In 1982, Wayne Butt of New Plymouth, purchased No.1142 in a derelict condition from the basement of Wellington Hospital where he was completing his medical training. The vehicle appears to have been exported from the UK to New Zealand as a very poor condition crash write-off in 1961. According to Wayne, who bought the car in 1982, "It was welded up and crudely repaired with a lot of fibre-glass. The original engine had been removed and replaced with a TR3 engine that must have been installed at the time of repair. I found or purchased most of the major parts while living and working in England during 1988 while the car was in storage in New Zealand. New bumpers came from an Austin Healey supplier, a fly-off handbrake lever from the MG-TF Club, a boot release cable from car dismantler in Brighton, and hub-cap badges from Cyril Harvey."
Back in New Zealand between 1996 and 2004 the car underwent a detailed restoration and has been constantly refined and improved since. Waye had new front guards fabricated, cut one inch from behind each over-rider for the rear bumper, which he could only purchase already chrome plated and replaced the cylinder head. The grille covers were fabricated from 22 SWG bright stainless steel, along with the side strips, for which he only had one for a copy. The hub-caps which somebody had fitted earlier were Triumph TR2, but Wayne adapted them to take the centre emblems, which were re-enamelled. The car's present registration number is BK 2962. The car won concourse for its class at the New Zealand TR Register Nationals in 2006 and is well know to members of the NZ TR Register, having attended most of the annual events for the past five years.
- every nut and bolt restoration, every steering joint replaced
- newly fabricated front guards - aluminium
- new front and rear springs
- leather seats and leather dashboard dyed to match vinyl door panels
- newly fabricated front grill, chromed bronze
- reconditioned engine with approx 10,000 miles since rebuild
- extremely sweet running engine, tuned to perfection
- TR3 engine and carb setup, gives considerably more horsepower
- power brakes (original fitting option)
- factory heater
- Laycock de Normanville overdrive (original fitting)
According to Wayne, "This car is as original as I could make it, rebuilt with mostly refabricated original fittings, apart from the TR3 engine. Its drive is typical of a well setup 1955 sports car - quirky and fun and mildly challenging."
( Thanks to Wayne Butt for the information and photos. )
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