Borgward Arabella Restoration

The Restoration: Repairs

10th October 2008. The chassis is back from being sandblasted. It certainly stripped it bare. The damage is more intense than originally anticipated, however Margaret and I are determined to have it back to new condition.

Now To Start The Repairs

Here are a few photos of the worst of the rust

What does not show here (hidden by the shock absorber mount) is a piece of aluminum bolted over a rust hole to support the left end bracket for the clutch pedal.

Front Left Door Pillar

Front Left Floor Panel

Left Side Of Boot Floor

Right Side Of Boot Floor

Left Rear Wheel Arch

These views certainly give the impression that Arabella is a grand old lady who likes to wear lace.

The chassis is now with Ewen who is going to fabricate new parts to rebuild the chassis to Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) requirements.

More news after our holiday

Time to report on progress. The summer has finished and Ewen has been working magic on the chassis. We are now about 3 weeks away from it being finished. The following photos are updated shots of the ones above. Ewen has certainly done a good job.

Ewen completely rebuilt the top ledge from left to right. Here it is held in place with dowels.

This certainly look smarter than the earlier photo.

This gives a better view of the quality of work that has gone into the rebuilding the top. The support for the clutch cable has been rebuilt underneath.

This is the completed view of the front end.

Front left door pillar. Part of the sill has also been replaced as the sandblasting showed up holes we did not know were there.

The floor is safe to stand on again.

In the meantime dismantling of the white car from Kaikoura was completed and it was found to be in a very poor state and not economical to restore. A decision was made that it would become a donor vehicle. We therefore cut the boot floor from it to use on the blue car as the one below was very thin in the centre. This meant we only had to bebuild the outer edges of the floor. The spare wheel frame on the blue car was badly crushed yet almost perfect on the white one so changing the floor assisted here also.

Original floor cut away to piece in the replacement.

And after many hours of restoration the chassis is delivered back home by Ewen on 25th June 2009

The front of the Arabella from Keith is in the bottom corner

April 2010

Time to get the project underway again. Since Ewen returned the rebuilt chassis it has sat in the carport while I have finished off other projects. 

After much deliberation I decided to have the whole chassis acid dipped. My reason is that there was still a lot of the original sealant to be removed and this would be very time consuming. Also there are hidden crevasses  that would be difficult to ensure that they were treated properly. As a result in early April I took the chassis together with a selection of body panels and suspension arms to Rotorua to be treated while I am away. Doug at Kiwi Metal Polishers will also repaint the entire lot with an etch primer ready for work to continue.

After the workshop was cleaned out after the woodworking I set up my small paint booth and started sandblasting some of the smaller part. Here I have blasted away the old paint and rust, applied a coat of zinc primer followed by an etch primer. All spare parts will be treated this way to preserve them while parts to be used will go onto be painted.

Headlamp anti-glare ring partially sanblasted

Headlamp Housing


Margaret and I have now returned from Germany and the chassis is ready to to collect from Doug in Rotorua. Hopefully I will be able to go up there in the next couple of weeks to collect it.



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