Progress with the Restoration of PK2613

(1928 Trojan 3 Door Tourer ex Joe Pidgeon)

Update No 9 – February 2017

In February 2016 I left the body tub with Ian Pitney and his Father, a coachworks specialist in Winkfield near Windsor. The car was in good company rubbing shoulders with a Fraser Nash, a Bentley Special, an Allard and an Invicta.

Trojan body tub braced for transport

Progress now took a dramatic turn for the better, previous snags with compound curves, door fits and closing details miraculously disappeared and in four weeks the tub was skinned in aluminium, fitted to the punt and the doors hung.

Trojan rear body tub awaiting wings and doors

There was a pause while the rear wings were blast cleaned, repaired and primed before being offered up to the body for final adjustments. The off side mudguard had been largely preserved by a mixture of oil thrown off the drive chain and mud; the nearside wing required major surgery and a new inner wing section to repair it. After a visit to the paint shop nearby the car was reassembled and for the first time for many years the full impact of a battleship grey body and black wings could be appreciated.

It arrived home in Steeple Morden in mid–May with an instruction from Ian at the coach works to fit the windscreen “so that it will really look like a car”. I located the screen components hidden away in the garage roof for inspection. On the positive side I had more than a full set of parts from which to reconstruct the screen but from at least three different vehicles. The original lower screen frame was broken at the near side corner; a second frame was complete but did not fit the bonnet curvature. The upper screen was complete but rusty, though this came up well with blast cleaning; subsequently this turned out to be twisted.

Armed with the Newsletter Technical Topic – “Windscreen Overhaul by Eric Rance” I set about rectifying the numerous faults identified.

Initially I focussed on the broken lower screen frame where the mitred joint had come apart. The actual contact area for the joint faces is very small and must have required a clever jig for the original assembly. Our local village garage can generally stick things back together for a small consideration; however after a cursory glance they politely declined any further involvement, I then sought advice from my cycling buddy who in a former life had worked for British Aerospace and the RAF. The screen is an H section so Peter suggested introducing a solid brass tenon to reinforce the joint which could then be silver soldered to form a rigid corner. A template for the glass screen was cut and fitted into the frame to ensure we had the correct size and shape before forming the joint. After cooling and flux removal some cosmetic repairs were added in soft solder and filed to the correct profile the repair was deemed a success.

The lower screen is fixed to the uprights by raised head counter sunk machine screws (rhcsms) using a 3/16” diameter British Standard Whitworth thread while the screen uprights are secured to the body with 5/16” diameter (rhcsms). Eric had recommended replacing these fixings with stainless steel but they proved unobtainable on e–bay in this material and thread form. I discovered however that 2BA screws can be rethreaded 3/16 BSW and standard hex–head bolts can be converted to raised head counter sunk pattern using a lathe.

With the fixings sorted I focused my attention on the rubber glazing and sealing strips. Here WHO Baines of Tunbridge Wells came up trumps as they not only produce thin industrial rubber strips for the glass but also produce flat strip with a raised round edge for sealing between the body and screen. They also produce a sealing strip for the split screen. At the top of the screen the Parts Book showed a wing bolt and special brass nut which locates inside the screen top tube and is fixed via a slotted hole. There were none in the stores but somehow they seemed familiar; it then dawned on me that my MG TC has a similar item to fix the hood frame to the windscreen. A call to NTG and yes they were in stock and can be posted for a small fee I now have a Trojan with second hand MG wing nuts.

Things were going far too smoothly and it was now time to assemble the windscreen for a trial fitting on the car. Having first assembled it on my workmate. It was gingerly offered up to the bonnet where not only did it not fit, it was miles out!

As most Trojan owners will have observed the bottom rail has to accurately match the bonnet curvature and the palm ends on the uprights require a subtle twist which allows them to match the tapering cross section of the bonnet. After much head scratching I recollected Joe confessing that he had once rolled into a ditch having failed to negotiate a sharp right hand bend at the bottom of a hill. Hence the broken windscreen frame and bent uprights. The uprights are a fish belly pattern with a convex curve on one face and flat on the other. Careful examination showed them to be beyond the capability of my vice and cold bending. Assembling a portable forge in the garage was suggested but ruled out on grounds of lack of space and fire risk. Cold bending in a press against a template was considered but discounted as too time consuming with the logistics involved. At this point Phil Potter paid a visit on his way to Norfolk, realising that I had a serious problem with the available facilities in the workshop he offered to return with his oxy–acetylene equipment which would allow local heating and bending of the uprights. As good as his word three weeks later he returned and equipped with his gas torch he heated and bent each upright to achieve the desired fit. Just before Christmas the Trojan was able to take a peep out of the garage complete with windscreen.

The Trojan takes a look outside in December

Christopher Tordoff, Steeple MordenFebruary 2017