Go Back   The 75 and ZT Owners Club Forums > The 75 and ZT Owners Club Forums > S525 OVP The Club Car
Register FAQ Image Gallery Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Notices

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 18th November 2018, 08:48   #21
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default Flash Forward

OK, high time we updated everyone with the rather laboured progress of the restoration of our unique club car. So lets get cracking.....


With the major mechanical and oily bits now sorted, and a series of MoT tickets awarded to her in the intervening years, OVP spent a rather relaxed period with Christopher while he periodically stretched her legs and tinkered here and there with the car which included sourcing an original and similarly aged Arran White front bumper to replace the stop gap later Wedgwood Blue one we had, but with his work calling him abroad a great deal of the time the project stalled somewhat and OVP's paint finish still needed addressing of course.





Also, someone had decided to liberate the rear nearside steel wheel trim which was nice of them...NOT.


With the knowledge that this car was approaching it's 20th Birthday in November 2018, and that we were going to have another stand at the NEC that year, it seemed a good opportunity to show the car off to the public if at all possible, so it was arranged that it would travel down South where I and others could spend some time preparing it for its regeneration.

First and foremost, OVP only ever had one key given to us from the Longbridge plant, so a trip to forum trader cb750chris in Fareham was a top priority.

He was able to supply a fob and immobilisation chip, cut the new blade and program it to the vehicle. Whilst doing this he did of course have to access the car's EWS engine immobiliser ECU and he soon discovered that through a water leak many moons ago, the board and pinouts had become corroded







This would account for the random issue OVP suffered from when sometimes the key fob would lock the doors and sometimes it would not, and the only way to secure the car would be by manually central locking it from the inside then opening the drivers door, getting out and locking that from the outside using the key in the lock



So once the contacts from the car's plug had been cleaned up, Chris produced a replacement ECU which he magically coded to the car and 'hey presto', a brand new key and 100% functioning locking system were restored.

It just so happened that Chris had on his drive, another 75 classic trim vehicle which had seen better days and I asked if I could take a look inside.

One of the oddities of OVP is that over the years at Cowley & Longbridge, it had been subject to random original bits being taken off and then later replaced with whatever was to hand, and the car was littered with examples of this, including the drivers door window switch pack which although correct in being for front windows only, was wrong in that it had the later mottled finish, not the original smooth design. This meant it didn't match with the panels on the other three doors.




Later mottled finish switch pack found on OVP (notice bent pins too)



Earlier smooth finish switch pack - from donor Classic car

So after a bit of negotiation, a direct swap was agreed upon , Chris also let us swap the passenger side sun visor over. OVP had a vinyl covered one, where it should have been fabric. Both of course not having illuminated surrounds as this is a base spec car.

A huge shout out and big thank you goes to cb750chris who worked wonders that rainy Sunday, he's a top bloke and can't come more highly recommended.
Reebs is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 18th November 2018, 11:15   #22
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default

Time to address a rather holey problem. As can be seen from this screen grab, part of OVPs career was as a police car appearing in various television dramas and as such needed to have a set of 'Blues and Twos' added.



However, when the time came to return it to Longbridge as an on site ambulance and security car, they were removed, but no thought was given to plugging the holes



The car had two holes on the passenger side, and three on the drivers, the middle one for the wiring.

Our initial thought was to simply acquire the standard plastic studs used on all saloons for the optional roof bar mountings, but as these holes were drilled in a non standard adhoc fashion, the studs were far too big and wouldn't fit.

The solution came from elsewhere on the car, we finally managed to find an exact size fit using the black plastic fir tree clips that fasten the carpet edges to the door sills.

Though, curiously with OVP, these were not present, instead all four doors had their carpet edges secured by philips screws



Anyway, after a raiding party at the local breakers, said fir tree clips were obtained and finally fitted to plug the holes. The larger centre hole for the wiring harness, did in fact fit using a standard roof plug BTW



Next it was time to address the interior and the first thing to do was reinstate it's Rover looks, over the MG appearance it had been given.

A light smokestone airbag was fitted to the now matching steering wheel and the ZT gear knob and handbrake grip and gaitor were replaced with the correct Rover ones.


Before as an MG



After, back as a Rover

Next a thorough deep clean of the carpets and seat covers using a wet carpet cleaner, detergent, elbow grease and a fair amount of Febreeze, to make it smell better. New pedal rubbers were fitted too.


Before






After
Reebs is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 18th November 2018, 14:50   #23
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default

The interior light cluster was ill fitting and the push buttons were very temperamental, sometimes working and other times not having any of it, so we investigated and discovered that the plastic mounting screw brackets of the cluster had broken at some point in the past and been glued back, rather badly. The metal conductor tracks had signs of corrosion on them too, leading to the temperamental behavior, so a light smokestone replacement assembly was substituted and the problems eliminated.

While off however, we noticed an additional set of wires running into the cluster, thick orange cables with a multi pin connector on the end



I asked Trikey about these at the NEC show and he was convinced they were for a built in car phone.

There was also another white multi pin connector present, perhaps for the activation of the Blue Police lights?



The driver's door internal pull handle was loose and the chrome surround was hanging off, coupled with the fact that both the driver's and rear off side door were missing their door lock pins meant the cards had to come off.

Once again a trip to the friendly neighbourhood breakers yard, this time accompanied by forum member SD1too proved fruitful as a replacement door pull, and two locking pins complete with the important green plastic clip needed to secure them into the door lock assembly were obtained.



and with Simon's help soon both door cards were back on and working properly again.

Another job that needed doing was to replace both front door internal door rubbers as both had been damaged by the seat belt buckle getting trapped in the door shut when folk got out too quickly.

As it's an early car, we needed to replace them with the velour fabric finished ones, not the all rubber versions of later cars, and here's a top tip if you didn't already know, the front door rubbers are not 'handed', so you can fit a driver's or passenger's one to either side of the car.





I should also mention that while the car would have originally had a driver's side cup holder fitted, it would have been one of the first things to get swiped while at the Longbridge plant as a company vehicle. But with the assistance of forum trader Mickyboy, we were able to reinstate one back into the car along with some other pieces of damaged exterior trim that it badly needed and a driver's side carpeted heater closure panel for the footwell, so another shout out here to a forum trader; Mickyboy thanks for coming up trumps for the club
Reebs is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 19th November 2018, 10:48   #24
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default Engine Bay

Time to turn our attention to the engine bay. As you can see, it was rather dusty and tired looking



So who better to call upon than forum member Teflon and his excellent skills with a polishing mitt.

Cliff came over on two separate occasions and got to work straight away on all of the black plastic components, pipe work, and metal surfaces. His fine brushes and detailing experience working wonders on the 1.8 NA power plant, I've never seen a man happier in his work.



One thing we both agreed on was that there is plenty of space to work in, on these 1.8 engines, in stark contrast to the BMW M47R or Rover KV6 derivatives.



Slowly but surely the transformation started as a beautiful swan began to emerge from an ugly duckling (OK, a bit of artistic licence there )








One thing you might notice now you can see it from under the grime, is that on the earlier cars the battery strap retaining bolt is huge. It's long enough to stretch right up to the top of the battery box lid, which makes it so much easier to tighten and loosen than the later type that as we all know has to be dropped down to the base of the battery box floor in order to do up. It's a shame they didn't retain this original design.



Also, worth noting is the fact that the coolant expansion tank is not black plastic as was the case for many of the early cars, we don't know if this was replaced at some point with a later cream tank, or whether it was original to the car.
Reebs is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 19th November 2018, 12:06   #25
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default

Back to the bodywork and trim and as part of MG Motor UK's mission to convert the car into a ZT, the D pillar Rover badges had been replaced with MG generic ones, so we lost no time in sourcing the originals to put back on the car (and notice in the pictures the terrible Stanley knife cut lines in the paint work which had allowed the dreaded tin worm to establish itself)





Back in 2012, we were lucky enough to obtain a set of plastic steel wheel hub caps for the car kindly donated by club member CDTi. The majority of 75s were produced with alloy wheels not steel ones, so these trims are exceedingly rare and we were grateful to get the ones we did, even if they did have the later facelift Rover badges on them.





But the purist in me got the better of me, so while hunting for a replacement for the missing hub cap from the nearside rear wheel, I began measuring the centre badges and discovered that they are exactly the same size as the replacement boot plinth badges for the Longbridge built Mk 1 saloons i.e. DAB000100




So a few ebay clicks later and we were in business, another job sorted



Reebs is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 19th November 2018, 12:55   #26
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default

Let's take a closer look at the bodywork of OVP. As said, the vehicle was used for filming dressed as a police car by MG Rover and when the time came to remove the reflective decals, no care was taken to protect the paint finish, a Stanley knife was used to cut the police stickers to size and when peeled off, along came clumps of lacquer. The result was that nearly every body panel was damaged and had gone rusty as a result. Take a look......


















Here you can see that the wrong piece of waist trim has been fitted to the left of the door handle, it's from the other side of the car


Wot, no lacquer


Skull cap mirrors painted in Dover White - the wrong colour for the car, and the wrong mirror shape for the era




Note the delaminated number plate





Time to get ready for the body shop at last.............
Reebs is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 19th November 2018, 19:35   #27
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default

As with any body shop work, you know it's going to cost as it's a highly specialised process if done properly, so to help manage costs, it was a good idea to remove as much of the trim ourselves as practical, still leaving enough of the cars functionality to physically drive it to the body shop.

So began the big strip







The muck and grime of twenty years was evident underneath, as was this tiny sliver of Police Car Battenburg



Oh and those black trim clips cost a fortune now on ebay, its a pity they are single use only.


Daryl Parker who runs Prestige Paint Hampshire, is a master craftsman and embraced OVP with open arms, we explained its heritage and the fact that we wanted it for show at the NEC Classic Motor Show, and away he went.

I must apologise at this point if my description of the restoration process isn't as accurate or detailed as it should be, Daryl did explain as he went, but it's hard to remember every detail. I'm sure there are some body shop professionals in the club who would know exactly what he was up to, but I'll give it my best shot....



Firstly, every panel had to be marked up showing the locations of damage and defects to be rectified.



At this stage all the doors, bonnet and bumper are removed



Next, rust patches needed rubbing down to bare metal, and any holes welded to fill them in









Then filler material is applied to build up the profile of each panel once more



















As you can see, it wasn't just the exterior panels that had rusted, the inside of the boot lid where the hinge was attached had been badly affected too









Then after a good rub down and masking up, the panels are sprayed in primer as a base for the fresh paint to adhere to









Before a base coat of Arran White (AKA Old English) paint is applied







The rear wheel arch had been badly dented and creased, so would need additional work





Here, Daryl had to use a stud welder to attach loads of small pins to the crease line, which he could then gently pull on, one by one, using the tool pictured until the panel popped back out.





Then, again it was a process of filing down and applying filler







You can see why it takes the man hours it does, and the end result looked something like this when we went to collect the old girl.





Reebs is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Reebs For This Useful Post:
Old 20th November 2018, 14:59   #28
Reebs
Owners Club Director
 
Reebs's Avatar
 
Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6 / MG ZT-T 190 + V6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Posts: 20,390
Thanks: 546
Thanked 6,554 Times in 2,395 Posts
Default

So the final piece of the puzzle was to 'bling' the car up again with all its bright work.






Had to acquire that missing little bit of trim from forum trader Mickyboy, as well as a couple of other bits from
member KeithA







Managed to find a brand new never used boot lid badge on ebay


Nice couple of numbers too, I drew a stencil from my own car for reference of where to place them on OVP

Teflon came over once again to refresh the engine bay as it had become rather dusty after the paint shop work, and he even got his polisher out to do the headlamps





Then a quick trip to the forecourt to fill her up for the journey to a rather special show in Birmingham


Notice the correct bullet type door mirrors with Arran White covers now on the car too




And show day arrives, Hall 4 of the NEC for the Classic Motor Show 2018


Notice on the video screen behind, footage of OVP as a police car in 'New Tricks' a BBC1 drama



Finally, the crowning glory and the end of her epic journey, reunited with her creator Mr Richard Woolley no less





Long live OVP The Rover 75 & MG ZT Owners Club Car, born 25th November 1998



This thread will be kept closed for neatness, please use the following thread to post any comments
S525 OVP - Restoration Comments Thread
Reebs is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:23.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2006-2020, The Rover 75 & MG ZT Owners Club Ltd