Monday, November 19, 2012

More parts sourced

Vidal and Son built several hundred thousand Hanseats between 1935 and 1958. In 1955 over 100,000 were registered on the road in Germany, but now there are only about 80 known survivors. Although not a complex machine, many parts are now extremely hard to source. There are virtually no Heinkel engine guides and information about them is almost impossible to find. Parts are also very hard to find. It took a fellow restorer I know five years to locate some replacement parts for his Heinkel engine. Consequently, when I started this project I expected it would be a very long, slow venture, primarily tracking down random unobtanium parts. To my very great surprise, this has not been the case. After a very slow start, I have been bombarded with offers of parts and assistance.

The term ‘barn find’ has dubious connotations these days. It is used incredibly often throughout eBay in often futile attempts to drum up interest in a mediocre piece of machinery. I mean, who can seriously talk of a ‘barn find’ 1985 Holden Commodore? Very occasionally though, a 'barn find' claim proves to be exactly what it says it is - a real genuine rarity dragged out of a dusty, shuttered garage.

Tempo Christian pulls another Hanseat into the light.

This year has been the year of Tempo barn finds. By my reckoning at least five have been unearthed, mainly from Eastern Germany. These finds also included a large number of spare parts. This probably should not surprise us. By the late 1950s the Tempo Hanseat was largely obsolete in the West, but as transport was still very limited in the East, many of these old machines drifted across the border where they continued to serve, well past their use by date. Stocks of spare parts were built up by their owners in order to keep the machines on the road.

A recently discovered Hanseat from East Germany. It came with a load of spares in its tray. The seller indicated that there were plenty more like this in the East.

With this sudden abundance of spares on hand, Tempo-Dienst club member, Tempo-Rolf has been an invaluable help for my project. Not only has been a great source for parts, but he has provided good advice and assistance. He can be contacted through the Tempo-Dienst website.

I've been pleased to secure most of the critical parts required for my project. The most important part of the Tempo - the kettenkasten or "chain case." The chain case was specially designed by Vidal and Son for their Tempo three wheelers. It contained the chain drive to the front wheel, was partially shock absorbing, and was also weight bearing. Manufacturing a replica of this component would have been a challenge to say the least.

Cab Arrives

The cab finally arrived and has been placed in storage while other parts trickle in. Pleasingly the cab is in great condition with no signs of real rust. The back plate has been damaged however when someone has cut it off the chassis, but that's not a big problem to fix. The doors are temporary hung and fit snuggly.