Hey, Guys, lets have another beer together and I will tell you the story of our newest member, who just joined the Rusty Beauties family. Are you ready? OK, cheers!
So first I'd like to introduce this amazing man - Keith Edginton!
Keith is one of my first follower in YouTube, from the time, when I was still wondering where to start from with my first rusty beauty. He is the awesome guy who donated the GT6 and I owe him a lot! I don't know how to thank him enough! God bless him!
So here is the story of the car. Keith purchased it from it's first owner somewhere in the early 80's as far as I remember and drove it for a while. He even traveled from New Jersey to Peterborough, Ontario twice. So she is familiar with Canada already :) For those who do not know this is some 900 km one way. Keith drove it until 1987, when he decided to restore it as she started to rust here and there. The engine was running well - it had only 40000 miles on it, but the transmission was popping out of reverse, so he rebuilt it. He patched the frame and painted it, sandblasted the suspension parts, painted and replaced all the bushings, bought new sills, but for one reason or another he had to stop the restoration there. So the car sat for the next 30 years in the garage, waiting for me :) (I can't imagine I was 13 when she was parked)
Like I said, Keith started commenting on my very first Spitfire videos and we became YouTube friends - what a nice definition :), but I've never expected that he would do such a generous thing. He just messaged me one day "Elin, I think I will never finish my GT6 restoration. Why don't you come and pick it up? If you want it, it is yours!" I was amazed! It took me 15 minutes to decide how to answer that! It was such a surprise! Of course I couldn't refuse such a generous offer, so he sent me pictures and videos, told me more about the car and we decided that I will drive to New Jersey and pick her up.
Another awesome guy - David Tushingham or just Cheftush immediately suggested to ride shotgun with me and we decided to take the trip some time in the fall. As the time was coming I was getting more and more excited and I couldn't wait, but Keith was excited too and we were chatting almost every night. He was telling me about his interests I was telling him about mine. He wanted to know more about Bulgaria... lovely person... He sent all the paperwork I needed to organize the export and on October, 15-th, 2017 Dave and I drove down to New Jersey.
Our first meeting with Keith was really overwhelming! I didn't meet a seller or someone who is just getting rid of his car. I met a Friend who I knew forever! We met also his wife Mary and their son Zak (I missed to get him on camera)
So even though we were tired already we decided to do the hard work first and then have dinner at Keith's.
The loading was a little bit harder than what we expected. I was prepared with all the tools, moving dollies, straps, come along and winch, so with some hick ups we managed to pack her up safely and Keith's garage was empty again after 30 years. But I didn't get only the GT6, I got also half a Spitfire :) Keith owned one as well and still had many parts, which he gave me too - two transmissions, intake manifold, rims with tires, distributor, carburator....
When we were almost done loading Keith started the BBQ and we raised a toast for the car and for our friendship.
So Dave and I stayed for dinner and spent a great time with Keith and Mary. Laughed a lot and enjoyed every minute. Unfortunately we had to leave as we had two more hours driving to the hotel, but we promised each other that we will meet again, maybe in Canada, and I promised that when the car is restored I will drive it down to New Jersey and Keith will drive it again.
Two hours later we were in our hotel deadly tired, but happy after such an emotional meeting. We had some hours rest and in the morning we headed towards the border.
At the border everything went smooth. All the paperwork was done by a broker and sent 72 hours in advance to the customs so with absolutely no issues the Car received Canadian citizenship! Once in Canada we were relaxed and we drove to the shop.
I gave Dave a shop tour and then I let him go and I started unloading the trailer. This was a much easier process with the help of the overhead crane.
It took me about 2 hours but at the end all the parts were lined up on some benches as I will need to sort them out and the car..... oh, the car... when the body sat on the frame and the bonnet joined them after 30 years..... wow! Isn't she a beauty? A Rusty Beauty! I just love her!
Now I can't wait to start working on her, but first I have to finish what is already started so I will have to be patient. Maybe I will steal a day or two from here and there and start..... we shell see.
So one more time a big THANK YOU to Keith and Mary, for the generous donation, big Thank you to Dave for taking the trip with me and big Thank you to Jake, for letting me use his shop as my own. These are all awesome people who I am really happy to know.
And why Anna? Anna was Keith's and Mary's daughter, who unfortunately they lost. I am sure she was an amazing person and I decided to name the car after her! She wrote her name on the rear windscreen and Keith kept it for years. I wanted to keep it as long as possible as well, but unfortunately as soon as we hit the road it started raining and it washed it away. However I took some pictures of it and they will become the intro for my future videos of this car. So this restoration is dedicated to Anna!
I hope you Guys liked the story and soon I will post a longer version of the video. For now you can enjoy the short version.
Thanks for keeping me company with the beer. Cheers!