TVR Vixen S3

The Restoration Pictures & Story

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    As Bought    

The Repainted Chassis   The Stripdown Begins    Nearly All The Paint Removed
Previous Bad Repair       Getting There
 Rear View   Ready for the Respray   Respraying Begins

Finished at Last


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The Restoration Story

In November 1997 I started restoration of the bodywork and the chassis as the body had some bad cracks appearing in it and the chassis was covered in surface rust. To get at the chassis I used an old garden swing and a hoist and lifted the body high enough off the chassis so that I could remove the surface rust and repaint it with 2 coats of Smoothrite and one coat of Waxoyl. I then lowered the body back on to the chassis ready to start on the body.

The restoration of the bodywork on a fibreglass car is very time consuming as all of the gel cracks have to be ground out to the fibreglass layer below and about an inch beyond the edges of the crack(s). This then has a layer of fibreglass tissue and resin laid onto the resultant dell. This is then rubbed down and if necessary a fine layer of filler is applied until it is smooth. As you can imagine if you have a lot of gel cracks this takes a long time. In September of 1998 I had managed to get the body ready for its respray. I applied one coat of etch primer followed by 3 coats of primer filler. When I was satisfied with this I applied three coats of top coat rubbing down with 1000 grit wet & dry in between coats. I then left it to harden for three weeks before cutting back and polishing.

The next job was the best part and that was refitting all the shiny bits and the interior. I made a new padded dash as the old one was not in very good condition and replaced some sections of the carpets that were worn. The only problem I had was when I took it for its MOT. On the way to the MOT station I went over a large stone or brick in the middle of the road which managed to rip off the two thirds of the exhaust. So it was back home, very noisy drive and lots of looks from pedestrians, to try and repair the exhaust. Unfortunately one section which was rusty was beyond repair so I had to find a section to fit. As luck would have it the exhaust also went on my everyday car at the time, a 1990 Rover 216 GSi, and a completely rust free section from the Rover was exactly what I needed. After fitting it past it's MOT with flying colours. I also managed to obtain a second hand Diff as mine had an excessive amount of backlash which I have now fitted. I am at present rebuilding my spare engine as the one in the car is sounding a bit tappety even though the tappet adjustment is OK and I suspect the camshaft. I am enjoying driving it at the moment and so I will probably put the spare engine in next spring.

Vixen S3 Technical Information.

168 built from October 1970 to December 1971.

Ford Capri Crossflow (1598cc) engine & gearbox. Triumph Vitesse/GT6 Rear Diff. Triumph TR6 / TVR suspension. Cortina Mk.2 rear lights, Zodiac Mk.4 side vents. Wheelbase = 7'6".