Restoration Project: FGK Morris—Part 26

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

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

As reported last month, Jeremy and Jaeden from Bespoke Auto Glass managed to get the glass in without incident, thus putting that part of the restoration well and truly to bed.

Two more holes filled in

The next and final focus on glass for the project will be rebuilding the frames and finding some suitable rubber for the quarterlight windows, which will fill in the last two holes in the cab, now that the doors, complete with windows, have been fitted.

I didn’t need any assistance from the Bespoke team with fitting the windows to the doors, as the glass for these was in a good condition and had the correct safety markings. Thankfully, the window channels were in pretty good nick as well and only needed a quick sand and a lick paint.

The door bottoms needed some work

A couple of months ago, I reported I’d travelled to Hamilton to collect two sets of doors, along with a number of other sundry FGK items that I’d been given by Cam Farmilo from Duck Island Ice Cream who is rebuilding an FG K30 ice cream truck.

Having inspected the doors back in the workshop, I discovered that the ‘Murphy’ fellow was hard at work again when I found that although both pairs of doors had bottoms that were in reasonably good condition, the tops weren’t so great.

This was completely opposite from the situation with the original doors fitted to my truck. However, this wasn’t too much of a problem, as I’d already carried out some welding repairs to my doors some months ago, hence, I made the decision to carry on with completing this part of the project.

I can report, though, that my trip to Hamilton wasn’t completely in vain, as the weather strips that seal the bottoms of the doors were in a fairly good condition (even one of the rubbers was pretty tidy) and will go nicely with the original doors when completed.

While on the subject of finding parts, I’ve found that the majority of parts for old vehicles seem to be located in the South Island. Fantastic if you live in the south but not so great if you reside in Auckland.

Quite often I’ve heard of some bits and pieces that are on offer for fairly reasonable prices, however, I’ve had to pass them up because of the astronomical amount of dollars it’d cost to get them to Auckland, that was if I could find someone who’d be willing to do the freighting in the first place.

An A5 Bedford bonnet arriving from the South Island

Back in September, I bought some parts for an upcoming project (a 1955 A5 Bedford) before I’d given any thought as to how I was going to get them from Christchurch up to Auckland.

As luck would have it, the guy who sold me the parts put me onto John Giles from South Island Couriers who told me that he makes the trip north on a monthly basis and that he’d be happy to deliver the parts directly to my door in West Auckland for a reasonable price.

John tows a tandem axle trailer behind his high-cube Iveco van, so is able to move a reasonable-sized load, including quad bikes and side-by-sides and lots more besides. John’s service was fantastic. He kept me informed as to when he’d collected my items, when he was leaving for Auckland, and of an estimated time of arrival.

You can’t have too many clamps

It all went as smooth as clockwork and relieved a lot of stress along the way. Needless to say, it’ll make any future decision as to whether or not to buy a spare part from the South Island a whole lot easier.

It goes without saying that if South Island Couriers’ service worked well for me coming from south to north, then I’m sure it would work out just as well on the return trip south. Give John a call on 027 768 8447 if you have any freighting requirements. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.

Some months ago, DOW reader Dion O’Leary from Tapanui was turning an FGK 60 into a farm trailer at Nathan McPherson Engineering and had a fuel tank in good condition he said he’d like to give me. I thanked him and asked him if he could store it until I could find a way to get up to Auckland but wondered how I could make it happen.

Two months later, after finding South Island Couriers, with Dion and Nathan’s generous help in getting the tank from Tapanui to Scott Ramsay Customs in Gore for collection by John, I now have the fuel tank stacked on a shelf as a useful spare part.

I appreciate the help I’ve received from Dion O’Leary, Nathan McPherson, Scott Ramsay, and the seemingly endless stream of readers who contact me with offers of help and advice. Thanks heaps my friends.

I have this constant thought at the back of my mind that I’ll soon have to be at the very front of it, as the deadline of the 30th instalment of the restoration comes into view.

We’re now up to Part 26, and there’s still a lot to do, however, I’m not helping the cause by buying more vehicles to add to the restoration pool.

I reported last month that I’d attended an auction in Awakere where I bought an FG K40 Morris and an S Bedford and that I’d broken down on the way home in my (usually) trusty old Mitsubishi Diamante, making it three vehicles I had to get back to Auckland.

They’re all safely in Auckland now, thanks to the assistance of Rowe Motors (TGA) Ltd of Tauranga and OTS in Auckland, but that’ll all have to be a story for next month. Meanwhile, I’m cracking on with this restoration by finishing the doors and fitting the bumper and grille that I’ve ‘stolen’ from the Awakere truck.

An idea of how it should look

By the way, I did say I’d give you a preview of what the truck might look like in two tones, only at the concept stage though. 

Coming up...

What do rubber seals and tyre rust bands have in common? 

Tip of the month:

Don’t attend auctions without expecting to buy something!

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