The Return of Arthur Dent

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The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby Mjones » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:13 am

After many domestic interruptions, the protracted restoration of my 1974 HC, Arthur Dent is complete. I just need to undertake a number of minor adjustments to ensure a first time MOT pass. Enjoy the pictures, I will give a full account of the restoration in a later post. :D


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1972 HC Estate The White Knight
1974 HC S74 Arthur Dent
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby pbottomley » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:16 am

:woohoo: good to see Arthur is back....
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby HC » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Good to see Arthur Back. Memories Mr B???
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby oli8925 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:02 pm

Lovely colour
1989 Blue Mini 1000 Rebuild
1975 White De Luxe Viva HC
1994 Saab 9000 CSE
2002 F*rd Puma Thunder
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby pbottomley » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:14 pm

HC wrote:Good to see Arthur Back. Memories Mr B???


Yea once owned this car, mainly used as an everyday car...
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby Mjones » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Well, today has been a wonderful day, my HC, Arthur Dent passed its MOT with only a couple of minor advisories. So there you have it, another HC returned to the road. :D :D :D :D
1972 HC Estate The White Knight
1974 HC S74 Arthur Dent
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby hbpeter » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:40 pm

Excellent, well done sir! Mr B will be wetting himself in happines!! :hourra:

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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby pbottomley » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:02 pm

Happy not exactly wetting myself, but fantastic to see him back on the road...

:hapbirthday3:

Loving the headrests , carpet , 7 dial and centre consul... smart appearance.
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby Mjones » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Well, here is at long last as promised back in November 2011, a fuller account of the restoration of my HC, ‘Arthur Dent’. I purchased this S74 from VVOC member Paul Bottomley in January 2009 after a year long search for a suitable vehicle. I initially intended to carry out a light restoration once the MOT had expired. I was sold a very solid vehicle that had no major issues. However, the temptation to strip the vehicle down to the bare bodyshell was too much, everything was removed, cleaned painted and stored in my loft pending eventual reassembly. The rationale behind this was to get everything out of the way in order to have a vehicle that would need very little attention for years to come. With hindsight perhaps a rolling restoration might have been a better idea. :?

Once Arthur was in bits progress more or less stopped for well over a year. I decided to get my entire house double glazed followed by the re-roofing ofthe garage. Other house/garden/car projects soon followed taking me further away from the serious business of Viva restoration.

Arthur’s restoration was fairly straightforward, The engine was left well alone, it performed superbly on its delivery trip from Nuneaton to the South Coast without missing a beat. I did remove the cylinder head for a quick decoke and valve lapping but that was it. I have taken the opportunity to fit an auxiliary electric fan as queues in my part of the world make such a precaution necessary at times. At the moment though the existing viscuous fan is sufficient. Other work involved just tidying up and removing as many of the bodywork dents as possible. There were one or two areas where I carried out a little pre-emptive welding but nothing serious. Externally Arthur looks very much as it did in 1974, the interior however was to see a few changes.


Deviations from original spec included the fitting of rear seat belts (Securon) and head restraints on the front seats. All later HC seats have provision for head rests although these were optional items and to the best of my knowledge never fitted as standard. Given that the original interior had suffered from 36 years or so of UV, I took the decision to spray it all black and at the same time dye the carpet. Never again! To this day my bath is still suffering from the effects of black Dylon carpet dye!

A parcel shelf mounted centre brake light was also fitted, I take the view that every little helps in reducing the likehood of being rear ended and the subseqent after effects. Other additions are side indicators and rear fog lamps plus a seven dial dash. I have however retained the original dash for possible reinstatement. Effectively I have recreated the interior of my 1979 1300L from my mispent youth!

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A rolling bodyshell. Strictly speaking that new sill was not really needed, but I was longing to try out some serious seam welding!




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Rear three point seat belts. Vauxhall thoughtfully made provision for this.



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1972 HC Estate The White Knight
1974 HC S74 Arthur Dent
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Re: The Return of Arthur Dent

Postby pbottomley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:43 pm

he looks fabulous so much so I want him back :wink:

You know the score , if ever...... call me
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