Saturday, 6 October 2018

Second Rebuild - 2018


First Rebuild (circa 1980/81) - New Chassis


After being a pile of bits for the previous 17 years, stored at my parents house, the time had come for the resurrection in a brand new, put up for the purpose four car garage. According to a dairy I kept a start was made on 18th January 1981.  By the Autumn of that year FUA was being used for my daily commute to work.

The chassis parts were supplied from the sheet metal working factory where Dad used to be the manager. Not being confident about my welding skill, I opted to bolt the components together.  Assembling the mechanical parts on to the assembled chassis took no time at all, since most parts had been refurbished as the car was dismantled in 1963/64.

First Rebuild (circa 1980/81) - Ash Frame Making

Now things got a little be trickier. First the ash frame had to be made from timber I sourced in a Stafford wood yard. Couldn't find ash in Wales.

What was left of the original FUA frame was used as templates , plus the measurements I had taken whilst rebuilding the first Series 1 a couple of years earlier for the bits that were missing. An A4 sized drawing of the a 4 seater version of the frame was used to make the conversion from 2 to 4 seater.

Here is the reason for the conversion, Anna, wondering where this bit goes.

Whilst the frame was coming together, fiberglass wings were bought. In 1981, replacement wings from the factory were still being made from several separate components welded together, making them vulnerable t0 premature rusting. .........OK then, the budget didn't run to metal ones.

First Rebuild (circa 1980/81) - Sheet Metal Work

Since every Morgan was hand made, there was no such thing as standard body parts that you could buy off the shelf. Each frame made was different one to another and the sheet metal work was unique to frame.

The scuttle was the most taxing to cover. Fortunately, there are one compound curves on a Morgan, apart from the wings, of course. But the front was still a challenge.

But got there in the end.  The bonnet halves seen leaning against against the wall in the photograph were the only original body parts used in the rebuild.  If I remember right the original front and rear wings went with FUA when she was subsequently sold in the late 80's.

First Rebuild (circa 1980/81) - Da Da......

FUA's Coventry Climax engine no. MA 454 had a broken piston ring, which try as I may, I could not find a replacement for. With the first Series 1 rebuild, I had acquired a Ford E93A engine which I intended to use in FUA. But that was a no go too ----- no oil pressure, cracked head and overheating.

Luckily, Bob our farming neighbour had a scrapped Ford Anglia in his farms yard, which he very kinding gave to me the 100E engine. And would you Adam and Eve it, the clutch housing from the E93A fitted exactly. Sorted

On the road at last.

FUA's Story

1938 - This is the first know photograph of FUA taken on Scottish Rally in 1938 when the car was less than one year old, being first registered on 19th November 1937 to a Mr. J F Heaton of Leeds(?)

Mr. Heaton also took part in the 1938 RAC Rally in a 'small sports car' which I think it can be safely assumed to be FUA, although this has yet to be proofed positively. He did really well, coming 4th in his class.  The 10 HP was calculate from
RAC h.p. = (2xDxDxn)/5
where
D is the diameter of the cylinder in inches
n is the number of cylinders
and was used to ascribe a tax on the car.  Since the tax levied was decide on the square of diameter,  to keep the tax in a given bracket the cylinders had long strokes for a given cc capacity.  FUA's engine at 1,120 cc has a 63 mm dia by 90 mm stroke giving and RAC HP of 9.84.  Today, engines have equal cylinder diameters and strokes making them much more efficient and far less heavy. Designers back then knew about the inefficiency, but marketing and sales took precedence.

On the Midlands section of the rally, he and Mrs Heaton had a rather interesting experience, here reported in the 'Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligence'

Another reference to Mr. Heaton, this time in the May 1938 issue of the 'Motor sport Magazine'.
Info thanks to the research done by David Jackson FAU's keep since 2018.


1963 - Dad bought FUA in 1963. FUA was one of two cars being stored in an old abattoir, just outside the town.  The other car was sold to some young guys who intended to go racing with it.  That car must have been in a much better state than FUA.  But if FUA was rallying from birth, it wasn't surprising that she was in a bit of a state. We towed her home behind Dad's 1947 Wolseley using knotted rope, chassis to chassis.  Not until a few days later did we realise that the steering rods weren't screwed onto the ball joints!!!!

1983 - Outside my brother Mark's house just before me and the girls departed for a three year stint in Singapore. This after the rebuild started in January 1981.  Mark kindly garaged FUA in our absence.  The van/lorry radiator was a cost saving necessity. We could not afford the rad rebuild until we returned to the UK. A sheet was used to stop the ingress of water onto the engine. Needs, or the lack of means, must as they say.

1986 - Mog 86 at three Counties Show Ground, Malvern.  Camping we were.

 1987 - Staffordshire Centre, MSCC at the Stafford Car Show held at the County Show Ground.  The apology was because FUA was the oldest Mog there. Ha Ha.

1988 - A change of owner and a move to west Wales with a change of seats to buckets.

 1989 - Abergaveny Steam Rally