Run by David Evans
Owned since March 2007
Total mileage 92,920
Miles since March report 143
Latest costs £7963
METAL GURUS COME TO RESCUE
Over the years, you will have seen various euphemisms in the ‘Latest costs’ section of these updates, such as ‘lots pending’ and ‘spiralling’.
I’ve been guilty of it myself. Once the next report has been published, of course, that big bill has come and gone. So it’s only fair to show the real total with the Citroën, because the first time it appeared the £715 included the purchase price.
Some of you will probably think that I’m nuts for having the GSA restored, but it’s a great little car that I’m rather fond of. We’ve been through a lot together. It’s been on dozens of excellent trips: twice to the Le Mans Classic – when we’ve seen a white minter going in the opposite direction each time – plus three Poor Boys Tours. Then there was that epic run up to Tan Hill in 2008 and a brilliant drive across to Paris for La Traversée this January.
It’s had a few stressful journeys, too, such as the frantic dash up to Cheshire – thrumming past loads of repmobiles on the M40 – when my late dad was rushed into hospital five years ago. It also took his little dog to her Cornish retirement home, racking up 660 miles in a day without complaint. So it deserved to get spruced up after nine years of (mostly) reliable service.
Remarkably, the Citroën didn’t fail the MoT test on the crumbling bodywork, but on its front-brake imbalance, a headlamp (one wire kept coming loose in the connector block) and the emissions, which just needed a tweak to the carburettor. LHM was leaking from one caliper, stopping the pads from gripping as intended. Both of them were overhauled and fitted with new discs.
As for the bodywork, the refurbishment had, in effect, begun from the bottom up and inside out. The rear floors had been done when it failed the test in 2014, followed by the fronts and the sills last year. In between those, I’d treated YLC to a nice set of second-hand seats that Rob Moss at Chevronics had saved from a Spécial that he’d found in the south of France. He kept mine in after the mechanical woes had been sorted so that Ian Brundle and Darren English could get stuck in.
The scabby back bumper had been hanging at a jaunty angle for a while. It wasn’t loose – I’d checked, just in case – but the structure where it slots in had mostly gone. Ian did a lovely job of both corners, as well as letting new metal into the adjoining wings and the driver’s-side A-post where duct tape had been covering a hole for many years. All four doors were scrap, likewise the front wings and the bonnet turned out to be beyond economic repair.
Fortunately, Chevronics has a stash of good second-hand panels, at £600 for the doors and £100 for a bonnet. It has also developed a mod for the window channels that stops the glass from coming adrift and rattling around inside the doors (as mine were). Being of the hap’o’orth of tar mentality – which may not ring true, given the gaffer tape of old – the rusty old rims would have stuck out on a freshly resprayed car, so I had those done, too. One of the tyres was out of shape and another one was unevenly worn, so I bought two Michelin XZXs from Longstone. They went on the front.
To quote Rob, the back bumper looked “bloody awful” against the gleaming Lagoon Blue, so Darren found a much better second-hand one. And that was just about it.
All the while, Rob and Cheryl Walton – who has the world’s best telephone manner – kept me up to date with photos, but I’m really excited about seeing it in the metal.
Once the replacement bonnet is back from being painted, it will be done. So YLC should be back on the road by the time you read this.
Everyone at Chevronics: 01462 455280; www.chevronics.co.uk
Longstone: 01302 711123; www.longstone.com
Once all the rotten metal had been rectified, YLC went into the spray booth for some fresh Lagoon Blue.
Nearside rear corner was better of two… …both were neatly fabricated by Brundle. Leaking caliper contaminated front pads.
Frilly rear wing: both sides needed doing… …but Chevronics has all the repair panels Riding high, showing off refurbed wheels.