Ex Del Lines TR8 Coupe

During July 2018 I had the opportunity to purchase an ex Del Lines TR8 coupe registration number TUK 705Y from a specialist Classic Car vendor in Yorkshire. Having spoken to them, I was informed that the car was in excellent condition, drove perfectly, had comfortable leather seats and came with a current MoT. Photographs were emailed to me and yes, it looked to be a car to be cherished. A lesson to be learnt... always make the effort to inspect any vehicle prior to purchase, no matter what the distance is that you have to travel.

Living in Sussex [and with the vendor being based in Yorkshire] we agreed to meet at my brother's house in Brackley, North'ants. The car looked good, and although I felt the engine required tuning I was happy with what I could see, and all the appropriate documentation was in order. The car was soon loaded onto my trailer and en-route to my workshop. After a couple of weeks, I decided that the quality of the interior was nowhere near to my standard as a specialist coach trimmer.

Somebody had made an absolute abortion of repairing the leather seat covers, and I subsequently discovered that the driver's seat frame was broken. Delving further into the general construction of the car made my eyes light up - I discovered panels welded over the top of existing rusty sheet metalwork. The offside outer sill was plugged-up with 5/16" of filler, the wings had been layered with fibre glass, the fuel tank soon started leaking and the lower inner sills had rusted out before being covered with a thick coat of underseal - along with the remainder of the underside of the body - covering up very poor quality repairs and welding. I had no choice but to replace the off-side outer sill with a new item whilst welding in sections, as I wanted to get out and rally the car.

During my research to bring this car back to the original Del Lines rally specification I sourced an original Safety Devices roll cage; the original had been removed [along with the seats and the full harness belts] some six years previously when sheet steel sections were welded in.