Virus lockdowns, personnel issues at the interior & body shop, and that I wasn’t pushing very hard made a couple weeks of work into a 7-1/2 month project. Didn’t make much sense to push when every possible car show was canceled.
A lot got done:
- New (foam type) steering wheel (these are one piece wheel and upper column, and not very easy to replace)
- Replacement leather interior
- New mirrors (they are not adjusted right in the pictures)
- New radio antenna
- The Euro lights were knocked down & cleaned
- Media blasted & powder coated the rims
- New tires (modern current date coded Coker Michelin XAS, the correct ones)
- All new hoses & belts
- Radiator flushed & redone
- New radiator mounts
- Electronic ignition installed with new harness and plugs
- Some leaking hydraulics (under Citroen Classics of North America’s tutorage) taken care off
- New Main Accumulator installed
- New fluids everywhere
- Lots of small items that were too worn/broken/faded to recount
- Period accessories installed (rear window slats, a usable radio & speaker system with Bluetooth and handsfree)
- Replacement used interior door handles went in as the originals were shabby
- Numerous small bits of time faded or missing trim replaced with good vintage parts
- Some surprising expensive exterior rubber parts that had started to come apart were replaced with modern reproductions.
The “original paint” was touched up and buffed out, though in the end the fiberglass roof ended up being repainted.
The car was painted a beige at the factory, but repainted in black with a partial “Pallas upgrade” package when put into government service at delivery.
We really had to struggle to find any sign of the original color BTW. (“Pallas” was the deluxe trim package when this car was new.)
The original paint is far from perfect, but blemishes, imperfections and all it seems nicer to leave it than to over-restore things.
Unfortunately the original interior was too far gone to similarly salvage, so in the process I had all new foam installed when the new leather went in.
Some mistakes made, which while annoying are simpler tasks I can do myself:
- I’m not happy with the front door cards, and will replace them
- The long delayed exterior c-column DS logos are arriving in the next few days, and they take a bit of disassembly to change out
- I have been in contact with a Frenchman who is going to restore the instrument cluster this winter
- The battery is very weak & I will replace the battery ASAP
- There is some missing battery tray hardware I’ll sort out,
- not happy with the way the engine is running, and will dig into that (thinking timing or a pushrod issue)
- the rear suspension spheres need replacing, and I have the new ones coming
- the body shop didn’t get everything electrical reconnected right, so I will end up checking a sorting this out
- and so on.
Little stuff mainly.
Before the 231 days away in the shop, the car had already had a stainless exhaust installed, new Pallas type rugs, brakes had been done, new spheres, and so on.
We have had enough of the car apart to confirm that despite being 46 years old, the car hasn’t rusted or corroded.
I think we are past “show stopper projects” at this stage.
Just found out that a Wisconsin based retired Citroen mechanic is willing to basically do a full safety inspection, and any final tweaks! I’ve not seen Mark since before Y2K, so it will be a bit of catching up on life as well.
Not certain what the future for the car and I will be though, as I am realizing I may enjoy the “project part” the most of all.