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BMW 2002: Body of evidence

The concept of Project 2002 is gathering steam and interest from old car enthusiasts…let’s hope our rusty and dented donor car doesn’t slow things down too much.

Peter Corna doesn’t mince his words – a characteristic he gets from his father, Aldo, patriarch of the Cornright Motors clan. “This car is pretty rotten - almost borderline as to whether it is worth repairing - and as is often the case, the closer we’ve looked the more we’ve found,” lamented Corna, initially scoring the dodgy donor car for Project 2002 a one out of 10 for overall condition. He eventually - grudgingly – conceded that it might qualify for a three, and that while it had plenty of rust, none of it was structural.

Nevertheless, the boys in yellow alongside Grand Central’s runway have got their work cut out, a situation improved slightly by the sourcing of a second bonnet and bootlid, both slightly better than the originals. We also supplied extra doors, but a closer look suggested body filler had already been applied - with a trowel… “Being fastidious with the body preparation is critical if you want a proper restoration – you can’t paint over s**t. Preparation is half of it, and trying to take short cuts will result in a sub-standard job,” Corna adds.

Materials for this phase have been supplied by Gondolier (co-incidentally our Jonnesway tool partner too) consumables coming in the form of Sunmight abrasives, Soudal filler, and Finixa cleaning products. There’s no substitute for proper panel beating says Corna: Of the cut, weld, grind, fill, and finish variety –good, old-fashioned techniques. It is labour-intensive and something of a dying craft nonetheless, because artisans just aren’t getting opportunities to learn these skills on modern cars and not enough youngsters are coming into the profession.Once signed off from Cornrights the freshly-painted shell with go to Nobrake for installation of all ABS braking hydraulics and from there to Evolution 2 Motorsport for the mechanical assembly – though it all still seem like a distant dream right now!

One of the most exciting developments with Project 2002 is a commitment from Pro Auto Rubber to provide an array of rubber seals, beadings, clips and grommets. They stock an astonishing array of extrusions, hoses and fittings – over 900 all told – so think of a rubber component on a car and they’ll supply it. This is very good news for old car owners, as perished rubber is a real bane and sourcing originals can be hugely expensive. They also make and sell lots of other rubber stuff which is useful around the house, garage, workshop or office, including interlocking rubber flooring and sheeting.

To be continued