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Maestro Digidash restoration in 28 days

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  • Maestro Digidash restoration in 28 days

    Hi fellow MG folks, in light of the recent turn of events I thought I had better start a diary on events on the restoration of this very rare car.

    Here where this story started:-
    Car as advertised on Car and Classic
    Click image for larger version  Name:	forum pic.jpg Views:	2 Size:	281.9 KB ID:	326200Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20180515_192804 (2).jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.28 MB ID:	326201 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20180515_192834 (1).jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.47 MB ID:	326204Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20180515_192855 (1).jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.27 MB ID:	326206

    Previously: The Challenge

    I had put the Car up for sale, this prompted a journalist to contact me to use the car in a featured article in an up coming magazine, he had been looking for a 2.0L digidash for a while and finally found one albeit for sale, after a long story (will tell this another time) I decided to remove the car from sale and am pleased (and worried) to say on the 22nd June the MG will be put through its paces against the legendary Astra Mk2 GTE from the Vauxhall Heritage centre.

    I decided to take the car off sale and restore the car, however this is true CAR SOS style I only have 4 weeks to get the car restored.

    So with a deep breath here goes:-

    18th May

    Panic sets in; the fantastic bodyshop that rebuilt my Stag 5 years ago was in the process of retiring and a Bodyshop is desperately needed, lots of phone calls led me to find a Bodyshop in Peterborough called MH Autos - turns out Mike has history with Practical Classics and thankfully has agreed to do the Maestro within the timeframe needed.

    26th May

    Car stripped, all interior and trim out and off, for a Maestro was amazed at how much of the car was still left!!

    27th May

    OMG what have I done - serious grot found in roof panel and behind nearside wheel arch- previously had been bodged - major welding required on roof, however Mike the true Knight isn't fazed by this set back.

    The floors in the Maestro are cleaned out and treated with FE123 and repainted.

    28th May

    All floor repainted and now looking better.

    29th May

    Mike turns up at 10:30pm - he had been finishing his Escort Mexico till late and then fell foul of the A1 closures, car loaded up and sent off to Peterborough.

    6th June
    Jobs Done
    1. Wheels stripped and repainting has started.
    2. Tackled the passenger seat to clean fabric, am particularly impressed with traffic lane cleaner from Rug Doctor!
    3. Got a quote for the Boot badge to be re-enamelled this was 250+VAT which was a shock, I have decided to use Engine enamel to repaint it followed by a lacquer over the Nickel .
    11th June
    Called into the bodyshop at lunch and had a big shock...well have a look for yourself

    Have made good progress today,

    Jobs Done
    1. wiper arms painted
    2. Fuel filter bracket and battery tray all painted first coat.
    3. Masked and sprayed the centre cap MG logo and the results looks promising. 2 coats put on the 2nd wheel, wish I had some slave wheels as exchanging 1 to 1 is not ideal.
    12th June

    Had a night off and grouted the Patio,(yes I am also in the middle of DIY on the house in my spare time) after which I set about removing the body tape from the side mouldings, found that a scalpel blade running longitudinally seemed to fair the best.

    13th June

    Went to Mike's to look at the Maestro, it's now had the roof repair and wheelarch rewelded, it looked really well in the primer, all doors and boot now off, got home and set about the following

    Jobs Completed
    1. Have finished Boot badge tonight, I decided to paint it in the same colours as the MGOC logo - which ironically is opposite way to the way it was!! It does look good - let me know what you think.
    2. Painted bonnet stay
    3. Final coat on battery tray
    4. Remaining centre caps sprayed ready for the MG logos to be painted. I managed to find an EFI badge for the boot today so have ordered that, am in 2 minds whether to put the 2.0i on the doors, Not sure if that was only on the mk2 Maestro
    5. cleaned and repainting the seat hinges.
    6. Scraped all the over sprayed off the roof inserts from the previous poor paint job - why they didn't remove them is a mystery!
    7. Reblacked front spoiler and rear arch mouldings

    Think we are going to be very tight on time - 9 days to go, Mike isn't sure Maestro will be back with me this Friday which is going to give me a big problem if I donít receive it until Monday - I think I have around 16 hours work to refit everything, change rear shocks and put new front discs and pads onÖ.Hoping and praying Mike can get the windscreen fitted on Saturday thatís for sure


    Jobs still to do before car return:

    1 Paint 2 more wheels
    1. Paint the MG Logos on centre caps
    2. Find a centre insert for front spoiler - it may have to be a fabricated aluminium insert for now!
    3. Clean rear seats
    My tasks are on plan!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by MUTLEY; 14th June 2018, 11:30.

  • #2
    18th May Car Strip


    • #3
      11th June - Shock horror


      • #4
        That's one rapid restoration. Let me know how you get on with MH Autos as I'll need a garage soonish and I have family in Peterborough.
        Good luck.
        Ian Drew
        MG Maestro Turbo '400'
        MG ZT V8
        Rover 75 V6 Estate


        • #5
          Well all it's been a hectic week. A week ago the car looked very sorry for itself, all doors bonnet and boot off. Mike and Luke at MH Autos had to make major repairs to the roof and things were looking very challenging. The restoration had to go much further than planned.


          • #6
            Tuesday 11th Over the next few days the team at MH Autos in Peterborough performed what can only be described as a miracle, unfortunately Mikes son got hit by a car on the Saturday which was a total shock to his family, luckily he was not killed and hope he continues he speedy recovery from concussion. Despite this the team pushed on. On Tuesday morning the priming coat was done and when I went to see it at lunchtime was amazed at what I saw...what a difference a few days had made.


            • #7
              Friday 15th one week to go

              When I arrived at lunch Mike had been in at 3/am to paint the car, I could not believe it!!


              • #8
                Saturday 16th 6 days to go

                After a fight with the windscreen on Friday the team fitted all the panels and polished. The MG. Mike delivered it back on Saturday afternoon.

                time is now really tight so dragging in all the help I can get!!!!


                • #9
                  Monday 18th 5 days to go

                  Spent 3 hours fitting door cards, sound proofing carpet and painting floors and roof today.


                  • #10
                    Tuesday 19th

                    Worked til 10.30 tonight

                    Managed to:

                    Fit outer glass seals
                    Seat belts and buckles
                    All seats and sill trim

                    Fit Roof rail seals, I have gone belt and braces, used stainless screws and body tape to stop water ingress.

                    Everything takes twice as long as stripping that's for sure.

                    Drove the car back into garage...turning a corner I hope now....but hopefully not into the garage wall.

                    Will have to taken half a day off tomorrow as need to do rear suspension and a long list of more jobs!!


                    • #11
                      Click image for larger version

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ID:	326318 Well we are almost there, the Maestro digidash is almost complete, after a fitathon yesterday I am pleased to say we almost have a completely restored car.

                      Just waiting for the bumpers to arrive and fit the body mouldings Click image for larger version

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ID:	326316 and we are there!

                      Unfortunately the Vauxhall Astra from the heritage centre has got brake problems so the massive effort we have all put in in has been in vain, however a new date is imminent and at least I can go on holiday next week and relax..

                      I can say this has been one of the most difficult tiring challenges I have done to date, with such time pressure it has been tight.
                      Click image for larger version

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                      The most difficult job was feeding the aerial wire down the a pillar which I still haven't been able to complete.

                      The MG looks amazing and I have to thank Peterborough Classic Cars (MH autos) so much for making this possible. They have done an outstanding jib on the paint and bodywork, no short cuts just good old standards and craftsmanship. Click image for larger version

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                      Can't wait to see the car go to carfest North in July.
                      Last edited by MUTLEY; 21st June 2018, 22:01.


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          Have been adding the finishing touches today, looks like it should.. Finally!!!

                          Well my MG friends that is the end of my story, hope you enjoyed it, if any of you are at Car Fest North on Friday you can see the car, we might take it to Silverstone classic however currently we are taking the Stag.

                          Take care all and will advise of the publish dates for the magazine when I have them.



                          • #14
                            Fantastic job there. I hope after all the hard work you have a good sense of pride and satisfaction!
                            Amazing what can be done when you put your mind to something.

                            Ian Drew
                            MG Maestro Turbo '400'
                            MG ZT V8
                            Rover 75 V6 Estate


                            • #15
                              I have been following your posts (and photos) with interest.

                              It certainly does show what can be done when a dead-line looms.

                              A great job. Well done.