Welcome to this blog which will detail the restoration of my 1961 Reliant Regal, Reg. Starting as a complete novice I hope to be able to carry out a total restoration of the car from 2011 onwards to coincide with its 50th birthday. For many a Reliant Regal may seem like a strange choice of car to restore, but for me there was only ever going to be Reg. I inherited Reg from a sadly departed friend and vowed to get it back into full working order as much as a tribute to him as anything else. Almost seven years have passed since that vow in which time I have gone through university, job hunting and house purchasing and renovation. I now finally find myself in the right position to make a start and will be sharing that journey on this blog for my own personal record and also for everyone else to enjoy. I hope you will follow along.

Friday, 1 October 2004

Going Into Storage

10/2004: A year on from the original move into storage and I now find myself as the official owner of Reg. I've always loved this car but the circumstances in which I came by it I would never have wished for.

Its amazing how much a car can deteriorate in a year. Its hard to judge the condition of the paint work under a thick layer of dirt, but in a few areas pealing is clearly visible. This means a full respray will be on the cards when the time comes. A few suspicious hoof prints on the bonnet also give some indication that the inhabitants of Reg's shed clearly have no respect for a classic. They're goats in case you are wondering. We decided that one job to do before we left was to erect some sort of barrier to keep the animals off Reg. I wasn't too worried about the paintwork, more about the windscreen. Spares are very hard to find for a vehicle of this age.

reliant 2.1 reliant 2.2

The first thing I checked was the condition of the chassis. Thankfully this looked in good condition, with no visible corrosion. Being stored in a dry but well ventilated space has clearly had its advantages. As for the bodywork there were no problems of corrosion there. The joys of fiberglass. One area of concern though is the trim work. This has corroded and pitted quite badly, as have the hubcaps. I'm going to have to look into getting these restored by someone or possibly look into getting some replacements. Anybody got any parts lieing around?

The main reason for the visit was to jack the car up off its wheels to save damage to the suspension, and also to check that the engine was still well oiled to prevent it from seizing up. The first problem was that the car had rolled back very close to the rear wall. We tried to push the car away but had no success. I originally put this down to trying to push uphill, and the tires having flat spotted. It wasn't till the drive home that I had a flash of inspiration. We probably should have taken it out of gear!

No matter. We soldiered on. Next we got the jack out, unwrapped it and began to jack the car up. Its true that I had never jacked up a car before but my dad assured me he knew what he was doing. Anyway, I got the Haynes manual out, picked up off ebay a few weeks before, and set about locating the jacking points. No information. I really must be starting the learning curve from the very bottom. We chose a couple of likely looking places and jacked Reg up, lowering the chassis down onto several blocks of wood to keep the wheels off the ground. The goats were very intrigued by all this activity and decided to investigate. One minute I was looking under the car, jacking it up, the next I was faced by a goats head. It had crawled underneath the car! I bet that's one thing that not many people can claim to having to deal with while jacking up a car.

Eventually the task was completed, and it was time to build a separating wall. First we had to get a goat off the bonnet, again, then we nailed up some meshing which proved highly successful.

Its now approaching one year since this was written, and I'm preparing to transport Reg back from Wales to nearer my home so that the restoration process can start properly. The next update will tell the story of the move. I'm off to find a trailer, but check back soon.

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