The GSI modelled is owned by Derby-based enthusiast Mark Catherines, a graphic designer, who purchased the car for £150 in 2002 from a friend in the pub. After getting it home on a trailer he invited brother-in-law Frank North, a professional body repair engineer, to look at the tatty, rusty Carlton and give his opinion. After some thought Frank said, "There are two ways you can do this, bodge it up and sell it, or do it properly". That comment stuck with Mark throughout the next 12 years as he restored the car to perfect condition although he laughs now that "Even Frank didn't actually expect me to do it as properly as I did!" Mark's ambitious restoration, which would have daunted a professional let alone a first-timer, was carried out to the original specification in exact detail and included using his graphic skills to perfectly replicate original stickers in the engine bay and wiring loom.
Frank taught him to weld and he then stripped the shell completely before repairing it with his newfound skills, fitting new panels and having it sprayed. Meanwhile, all the components were replaced, rebuilt and, where possible, powder-coated before refitting. The project halted for 6 years while Mark moved house but he built a garage especially for it and resumed in 2011. The now faultless car has been greeted by AutobahnStormers Club members as the best original specification GSI in Britain.
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