Who does not really like a new or a top quality motor vehicle? But this is not some thing that would strike a chord with a collector. What would basically make an antiquarian’s heart swell with delight is having a exceptional or exotic classic vehicle in his possession.
Even a lot more precious would be an old basic motor vehicle that has been revived from the very scratch – its motor rebuilt, gearbox restored, paint resurrected and new panels hooked up by hands. And as exceptional and gratifying this pastime is, it can also make the car or truck fanatic fork out by means of the nose.
But “basic automobiles need love following all” even if it suggests paying every free hour respiration new daily life into them. And this is the perception that designed Sri Lanka’s Chathura Vithanage restore an previous Peugeot 203 from the floor up. Imported to the place additional than 60 decades in the past in model new problem, the Peugeot had been lying idle for about 15 several years in advance of Vithanage established his eyes on the typical.
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Developed in between 1948 and 1960, the Peugeot 203 is a 4 door saloon with rear wheel generate and column-mounted equipment. Its 1290cc carbureted motor creates 44 hp and electricity is shipped to the rear wheels by a propeller shaft. But the car or truck that Vithanage procured from a gentleman in his locality experienced shed all its glory. “60% of the vehicle human body had to be redone. I experienced to dismantle the motor and transmission to the tiniest parts and they experienced to be restored,” he tells HT Automobile. Wiring, new brake lines and the inside experienced to be accomplished from the floor up.
An electronic and telecommunication engineer by occupation, Vithanage labored on his Peugeot restoration undertaking on weekends and following place of work hours on weekdays by environment up a short-term garage outdoors his dwelling. He managed to use the initial manufacturing unit-equipped gauge of zinc coated metal sheets where ever probable on the car’s overall body. “Present body elements had been grinded and sand blasted to take out rust and rust converting chemical compounds had been made use of to avoid it from happening in long term,” he points out.
After sand blasting, the bare human body metals ended up cleaned employing isopropyl alcoholic beverages and a thick coat of epoxy iron oxide primer was applied on them. This was followed by the use of a human body filler, nitrocellulose primer and NC putty until Vithanage reached a level of satisfaction. The Peugeot was finally painted using a jet-black color.
An auto restoration task is not for the faint-hearted due to the fact it demands an amazing amount of tolerance. Worries had been aplenty in Vithanage’s a single-and-a-fifty percent-12 months-extensive undertaking. “The major hurdle was to restore some of the pieces of the auto which were being not out there even in France. Consequently, I experienced to do Laptop or computer-aided design (CAD) and CNC milling for some of the important engine components,” he describes. He even had to make some of the attractive elements and lights all by himself with reference to aged photos of the vehicle. Like the motor, the upholstery was also entirely redone with the help of an qualified.
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The Peugeot 203 was introduced back again to its full glory sometime in July this year and it absolutely did charge an arm and leg – all over 2 million LKR (approx ₹8 lakh). But the difficult do the job and the investment decision seems really worth it when Vithanage will take the common motor vehicle for a trip on the weekends. “The feeling I get when I drive this (motor vehicle) close to… can not be turned into text or given a price tag tag,” he says. “I cherished every instant I put in accomplishing the restoration operate on it.”
The classic motor vehicle enthusiast gained much praise from buddies and household for his restoration venture. “Soon after viewing my revived Peugeot, lots of people needed me to restore their vintage cars and trucks,” he suggests. And now Vithanage has a different job in his garage – an Austing 7 1935 that he has established his hand on.