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Car Of The Month :
October 2012

'Number 45 - A Tale Of Rebirth' by trikey

In December 2003, number 45 was delivered to Howardís Rover of Weston Super Mare, where she became their V8 demonstrator, according to the service history she then went down to Hampshire before ending up in County Durham.

I first saw the ZT when itís previous owner turned up at one of our North East meets, and just happened to park next to me, the next time I saw her was while browsing the Two-Sixties website, she was looking a little worse for wear due to a heavy rear end shunt and advertised for sale as spares or repair, I rang the owner and arranged to have a look to assess the damage first hand, I had to be quick as there were already offers in for various parts should the owner decide to break her.

It turned out the damage was caused by a stolen Renault Clio hitting the ZTís rear while parked, the boot floor and rear panel had taken the worst of the impact, thankfully the only mechanical damage was a broken track rod end where the V8 had hit the kerb following the shunt.

The deal was done, and a very sorry looking ZT was loaded onto the towing dolly and brought the eight miles home, once back and unloaded in the snow!

The search for parts began, the rear panel was sourced through a certain internet auction site, along with the mid section of the exhausts, work then began on removing the damaged areas, the rear panel was cut off followed by the damaged floor area, itís quite scary when you see someone else chopping your car up with an angle grinder!

The rear quarters were straightened, only the rearmost section of the drivers side quarter had to be replaced with a donor piece from a 75 as unfortunately it was too damaged to save.

The replacement boot floor on the other hand was proving a little more difficult as none were to be found anywhere, I toyed with the idea of using a modified 75 boot floor, until an advert in the wanted section revealed that member 75.0 (John from Southampton) happened to have a boot floor section from a V8 ZT-T (A ZT-T V8 floor had to be better than no floor at all!)

After a long trip down South, and the help of John and his angle grinder we managed to squeeze the floor into the boot of my 75 and the return trip to Durham began, the following day, the last piece of the puzzle slotted into place, followed by three days of filling and sanding to make everything well again before the X power grey paint was applied (Total cost to repair and paint was £350 Ė Quite a bargain donít you think)

The original exhaust tailpipes that came with the car have been polished and will be refitted as soon as I get time, the V8 is still very much a work in progress, but as you can see, she is looking a lot better than she was at the beginning of the year.

I will finish off by thanking a few people - David and Jeff for the bodywork and painting, John for letting me have the only available V8 boot floor in Europe, and my long suffering wife Sharon who thought number 45 was far too gone to repair, and last but by no means least all the North East members for advice, help, and the usual Geordie banter

Article written by member trikey

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