'Annie' Rises from the Ashes

At long last the project, started at the beginning of 2003, to fully restore my 1935 Ruby, is complete and she’s finished. It has taken longer than expected but considering eighteen months out with health problems and those whose help I sought being in Somerset and all the travelling involved with that, I guess, considering the state ‘Annie’ was in, we have done quite well.

I understand that as is usually the case, the condition I thought she was in and the actual condition she was in when blasted was very different.

Ruby shellRuby floorplanRuby body

Reconstruction of most of the floor and seat support areas plus front wings, rear mudguards and spare wheel area, bottom of doors and various other places on the bodywork was necessary.  The majority of the ‘woodwork’ had also to be replaced due to the insidious worm, and the roof which had always been fabric, though probably originally sliding had also to be re-timbered ready for fabric covering.

Ruby frame
The rear seatback frame was reconstructed using several layers of single ply marine plywood to achieve the required curve. The remainder of the panels and seat base were constructed of three-ply ready to be covered at a later date. The seats were stripped back to bare components ready for reconstruction. I retained everything I had stripped, leather, horsehair etc. to pass on to the upholsterer as patterns.

The chassis was in very good condition and little remedial work was required though the petrol tank was a bit colander-like and had to be refurbished. Luckily most of the ‘bits and bobs’ were repairable or re-furbishable and those that weren’t were obtained from The Seven Workshop, The Green Sparkplug Co, Vintage Restorations and Vintage Headlamp Restoration International Ltd.  Although I’ve not mentioned the engine, Ray Brown of Plymouth took care of the re-bore, white metaling etc. and the majority of the engine reconstruction was done for me by Anthony Solway of Redruth who’s a ‘bit of a whiz’ with engines having 8-10 classic motorbikes.

Once ‘Annies’ body and associated parts had been prepared and treated everything was sprayed, with ’modern’ paint for longevity then eventually reconstruction got underway.

Ruby Rouse seat A

When finally reconstruction was completed and everything was tried and tested the car plus seats and various panels etc. went off to the trimmer for the upholstery and interior trim work to be done. I had to be patient as my Ruby was one of many cars being trimmed, notably an Aston Martin DB4 and an old Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

As you can imagine, Annie looked rather lost!ruby rouse trailer A

A couple of months later I had the call I was waiting for; the car was finished and a week after that, having had her first MOT was returned to me on a trailer. Insurance was obtained from RH Specialist Insurance and a trip to Truro resulted in the ’tax exempt’ disc being issued.


ruby rouse run

Now there’s just the little matter of driving my 'Annie' again after nearly fifty years on roads much changed since her day!!!  The first Club run for 'Annie' was in July 2009 and now we are out as often as possible on runs.



This article, written by Nick Rouse, originally appeared in Seven Focus July 2009 pp12-14.