Restoration Project: FGK Morris Restoration—Part 30

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

Lyndsay Whittle’s project nears completion

In theory, this would have been the final instalment of the FG K30 restoration project, as I’d kind-of promised the readers and myself that we’d have it done and dusted over the course of 30 articles. Now, if you’re wondering why this hasn’t happened, I, of course, have an excuse.

Close to the finishing line

Although we have come fairly close to achieving the goal, there are still a few more outstanding items to attend to in order to complete the task, several of which are reasonably involved and difficult to achieve.

Although these items involve little physical effort on my part, the stress they’re imparting on my tired old brain is sending my head into a tailspin.

What I’m referring to here could be likened to paying a visit to the headmaster’s office or perhaps waiting for the call from your doctor to hear the results of your recent tests. It’s time for the dreaded VIN process.

My first go at spraying two pack paint

Several aspects come into play here: firstly, there is the final visit from the engineer to get his sign-off, then there’ll be the trip to the testing station, and lastly, the bit about getting to use the truck’s original registration plates.

I’d previously thought we were home and hosed as far as the plates were concerned, however, a recent conversation with some guys who are currently rebuilding a Bedford tow wagon has revealed that it’s not going to be as easy as I thought.

Because I was allowed to reuse my black plates once I’d restored my K Bedford a couple of years ago (even though I’d neglected to place the plates on hold back in 1986), I’d naturally assumed that the same would apply this time around.

However, the subtle difference between the two situations lies in the fact that with the Bedford, I had documentation proving that I’d previously had the vehicle registered with those plates, whereas with the Morris, the documentation is somewhat less clear. With that explanation of my extended timeframe out of the way, I still have a further excuse to offer.

As I’m sitting down to write this article, I realise that it’s one year to the day that I found myself taking an unexpected break from proceedings when like a bolt out of the blue, I found myself in hospital, only to find later in the day that I’d be up for some fairly major stomach surgery.

While that might’ve been quite traumatic at the time, a year later, it’s proving to be a blessing in disguise, as I now have yet another excuse for my non-performance in the area of vehicle restoration.

With the excuses out of the way, another job that requires little effort on my part, save making a phone call or two, is the matter of the sign writing.

While the physical effort involved is fairly minimal, the idea of having to dip into the bank account is another matter entirely; not a pleasant thought I must say. We’re still working on how the finished signage is going to work out, but one thing’s for certain—that it won’t happen in this month’s issue.

The last of the glass—finally!

One thing everybody is going to be infinitely pleased about is that you’re all through with hearing me banging on about getting the final bits of glass in the cab because Jeremy and his offsider Jaedin from Bespoke Auto Glass visited last week to complete the task.

Unfortunate as it is because Jeremy couldn’t source the correct profile of rubber to fit opening quarterlight windows, we’ve had to settle for one piece of glass on each side for the simple reason that we couldn’t hold the process up any longer as the rest of the job nears completion.

We’d have been seriously behind the eight-ball in getting this project over the finishing line if it hadn’t been for the purchase of an FG K40 bought for $250 at an auction in Awakere a few months ago.

The donor truck has supplied us with a really tidy grille, complete with chrome, a bumper that was infinitely better than the two that were already in stock, and a set of head and side lights.

I’d estimate that by scoring these items I was able to avoid about a month (possibly more) of work repairing the bits we already had.

Just some hubcaps and signwriting to go

I was a little sad about having to make the call to remove the parts fromthe Awakere truck, as it presented as a vehicle that’d probably be made to go without an awful lot of work, as the lights and most of the electrics still worked.

I’d spent an hour or two trying to make it run without success, as I suspect it probably had an incorrect rotor fitted.

That, coupled with the fact that even if I did decide I was going to restore it at some point in the future, I’d have to pull the whole thing apart in any case.

If our small restoration team agrees that it’s worthy of an overhaul sometime down the track, then we can recondition the parts not used in the current restoration; in other words, put off till later what should’ve been done yesterday.

Well folks, we really are nearing the end of this saga, with the only major work now needed to complete the task being the fitting of a pair of steps, to install the windscreen wipers—which have already been made to work—make and fit some rear mud flaps, which may be only an optional extra, and to have some door cards made.

Of course, I’m only referring to the things that I can do myself, as there’s still the matter of the sign writing (I’ve put the sign writer on notice that we need to do this sooner rather than later) and we’re yet to get the VIN process underway.

So, it’s currently looking like my self-imposed deadline of a 30-month restoration isn’t going to be realised I’m afraid, and that it’ll probably wind up taking a little bit longer.

That being said, I already have the next restoration in my sights. It’s currently sitting in a shed, no doubt looking forward to being given a spruce up.

I’m not going to say what it is at the moment, but all will be revealed in next month’s issue, so until then, I guess I’d better crack on.

Tip of the month

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t quite reach your goals

Coming up...

A sneaky look at the next restoration

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