Restoration Of 1974 Landcrab Mk 3 Wolseley Six
This Wolseley was first on display at the London Olympia Motor Show, where it drew the attention of the first owner who purchased it. About a year later, the gentleman migrated to NZ, bringing the Wolseley with him.
The car changed ownership a number of times, and suffered substantial damage to the left front, requiring a complete front valance replacement. The car had not seen the best treatment, until after the last owner began its restoration but unfortunately suffered a back injury, hence putting the restoration on hold for about 20 yrs or so.
Knowledge of this car was forgotten, and unknown until it turned up for sale on Trademe, when I chanced buying it unseen in 2016. Midway through November 2019 I began stripping the car down to the bare shell, removing most of its paint, to the bare steel, straightening out all dents and imperfections while leaving the factory ones, as the low quality control was well known at Longbridge etc. This history is honest, and should be retained with the overall history of the car. (This is my personal view.)
The major rust repairs were done to all the doors, by removing the old skins up to the swage line and repairing the bottom of the frames first, before replacing new, handmade skins. The bonnet was replaced with a cleaner one from my spares. I went to work on the hubcaps, taking out all the dents, buckles, and score marks, then, planished and polished them. All the bare steel and any existing paint was properly prepared and epoxy primed with all the correct preparation procedures; including In-between coats, before applying three carefully matched coats of the factory colour (Rheign gold) followed with 8 coats of clear, locking in, a gold pinstripe.
The factory upholstery vinyl colour (Ochre) was badly faded when exposed to the sunlight, so I recolour sprayed all the new and original vinyl with Vinaylac (an amazing product specially designed to restore old vinyl and leather), this was correctly matched to the original colour.
Upholstery and parts replaced as follows:
New woollen hood lining, carpets and mats, wind lace, door window channelling, door glass seals, door rubbers, after-market tinted windscreen, windscreen rubbers and filler strips.
The parts I could not procure that were missing and had to make were the air delivery tube and coupling (for the air cleaner box), carburettors, manifold heat shield, thermatic switch sender retaining bracket and clips, copied and made a new radiator bracket (that secures the electric cooling fan and motor.) as this was destroyed in the accident.
The items missing or in need of replacement were:
Window winder handles, heater control knobs, interior light, the correct indicator switch, interior rear vision mirror, the correct air cleaner and filters, the inspection plate that screws to the inner left front guard of the engine bay (a very rare item).
Extras fitted: A correct second hand exterior door mirror after which new mirror glass was fitted to both mirrors, a hand custom made heated rear window element (a week’s worth of my three attempts, as the current draw must not exceed one ohm. After checking it on the bench while connected to the car battery for over four hours, showed the maximum temperature did not exceed 27 degrees and works fine.)
All of this had to be done before re fitting the rear windscreen. It was now also necessary to make a lengthened copy of the Lucas switch panel that is factory fitted to the Deluxe models, having the correct toggle switch and jewel warning light for turning on and off the rear demister along with cigar lighter socket (This i wanted for cell phone, GPS etc)
Also, it was decided to wire in an override switch for the radiator fan (in case there should be overheating, or issues in heavy traffic).
These also being the correct Lucas ones and a JVC Bluetooth four speaker stereo. All electricals, wiring, switches, motors, etc. have either been reconditioned or replaced. The HS6 type carbs were replaced with the HIF type; these were also factory fitted to models for the market where emission control regulations were in place, these are of better design quality, efficiency and better economy.
I did not need to rebuild the engine as it all had been reconditioned including hardened valve seats (not long before the car was mothballed) and the motor runs sweetly.
The transmission has been serviced and is operating correctly. I believe that this car is the only standard model in NZ.
Standard models are fitted with the same hubcaps as the 18/85 models and don’t have the rosstyle wheels or heated rear window demister, also absent are bumper overriders as these were factory items for the Deluxe models only.
It was interesting to find the wiring for the demister was in place though in the standard model (to my delight). In the Deluxe models, this was an optional extra from 1972-73 but then became buyers’ choice from 1974 – march 1975 when production of the range (Ado17) finally ceased production.
The power steering rack I have overhauled with new hoses, and the pump was in perfect condition and delivers ample pressure. This car is fabulous to drive and was back on the road in December 2021 in time to be presented before the Tauranga VCC judges and to receive the prestige restoration trophy, cup.
Since now on the road, two things noted of attention required to do, which are to replace the left front CV joint, and to sort out the wiper boxes. We are very happy with this car and it receives lots of public attention.
Restoration photos of interest are attached.