Borgward Arabella Restoration

The Restoration: Dismantling

How They Arrived


Looking at the two cars it appears that the white one is the better of the two. However it had been stored outside and as well as the floor panels rusted away some body panels had rusted out also.

The blue car had been stored inside a barn for many years and the surface rust is a result of bird droppings on the paint. While it lifted the paint the metal was virtually untouched. Dispite its sad look I decided to restore the blue car first.

The car arrived with most of its parts stored inside the car. My guess is the engine broke down and it was removed. Also door linings, chrome trim, headlights etc had also been removed but thankfully stored inside the car. The seats are in good condition, almost as new, although the birds also made their way inside the car.

Dashboard is in good condition although glove box and some wiring has also been removed.

Stripping down has commenced. All seats are out. The engine can be seen in the boot.

The car is sitting on a trolley I made to enable it to be easily moved around. It made life simple.

The car sits on the central tube with blocks to stabilise it.

All panels are bolted into place which makes removal really simple. I had to guess at the assembly order of the car when it was made to not only dismantle it, but to use the reverse order to rebuild it later so the work flow would be smooth.

Some serious body rust is now starting to show although door pillars are thankfully solid.

Time to start down the back with the boot lid being removed first followed by the mudguards.

Finally the boot frame it removed.

Initially I tried to remove the roof before the boot frame but could not get the roof off. Now with the boot frame removed it was possible to start removing the roof.

The roof was secured all around with screws. With them removed it was possible to start lifting the roof. I then found that the roof lining was held between the roof and framework. It was then apparent that the assembly proceedure called for the roof to be painted, turned over for the head lining to be fitted, then the whole assembly fitted to the car. Maybe that was standard proceedure then, but I thought it damned clever thinking. All linings were carefully removed to be used as patterns for new linings.

Finally all panels were off and there was just the suspension, transmission and steering to remove.

Finally it was down to the bare chassis and almost ready for sandblasting.

To faciltate sandblasting, repairs and painting, I decided to build a rolling frame from a couple of lengths of 65mm pipe I had been hoarding for about 23 years. There is value in the saying "It will eventually be used".

The frame certainly makes access easy.

Its now ready for sandblasting, and the start of the repairs.

7th October 2008. On the way to be sandblasted.





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