But all that should be changing in the next week or so, Word reaches us that the new chassis should be arriving shortly and the task of rebuilding Bertha can begin.
Keep calling back hopefully soon we will have something a bit more newsworthy to report
While not being particularly mechanicaly minded even I can see that the whirly bits are a bit battered and have some lumps missing, And I am guessing that the thin strips in the top photograph were at one point joined together and a different shape.
It all leads to further hunting for bits, I am assured by 4x4LRS that these particular whirly things are possible to get and Bertha will once agan have a minimum of 4 gears to use. A needed job, but in a way we will miss drive down the road coping with Bertha's erratic steering with one hand while holding the gear lever in second with the other
Sourcing this was a stroke of luck, good timing , and an outlay of a decent amount of cash. Its not perfect and needs a couple of minor modifications, but the time, effort and swearing has been significantly reduced by obtaining these rather than trying to fabricate and weld the old one
YES we have a solid complete bulkhead, unfortunatly the rest of Bertha is either in bits in boxes or in the process of being dismantled. the chassis is now "resting" while Richie at 4x4lrs decides wether to restore it for someone else, take the useable bits for his own restoration project "Katie" or let it continue to be used as a convenient coffee table.
Our new chassis is on order but before that arrives there is a couple of small issues , well a lot more than a coiple to be honest. but the ones we are looking at now, The gearbox, (for those of you who havent been paying attention, we were surprised to find Bertha's box was even older than the rest of her, dating from 1959) has been stripped down, 2nd gear, to use what I am told are technical terms, is knackered, shagged, kaput !! so now the hunt is on for the parts needed.
The Overdrive.. well we dont have one, but we want one, but prices for decent examples are silly, we may just have to forgo that extravagance as our cash supply isnt endless.
And the engine.. Having decided to change Bertha back to an oil burner, we now have to decide if we go for the earlier close to original date version, which had a worrying tendancy to chew up and spit out the crankshaft, or go for a 2 year older version which is less prone to such expensive displays, Only a total rivet counter would probably notice the difference in age between Bertha and her engine, our feeling is that we have got a few years in credit by using the older gearbox so can trade that off with a "modern" 1970 variant.
Project Bertha was never about restoring to historical accuracy, but reflecting her life, over the years she has become a "Bitsa" as things broke they were replaced with whatever was handy, Bitsa this and Bitsa that and part of the joy of this restoration is that we can continue that rich history.
I know 4x4LRS have been busy (After all Bertha isnt the only work they do, Check out their website) so dont expect too much to have changed.
Certainly until the chassis arrives much of the work will be cleaning and refurbishing components, which hardly makes great photo's and is difficult to make exciting!!
Certainly the blog is getting page views, especially after being featured twice on the popular Big Lorry Blog .
Having been involved in many "projects" in the past, (although not car restorations) I know how often soon after a project starts the honeymoon period between the client and contractor soon passes, and niggles start to set in. So far this project is "Niggle" less. Far from having concerns over the project/timescale/progress/quality as this project proceeds we are more and more impressed with the level of commitment being shown by all involved in it.
If this blog is starting to sound like an advert for 4x4LRS then I apologise, it is all about Bertha, But I do believe that all credit should be due to the craftsmen actually doing the work, Most of our involvement is writing about it, taking the odd photo, Bugging Richie and Jayne for updates and paying for their time and expertise.