Princess and Ambassador Owners Club.



Dan's Morris.

On a small number of occasions during the past twelve or so years, items have appeared in the clubs publications describing interesting or rare cars which have come to light, such as the 1974 pre production Austin 2200,  several Princesses with unbelievably low recorded mileages, and of course the last Ambassador to be manufactured in 1984, which was sold at auction by the  Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire in July 2003. Early Austin, Morris and Wolseley 18/22 series cars are now becoming very rare indeed - there are probably less than eight Wolseley Six models left - five are owned by club members and are in amazingly good condition. So far as Morris 2200 HL, 1800 HL and Standard models are concerned, the club knows of the existence of five - three are owned by club members with none in use today.  It may be that there are a few others of which we have no knowledge.  If you know of others, then we would dearly like to hear from you.

Rare Wedges were one of the topics under discussion between members at the Clubs National Rally at Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire in July 1974. Among those members was Daniel Nichols -  one of our younger members who attended the Rally with his brother.  As Daniel was on the lookout for another car, he was extremely surprised to hear that an acquaintance of his brother knew the whereabouts of a Morris 1800 HL, which had been stored in a wooden shed in Hampshire for the past seven years, following the death of it's owner. Later on that Sunday evening (after a few lagers), Daniel was taken to view the rare find. Ermine White, with flat perished tyres and very much deflated suspension.   Access in the shed was very restricted - making a detailed inspection difficult, but it was clear that the cars bodywork was not in to bad condition. All wheel-arches appeared to be sound, leaving just one rear door to be either repaired or re-placed.  The following weekend, Daniel and his brother set off for Hampshire with money in wallet to buy the rare machine, and transport it back to Manchester on a car shifting trailer towed by brothers van.

Showing the front grille, Morris badge, and raised bonnet.

The front after quick a clean-up!

And the rear end!

Following closer examination in it's new home on Daniels brothers farm, the recorded mileage was found to be 79,000.  It has it's original radio with front and rear speakers, a full length Webasto sunroof, and  there is some evidence that the car has been rust proofed at some stage.  All four door bottoms are in need of repair, but the sills seem to be in good order.  Daniel says he is going to be very busy during these winter months preparing his find for the Princess 30th Celebrations and Austin Centenary event at Cofton Park Longbridge in July 2005.We wish him well with his restoration hope he will keep us posted on progress. 

August 2005

The Front End Prior to Dismantling.

A few days later - engine and all mechanicals removed, ready for action.

Corrosion Damage to Left Side Inner Sill and lower bulkhead area.

Left hand floor-pan and lower bulkhead area.

April 2011.

Dan has obviousy kept this special restoration going during these past six years,  and has sent  photos to show progress, and enjoy.

Both front corners taken from donor car back in 2006, plus new steel folded
to fill in where donor panels had rusted!

There is an other beige door, but that was removed to hoist the shell to 45
 degrees for more work under-floor.

Refitted bonnet about fortnight ago, she gets a lot more admiration now.

and the rear of the floor pan.  The triangular strengthening brackets were not originally fitted and hopefully stop the suspension collapsing as it did.

The first main corner I tackled, because it was by far the most rusted. The ankle here was not separated from its donor floor-panels, but they still had to be cut to exact sizes. And yes the 'wall' of the inner  wheel arch was all changed, not easy to do.

Showing the main part of the new achilles ankle (made at engineers' shop, 30), and the brace I made to align it to the opposite side. A lot of dimensions to take in to account, but only 3mm accuracy is required for  the  repair industry standard.

This wing is planned to be replaced as a whole, you can perhaps see the old filler half knocked out from a who-knows-when collision repair. The masking tape was made up as a copy from the new wing, to give me an as near as I'll get point to where the sill ends. As with the off side sill, this side had a cover panel over the original. These were removed again over winter 2010/11 with the rear end of the cover being mig'd straight to the original in place the holes!

Last batch for now, as always your thoughts and advice are mostly appreciated. Next phase are as said passenger wing and front valence, which hasn't yet had its filler ground down. Best of wedging - Dan.

The drivers wing. I said earlier one this topic that this wasn't bad nick and wanted to keep it. A mistake. That  was said before I grinded the filler. But... it is actually still in its shape, only the edges arch edges and around the front have holed through sooo... I'm planning to restore it! Yes gas welder, hammers and dollies, watch this space.   the front have holed through sooo... I'm planning to restore it! Yes gas welder, hammers and dollies, watch this space. The drawing above the arch was my reckoning some years ago for rebuilding around the hydrogas unit, quite  pleased with myself here - it was done very early on in the project. Just needs a spot welder now to finish.

The passenger side wing is sadly too gone. It's full of bodge and badly aligns to the door (when fitted). So this will be getting changed for the one off... some may remember a bronze Prin I bought in Blackpool many years ago, for a fiver!

Underside the rear valence, just the edges that are gone and couple holes, better repair here than replace. This was done recently, last couple of months.

May 2011.

These pics do load up in reverse order! So this is its new
 wing, not fitted just clamped into place for now, some fettling
 clearly required. I haven't used the panel gaps for fore-aft
 alignment, but measured from the rear wing drivers side and
 copied it to that. From this I've worked out the averages of the
 3 gaps either sides of the doors. Before I had a late '81 door
 fitted, to line up to the wedge-edge (cantrail, yes?) but that
 wouldn't go high enough, although this door is originally blue
 (Terry Millers' Wolseley) it fits fine.

Nice simple now. Being an 18-22 there's no chrome sill strip, in re-fitting the doors I've gone for them just by feel as the curve of the door 'flows' into the sill. With the old wing mishapen and the new wing needing a hammer, there's not much else to go on. What has suprised me is both sill have approx 1' degree bellow at the B-post, making the floorpan extremely slightly circular. Please don't tell me I've screwed it up!

Well common sagging door hinges. My complex fix here involves an engineers' shop reaming out the hinges for new larger pins. However the hinges would need to be precisely fixed with the required access to do this. My idea here involves a scrap door, cutting it into a triangle comprising of within the two hinges and the striker plate and then to engineers shop. Ambitious? Yes. Achieveable? I think so.

This should be pic 4. All wedges I've seen have the top chrome rim slightly proud of the C-post, why is this? If you can see the bottom where the door skin curves out into the wheel-arch is considerably different. Not sure what can be done here, note this is a 1979 door. Again I've lined it up to above the central to the top of door skin/wing.

Again this is a 1980 boot lid fitted, the original had a dreadful overhang outward of the light-plate areas, it wouldn't shove up towards the back windscreen any higher, but did not have this proud gap above the drivers' rear wing. Did BL have a range of hinges to compensate for great differences in panel production?!? Although just fitted for renewing the nsr wing, I may keep this boot lid permanently as it's in far better shape than the original.

And lastly(!!) The Austin having endured to winter in this very position. However watch this space I have something up my sleeve here!