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2011 Archive

March - This is Darren Barnes newly restored 541

Cars of the Month for 2011

by zacmarshall » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:39 am

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Darren was looking for a 541 that was almost road worthy and had been looking for some time when he spotted an advert in the classified of the JOC magazine. It was advertised as an abandoned restoration and garage stored for a number of years. In reality it was a restoration that had been barely started by the owner, Mr George Burdette, in 1972 and abandoned in 1976 when he was sent to the Orkney Islands with his job. He didn't return until his mother passed away and had to clear out the garage etc.to sell the house, he found it as he had left it but now buried under 30 years of discarded furniture and rubbish. Daren could only see the front of the bonnet under all the other stuff but he recognised a front seat and cylinder head at the rear of the garage. A lot of new parts including tyres (still wrapped in brown paper), new battery, rolls of vinyl, and most of the delicate items like gauges were stored in his old bedroom but hardly any brightwork as this had been sent to a local chromeplater who had closed over 25 years ago.

It wasn't what Daren was looking for at all, in fact he laughed at first then almost left, but couldn't leave it because the next prospective buyer was just after the original buff log book and parts by all accounts (no V5 as it was off the road when they were introduced). Daren made him a silly offer which he jumped at and so Daren collected the remains on a trailer and a van full of boxes of parts a week later.

The chassis as expected was a mess, even the repairs had rotted away, the entire underside had been blathered in wax oil even the rotten chassis members, steering box had been replaced with a power steering unit from who knows what?
I left it in my works still on the trailer in dismay for months until Darren's wife (bless her cotton socks) bought him a new pair of leaf springs from Paul Boulton for Christmas, and that was it he was off.

Darren realised that due to the parts that were missing and the condition it was in, it was going to be a long haul so in for a penny in for a pound and here we are 5 years on.

George had lovingly recovered the seats in beige and chocolate brown vinyl (very seventies) and not to my taste so it was removed ready for recovering in leather, on the rear of one piece I found a politically incorrect remark (see photo below) But I will be keeping it in the car for prosterity
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Some photos of the finished article (taken from Darren's post in the 541 tech section)

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Last edited by zacmarshall on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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by Mark1Stu » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:02 pm

That's a truly beautiful looking car Darren. Love the colour.

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by Kieron » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:50 pm

Awesome car!!!
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by Barrie » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:19 pm

Great posting.

But what does it go like?
A road test next?
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by James B » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:24 pm

Completey stunning and a beautiful colour.
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by Johnfromholland » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:03 pm

............
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by VFK44 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:21 am

It looks like an illustration from the original brochure. "Tidy" comes to mind as the description, as well as the usual stunning, awesome etc.

Is the front screen very clean, or has it yet to be fitted? And don't forget that dangling bonnet clamp before the test drive!
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by Martin R » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:57 am

Well done Darren :!:

A lovely car rescued and by a really nice bloke too :!:

Can't wait to see it in person :D
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by colin7673 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:56 am

Beautiful looking car Darren... are you bringing her down with you on the 12th ?
Only working half a day now.
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by Martin R » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:43 pm

Do you have any "before" photo's :?:
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by Darren » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:26 am

Yes Colin all being well I'll be in the 541 (not sure about leaving her at lunch time though, does the pub do take outs :shock: ).
Martin there are a couple of pictures above in the mucky white, I'll post some more, but there wasn't much to see as it was all stripped down. I have a picture of the previous owner with the car looking very cool which I'll try scanning, although all the info points to the car leaving the factory green, he bought it white in approx 1965. He cant help with any other information although Mike Byrne's records show it was ordered for a Mr William Hill (possibly the bookmaker as he was a friend of the Jensen's, so I have been told?) Any information would be appreciated.
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by Nigel_5 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:37 pm

truly fabulous.....
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by Darren » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:51 pm

the day I picked it up after trying the boot lid for fit


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by Martin R » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:13 pm

CRIKEY :!: :shock:
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by Mark Maniatt » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:40 am

What an achievment Darren :shock:
A truly beautiful car.Cant wait to see it in the metal.
Well done.
By the way.Should'nt that politically incorrect message have had 'useless' somewhere in there???

See you soon,

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