Wednesday, December 27, 2017

DKW Meisterklasse restoration update

Following the importation and asbestos saga in March 2017 (see story here: )  I have made only slow progress with the DKW Meisterklasse. I gave the car a quick once over when the car was port-side and realised that it was in worse condition than I had been led to believe. It was a disappointment but that's the luck of the draw when you're importing a car.

We had to pull the head off the engine at the port. That was a hard enough task. The engine itself is seized and will need to rebuilt. I already expected it to need rebuilding but it being seized just makes it a little worse. I've had diesel sitting in the cylinders since April and the engine is still stuck fast.The water channels were blocked with calcium build up. These have been flushed. The gearbox and radiator seem fine. All the pipes and all the electrics were rotten. I've got replacements for all rubber and tubing from

There is rust in the boot which was covered by a layer of mastic. I assume the rust has come from an internal leak as the rust goes from the inside out. There are several patch welds over earlier rust holes. The condition of the boot floor is pretty bad and will probably need to be entirely replaced.

I have spent several weekends working up a sweat with a wire brush, scraper and Goof-off to remove the mastic. It's pretty much down to the bare metal now.

The front sills and floor where it meets the firewall are badly rusted. The floor had previously been cut and welded earlier - and then lathered in mastic (my word they loved their mastic!). The drivers side sill is not too bad but will need to be replaced.

The passenger side floor and sills are worse than the drivers side.

You can see here the passenger sill has lost its structural integrity and begun to collapse. I have a quote for the floor rust work and it's very reasonable. After the Tatra is finished (and the bills paid) I'll get this sorted out. Very pleasingly the BODY is extremely sound. There is no rust in any of the doors, panels or wheel arches.

The chrome bumper trim is extremely poor condition. The metal is very poor quality pot metal, not like the stainless steel trims of the later F93. The difference in build quality and quality of the materials between 1953 and 1959 is striking.

The headlight trim had lots of marks and pocks.

But a couple of hours with WD40 and aluminum foil and they look pretty damned good. Yes, the aluminum foil trick does work.

The upholstery is in very good nick. It was one of the selling points of the car. There was minor surface rust under the rear seat and on the rear floor.

After sanding down and treating with a rust converter.

This is how I envisage the car will look when finished.

Classic Motoring Events in Perth in 2018

Sunday, 28th January - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 18th February - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 18th February - Northam Vintage Swap Meet and Run

Sunday, 11th March - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 18th March - Classic Car Show

Sunday, 29th April – Classic Cars and Coffee Away Event

Sunday, 27th May - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 17th June - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 29th July - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 9th September - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 14th October - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 21st October - Waroona Vintage Machinery Rally

Sunday, 18th November - Classic Cars and Coffee

Sunday, 30th December - Classic Cars and Coffee

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tatra Restoration update

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a naive Tatra owner placed his Tatraplan in the hands of his mechanic friends for some general maintenance which would not be completed for two years. The details of the saga can be found in this post

We are now at the end of the saga. The gearbox has finally been rebuilt and has been delivered to Classic Gasoline for installation. I can appreciate the point of view of the gearbox reconditioning service. They did not want to proceed with the reconditioning of a gearbox that was in such poor condition as the end product may not reflect well on them, and their insistence on NOS parts was understandable. But the supply of NOS Tatraplan gearbox parts has long since dried up and everyone must live with what they have.

Anyway, what's done is done. The gearbox is done. It's now just the reassembly. Nothing will happen over the Christmas and New Year break but the end is now in sight. The car is back in the shop and the pieces will come together.

I am expecting to be driving the Tatra again early in 2018.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Classic Cars and Coffee November 2017

The Classic Cars and Coffee meet ups just keep growing. October's meet up saw more than 200 cars attend and some fine machinery was on show.

Of special note was a 1948 Talbot-Lago. What a rare and magnificent beast. The owner has a fine collection of interesting vehicles and we can only hope to see some more of them show up at these events.

Well known Perth enthusiast, Peter Briggs also showed up driving his MG Magnette Grand Prix racer.

Stately Bentley's

French Facel Vega. These Chrysler powered cars were more expensive than a contemporary Rolls-Royce in their day.

Virtually the first people mover, the Fiat Multipla.

A pair of fine Citroen DS'.

Pigeon pair of Jaguars

I drove Shelly's Karmann Ghia as the DKW was still on a truck on its way from Adelaide.

A mainstay feature of Classic Car and Coffee is The Patron Citroen H coffee van.  Justin Walker from Media Junction is handing out flyers to the French Car Show.

November's meet up was similarly well attended and I was early for once so got to have a good look around.

Lovely Mercedes-Benz 300 coupe

Two SIVA club stalwarts - NSU Prinz III and Paul Blank's Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, recently back from Bay to Birdwood.

Porsche 911

Later model Ford Capri drives in. I must admit I've not seen another of these British Fords in Perth.

Lovely Porsche 356 speedster

Two late model British classics - Morgan Plus Four and a JBA. Both are modern cars with classic styling.

MG Magnette

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

It's great to see another of these magnificent 'blower' Bentley's out and about. The Bentley owners should be commended for regularly getting their cars out on the road and driving them, not squirreling them away like museum pieces.

Peter Briggs was there again with another of his MG racers.

Probably my favourite car of the day. A Jensen built Volvo sports.

Yours truly snapped artistically by Tony Wong at the end of the morning. Since coming back from Adelaide the DKW has been plagued with performance issues. Idling has especially troublesome. For five years I've never had a single issue with the carburetor, but it seems like it needs cleaning out after every drive. Speaking with other drivers about this on Sunday I am now convinced the fuel has been contaminated with ethanol, which is damaging the fuel system. Western Australia doesn't have ethanol in its fuel but some eastern states do and although I always checked while we were away to avoid using any ethanol tainted fuel, I guess some did make it into the system. It's a damned pain!

As always, you know where to get your coffee!

The next Classic Cars and Coffee will be on 31 December.

To keep up to date with events, check out the website

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Remembrance Day Scooter Ride 2017

It's been several years since I've taken the Troll out for a run, but on 12 November there was a scooter run in Fremantle. The 12th was my birthday and that alone was good enough reason to pull the beast out of the shed and hit the road.

Despite not having been ridden in two years the Troll fired straight up and needed little more than a quick lube here and there.

The Remembrance Run was organized by South Side Scooters and they did a great job of spreading the word across the scootering community. The event even got a write up in the local paper.

Several SIVA members and fellow travelers attended. Ron De Pannone on his Lambretta Li, Andy Montgomery on this Vespa 150, James Long on his Honda Spacey, Tony Wong on his Lambretta LD and Greg Eastwood on his Heinkel Tourist.

Tony's lovely Lambretta LD. The oldest scooter on the run.

The Troll - solid and reliable like a Soviet tractor and just as pretty.

Greg's Heinkel Tourist is a thing of beauty

While James' Honda Spacey is.... 'uniquely styled.' But it is way more powerful and reliable than the Vespas and Lambrettas.

124 scooters attended - a fantastic turnout!

The route took us along the coast to Cottesloe, then through Mosman Park and back to Fremantle.

Getting started ready for wind resistance

One of Tony Wong's cool photos. All the stylish photos in this post are his.

Great photos from Mark Nagle.

See link to his Facebook page

The Troll ran extremely well, although I was at the back of the pack most of the run. Quite a few Lambrettas stalled along the way (probably weighed down with all the surplus mirrors). Old fuel was the common complaint.

Andy and James

Greg on the Heinkel. Gotta love the helmet.

I made it all the way back to Fremantle without incident but Greg's Heinkel stopped running about 100 metres from the end point while we were waiting for the stragglers to catch up. I stuck around for a while to help him out before I headed home. It was a great start to my birthday.

Greg pushes the Heinkel the last 100 metres. Lesson for the future - never switch off your engine!

A brief video of the start.