drive.
I joined the A30/A35 owners club and whilst flipping through the awesome back catalogue of their (online) magazines, I stumbled over this page!
Back in 2008, Jasmine had new inner and outer sills fitted....according to Paul, he also removed all panels and treated them, undersealed them, cut out any rust etc...and put the car back together, but as he says in the article...he thought he'd have a go at painting the car by hand..and...well, it's okay for a "round the side of the house" spray job, but needs doing again.
Ooooooo! Look what I found! A chopped and slammed version exists.... tempting :-)