Repair the body work

So we are to do the Irish Classic Retro and we are cutting away at the body. We currently have two doors apart and Tim is attacking the rear jacking point. If you remember the car failed the MOT in 2013 for this hole at the bottom of the D-post:

Rover P6 sill rot

Rover P6 sill rot

This was repaired with a quick patch to pass the MOT.


We knew this was only covering the problem which was a large weak area around the jacking point. Now was the time to do the repair which was really needed at the last MOT. Here is what the jacking point looked like before Tim started, which is normally covered by the outer sill, covering unseen sins. It shows that an MOT’d car is not a measure of a solid car. We had stopped using this jacking point as it was just too soft to lift the car.


And once Tim was happy he had got to the solid stuff and added the first repair patch, this is how the car looked:

DSC02238 DSC02237 DSC02236

And few hours later, we had a solid jacking point:


And still to attach the last panel .


Were now confused to how this panel goes on as the original repair, done by a previous owner, was so rotted we have pictures of what this corner should look like!!

We are also attacking the doors and have cut away the rear wheels arched to fit fatter wheels. More to post in the next few days.


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TDC 2015 – Irish Classic Retro

I’ve not posted since Boxing Day 2013, you’ll be happy to know the car is still with us. In the last year it’s done a few miles but not much competition driving. This post is due to the fact that we’re about to start preparing it for the Trials Drivers’ Club Irish Classic Retro in April. Today the entry fee was paid, so it should all steam ahead, but just after paying the entry Tim heard that he was to travel for work over the same weekend in April as the rally. One way or another the car will do this event and hopefully with Tim driving.

We have a short list of things to do, however they are big jobs:

  • Repair the body work and paint the car.
  • Fit a rear ARB
  • Fix Engine and Gearbox mounts. (Mount solid)
  • Tighten the Diff
  • Obtain a full set of new tyres


  • Big engine and electric cooling fan.

So here’s to the first of a few posts this year.

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Not the Boxing Day Rally 2013

Yesterday we did the great UAC Not the Boxing Day Rally. I’m so chuffed at the result of 27th overall, from one hundred cars entered. There were 25 Mazda Mx5s and 8 MG Midgets entered with at least a dozen Toyota Starlets so to nearly to get into the top quarter is just amazing and unexpected. Our running order put us in a lovely little varied group of cars;
Andy Johnson Vauxhall Chevette HS
Dermot Johnson Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite
Clifford Auld Triumph 2000
Gavin Millington Rover P6
Conn Williamson BMW 2002tii
Johnny Kennedy Austin A40 Farina
Ted Gaffney VW Golf
Drexel Gillespie Sunbeam Tiger

Three V8s; wonderful.

With all the other competitors we completed two loops totalling 32 tests, some clean car park tests some muddy farm yards, one in front of the main stands of Down Royal racecourse.

The car ran well other than the interior heating fan stopping; and our LSD needs tightened, but this is just an indication of the fun we have had.

No results yet on the web and I can’t find any photos. I think all the marshalls and photographers are taking a well-earned rest after standing out all day in the day long driving rain. Well done to them; they all should be given the Spirit of the Event prize.

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UAC Retro – Tim’s Report

I’ve copied a post from Tim on The Classic Rover forum….

The event started on Friday evening with a couple of te sts right “out of the box”, I was rusty and probably a tad nervous so on the very first test I went the wrong way!!!! The night Nav that followed went better, night nav is what Gav and I cut our teeth on so it was nice to see it flow together again. This part of the event felt short to us but we know others don’t enjoy it so much so the organiser’s tend to keep it short and sharp.


Saturday saw the event start in earnest with a fairly relentless series of tests and regularity sections, open loose tests suit the car and driver as they require grip and a little finesse, they also happen a little slower which helps my rusty old head keep up!!!! The grippy fast tests require a higher level of brutality and commitment so when your rusty and slower of thought than you’d like these don’t tend to go as well :cry: So we set some good times and some not so good ones, practice would help reduce the number of not good tests but now and again things just flow and you find yourself going wow that was good :shock: As some have noticed we are without wind screen in some of the pics…… long story short but basically I was way too close to a fellow competitor during a regularity section where I wanted him to go faster or let me passed, the inevitable happened a stone from his wheel broke the screen. If you haven’t had a toughened screen break on you it’s hard to explain the noise and suddenness of what happens, it’s like a gun going off and then you can’t see!!!! After a fair few mins of cleaning and calming down we continued, much to the amusement of the marshals etc…. It’s remarkably OK driving without a screen, as long as you keep the windows up very little wind actually comes in, the same can’t however be said for the flys, leafs, apples (don’t ask) and one poor wee bird. The tests during the day went well enough considering, we had a little off in a test and needed a wee pull from a tractor :oops: but no real damage done and we did suffer another broken front damper, must sort that!!! Thanks to a donation from fellow competitor Clifford Auld we fitted another screen on Saturday night :D

Car fixed and all ship shape for the Sunday start, no further mishaps on Sunday……. The trend of some good and some bad test continued our regularity sections where better than in the past which was keeping us in the game. I guess by the last few hours of the event we started to think a little about class place, overall position etc….. Without going into too much detail about how the penalty system works but basically you are compared with the fastest time in your class, we had the eventual winner, Dermot Carnegie, and seasoned Auto tester and retro rally main stay Frank Lenehan in our class so things where never going to be easy against others who had less competition in their class. That said we finished largely where we feel we should be so that’s got to be a result.

Car is competitive, when the test suits, which is a credit to Gav’s ingenuity and engineering prowess and the improvement since the 2010 event are clear to see on the stop watch.

Retro rallying in Ireland is struggling, there are many and varied reasons for that but none relate to a lack of effort by organiser’s, as always the UAC produced an event that was a true gem, unfortunately with dwindling entries the viability becomes questionable. If “the retro” goes the way of other great events in Ireland it will be a tragic loss to the motorsport calendar.


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1st in Class – Laharna Lanes Rally 2013

Larne Lane Rally 2013 photo

Larne Lane Rally 2013

The car’s next outing after our fantastic 5th overall in the UAC Retro was yesterday at Larne Motor Club’s Laharna Lanes Rally. The car came away with another fantastic results by winning its class, this best result by far in this type of event for the car.

Last year the Larne club set a high standard for their Laharna Lane Rally, with some great flowing tests, but this year they have raised the standard even higher. Gone were the over tight chicanes and autotest type farmyard test, in were open chicanes a big Rover can fit through and some long blasts over openfields. I’m sure if you were driving a low slung car like the MG Midgets or even a Mazda MX5 the long blasts over the rutted muddy lanes were not to you liking. We had to drive around at least one exhaust box!!

We got 1st in class, despite being stuck in the mud for an hour until help arrived to pull us out. We were approaching a field gate with the concrete  gatepost on one side and concrete water drinker on the other, with the car sliding on the mud, I thought it was better to get through the gate and I had the field to run into, but the mud was deep.

CornerStuckin mud Photo

Corner Stuck in mud

I tried all the tricks to get us out, but the mud was so soft and deep we were quickly resting on the belly of the car.

Stuck in mud to sills

Stuck in mub to sills


Stuck in mud tricks

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2013 UAC Circuit of Ireland Retro

After the prep comes the test, off to the Circuit of Ireland Retro. Tim was driving again this year. His first time in the car for a couple of years, other than one evenings autotest.
The Retro this year was another great event run by the UAC with Aaron and Ronnie Mitchell at the helm. For some reason this year most crews stayed away and we the competitors were left with a quality event, which felt as much like a group of friend having fun, as a serious comp.
I’ll write more on the retro over the next couple of days, but a summary is we had a good Friday night navigation test, Tim and I working well together as it was in years gone by.
Saturday arrived with a couple of tests, then a stone broke our windscreen at the of the first regularity.

Which didn’t stop us, other than to pick the pieces from our laps. We continued on to complete the days numerous tests, including a few the mud splashes: we have No Windscreen

Waiting for a test

Waiting for a test

Here on the motorway you can see the mud splash marks on the inside of the car. At one point we scooped a bird inside.

Motorway with a broken windscreen

Motorway with a broken windscreen

“That is a tax disc officer”

Tax disc broken windscreen

Tax disc broken windscreen

Thankfully a fellow P6 owner had a spare windscreen which was kindly donated. Half an hour and it was fitted, Rover P6 the car built like Meccano would build a car.

Replaced windscreen Rover P6

Replaced windscreen Rover P6

By the end we were just holding on to 5th place. Good fun weekend.

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A productive day – Brakes, suspension and bump stops

I’m going to keep this short as I’ve had a productive day.

Bellow is a photo of the damaged caliper piston rubber. What cannot be shown is the lack of elasticity of the rubber, it is like cardboard. The rip has allowed the moisture to attack the piston as per the previous post.

Damaged brake rubber

Damaged brake rubber

After rebuilding the calipers I fitted Ferodo DS2500 pads, these are pads I used in a hillclimb car and provide braking when cold or hot.

Rover P6 Ferodo DS2500 pads

Rover P6 Ferodo DS2500 pads

I have not used the tab washers as I fully beleive in what Carroll Smith says in his book Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing Handbook, “….this supposed safety device has become a hazard. I do not allow the use of tabs washers on my projects.” The material is just too soft and gets squeezed out from under the hard bolt head. Look at the state of the used one..

Soft Tab Washer

Soft Tab Washer

I then turned to the high pitch druming we have been listening to since we de-rubbered the front suspension. I found it was comming from between the superflex bushes and their internal stainless liner. I could see where the ploy-what-ever was fusing to the inner liners and the liners were turning on the suspension arm. I’ve applied some white grease between the ploy-what and the stainless liners.

superflex bushes greased

superflex bushes greased

Pre tightened…..

superflex bushes

superflex bushes

The nut tightened up…. look at the squash.

superflex bushes squashed

superflex bushes squashed

I then turned to fitting bump stops to the rear. These are from any late 60’s or early 70’s Jag. I wanted to fit them to the chassis rails in the inner wheel arch.

Rover P6 wheel arch Jag Hub

Rover P6 wheel arch Jag Hub

Using the same style as the Jags I fabricated a housing and weld to the chassis rails. Here it is support the car on the hub, as is the rubber in the coil over damper.

Jag Bump stop Rover P6

Jag Bump stop Rover P6

And here is the distance at ride height.

Jag Bump stop Rover P6

Jag Bump stop Rover P6

See a quick post about a productive day.

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