Panda (Classic) Red Classic Panda 4x4 restoration.


There's a lot to tell on this introduction, you have been warned.

I had a phone call about three weeks ago from a Guy called Phin who had been given my number by a garage who looks after one of my friend's Panda 4x4. Are you with me so far?

Phin has two Pandas of his own so he arranged to come and see me in case I could be of any assistance to him in the future. Nice Guy, Panda nut, I'm sure we will do business in the future.

Anyway, about a week ago I get an email from Phin telling me that a friend of his is helping a lady clear her house in Oxford and she's had a Panda on the drive that's been there for the last five years. She now wants to get rid of it and I may be able to take it for free if I'm interested, he will send me pics asap.

Stick with it, there will be pictures soon :p.

I replied saying that I had no space and even free it's going to cost me £100 just to collect it. I have a couple of donor cars already so don't really need another anyway.

Then Phin's friend Jeff emails me some pictures, :( :) It's only a 4x4 with twin sunnies isn't it!

It was in a right state, as you'll see in a bit, but underneath all the crud I could see a half decent car. If I didn't rescue it a scrap man was waiting with £100 to take it away so I decided to give the lady a call and sort something out.

Ellan was the Lady and it had been her late husbands car. Any money it raised was going to her two Daughters. Quite rightly her priorities lay with her Daughters and not me so if I wanted to take the car I'd have to match the scrap man's offer. I happily agreed. Now I have to decide what to get rid of to make space for it. :(

Ok, here's some pics. Anyone with a weak disposition look away now.......

Doors are rusty, no surprise there, the rear side window on the o/s has been replaced by perspex after someone smashing the original many years ago. The sills look pretty good though, only at the back where they always go is there any sign of rust. The tyres were flat and perished but did hold air once pumped up. The brakes were stuck on, but after a little rocking freed off and have been fine ever since, even the handbrake! The battery is dead so I have no idea if it runs, but once it is running there will be a thousand spiders loosing thier homes.

It turned out that Ellan's Husband bought it from new and loved it until his sudden death in December 2006. He'd covered 120,000 miles in it including many trips abroad to the Pyrenees and Alps. It was also his every day transport around Oxford where he was an Oxford Don, teaching at the University since 1977. Surprising he should choose a Panda given that he originated from the USA.

Because it is a one owner 4x4 with twin sunnies, the owner (Peter Derow) is an interesting character in his own right and looked after this Panda well, I feel I owe it to him to restore it to as close to the condition he first bought it in as I can manage. I know that Ellan and her Daughters would love to see this happen too. Besides, I'm getting a little bored with leather interiors and alloy wheels. :p

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