Dutton Kit Cars and their owners
First and foremost you'll have to forgive my novice-ness when it comes to forums and the correct etiquette. I figured I'd introduce myself as I have seen on the few other owners clubs I have viewed on occasion but couldn't find a dedicated area on this forum. Am I missing something? Redirect me as necessary.
So here we go...
My name is Toby Fitzgerald, I'm 26 and based in Ruislip (West London) and work for Martin-Baker.
The most important piece of information you need to know really though is that I'm a complete novice when it comes to fixing cars. My Dad has been a mechanic for almost 40 years and I know many people at work with experience too which is where I get all my advice from ATM, but I'm hoping you guys can change that :)
I have always wanted to be into cars but never really found the opportunity to learn, modern cars are so complicated these days as I'm sure you're all aware. Keeping a long story short, I have ended up buying what I have been led to believe is a "Dutton Phaeton 6" off a friend of a friend. He had owned it since '98 and used it fairly regularly and used to go to a few track days too as well as being a member of the owners club. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances it ended up being left sat on his driveway for nearly 10 years. It was in good running order when left (all bar needing new seals in the clutch slave cylinder, which he bought the kit for). Time has been relatively kind to it all things considered.
After getting it transported to my Granddads (only a few miles away) I set about working on it bit by bit. I'll leave the details for my build diary.
Being 6 foot and having no prior experience with kit cars nor old cars, let alone such small ones, I was initially very worried I wouldn't actually even enjoy driving it. My original plan was just to get it into a good enough condition to take for a short test drive to an MOT station to get an idea on what it would be like. However after my most recent time fiddling with it I have come to the conclusion I might as well fully restore it, as I'm learning a lot and falling in love with the car.
So I stand before you (figuratively anyway), at your mercy. I have a lot to learn but am enjoying every minute of it, even the frustrating backwards steps in progress. Especially the backwards steps, because that's what restoring cars it all about, right? I hope to be quite an active member on this website once I learn my way around properly.
Also thank you to those members who send me messages shortly after I first joined, I didn't even realise I got them until recently.
Phaeton S2 Toby lovely smooth engine ,easy to work on as well , does it turn over ok ?
Yeah she turns over and seemingly even runs lovely. Got it started on the driveway before I bought her, just to make sure. Not run it since as it has old oil in it, the water pump sounds like its seen better days and the fuel tank was full of crap (we ran it out of a jerry can before anyway).
Been focusing all my time in other areas first but hopefully will be ordering stuff to service the engine soon so I see exactly how she runs. I'll post the overall condition and my progress sometime tomorrow I hope.
Be worthwhile replacing the lines as well as sorting the tank.
S2 .....roofs are not easy to get so you are lucky to have what looks like a good condition roof.
they are usually on cart springs if your doing a full restoration it might be worth converting to 5 link.....its a fair bit of work but ultimately worth it...but since this is your first kit i would recommend getting it on the road for a few years first....but if its a body off restoration it wouldnt be a bad idea to look to modify the car at that time..
fuel tanks can be cleaned out using phosphoric acid tank cleaner....if it is basically sound. what seems to suffer by long storage outside is the front discs and calipers. or you can just replace it...but you will have to find out what it is....(most likely from a Ford Cortina Mk2)
The roof seems to have shrunk and tears easily when I try to stretch it back into place. Although along with a ton of spares provided with it there seems to be a new unused roof with it! Bloody lucky to have that then by the sounds of it.
Fuel tank is definitely shot as upon closer inspection has many many little holes in it. New one drawn up on CAD and hopefully getting one made at work.
Initially I just cleaned up the old calipers to keep costs down, however my new full-resto mentality means they will be revisited and potentially 100% replaced when the time comes.
Welcome - lots of knowledge on here which will help you on your way. Looks like a good first project!
Right...sorry for my enormous delay but some major (potentially project ending) issues came up. See bellow link;
All work up until this point has now essentially become moot. My original plan was to do a basic restore just to get an MOT and give it a bit of a test drive to see if I could actually physically drive it as I'm 6'1 and its an awkward fit in the drivers seat. However after wrestling the gremlin infested electrics (mostly terrible earths) and then discovering the horrific level of rust in some areas I wasn't even sure if the project would be going ahead.
However after finally getting the inner tub out, that seems to be the only really bad bit, the rest of the chassis looks pretty good. This, coupled with the electrics, brake line condition, the rest of the minor rust issues (seat belts + mounting points) as well as the general shoddy condition of the trimming and paint has led me the decision to 100% fully restore the vehicle in virtually every aspect.
Current plan of action;
-Rip out all old electrics
-Replace literally everything electric, probably even alternator and coil
-Unhook all new wiring and remove fibreglass panels to either repair myself or send off (Any recommended fibreglass fixers?) and then get resprayed.
-Whilst all the body work is away I'm going to look at the rear dampeners, which look shot to me. Now my inexperience and lack of knowledge is going to kill me here. The previous owner (not actually the builder btw, also a friend of a friend and I'm still in contact with him) suggested maybe upgrading the rear suspension and then Dave Adams suggested the same. Is this kind of suspension that bad? How much work is involved with fitting a 5 link system? Also I've been led to believe that the rear axle is from a Lotus Cortina and is special, different ratio or something. Is it possible for me to change to 5 link suspension and still keep the same axle? To me it looks like it's all mounted completely differently.
Ugh, finally got Flickr to work. Don't worry all new pics will be links and not embedded.
5 link it Toby, that rear setup looks a mess , never seen shocks at that angle or fixed through the body like that
I've seen S2's like that before, they use the stock MK2 cortina damper mounting, but yes pretty awful, as said in the past, TDW never finished his engineering apprenticeship and it shows on the cars he engineered, thankfully later cars were engineered by those who had some idea of engioneering.
Those shock mounts have been fitted back to front....probably to avoid the handbrake actuator cables. Now, as it happens I may be able to help out here. I have a spare rear section, roll bar etc thats doing nothing apart from getting wet. I'll send you some photo's. FOC to a good home if you can make use of it. Even if you trim all the 'surplus' off it would give you a roll hoop you could replace the rot with.