Tornado TS40 'evolution'

Working pretty much every evening for between 1.5 to 2 hours progress was all in the right direction in terms of the dry build. I got the spider correctly aligned and bolted into position which then allowed me to make the final side panels for the interior rear bulkhead

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I've carried out a HUGE amount of work to the engine side rear bulkhead panels but have no photos, you can see all of the work documented in the videos on my YouTube channel.

Anyway carrying on with things I can show you.....after I'd got the inner arches panelled I though why stop there?? Why not panel the inside face too and hide as many things as possible, afterall I had to remake all of the other panels so may as well go all out.

So all of the existing brake lines, servos, wiring, horn... you name it, it got turfed out of the way to then let me make what the below photo shows, I'd decided early on in this now rebuild that I wanted to do away with the servo assisted system and run a pedalbox, which I picked up from SouthernGT, after a little more head scratching I've found a nice way of mounting the Southern box into the Tornado chassis

So here are the results..... you'll see the new main access top panel with the bead rolled edge waiting to be cut out for the flush fitting top panel.

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A huge amount of work has progress since the taking of these photos - new brake & clutch lines run, the fuel system revised and modified to be tucked away under the panelling, for that work you'll have to check out my videos are I have zero photos.

And now bringing you to to where I stand as of today, the dry build of the chassis is 95% there I'd say, if the car has fluids and the loom plugged back in (excluding bolting on the suspension) the car would run. I've moved onto the bodywork and knocking that into shape, first jobs were to get the fuel fill cap surrounds on the front cap pulled in around the caps and also deepen the front nostrils to help with cooling now I've panelled out the front.

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I hope you've enjoyed this whistle stop tour of what's been happening, as mentioned a few times I've a channel dedicated to the rebuild of this on YouTube - RatchetGT40 if you'd like to follow along

Nice work sheet metal work Andrew! May I suggest that you install a few AN321 or similar “Aerodynamic drain grommets “, on the aft section of the floor pan aft of the radiator? These will allow water to drain in that area now that it is closed up.


Doc Watson

Lifetime Supporter
Love the videos Andy, dont know how I missed them all but great to watch, I must get my next episode out but as you know filming and editing makes everything 4 times longer to do...... crack on....


Wow, I can't believe it's been 9 months since I made the last update! Although I'm reading the forum almost daily I always forget to update my own build thread, I have been keeping my YouTube channel going with content which is pretty time consuming!

So I guess lets pick up where I left off, work on the front clam around the filler caps went quickly and relatively smoothly snugging in the bodywork around the caps really made it look a bit more considered in its fit & finish. After that I moved onto the front nose panel deepening the nostrils to guide more air from the back of the radiator up and out, I basically cut off everything 10mm down from the top and remade the lot


I did document & go into detail the work on the nose panel on my YouTube channel

Moving on from there I carried out a modification that might not be to everyone's taste but does that phase me...... nope! I picked up a 5 character age correct plate for the car as I didn't like it wearing such a modern '18 plate as it won't be in keeping with the look of the finished car. With stadnard UK plates being 7 characters I wanted to cut down the new number plate (still 100% road legal!) and then pinch in the number plate recess so it fits around said narrower plate, its a common hot rodding modification that I think looks superb.


With some cutting and sticking it came together nice and simply and while I was around the back I made myself a gurney flap, didn't bother making it height adjustable because I'll never move it so fixed it with just the right amount of upstand :)

A 'finished' photo with the shortened plate recess and new gurney flap, you can see in the below picture I've removed the reverse & fog lights as they looked UGLY! all will be revealed in time what the plan is for those...


YouTube video documenting the work

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While all of the above was going on some time ago I'd placed an order with Image Wheels for a set of 15" BRM's and they were ready for collection. I'd already bought a set of Avon CZR's in 295/50/15 and 216/60/15 to give the classis meaty sidewall look.

I went with satin black outers, faces and inners - my previous 17" wheels had polished lips and I wasn't really a fan so went with black black black to keep with that real period feel I'm going for



And guess what.... a YouTube video on the new wheels!



Now that the wheels had arrived and the tyres mounted it was time to plough into the rear arches.... now unfortunately the rear arches hadn't been fitted very well and not symmetrical from left to right and once I'd seen this I couldn't un-see it so that only meant one thing.....



Taking my time I chopped the arches out in sections, that then revealed the overlap of the existing body & the Gulf arches. I was then able to (quite easily!) take a chisel between the 2 and pry the remaining lip of the Gulf arch off. This was all in preparation for the new Gulf arches I've bought from Tornado a couple week prior, Tornado had stock of these arches with was an absolute gift in keeping this project moving forwards at the pace I needed!!!

I was then able to offer up the new arches and get the fitment absolutely spot on which was possible with the quality of the Tornado arches... in essence I'm using Gulf arches but pulling them in slightly to create a narrow'd gulf arch'd car as I think the rear is in fact too wide for my liking and this is a subtle modification that I wanted to carry out

New arch trimmed up narrowing the rear of the car and trail fitted into place


Versus unmodified arch


Rear 3/4 shot of the new narrowed rear end


...and the new arch untouched on the other side for comparison


Following the trail fitting and sussing out a plan of action I then chopped up the passenger side and got the new arch into place. I bonded the arch into position then fibreglassed the arches both from the top side and underneath sandwiching the arch into the rear clam, safe to say they are rock solid!!

As always I captured the whole thing on camera...



Keeping at the back of the car I them moved onto something I'd been giving a lot of thought to since starting the full rebuild. I've going for an early 'esque' looking car so that got me thinking about the rear lights and how much more in keeping the small twin Lucas lights would be. There isn't a company that makes a patch panel for the twin Lucas lights (Gelscoe have something on their website but are impossible to get hold of!) so the part of the project that is most fun for me is the problem solving and how to create something that doesn't exist so....... armed with a random used face cream pot that was perfectly sized for the lights I get about laying up 4 new light buckets to then graft into the rear end


You can see in the below photo that I've already cut out the single light bucket and glassed over the hole. Taking some rough guidance from photos I played around with the positions and spacings of the lights until I ended up feeling they all sat 'just right'


Following that I broke out the hole saw and cut circles into the rear clam to set the new buckets, a bit of fibreglassing and a skim of filler later... I think they've panned out superbly and I'm very happy with the outcome!



As always a YouTube video on the whole shenanigans was made



As I'm now going 'all in' with this rebuild I thought it would be rude not to buy a set of Hartwells catches for the car.... reproductions but still I'm not fussed in the slightest! Tornado make a lovely set, I only had to wait a couple of weeks while a batch was being assembled before they were ready for me, having them in my grubby mitts I couldn't wait to get the body cut up and get them fitted....


And yes I made a video of how to fit them....



Since the day I bought the car I knew what colour it would ultimately end up. I had always played with the idea of spraying the car myself, I have the equipment but not necessarily the patience or experience on this scale to get the body where is needed to be prep wise although I do have friends I could have called on. It all boiled down to time to be honest and the lack thereof, I made the final decision to send the car to a body shop locally to me to have them paint it. I will still be prepping and painting the chassis but the body is in the hands of the professionals so that brings me round to the colour, like always I got my camera out and made an episode for my YouTube channel

And no it is not Gulf colours....



Getting closer to the date the car was going to the shop I knuckled down and got the final jobs on the decreasing 'to do' list done... mainly righting more wrongs but such is life, I won't bore you with the details.

Something I did do however was alter the passenger (left side) door as the gap from the door itself to the dash was much larger than the other side. I think Andy Green did something similar when he was building his '40. so cutting into the door the necessary amount allowed me to then space the door to tighten the gap to the dash... a tiny detail but again something I couldn't unsee!

The gap


Spaced and first layer of glass in place and knocked back in readiness for the full treatment, this now matches the other side of the car perfectly!


So the day came at the beginning of October to get the car over to the body shop, having agreed the level I would take the car to before handing it over - a there of thereabouts skim coat of filler and all panels finally gapped (a job that was tedious but very rewarding when stood back looking at the car!!)

Body worked


With a few days to spare I had achieved all that I needed to so the day came that it was time to get the car out of my hair for a while! So with the coilovers wound as high as possible and some extra long ramps the car made its way onto the car of the transporter and off on its short journey to the body shop



So that left me with this empty & very dusty space


After the mother of all brush downs and hoover ups and seeing as I find it impossible to 'relax' I saw this as the ideal time to give me most favorite place a bit of a make over. You can see in the photo above the stock pile of grey boxes, in those was some lovely Amtico flooring that I'd had sat there for goodness knows how long!

Plus I'd grown tried of the red and waiting to finally put up a nice plasterboard ceiling. so over the space of a couple weeks, I dry lined (single handedly) the ceiling and skimmed it with plaster, changed the colour scheme of the garage and laid the new flooring amongst other things.

Since the below photos were taken I've insulated the garage door with some multi foil insulation and also painted the steel lintel and garage door frame to match the rest of the garages new colour

Safe to say I'm very happy with the result and yes its still very usable... the day after I was doing an oil service and replacing 2 rear dampers on my daily driver and yes after that was complete I was on my hands and knees washing the floor! haha




Of course I made a video documenting the make over!!!



So as of week commencing the 13th December 2021 the below photo brings you all up to speed of where the car sits.... partially clothed in the bodyshop.

The stages of body prep the shop is doing from where I left off is:
  • Initial block sand to take out any deep scratches I may have left
  • fine stopper filler coat over the whole body to work it as straight as reasonably possible
  • Block sand
  • Local areas of additional filler picking up on pin holes and fine line work
  • Prime & guide coat
  • 2nd block sand over the entire body
  • Prime again
  • Top coat
  • Many layers of lacquer
  • Cut & polish
I think that's the stages anyway.... all I know is there's 2 complete round of blocking to try and get this things ironed out! The previous paint prep work left ALOT to be desired!

The parts already removed from the car are in final blocking stages, all gaps and transitions are on the money (so I've been told!) once the spider is off the chassis will be coming back to me so I can crack on with the prep of that.

The windscreen has been cut out also, early in the new year the body will be coming back to me and stored until I'm ready to refit