Restoring The Big Cat!
When we brought FPE88 back to Fife in September 2006, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to restore it to something approaching its original 1977 condition, as it had had it's trim altered during re-panelling, lost it's boot lid (thankfully the boot was still there, accessed from a hole underneath), had then picked up a large dent at the back (in the panelling that replaced the boot lid), had lost it's original recessed back numberplate, and had assorted dents over the rest of the bodywork for good measure.
A Winters Progress
After we had got FPE88 through an MOT in December 2006, we got seriously to work on reversing the worst of the alterations and damage to its bodywork that we 'inherited' with it from Strathtay. The first few pictures I have available showing this work are from February 2007, and can be viewed in A Winters Progress
Were we now restoring GSO94V? No, but you can find out why FPE88 took on a false identity for a short time on the day we Put The Boot In!
All Trim & Bus-shaped?
Well nearly! After having restored the numberplate and boot-lid, we finished work on the back of FPE88 by putting back the remainder of the missing aluminium trim. See the results in Trim Done!
Filled & Sanded
With the changes over the years to the bodywork of FPE88 mostly reversed, all that was left to do before painting was to deal with many small dents. So here are some pictures after FPE88 was Filled & Sanded
Wheels & Hubs
It was time to repaint FPE88, and after doing some necessary patch priming we chose to start with the Wheels & Hubs
Red Roof '88
With the wheels painted, the re-paint proper was next! And as usual we started at the top and worked down, as you can see in Red Roof '88
Fife On Top & Strathtay Down Below!
Did George REALLY drive FPE88 out on the road in a mixed up livery like this! I have three pictures to prove that he did indeed drive it on the road with Fife On Top & Strathtay Down Below!
Strathtay Livery Is History!
The last stage of the re-paint is pictured in Painting The Bodysides (Ayres) Red
The title says it all, as do the pictures in All Red!
Vinyls & Vandalism
We crept close to completion by getting and putting on a set of vinyls, but suffered a rare bout of vandalism. The evidence of both can be seen in Vinyls & Vandalism
The Finishing Touch?
The last of the vinyls to go on was the biggest by far, and it certainly deserves the title of The Finishing Touch!
Of course the pictures in this section hardly touch on a number of aspects of the restoration, simply because I omitted to film or take pictures of everything that we did. (I am something of a 'fair weather photographer'!)
In particular, the work we did early on in restoring the inside to a good approximation of the original condition is hardly mentioned and not pictured, largely because a lot of it was done either on wet dark autumn weekends, or by my friends during the week when I was at work! However there is also relatively little mention of work on the chassis, engine, gearbox, etc, since during the period up to the completion of the re-paint in the last sets of pictures above, we didn't need to do all that much to them. (Alas that aspect of owning a preserved bus came back to haunt us at a later date!)
But this section ends with the re-paint, since FPE88 was then (we thought) ready to resume it's visits to bus rallies and other vehicle events, plus other fun trips from time to time...
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