Citroen DS aluminium boot lid

All these years I have owned the DS I assumed the boot lid was fibreglass.   Fibreglass reproductions are available in Europe for those who want a cheap way of replacing rusted or damaged body panels.

However, the DS19 had an aluminium boot lid until May 1957.    The previous owner mentioned it was Aluminium, but since these boot lids are so rare I didn’t believe it.    However, on the removal of the trim, it looks pretty clear it is in fact Aluminium.

For the repainting I am removing all the badges, seals etc to ensure a good job.   It is clear that they were not removed the last time the car was painted.    This is not surprising given the quality of the job.

Boot Lid

It also looks like a previous owner used some generic foam pieces in place of the normal seal.    I may simply purchase the proper seal instead of trying to re-use this.   In addition, the seal underneath the boot button looks in poor condition.    Generally reproduction rubber on a DS is not very good quality, so where I can reuse it I will.   In this case, I don’t think I will.

Boot seal

The picture above shows how poor the last paint job was, with major over spray on the boot seal.    The model insignia shared this fate and has been removed.   Unfortunately one of the posts on the ‘2’ was damaged so not sure if I will be able to re-use it or not.   It might just be long enough as only the very tip broke off.


I am individually labelling and bagging everything removed from the car to make sure that I have minimal problems on re-assembly.

Removing the C pillar trims from the DS

A few months ago I managed to damage the front of the DS while parking it.   Insurance will cover the repair to the front of the car, but instead of having the insurance repair match the faded paint, I would prefer to have the front of the car painted well and then pay extra to have the rear panels painted to match.

So to keep the costs down on the parts I will need to pay out of my own pocket I started to remove trim and panels to allow for later painting.   The first place to start was the indicator trumpets which are easy to remove but obscure the corner of the fiberglass roof.   The light is easily removed by pulling the tab at the bottom.

Indicator Trumpets

This allowed me to get some of the screws that hold the trumpet in place.


The lens for the light slides off and the trumpet can also be slid off – it needs to be rotated in just the right way as there was a tab which clears part of the C pillar.


I found there were two screws that held on the front of the C pillar trim.   In retrospect, I probably would have been better off removing the boot lid before attempting to remove the C pillar trim.   Even though my boot lid is fiberglass, the hinge has to come out and it makes it harder.

C pillar trim

This piece then exposes some of the C pillar trim.    But before I could get too far, the boot hinge needed to come off as it is also attached to that.

Boot hinge

The boot hinge was surprising easy to remove, just one nut underneath.      It was quite dirty/dusty underneath he trim.


I also saw that the ground for the rear indicator was the same screw that holds on part of the C pillar trim.   I will need to remember this when replacing it!


There is also a little bracket for the indicator trumpet that is attached with the C pillar trim to the boot hinge.   I will need to be careful to ensure it is replaced properly when re-attaching.


Finally the bare C pillar is revealed.  Dirty, but in otherwise good condition.

Ad of the week: Pontiac Tempest

This weeks ad features the Pontiac Tempest.  I notice it is wearing the Winter Water Wonderland plate from Michigan – the same as I had on my Jag when I was living in Michigan.

GM closed down the Pontiac brand during the global financial crisis but by that point its best was well behind it.  During the 2000’s it was offering insipid models with too much side cladding – A far cry from when it was GM’s performance division led by John DeLorean and setting the tone for the muscle car era.      This ad is a good representation of the image the brand was able to cultivate at the time.

Pontiac Tempest

The Flynn Collection Auction

Friday and Saturday the Flynn collection was Auctioned off.     There were over 130 running cars for sale on the friday night and then the Saturday morning consisted of the parts and some non-runners.  Nearly all of them were Rovers.

There was a fair amount of interest right around Australia and the Auctioneers did a good job of generating excitement.   Therefore the earlier and better lots sold for good prices and in my view probably above market.    The later lots that were in poor condition or basically parts cars sold for next to nothing.    Most of the cars were registered previously on numeric plates that were worth orders of magnitude more than the cars.   These were being auctioned off separately.

The lot started off with a couple of Cadillacs and a Buick with the best one fetching $41,000 and the other two mid teens.    Then it was on to the rovers.

In my view, the best rover there was the blue P5B Coupe.   It has been the personal car of the late Dr’s mother and felt like a good original car that was a little tired.   Fitted with an aftermarket sunroof the engine sounded good and the car looked nice from a couple of meters, but closer up there were various dents, scratches and so on.  The car had clearly spent a lot of time in the sun as the door rubbers had actually melted and the leather at the top of the seats felt like cardboard.    In the end it sold for $14,000 to an online bidder which is not surprising as it was better in the photos than it was in the flesh.  The only over rover to hit the $10,000 was another P5B Coupe.     From there, most of the better P5s sold for around $2-$5,000, The better P4s from $1-$4,000 and the P6’s from $500-$1200.   A couple of nicer cars beat these ranges and many P6’s sold for less than $100 in the end.   At the end of the day the very best of the cars were in fair condition only, and the prices reflected that. It was also evident that the cars went to a wide variety of people, I captured the bidder numbers below to illustrate how many different people walked away with a car.  The Flynn collection auction certainly dispersed the collection.

The next day was the parts, and there were some real bargains to be had.   For example a whole pallet of P5 seats for about $50, a rebuilt Rover v8 for around $100, various wheels, workshop supplies and so on.   You needed to but the parts by the pallet so the cost per part was very low.    Whole shelves of spares (e.g. Distributor caps) also went for low prices.

All in all it was an interesting experience to go and see this Auction.  I hope many of the parts and scrap cars can be used to keep good cars on the road and they don’t end up op the scrap heap.  I wonder what the late Dr Flynn would have thought of the whole thing?

Auction Results:

Lot 1: 1935 Cadillac 38, $41,000, Online
Lot 2: Buick 40, $15,000, Bidder 555
Lot 3: 1939 Cadillac 39, $17,000, Bidder 557
Lot 4: 1970 Rover P5B Coupe Blue, $14,000, Online
Lot 5: 1976 P6 3500 Red, $2,000, 557  (This car looked good from 2-3 meters but up closer was not so great)
Lot 6: 1949 P4-75 Cyclops, $3,000, 571 (This was probably the nicest Cyclops there)
Lot 7: 1971 Rover P6 3500 White, 572
Lot 8: 1957 Rover P4-105R Brown, $4,000, 606 (This was one of a number of Roverdrive cars for sale)
Lot 9: 1964 P5 3 Liter MKII Sedan Grey, $2200, 567 (Apparently this is the one the Dr used the most)
Lot 10: 1969 P5B Sedan Green, with re-trimmed interior, (I didn’t catch this one but it sold for good money)
Lot 11: 1967 Rover P5-3 Liter MKIII Coupe White, $6000, Online
Lot 12: 1968 Rover P5B Coupe Grey, $10,000, 576
Lot 13: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan White, $2,000, 545
Lot 14: 1966 Rover P5 3 Liter MKIII Coupe, Green, 558 (This was one of the best value buys of the night)
Lot 15: 1972 Rover P6 3500 Cream, $3,000, 557
Lot 16: 1959 Rover P5 MKI Sedan Manual Black, $4,000, 538
Lot 17: 1958 Rover P4-105R Blue, $700, 526
Lot 18: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan Green, $200, Online (another good value buy)
Lot 19: 1972 Rover P6 3500 Yellow, $1400, 575
Lot 20: 1962 Rover P5 3 Liter MKII Sedan, $350, 576
Lot 21: 1958 Rover P4-105S Brown, $2,100, 518
Lot 22: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan, $3600
Lot 23: 1971 Rover P6 2000 Yellow, $1,000, 558
Lot 24: 1968 Rover P5 Sedan, $600
Lot 25: 1957 Rover P4-105S Grey, $2000, 589
Lot 26: 1969 Rover P5B Sedan Blue, $1300, 530
Lot 27: 1972 Rover P6 3500 Yellow, $500, 514
Lot 28: 1974 Rover P6 3500 Brown, $800, 581
Lot 29: 1958 Rover P4-105 Black. $4,500, 610
Lot 30: 1971 Rover P6 2000TC, $500, 561
Lot 31: 1962 Rover P4-110 Grey, $900, 542
Lot 32: 1971 Rover P6-2000TC White, $750, 552
Lot 33: 1970 Rover P5B Coupe Grey, $7500, 583
Lot 34: 1971 Rover P6 3500 Yellow, $1100
Lot 35: 1974 Rover P6 3500 Blue, $700, Online
Lot 36: 1972 Rover P6 3500 Yellow, $?
Lot 37: 1976 Rover P6 3500 White, $800, Online
Lot 38: 1969 Rover P5B Sedan, $2300, Online
Lot 39: 1972 Rover P6-3500S Yellow, $1600, 605
Lot 40: 1968 Rover P5B Coupe White, $6800, 594
Lot 41: 1965 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan Maroon, $1600
Lot 42: 1971 Rover P6 3500 Brown, $500, 576
Lot 43: 1970 Rover P5B Coupe Grey, $4700, 567
Lot 44: 1955 Rover P4-75 Sedan, $2100, 596
Lot 45: 1960 Rover P5 3 Liter MKI Sedan Dark Green, $500, 519
Lot 46: 1969 Rover P6 3500 Sedan Brown, $300, 526
Lot 47: 1956 Rover P4-90 Sedan Black, $600
Lot 48: 1960 Rover P5 Sedan MKI Blue, $600, 622
Lot 49: 1969 Rover P6-2000TC White, $1600, 613
Lot 50: 1963 Rover P4-95 Blue, $500, 575
Lot 51: 1969 Rover P6 2000TC Cream, $900
Lot 52: 1955 Rover P4-90 Sedan Black, $500, 620
Lot 53: 1974 Rover P6 3500S Brown, $100, 541
Lot 54: 1969 Rover P5B Sedan White, $2250, 573
Lot 55: Rover P6 2000 White, $250, 546
Lot 56: 1954 Rover P4-90 Black, $500, 612
Lot 57: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan White, $1300, 530
Lot 58: 1962 Rover P5 3 Liter MKII Sedan Light Grey, $100, 605
Lot 59: 1962 Rover P5 3 Liter MKI Sedan Light Grey, $900, 551
Lot 60: 1974 Rover P6 3500S White, $1100, 582
Lot 61: 1958 Rover P4-105S Cream
Lot 62: 1973 Rover P6-3500S Green, $1000
Lot 63: 1965 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan Grey, $850 (this one was in quite good condition for the price)
Lot 64: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan, $1850
Lot 65: 1971 Rover P6 3500 White, $300, 619
Lot 66: 1973 Rover P6-3500S Yellow, $1100, 546
Lot 67: 1971 Rover P6 3500, $350, 537
Lot 68: 1974 Rover 3500S, $1100
Lot 69: 1974 Rover P6 2000 TC, $100
Lot 70: 1969 Rover P5 3.5 Sedan Green, $1000, 530
Lot 71: 1970 Rover P5B Grey
Lot 72: 1974 Rover P6 3500S White, $700, 533
Lot 73: 1962 Rover P4-100 White, $200, 592
Lot 74: 1976 Rover P6 3500 Orange, $100
Lot 75: 1968 Rover P5B Green, $1200, 525
Lot 76: 1969 Rover P6 3500 White, $50, 595
Lot 77: 1959 Rover P5 MKI Blue, $400, 595
Lot 78: 1958 Rover P4-105R Beige, $300, 520
Lot 79: 1957 Rover P4-105R Grey, $600, 617
Lot 80: 1970 Rover P5B Sedan white, $4400, Online
Lot 81: 1951 Rover P4-75 Cyclops, $400
Lot 82: 1954 Rover P4-90 Green, $100, 592
Lot 83: 1960 Rover P5 MKI Sedan, $100?
Lot 84: 1973 Rover P6 3500S, $500, 595
Lot 85: 1951 Rover P4-75 Cyclops, Beige
Lot 86: 1969 Rover 3.5 Blue, $100, 532
Lot 87: 1962 Rover P4-100 Green
Lot 88: 1971 Rover P6-3500 Blue, $100, 558
Lot 89: 1951 Rover P4-75 Cyclops Black, $50, 595
Lot 90: 1966 Rover P5 MKIII Coupe White, $50
Lot 91: 1963 Rover P5 MKII Coupe Grey, $350
Lot 92: 1950 Rover P4-75 Green, $50
Lot 93: 1960 Rover P5 3 Litre Sedan, $50, 595
Lot 94: Rover P5B Sedan Grey, $50, 545
Lot 95: 1957 Rover P4-105R Green, $50
Lot 96: 1960 Rover P4-95 Sedan Black, $50, 533
Lot 97: 1955 Rover P4-90 Black, $50, 526
Lot 98: 1960 Rover P5 3 Liter Blue/Black, $50, 548
Lot 99: 1971 Rover P5B Sedan Maroon, $300, 551
Lot 100: 1960 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan, $50, 595
Lot 101: 1972 Rover P5 3500S white
Lot 102: 1963 Rover MKII Coupe Green, $200, 621
Lot 103: 1960 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan Blue, $500
Lot 104: 1958 Rover P4-105R, $20
Lot 105: 1970 Rover P5B Coupe Blue, $900
Lot 106: 1969 Rover P6 2000TC, $250, 552
Lot 107: 1964 Rover P5 3 Liter MKII Sedan Manual, $20
Lot 108: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan Maroon, $100, 530
Lot 109: 1968 Rover P5B Sedan, $50
Lot 110: 1975 Rover P6 3500 White, $50
Lot 111: 1975 Rover P6 3500 Yellow, $50
Lot 112: 1963 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan, $20
Lot 113: 1959 Rover P4-105R Grey, $70
Lot 114: 1965 Rover P5 3 Liter MKII Sedan Green
Lot 115: 1970 Rover P6 2000 TC Beige
Lot 116: 1961 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan Green
Lot 117: 1961 Rover P4-100 Black, $175
Lot 118: 1951 Rover P4-75 Cyclops Black
Lot 119: 1973 Rover P6 3500 White, $25
Lot 120: 1950 Rover P4-75 Cyclops Grey, $175, 536
Lot 121: 1967 Rover P6 2000 White, $10, 678
Lot 122: 1950 Rover P4-75 Cyclops Grey, $450, 561
Lot 123: 1960 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan Grey, $10, 612
Lot 124: 1957 Rover P4-90 Blue, $20, 534
Lot 125: 1969 Rover P5B, $650, Online
Lot 126: 1968 Rover P5B Maroon, $350, 584
Lot 127: 1955 Rover P4-90 White, $125
Lot 128: 1966 Rover P6 2000 White
Lot 129: 1958 Rover P4-105R
Lot 130: 1959 Rover P5 3 Liter Sedan Grey, $20?
Lot 131: 1972 Rover P6 2000TC White, $180
Lot 132: 1960 Rover P4-100 Grey
Lot 133: 1974 Rover P6 3500 White, $20
Lot 134: 1965 Rover P5 3 Liter MKII Grey, $230
Lot 135: 1961 Rover P4-100 Grey
Lot 136: 1969 Rover P6 3500 Brown
Lot 137: 1967 Rover P5 Sedan White
Lot 138: 1974 Rover P6 3500
Lot 139: 1968 Rover P5B Coupe Purple, $3100
Lot 140: 1969 Rover 3500, $20
Lot 141: 1957 Rover P4-105R Grey, $700
Lot 142: 1966 Rover P5 3 Liter MKIII Coupe
Lot 143: 1962 Rover P5 Sedan Dark Grey

Rover P5 cheap car challenge

The Rover P5 Coupe beat the odds and successfully completed the 320KM trip between Canberra and my workshop.   Unlike the Top Gear team, I did not have a support car and mechanics to help along the way. I simply had the rover toolkit (plus a few screwdrivers which were missing),  a couple of liters of oil and coolant, and a some radiator hoses I bought at SCA that look like they could have been cut down to fit the rover if needed.

The worst mishap I faced was the boot lid coming open along the way – my worries I may have lost my spares out the back were unfounded, it just needed closing and I was on my way.    The car performed well – the 3 liter straight six is incredibly smooth and the car would make a great freeway cruiser.    As it was about 33c on the day, the car was happiest at about 95km/h – I think the radiator needs boiling out as it runs very cool around town.     At that speed it would sit about 3/4 of the way up the normal zone on the (still working) temperature gauge. This Rover is the first old British car I’ve owned with a working clock that keeps accurate time!

Rover P5

The old DG gearbox sure puts out a lot of heat – I rather stupidly placed a bottle of cold water between the seat and the transmission tunnel and when I came to drink from it later on it was hot like a cup of tea!

The worst thing about the car was the condition of anything made of rubber that had not been replaced (fuel hoses looked quite new for example).   The suspension was pretty bad and I suspect the rubber is pretty much non existent.   You could feel the ultra light steering, but with all bushings rotted it was rather twitchy.     Despite all this you could see what nice cruising cars these would be.   The engine is super smooth and the interior is a very nice place to be.     I plan to sell this car as I don’t have the time to put it right, but perhaps one day I will buy another P5.  One where a lot more of the work has been done.

First drive of the Rover P5 MKII Coupe

This morning I got to drive my new Rover P5 for the first time.    Initially it wasn’t promising as the car would not start.    But it turns out that it was just out of fuel.


The auction people put in a few litres and it started right up.    It seemed to settle down into a smooth idle and it wasn’t smoking when given a few revs.     The mechanic who had worked for the old Dr said that the car was previously registered and the engine and gearbox seemed in good health, although the car was not driven a whole lot.

I secured an unregistered vehicle permit and took to the streets.    The car spluttered and wouldn’t go up and down hills.   But 10l of fresh fuel solved that and once I turned it off ‘reserve’ fuel it ran quite well.     I had a 30 minute drive to my relatives house in Canberra and despite the 30 degree heat the car never ventured out of the normal zone on the temperature gauge.  The car is a Rover P5 MKII Coupe, so it has the weslake head with the DG gearbox.   The unregistered vehicle permit was $25 for each day, and I also took out a refundable 3rd party property damage insurance polcy.


The main thing I am concerned about is the age of the radiator hose so I plan on buying some generic hose to take in the car on the drive back to Sydney.   I was pleasantly surprised with this car, especially the engine and gearbox.

The $230 Rover P5 MKII Coupe

The Flynn collection was auctioned off today and I ended up with a car.   It is a 1965 Rover P5 MKII Coupe.   That sounds great as Rover P5 Coupes are lovely cars and both the 6 cylinder IoE engine and the V8 have their proponents.   The only thing is that I paid $230 for the car so you can imagine the condition.    The nice coupes went for good money but this one isn’t as nice and so went rather cheap.   Not as cheap as some P6’s that were going for $50 or less.

As the car is in Canberra tomorrow I need to assess if it firstly can make it back to my relatives house in Canberra, and from there, can it make the journey back to Sydney under its own steam?

It may end up like one of the those Top Gear challenges, but not the ones where they have reliable cars.


Jaguar E-Type Upgrades

The E-Type was going in for its annual service and rego check, with the view to move from full rego to the new logbook based club rego system.

In addition, the braking problems that have plagued this car had re-surfaced on the drive back from Oberon.   Yet again, the brakes were not releasing properly.   I also noticed a fairly bad fluid leak after the British Car show from the front left caliper.

The front calipers had been re-sleeved before, but the seal was not quite the right size and so it was causing the brakes to hang up and not release properly.   Even more worrying, on further examination of the braking system, the front and rear brakes were reversed on the master cylinder.    This is not ideal because the system is supposed to provide bias to the front brakes (normally around 60-70% depending on the car) to stop the rears from locking up as the load is transferred to the front wheels during braking.    I’ve never had to do a real panic stop in the E-Type, but chances are the rear brakes would have locked up which can cause the car to loose control.

So to fix these problems a new brake pipe was installed so the brakes were installed correctly and the caliper was re-sleeved again with a new seal which will hopefully keep the fluid in and the brakes working correctly.

As well as this there was a fairly bad leak from the differential and the drive shaft coupling was quite worn.   Since the diff had to come out, it seemed like the right time to do a ratio change.   As my car was originally a USA car, it is fitted with a 3.54 ratio, whereas cars sold here in Australia were fitted with 3.07.    My car after it was restored was fitted with 3.07, but the previous owner put it back to 3.54 and now I am reverting it to 3.07.   First gear is particularly useless with 3.54.    While it was out the driveshaft coupling was replaced and the driveshaft painted up and re-installed.

One of the headlights was not working correctly either, so instead of putting in another useless sealed beam, the car is being converted to halogens with relays.   Not concours correct but much better and far safer if driving at night.

So far, I think the brakes are still not quite right.   The pedal pressure varies from being very soft to very hard which makes me suspect the master cylinder.

I am quite happy with the ratio change.  First gear is now quite a useful gear and acceleration is still brisk as you hold the gears for longer.

Driving the mighty 450SEL 6.9

Today I was able to drive a 6.9 for the first time.    I have driven many M117 engined cars (450’s and 560’s primarily) and the big difference is the massive amount of torque on tap with the M100.   Regardless of the speed or gear the car launches immediately with even minor throttle input.    The car I drove was the imported high compression model (8.8:1 instead of 8:1 in the Aussie version).    This was a particular contrast to my 450SLC which as the low compression version of the M117 450.

The suspension is supple even with the low profile tyres on this particular car.   You can feel the origins of the system (from the Citroen DS), but its firmer and has less squat and dive on braking and acceleration.   This is quite an achievement as the squat/dive was always the downside of the Citroen setup.

I can understand the reviews these cars got when new and why they are worth 3-5x a regular W116.   I’m really glad to have driven one, it was on my car ‘bucket list’.   I don’t think I will even own one though.   M100 ownership is not for the feint of heart – even if the 6.9 is the most affordable way of getting into it.     As Sydney is bristling with speed cameras it would never be able to used as intended.


Ad of the week: Peugeot 404

This weeks ad showcases the Peugeot 404, one of the most rugged and dependable cars ever built.   There are still 404’s plying their trade as taxis all around the world and the 404 did as much to open up remote areas of the world than the Land Rover or Land Cruiser.

Peugeot 404