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.

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