Sunday, 25 May 2014

Mirror, mirror …….. two mirrors.

The door mirrors have always been a bit of a problem, when I built the car it had a plastic mirror that complied with the SVA rules, it was large & ugly & “fell off” soon after. Other people either use racing car mirrors, or motorcycle mirrors & this is fine & dandy. But I (being a finicky twit) wanted chrome circular mirrors to fit in with the car’s style as I saw it. I eventually found something that I felt would go & fitted them – only to find that mostly, all I could see was the rear wing of my own car. After humming & harring I made a couple of alloy brackets that lifted the mirrors, but sadly all was still not well.

The mirrors were flat so had a small angle of view, quite a lot of which was obscured by the deflector & it’s strut. This made driving on the continent quite scary as with luggage on the back I had no view over my left shoulder at all.

A solution appeared when Car Builder Solutions stocked a new mirror, one that was chrome & on quite a tall elegant stalk, also they had convex glass so had a much larger field of view. I ordered a pair, & when they arrived I rushed excitedly out to the garage & placed them on the doors.
Problems appeared. First the foot was not large enough to cover the two holes left by the previous mirrors, second, fitting them to the doors meant the doors would no longer open – or at least you’d need to take the deflectors off before the door would open. I thought about this for a long time. I thought about moving the deflectors, I thought about fitting the mirrors somewhere else. At last inspiration struck, I needed to mount the mirrors on a small “plinth”. I cast around the garage looking for something that would be the right thickness as well as easy to cut & work. Wood was the obvious solution, though not very practical. Eventually My eyes came to rest on a lump of the old bonnet, the rear top edge, effectively a L section piece of GRP.

I found that if I cut the leg lengths of the angle just right I could have a plinth for the mirror that was vertical – this was much better as the deflector then swung nicely past the mirror edge when the door opened, also the mirror was higher to improve the vie over the rear wing & looked even more elegant. What didn’t look so elegant was the rough cut angle of GRP. Again casting round the garage I found some old car body filler, so I slapped a load of that inside the L & at both ends & placed it on an acetate sheet to get a flat rear face.
After some (quite a lot) sanding I had a pleasing shape with the strength of 5mm thick GRP. A coat of black paint & there you go. I think It’s a great improvement.

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