The first update of the new year. Still filling and sanding... The left hand side is pretty much all finished up. Just a little finetuning of the face. I'll not say I'm almost done with the right hand side, but things are progressing a lot quicker as my skills improve, and I've found better ways of working. All the glass has now been removed from the car. The door frames were a job and a half to remove, with half the bolts snapping off. The rear is looking quite decent now. Hopefully the exhaust exits will prove large enough. I'd cocked things up a bit when welding replacement metal in there, so I ended up moulding neater shapes using fibreglass.

When I came to remove the bits in front of the windscreen, I discovered that the scuttle vent was frozen solid. Took a few hours to discover how it was held together and fiddle it apart. And still I couldn't get the arms to move. I was hoping it was the vacuum unit that was frozen (would have been a quick fix!), but it turned out to be the hinges for the flap. And where is this hinge? Right up in the firewall, barely visible by lying on my back in the footwell, shining a torch up. I spent a week spraying rust-dissolver at it from every angle I had a chance of hitting it at. No luck at all. From inside the aperture there are two studs visible and I thought Aha! (Not the norwegian pop group, but an exclamation akin' to Eureka!, ok?) and ground them off. Still attached, now what? On a hunch, I stripped the pain off between the now missing studs and found seven (7!) sturdy spot welds. Removing them was tricky, due to the angle involved, but a combination of Dremel, Drill and Colourful Language got them gone. A nudge and the flap was lose. The photos show the flap before'n after. When it came to refit it, I welded 4 bolts onto the flap and threaded them into place. If it gets stuck again now, i have holes I can spray in, and worst case, I can undo the bolts and pull it out again. A result, I think. And it only set me back a week.

What's left now? Well, finish up both right hand arches, then the face needs finishing, the bonnet checking over (but it's probably not too bad, as most surfaces that haven't seen me with the MIG-welder have proved to be very good). And then it's on to the filler primer, and wet-sanding and ... paint!

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