Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California on September 25, 1965 · Page 40
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Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California · Page 40

Publication:
Location:
San Rafael, California
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 25, 1965
Page:
Page 40
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Jnhrpritbrtif-Sftmrtiaí. Sat., Sepf. 25, 1965 M13 ALL READY FOR THE BIG SHOW Classic Cars Gleam Like New LUCKILY FOR Barry Hardy of San Rafael, when he began his automobile restoration hobby, he already had on hand a considerable quantity of tools. But his previous efforts had been limited to minor mechanical repairs. He now has to his credit two complete restoration jobs on classic automobiles. Continued from Page Mil a tiger by the tail. “Before I was through, I had all the seats, front and rear side panels off the doors and the top completely removed.” The gasoline tank was removed, the radiator was taken out and cleaned, the fenders and running boards were dismantled, the front and rear bumpers were taken off, straightened and re­ chromed. Chrome moldings and the radiator shell received the same treatment. BUT HARDY was just getting started. Next the headlights, tail lights, fog lights and signal lights, front and back, were removed for repair. In doing this, Hardy had to be careful to mark all wiring so that it could be reassembled properly. The entire inside of the trunk section came out. New parts were made and put in place. The interior wood of the doors and above the dashboard was stripped of the old varnish, sanded smooth and recoated with a clear plastic. “MANY OF THE bolts and screws were so rusted they had to be hacksawed or chiseled off,” Hardy recalls. “Then, of course, the holes had to be re­ bored and rethreaded.” Hardy, fortunately, was blessed with a certain native gift for things mechanical, although his work on cars had always been limited to minor repairs. And he already had on hand woodworking equipment. “So,” he says, “after scattering car parts all over the garage, I started to cut from wood the necessary replacements. All the panels were cut from waterproof plywood and all the heavy parts such as door frames were carved to fit from a piece of kiln dried Philippine mahogany.” HOURS WERE spent scraping and sanding rust from the metal of the body, floors and fender. Next came the leather: "The leather to replace the seat covering was purchased and dyed to match the original color. Not having a sewing machine of sufficient weight to do the job. we had to have this work performed in an upholstery shop.” Also “farmed out” was the painting of the car. The old paint was stripped down to shiny metal, and a black lacquer applied. “WHEN THE car was returned to our garage from the paint shop, the assembly of all the interior plus lights, bumper and top began,” Hardy relates. And he adds with a smile: “Then, just when it looked like we were about finished, we noticed that the dash, also leather covered, now looked shabby in comparison with the rest of the car. So my wife said she would re-cover it with new leather.” This proved, Mrs. Hardy says, an especially demanding chore, since all the dials had to be loosened, and the tiny chrome strips (bolted to the dash with bolts about the size of large pinheads) removed. THE OLD leather was then ripped away and new cemented in its place. There was yet one other major hurdle—the replacement of the convertible top. The top is double with padding between for soundproofing, and this with the added weight of a heavy frame created several hours of anxiety for the hardworking Hardy. “I began to wonder if I’d ever get it back on, as the tolerance of fit is so critical where the metal mechanism bolts to the body of the car that perfection is required.” FINALLY, however, this, too, was accomplished. In all, Hardy had devoted virtually every weekend and many of his after-work evenings to the project for a full year. But he had discovered that what had seemed to be a tedious undertaking at the outset had developed into a challenge and fun. Thus, the acquisition of the Jaguar and a second restoration project. That car was acquired in May of 1964. “IT HAD BEEN used in hill- climbing competition and was pretty well battered,” Hardy says. “But I thought I could fix it up, and decided to give it another whirl.” While the problems involved in the Mercedes and the Jaguar jobs were somewhat different, the amount of work required was about the same for each. And again, over a period of a year, Hardy restored the beauty to an automobile. The Jaguar is the first model of the K120 series to be manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd. and represented a complete redesigning of the body and engine. This, Hardy says, gave him an added interest in his second acquisition. STILL THE Mercedes - Benz which he will be showing in competition at tomorrow’s Peacock Gap show sponsored by the Marin Circle of the Florence Crittenton Home remains Hardy’s favorite. “I just like the Mercedes better. It was my first. And it was the finer car to begin with,” he says. He compares the two to a bronco and a gentle riding horse — “the Jaguar is the bronco, the Mercedes the gentle riding horse.” The Hardys have other cars, but it is the Mercedes-Benz and the Jaguar that occupy the garage at their home at 2 Cushing Avenue, San Rafael. THE TWO classic cars are used quite frequently for pleasure trips and rides. Hardy says he would have shown the Mercedes-Benz at last year’s Peacock Gap concours “except that we were in the East on vacation at the time.” Does he plan additional competition in the future? ' “We’ll wait and see how we come out at Peacock Gap,” he says. FOND AS HE is of his twTo classic automobiles, and especially of the Mercedes Benz, Hardy admits that he is toying with the idea of selling them in order to purchase yet a third car — one in need of restoration, naturally. “I guess I’ve got the bug,” he says. “I’m the happiest when I’m out in the garage tinkering with one of the cars. And a restoration job is the most satisfying kind of tinkering.” Mrs. Hardy smiles. “I can understand the enjoyment he gets from working on the cars. But I’m not so sure that I approve of selling our Mercedes.” THfc ADJUSTMENT of the clock of his 1954 Jaguar drophead (convertible) XK120M commands the attention of owner Barry Hardy here. It was often the smoll details, Hardy discovered, that were the most time consuming in his ambitious automobile restoration projects. But in the long run, he found it all worthwhile ond is now anxious for a third undertaking. A TIRE CHECK is made of his Mercedes- Benz convertible 220 by Barry Hardy in the sunshine outside the Hardy garage in San Rafael. The Hardys often use their classic automobiles for pleasure trips. ANNE HARDY played her part, too, in the the restoration of the classic cars. Here she shown at work in the dashboard is re­ placement phase of the Mercedes-Benz project that included a complete re-covering with leather. ■ -""i::'; ,f.. msm THE JAGUAR XK120M will be shown by Barry Hardy for display only at tomor­ row's big Concours d'Elegance at Peacock Gap in Son Rofael. He gives the car, already gleaming, a final polish. THEIR MERCEDES-BENZ will be shown by Mr. and Mrs. Hardy in competition at Peacock Gop tomorrow. It morks the first such entry for one of their cars. And here the classic automobile is all ready for that big event. (Independent-Journal photos)

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