Project Bluebird: It’s here!

Well, the good news is that I managed to beat the Bluebird home, by a good 20 minutes in the end. There was just time to dash into the house, say goodbye to my wife (off out to a meeting), hello to the cat and then watch the car arrive.

Nissan Bluebird T72 Auster blue saloon

The Bluebird is here!

As the straps were removed, excitement levels began to rise. The engine started, which was good! Then I saw the water trickling out of the exhaust. Oh. That’ll be head gasket failure comprehensively confirmed then! It was only run long enough to park up, but even then, bubbles could be heard percolating through the coolant after the engine had been turned off. I don’t think a dose of snake oil is going to fix this one sadly. Off with her head!

That’s for another day, but you can see where the coolant was previously forced out under pressure. It looks rather ancient…

Eesh! Clearly coolant has escaped, in some volume. Quite elderly coolant too…

That’s certainly what I expected, but what about the car itself? Well, it seems really rather decent. Sure, the front end bears the scars of life in London, but that’s easily replaced. The bodywork is very solid overall – a few scabby bits, but certainly it seems far more solid than a certain Daimler…

The Driveway!

It feels a bit odd to have a new car sitting there, which I’ve only driven a few yards just to position. By this stage, I’ve usually got a really good feel for the car, but not this time. I have to get the engine working properly again before I can do that. I do know that the clutch seems rather heavy, and also the bite is rather high, so that might need doing. The car has 95,000 miles on the clock, but no service history, so its previous life is a bit unknown. I do know that Joe, the previous owner, bought the car brand new on 31st March 1989, by which time the Bluebird had reached improved T72 form, complete with lights that bulged a little more, revised indicators and slightly different wipers. Locally-produced content had gone up too, meaning this Bluebird really is British-built. I seem to recall it was about 80% locally-produced by 1989. I could be wrong.

Here’s the engine bay itself though. At least there is plenty of room!

CA-series engine needs a head gasket. Not uncommon.

Despite its Britishness, I will be writing about the car in Retro Japanese magazine. Hopefully we can have some fun getting back into slightly better condition. I don’t want a show car, but a usable daily to take the strain off the Honda a bit. There’s a lot of space in that engine bay though isn’t there? I mean, it looks like something bigger might fit…

3 thoughts on “Project Bluebird: It’s here!

  1. Hi Ian, I have fond memories of these cars. My Grandad had a few when I was a kid and swore by them. Hope all goes well with it and looking forward to the video that will ensue.

  2. Cool, this is what’s known as the car shape ! Pretty good condition too , looking forwards to seeing this hopefully a video feature of its repair needs and …….. A detailed walk round , oh and a test drive …. ??
    When …..when when lol
    Can’t wait.
    Real cracking car

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