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  Searching for an ADO16


Keith Hallock joins the guest writers on Keith has recently been looking to purchase his first ado16, and this is his story so far...

A few months ago my regular "bus", an old F reg Nissan Sunny 1.6, blew a head gasket and since then it has needed more and more spent on it.

I thought what could I get to replace it? I rather liked the new BMW mini, but after a few enquiries and the lack of response from garages, my thoughts turned to an ADO16. Why the 1100 you ask, well I've owned an A40 Farina for over 20 years and therefore I'm familiar with the A-series. The 1100 shares the same designer and therefore overall shape. And of course an 1100 or 1300 would be cheaper than the 1600 on both insurance and general running costs. Finally there was the "Historic" road tax.

I started trawling the Internet (Google mostly) and one of the ads that I found was a car a few roads down from me: ideal I thought. Unfortunately the lady had sold the car some months earlier to a chap in Portsmouth. As fate would have it the purchaser saw my wanted ad on The 1100 Club website and asked me if I wanted to buy it back.

Alas the seller never came back to me when I asked if he'd include a new MOT and a
tank of petrol in with the car, so off I went a "hunting" again.

Brian Radford's website turned up three possibilities; a local Vanden Plas (unfortunately sold via eBay by the time I enquired), an MG 1300 (discounted as it was really too far away in Bristol) and a Riley 1300. The owner of the Riley responded to an initial message on his mobile, but then went quiet.

Another MG 1300 came to light, but looked somewhat incomplete, although I was told it was sound and the "missing" parts could probably be found.

A local Vanden Plas had sat, unloved, in a garden for a number of years and a knock on the door produced a tail that the woman was moving, so ......

A personal website with a Wolseley directory turned up my next find, a Wolseley 1100 (advertised as a 1300). An hour round the M25 and I was facing a car covered in dust and what I suspected was terminal rot.

Michael Turner kindly pointed out that I should be looking at the car's plus points rather than it's negative ones and having initially turned the purchase down, I now sit awaiting a call hopefully saying I can go and collect my first 1100.

As is usual? with these things, the collection of Jasper wasn't as simple as it might have been.

After agreeing the hire of a trailer the local company started to change it's T&Cs, so another company was located. This firm let me down at the last minute, after I'd had a number plate made up for a neighbour who kindly agreed to tow the trailer for me as my car wasn't "up to the job".

Whilst all this was going on the local VDP owner emailed me to say Tike was ready to be moved. Thinking that I'd never get to collect Jasper I agreed to go and see about moving Tike. The rear brakes were seized, the tires flat, the suspension collapsed on the drivers side and the engine would turn over but not start. But after a few days I had the tires pumped up and the brakes freed off enough to tow the car out of her sloping drive.

Another couple of weeks saw the suspension pumped up; thanks to Brian for a custom-made adaptor to go on a grease-gun donated by a neighbour, the engine running sweetly and the majority of the rot cut out of the sills.

Then a chap from Birmingham re-contacted me about collecting Jasper for me on a low-loader; so after months of having no ADO16, I now had TWO!

Tike was moved to a friends garage (again on the low-loader) and work began on Jasper. The paint came up a treat after a day spent by a friend and I waxing it and the chrome responded to a rub over with a green washing-up scourer of all things! After a month or so of odd days/hours here and there I think I have the end of the welding in sight; my plans being to patch everything up and get him M.O.T tested then go about the much slower task of cutting off and replacing the old sills etc.


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