putting it back together
The continuation of the build is mainly refitting all of the original components, with new gaskets and seals where necessary, such as between the brake booster and clutch master cylinder to firewall mounting. It is the small details such as this that define a true restoration.
The master cylinders themselves were hand-polished and then clear-coated for protection. Hanging the doors allowed them to be fitted out with window regulators, glass and furniture, allowing their final fitment and alignment. Being a Japanese vehicle, this process was straightforward and the door gaps are perfect!
Clips, bolts, trims, electrical and accessories all have to be fitted and in their correct place. With some original components being either relocated or removed completely, and additional components requiring fitting, the challenge lay in making the modification, addition (or deletion) play nicely with what is happening around it.
Luckily, things seemed to work out fairly well. For example, the washer bottle was moved out of the engine bay to under the front fender, so a Nissan item was found to fit in the space and, by having 2 washer pumps, also fulfilled the plan to remove the separate rear bottle and combine the two. The necessary electrical and plumbing was carried out to make the installation as compact and factory-looking as possible.
Refitting original components such as headlights, the AC condenser, handles, latches and roof rails, is a relatively straightforward process, however care must be taken to ensure all gaskets, washers and other hardware required for the installation of any particular part are correctly fitted, otherwise leaks, rattles or unintentional contact/rubbing may occur and cause premature failure of a component.
Much of the originality of the car has been retained despite the makeover, since most of the componentry now being fitted is exactly that which was removed from the body. Whilst some parts received chrome plating, others required a simple repaint in satin black, but in both cases, they belong on this particular car.
Deciding on the colour scheme was the next challenge, and although this might sound straightforward, the only thing that was certain was that the original two-tone finish was to remain, but the original colours were not. This left 2 decisions to make, one for each colour. Several late-model Subaru paint codes were considered, then Alfa Romeo, then Mercedes-Benz, and finally Ferrari, with the choice of blue being narrowed down to 3 options and each being sprayed out on a panel to see it in the flesh. Eventually, the Blu Tour de France was settled on, with the complementary silver being Ferrari Argento Nurburgring. This allowed the interior and the underside to be finished before returning to the paint shop.