Restoring a Standard Flying 12 Drophead Coupé
By Phil & Lynda Homer
DYN 943 was discovered in a Lock-up garage deep in the rural Chiltern Hills in 1983.
A one-owner vehicle, (though the owner had deceased), the car was residing in the wet garage for about 15 years.
In order to extract the car, it was necessary to fell a tree that was blocking the doors.
What was dragged out was pretty dire. There were no sills of any consequence, the inner wings were mostly holed and all four wings were so rotten they could be pulled off without the use of tools.
The restoration only took 19 years!
Metalwork first: This was undertaken by a firm of Classic Car restorers by the Thames in South Stoke, Oxfordshire. The sills, which are also the chassis side- members, were refabricated from scratch, as were the missing inner wheel arches.
4 wings were sourced, all secondhand and each from a different autojumble. The chromed pieces were all re-chromed, except the bumpers which were too far gone, and had to be remade from Spring Steel. Lynda gave these to Phil as a present one Christmas!
We rubbed the whole car down to bare metal and then applied about 10 coats of Primer/Filler, rubbing back between every 2nd coat until we had the finish we wanted. The car was originally blue, but grey (around the rust) when we purchased it. As neither colour excited us, we decided to go with Old English White and Phil applied about 12 coats of Cellulose with the car parked on the drive. (The car gets covered in paint dust if you do it in the garage!)
Each coat was rubbed down with successively finer wet and dry paper and the next coat was applied with more Thinners, until the final coat, which was a mixture of 90% thinners 10% paint. Having said that, White is by far the easiest colour to apply (and black is the worst.)
A rebuilt engine from a 1939 Model 12C was purchased from a friend in the Standard Motor Club. A bolt of blue leather was bought from Beaulieu at one Autojumble and this was given to our Trimmer in a workshop near Weston Subedge, just below the ridge of the Cotswolds. He also replaced the rotten hood and invented a bag to cover the hood.
Our thanks go to Maurice Ford who managed to piece the Jigsaw together and fit the new wiring loom. It was now 2002 and we had completed the car just a year before the 2003 celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Standard Motor Company.
A very rare survivor, and a huge investment in money and time, we are pleased to have been able to keep the car on the road ever since, though there is usually something else that needs attention. The Burman Douglas steering for instance was a particularly bad idea, and it has required rebuilding twice in order to keep the car going in the direction the driver intends. Presently that is working well.
This is an example of what can be achieved by taking on a none too promising, 85-year-old and applying a lot of hard work.
The car is in fairly regular attendance at the International Rally and there are plans to be there in 2021.
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Phil and Lynda Homer