Restoration Project: FGK Morris—Part 25

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

Deals on Wheels writer Lyndsay Whittle on his latest progress with the FGK Morris restoration

A two-week break away from my normal routine in the sunny Mediterranean has perhaps helped. Since my return home, I seem to be able to get twice as much done in half the time.

The rubber, ready to receive the glass

As if a fortnight’s holiday wasn’t enough to throw a spanner in the works, a rush of incoming writing work for the magazine coupled with several purchases of ‘future restorations’ that were just too cheap to pass up have all combined to eat a large hole in the 168-hour quota that all of us have allocated to us each week.

Adding to the collection

Now, I know you’re going to say that I’m the sole instigator of my problems so I shouldn’t ask for any sympathy, but when I attended a recent auction of part of the Barry Caufield collection in Awakere in the Bay of Plenty, I wound up purchasing two trucks to add to my collection, and, of course, my workload.

I’ve since been reminded by the Ed that I was commissioned to make the 300 or so kilometre trip south to cover the story for DOW (read that story on page 152) and not to go there to buy more stuff.

In my defence, one of the trucks I bought only cost me $250 (plus buyer’s fee and GST) with the excuse being that the grille, bumper, and a few other items will save me a lot of work on the current FG K30 restoration.

Jeremy and Jaeden will next fit the curved widows

Well, that’s my excuse to my wife anyway. Once again, to be fair to me, the grille is very straight and comes complete with all the chrome, which is in a good condition; it even has an original Morris badge attached, albeit a little worse for wear.

Readers who have been following this story for more than a few months will recall the mammoth effort that was involved in finding one of those badges that was reasonably intact, but for the benefit of those of you who have missed an article or two, I did manage to find a beauty in England with the generous help of reader Colin McKenzie.

However, an upcoming dilemma I’m going to be faced with is the fact that the $250 truck is possibly too good to scrap, but I’ve resolved to deal with that conundrum once I’ve figured out how I’m going to get the truck and the ’56 S Bedford I purchased back to Auckland.

As if now having two trucks to transport up the North Island wasn’t enough, my trusty old ’97 Mitsubishi Diamante sprung a leak in its cooling system just as I was passing through Mt Maunganui and now I’ve got three extra vehicles to get home. I’ll update you on the outcome in the next issue.

Back in the workshop

The front screen finally being fitted 

We’ve managed to get the windscreen and curved windows in at long last, courtesy of Jeremy and Jaeden from Bespoke Auto Glass and I’ve finally made a start on the doors—one of the jobs I’ve been putting off for some time.

Another tedious, time-consuming job I’ve had to complete is drilling the rest of the holes for the remaining rivets, although, it has to be said that a recent purchase of an air-operated rivet gun has made lighter work of a job that was previously very boring indeed; pardon the pun.

I’d been putting off doing the last batch of riveting for some time and it’s pleasing to know that the job is now over, save any stray rivets that I’m sure I’ve missed out along the way.

But with that part of the job now completed, I’ll be able to get on with the remainder of the priming on the body, and I’ll finally be able to get the two-tone yellow and green paint on to finish the job off.

We’ve had just more than two years on my fourth and biggest restoration job to date, and although I’ve enjoyed the process immensely, it’s now getting to the stage where even I’m glad to see it coming to an end.

Jeremy must be taller than he looks

I’d always figured that it’d be a two-and-a-half-year project, and it’s looking like I won’t be too far off the mark. With this being Part 25, that will give me another five issues to get the job done and dusted in my projected timeframe, so let’s take a look and what we’ll need to finish the job off.

Starting from the front and working back, we’ll need a radiator grille and a bumper (this will be able to be sped up by using parts from the truck I purchased from Awakere, if necessary) and we’ll also need to manufacture parts of the quarterlight window frames and fit them.

The next step will be the doors. However, work is already underway on these. We’ll then need a week or so on fitting-out the cab before we paint the remainder of the truck.

Given that it will be more than two years since this project was started, I’m absolutely certain there will be a lot of mechanical parts that will have to be re-adjusted and tested. The final part will be the dreaded VIN process and the phone call to the sign writer.

It’s not hooked up yet, but you get the idea

There’s bound to be another month’s work of items that I’ve either forgotten about or haven’t even thought of in the first place; only the next few months will tell. Before I sign off for this month, I do remember promising that I’d explain the reason for the inclusion of the Morris Minor Lowlight in last month’s story.

Although I haven’t manufactured a means of connecting it to the towing rig yet, the photo I’ve included will give an idea how it will look being towed behind the finished product. I’ve run out of space this time around, so I’ll tell how I came to find the Morrie next month.

Tip of the month: 

You can always find a way to justify your actions

Coming up...

How the truck will look with a two-tone paint job

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