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Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:29 pm
by MG Mal
The Maestro and Montego club received the following message:
There is a sad old red Montego in my father's garage in Stafford which has been off the road for twenty years (he died in in 1995 and had not used it for some time before that). He was a mechanic so the car was always well maintained but heaven knows what it's like now. It's certainly very dusty and the tyres are flat but the garage is a modern building and quite sound and dry. It is filled with so many tools and other things that it's not possible to walk around the car to view it as a whole but I think it would be fairly easy to get it out.

It's high time for us to get rid of the car and clear the garage. Have you any members in the Stafford area who might be prepared to come and have a look at it to see if it's worth rescuing for restoration or as a source of spare parts? It would be free to take away provided that we were not asked to pay any of the costs of removal.
I followed up on the request and made contact with the late owners son via email.
Last Sunday after an hour or so of prep the car was dragged out of the garage it has sat in for over 20 years.

As described by the late owners son, it was very dusty and greasy, once treated to a pressure wash and a good scrub, it was much improved in the looks dept.
So far nothing has been done to the interior, although it is still "under cover" and protected by seat covers, and carpet across the parcel shelf.
Original radio is present, and the dash is mint.

I had to use the cars original spare TDX wheel and tyre(as new) to load onto the trailer, as I mistakenly picked up a 200/400 steel rim and tyre when sorting "inflated tyres" to use for the recovery.

When I started work on reviving the car, I found that it had a semi seized/very stiff engine, which has since been treated to Castrol R down the bores, and has free'd them off nicely.

The car will now "try to catch" with the use of easy start, so I know it will run.

Next job was to strip and clean the carb and associated parts and a large amount of fresh fuel. (has a 1/3rd of a tank of 20 year old fuel still in it.)
I also poured in a full bottle of redex to "refresh" the old fuel a little!

The body work is much better than most of us would expect, and will likely only need one arch and sill end sorting to pass MOT. minor rust issues elsewhere, but as this is a non sunroof car, none of the usual A pillar issues are present, and the quarter light glass area is much better in condition the much younger versions of this model.

There was no Log book or service history with the car, apparently lost in the house clear up following Mr Purcell Seniors passing, But his son Lawrence, believes it is a former demonstrator and his Father was the only private owner.

Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:31 pm
by MG Mal
It's Alive!...

New Cam driven fuel pump fitted and it starts on the key. New pump to tank pipe and pump to carb pipe fitted as the rubber as expectedley failed! otherwise, one more monty up and running.

I did not collect this car to add to my ever fluctuating fleet, but to try and find it a new home where it will survive for another 20 + years.

Link to the pictures below. ... 201600%20L

Very few Montego's of this year have survived, likely due to rust and being run into the ground as rep mobiles and taxi's etc.

To find a 'L' model from this year is even rarer, and gives an insight to the second lowest specification cars of the era.
No Montego 'Base" model cars are known to remain at this time.

Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:39 pm
by suffolkpete
You're a hero! Another increasingly rare car saved. Even if few people want them now, 80s cars will be very rare and collectable in the future.

Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:44 pm
by MG Mal
I'm no Hero Pete. :oops:

I had to be in Yorkshire the same weekend, so could arrange to call in on the way home. (car was in Stafford area)
I just happened to be returning south with an empty car trailer, as I had taken an MG ZS 180 with a similar history up to Lincoln for a friend and, collected and put into store a similar vintage MG Montego Turbo from a garage in Grantham for an 'ex pat' in Canada.

This just meant that if we could successfully extract the car in one piece I would be able to remove it that day, which would allow the late owners son to clear the garage and prepare the house for use.

I just hope I can find a like minded new owner to take her on.

The car will be made available "for cost" and no profit as such.


Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:48 pm
by TerryG
You could email Neil at PC to see if they want it to continue their fuel consumption series. This time remembering to pull the sump and check for crud before putting a long time stored car back in to daily use.

Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:51 pm
by MG Mal
Might be an idea Terry.

But I doubt very much there will be a lot of crud in this ones sump.

Even though the late owner stopped driving her a fair while before leaving this mortal coil, he must have kept up with her servicing.

The air filter is "as new" , as are the plugs, leads and coil etc

The oil is also a nice new golden colour!.


Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:38 pm
by MG Mal
Still not got around to the interior cleaning as yet, too much going on with the house and work etc.

But, I am now at the end of the 2nd stage of cleaning the exterior of the car.

1st stage was to completely blitz the 20 plus years of dirt from the car by using the car brush, lots of foamy car wash and the pressure washer.

After that I worked on getting her running, as no point trying to do anything with the paint until after the oily work was done.

2nd stage was a new one on me, as this is the first time I have used Auto Glyms colour restorer.

And the result is not bad at all!. :)

There are still the odd "milky streak" in some area's, but no doubt a new owner could "clay bar" them out without much issue.

Mind you, due to practically every panel needing some form of paint rectification, I think new paint would be a better option, unless an "as found" finish is required.






Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:05 pm
by mach1rob
Looking much better Mal!

Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:53 pm
by Oldcarnut
Brings back memories.We use to have a blue 1986 1.6 litre one back in the eighties that was a bit troublesome but I remember the car been comfortable though.That one looks nice though in red, sure is a rare find.The tyres look a bit too narrow for the size of the car.If I remember the price of a tyre for our one would have cost around 70 quid I think.Bit costly for us then, never mind now.She looks a beaut.

Re: Garage Find 1985 Montego 1.6L

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:48 pm
by andypandy
are those MG bumpers i see in the background?? :D