21. The Missile Bay
Progress was waylaid over the winter whilst filming in Spain for Kawasaki, and on return the UK coronavirus lockdown took its toll in many ways, leaving the rear luggage area half re-trimmed for a few months. Apart from the rear bulkhead carpet behind the engine cover having rotted the original rear luggage boards and carpet were in very good condition, with only a little wear. Though the nearside inner wheel arch cover and the rear quarterlight window ‘shelves’ were missing. Three years earlier the carpet covering the bulkhead was removed in clumps using a paint scraper with only the upper portions around the window being intact.
Having considered buying a carpet set, I decided to see if I could obtain something more in keeping with what mine had. Over a couple of weeks I acquired 10 samples of corded and box weave carpet from various suppliers, with a couple of them extremely similar to that to the original.
I settled on an anthracite cord with a grey fleck which was about the right thickness to offer both soundproofing, resilience to wear and also be malleable enough to cope with the tight corners around the boot boards.
Paul Clapham allowed me to examine and photograph the rear quarterlight ‘shelves’ from his original S1, and a template made from which the plywood could be cut.
New marine grade plywood was bought from my local builders merchant and the old boot boards used as templates. The carpet from the old boot boards was carefully peeled from underneath to expose the wooden edge, and used to draw a template on the plywood with a sharp pencil, then overwritten in dark ink, ready to be cut using a jigsaw.
My local trimmer made the inner wheel arch covers, using the inner rear wheelarch cover on the offside was missing as a pattern to remake the opposite side. Also edging the window ‘shelf’ carpets and bulkhead window to the original style and specification,
Whilst that was being done I test fitted the boards before spraying them in primer and given a coating of satin black to replicate the originals. Then cut the new carpet to fit, using strong trimmers glue and clamped in place using lengths of wood I’d used to make the storage box for the rear hatch glass a few years earlier.
The trimmer delivered the edged carpet after making a supreme effort to measure the rear bulkhead and window aperture. The seat belt reels had to be removed to fit the bulkhead carpet, which took a few hours, but its addition has been welcome, after been driving the car around the previous 6 months without it my ears are certainly thankful!
The rear quarterlight shelves were also completed with correctly shaped and edge carpet and glued down. Deciding to add a smear at the seat belt end to make sure it all remained flat. Originally the glue wasn’t applied to the wood around the seat belt retainer cut-out.
The rear upright boards were fitted to cover the backs of the rear lights, and fixed in place to the refurbished angle brackets taken from the original boards.
With the car being tucked away in the garage the whole job spanned the winter months, but the results matching the original boards perfectly.
Finished off with the battery box top and stainless steel fixings completed the rear luggage compartment and the S1 was another stage further to completion.