Project Belle'
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Dano's Avatar
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    Default Project Belle'

    Hi,

    Look what I found, when I went looking for a 404 Bonnet.

    Meet Belle’, she has been sitting in a dry shed for the last 22 years.

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    She was last registered in 1993. Surprisingly it is relatively rust free. There is none in any of the doors, bonnet or boot lid, a little around the battery area, a few small holes in the front floor. The Sub-frames look perfect. There is an ugly section between the two rear jacking points under the rear of the boot floor. All around the fuel tank looks OK though. There has been a prior rust repair in the engine bay and right floor section, but time will tell what lies underneath that. I am sure that I will find more, but hey, it is nearly 60 years old.

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    The previous owner had started to restore her by removing some body panels and trim as well as removing the motor and stripping it. The head has been reconditioned and from what I can work out, all the engine parts are all there as well as the body panels and trim.

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    It is a 203C and if anyone can date her by the chassis number, I would appreciate it.
    By the plate attached to the firewall, it would appear that it was sold by a company in Brisbane called McIntosh Motors. I am not familiar with the name, although I lived in Brisbane all my life. There is also a code stamped on the plate that I have never seen before, QI 3 ?

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    I know I am nowhere near finishing my 404, but I just could not let it slip through my hands. It is just another case of being in the right place at the right time.

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    Buying it has now made finishing the 404 a priority, time to stop procrastinating.
    The plan is to put it in a garage and not touch it until, Keith is finished.

    I have not stopped smiling all afternoon.

    Will post more photos on Saturday when I pick her up.


    Cheers,

    Dano
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Project Belle'-dscn1062.jpg  
    Last edited by Dano; 12th August 2015 at 11:09 PM.
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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    It seems they started as Whatmore McIntosh Motors, Mr Whatmore being from Sydney - his obit is at 01 Jun 1929 - OBITUARY. MR. G. W. WHATMORE.. They sold Austin, Hudson and Essex in the prewar days. There is a heritage order on one of their buildings.
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Dano's Avatar
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    Just found an article on the web from the PCCV that has a list of chassis numbers and years. It turns out it is a 1955 model.
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    What a find.
    A 203c with minimal rust and fairly complete.
    It's certainly in amazing condition.

    You will be building another garage soon ?
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  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Peter Chisholm's Avatar
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    What a great find and a great project. It has all the makings of a really good resto.
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  7. #7
    Demannu-facturing! Demannu's Avatar
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    So jealous right now!
    Scotty

    Melbourne - Dandenong Ranges

    1956 Peugeot 403 - 'Francois' - resto project

    1969 Peugeot 504 - 'Pascal' - daily driver project

    1970 Peugeot 404 Utility - 'Brutus' - resto project

    1999 Peugeot 406 Coupé - 'Chloe' - 5 speed manual

    2011 Peugeot 3008 XTE HDi - 'Zoe' - hatchback on steroids

    2014 Peugeot RCZ - 'Remy'

    1999 Range Rover 4.6 HSE - 'Grover' - tow car

  8. #8
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    Welcome to the Anorak set, for which there is no known cure..

    Well done Dan.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    I have to say , based on the meticulous detail of the 404 resto, the 203c has found a worthy owner.

    Can a car be "lucky"? Because if it can be , this 203 certainly is lucky to be in skilled hands of Dano.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks Robmac, I appreciate your comments.

    Graham, you had me thumbing through the Thesaurus with Anorak. You are correct, there is no escape.

  11. #11
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    With the help of Scott (Demannu) I collected Belle on Saturday. When I bought the car the owner said, anything that is in the shed and 203 related goes with the car. So, with a car trailer in tow, off we set not sure what we would bring home. Because at the time of buying the car, I was not really focusing on the spares, I just knew there was a lot.

    After a couple of hours of sorting through a treasure trove of parts, the car was loaded onto the trailer for the trip home.

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    Whist loading it, somehow the conversation turned to the front drum brake set up and whether or not 403 drums were the same? As we had a look underneath to check, we were surprised to find that she has a disc brake frontend. This configuration will be removed and an original drum brake set up will be reinstalled. With old cars, I just like them to be original as possible.

    Back to the available spares, I have come home with a ute full off gearboxes (2), engine parts, body trim, electrical components and lots more.

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    Spare 203 heads and crank plus early and late C2 gear boxes


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    This morning I thought I would give her a quick clean and fit some of the missing bits just to see what she looked like before I put her into storage, as I finish my 404. After removing years of dust, mould and smelling carpet etc., and giving the inside the once over, it is in amazing condition considering how long she has been sitting.

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ID:	73147 I have a light stem control somewhere.

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ID:	73146 (This is an original wiper crank, just in case the electric motor fails.)


    The floors etc., are in very good condition. As stated on an earlier entry, there appears to be minimal rust in the entire body. At some stage, there has been two holes cut (roughly) into the boot floor next to where the lever action shock absorbers connect to the floor. No sure why, that answer is for another day.

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    If I wanted to, I believe that without much effort, I could have her back into a driveable state fairly quickly. All it would take would be, put in a motor (any going 403 motor would do), reconnect the brakes and do some remedial electrical work and she would pass a road worthy inspection.

    Overall, I am very pleased with what I have found.

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    (Taillights are just sitting on the stone panel)
    Last edited by Dano; 16th August 2015 at 11:04 PM.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Gee Dano, that's one of best prreseved 203cs Ive ever seen.

    Even after it's first wash it looks good.

    Although 203 drums are good, the disks will be better. And since it's not an obvious mod I'd consider leaving them (subject to coversion quality).

    Even the interior is good.

    Now you need a 403 to complete the Trifecta and have your time committed for the next 7 years.
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    considering the years it was sitting, looks like a superb barn find.
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    Curiosity got the better of me today, so I took off the left side sill to see what lay underneath.

    Since I bought the car, many people have asked, what are your sills like?

    The answer is, not too bad. Yes, there is some rust damage and there is evidence of a previous attempt to remove some as well. There is a bit of bog/fibreglass on the subframe and heaps of paint that looks a lot like POR or something similar. It is just caked on.

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    Part of the front floor near the wheel arch has also been patched with fibreglass from the underside.

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    The outer sill looks rust free, which is a good thing.
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    Without getting too vigorous, I did tap around with a hammer and screwdriver without either cracking more fibreglass or going through the metal. So I am happy, but the true extent will not be known until the shell is completely stripped. The front guard looks as though it is completely rust free.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Project Belle'-img_0671.jpg   Project Belle'-img_0674.jpg   Project Belle'-img_0677.jpg  
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  15. #15
    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Dan,

    Let me know if you want to borrow my rotisserie when the time comes to do a full strip. I'd be happy to re-house it for a few years.

    Cheers G

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! Dano's Avatar
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    Thanks Graham,

    I will definitely be in touch.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  17. #17
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    In my desire to keep the 203 as original as possible, I have been buying bits and pieces, new and second hand as they pop up.

    I now have a complete set of new buttons and cables for the dash controls. i.e. Starter – pull type, ‘D’ (démarreur), Choke ‘S’ (s'étrangler) and the manual Advance and Retard control cable for the distributor etc.

    The later, I received from Bruno Garovo of the Peugeot Museum in France. He is very helpful. Although, I was a bit hesitant to ask, because some of their items are quite expensive. Anyhow, to my surprise the whole unit consisting of knob, cable and ratchet mechanism was only 34 euros plus freight. Not bad for a genuine part for a 60 year old car.

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    What I have notice, is that the genuine parts manual for a 404 is about 2 & 1/2 times thicker than the 203 manual. Both cover sedan, wagon and utilities. The 203 is fairly basic!
    Last edited by Dano; 10th November 2015 at 11:56 PM.
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  18. #18
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    They are such cool little cars, aparently my grandmother had one on the farm near Bowral. Ah one day...

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    My Favourite model Peugeot. If I was not so Citroen mad that is the car I would like to own!
    Cheers Gerry

  20. #20
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    They are such cool little cars, aparently my grandmother had one on the farm near Bowral. Ah one day...
    Interesting use of "little", showing how times change. Our CX is what used to be called a "big Citroen", yet it is only about 10 cm longer than a Porsche 911 Turbo and not much bigger than today's mid-sized nasties like Corollas. Our Xantia was called "little" at a service station recently ("big tank for a little car" was the comment when I added 70 litres of fuel to it).

    To stay on thread, I reckon Belle is just superb. What a find.... Would she polish up reasonably to stay as she is?
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    JohnW

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  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! Dano's Avatar
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    Hi John, Forumnoreason & Gerrypro,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Belle' is a cool car, but I am however slightly biased in my thinking.

    As for being little, I too thought they were little cars. Much to my surprise, it's overall length and width is almost the same as the 404. They are however a lot smaller inside, sloping boot line and sides really narrow it down.

    Paint wise, I did think about buffing it back and running a clear coat over it keeping it's patina appeal. The previous owner had also rubbed it back in places and there are a number of spots where it is right down to the original undercoat. Anyhow, I really want to take it back to a cream colour of a 203 wagon my family had when I was a lot younger. It was the first family car I can remember.

    The image below is close to the colour I want.
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    I'm lucky to have all the original stainless steel trim and a set of leading edge rear wheel arch aluminium covers. So I think with the steel and alloy polished on the cream, it should look OK.

    Cheers

    Dan
    Last edited by Dano; 12th November 2015 at 06:39 PM.
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  22. #22
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dano View Post
    Hi John, Forumnoreason & Gerrypro,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Belle' is a cool car, but I am however slightly biased in my thinking.

    As for being little, I too thought they were little cars. Much to my surprise, it's overall length and width is almost the same as the 404. They are however a lot smaller inside, sloping boot line and sides really narrow it down.

    Paint wise, I did think about buffing it back and running a clear coat over it keeping it's patina appeal. The previous owner had also rubbed it back in places and there are a number of spots where it is right down to the original undercoat. Anyhow, I really want to take it back to a cream colour of a 203 wagon my family had when I was a lot younger. It is the first family car I can remember.

    The image below is close to the colour I want.
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    I'm lucky to have all the original stainless steel trim and a set of leading edge rear wheel arch aluminium covers. So I think with the steel and alloy polished on the cream it should look OK.

    Cheers

    Dan
    That will be sensational. Full stop. Some of that Robri bling is around too - ebay France.

    It's been said before, but WHAT a find....
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    JohnW

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    Citroën CX Pallas 1980

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  23. #23
    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Default Project Belle'

    Hey Dano,

    Any chance of a preview over the Christmas break?

    She sure is pretty..


  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! Dano's Avatar
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    Graham,


    Not a problem. Give me a call, if you don't have the number, P.M. me and I'llsend it to you.

    Cheers,

    Dan
    Last edited by Dano; 18th December 2015 at 09:24 PM.

  25. #25
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    It's a deal, I have your number here somewhere.

    Happy Yuletide.

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