I am attempting to restore the rear window blind. The pull cord is missing. Would anyone be able to provide a diagram of how the cord is attached to the blind , how it runs through the headliner and how and where it terminates at the driver.
Here are some photos of an unrestored MkIV. The little white plastic ring that you can see partially in the second photo is restrained by an eyelet that the cords pass through. You pull the ring forward and hook it onto the little wooden peg to close the blind. The blind roller contains a long coil spring that is wound up when the blind is closed and tensions the pull cord. The upper edge of the blind has a wooded batten through it and the cord attaches to the ends of the batten with eyelets.
Here are some pics of my original 1948 car. The front part of the blind pull cord is fastened to the rear by a simple knot which came undone and I haven’t bothered to thread it back through the lining ever since.
The blind cord is fastened to each end of the piece of dowelling at the top of the blind by a simple knot around a small screw - fairly basic but functional
I note some differences compared to Peter’s car. I am curious about the braided ‘grab’ cord near the courtesy light and the function of the knob near the rear vision mirror above the windscreen. I note a different sunroof handle too.
Let me know if you would like any more pics.
Thank you Peter and Darryl. The Descriptions and phots are most helpful.
It’s always amused me that there was a blind fitted to the rear window as it’s hard enough to see out of it in the first place. I guess it was a ‘period’ fitting? The silliness did end with the ‘MKIV’, thankfully.
Actually Tim, It’s not a totally useless accessory. If at night a hostile modern comes up your backside it can be useful in avoiding his glare in the mirror. I have done this.
What are you doing out at night in the SS? I’m sure that you are right about the glare but it’s normally not too bad.
What would have been it’s original purpose?
Roads are quieter at night. Original purpose??
Preserve the identity or complexion of the passenger, perhaps?
That English sun is very damaging to one’s skin.
Our roads are back to being as busy as they were pre-COVID both night and day, sadly. One of the only positives of the ‘lock-downs’ was that the roads were lovely and quiet much as they were when I was younger.
It’s good to bring back all the quirky bits on these cars. I did mine about a decade ago when I had to replace the moth-eaten headlining and learned a lot about the details. Unfortunately I didn’t photographically record the details so I’ll just mention a few features starting from the back.
If you have the original roller, or an equivalent, check it thoroughly for any rusty that could impede the free rotation. None of these steel parts had any surface protection. If you need a roller you will have to source one of the old traditional type and seize the ratchet to lock it out. The roller has to be a small diameter, hence the necessity to use the older type as modern ones are much bigger. When setting up the finished roller, wind it to the lowest tension as there is a lot of compounded resistance and therefore load, to pull through the cord track. I believe the dowel through the blind fabric should be oval, as I have come across one recently. You could slim down a dowel on two sides with a router.
The two headlining hoops have tapped holes to take the eyelets - 5 on the rear and one on the front as you can see in the previous photos. The eyelets are specials of relatively small diameter for a large cross section and with an integral seating washer. These are chromed brass and the tapped holes should be free so there is no risk of shearing with tightening.
Coming forward, the cord passes through a small hole in the timber transom that the headlining is folded around. From there the cord passes through a special bracket incorporating a tube. This bracket is fixed to the ply backing strip behind the cant rail trim panel. The position of the bracket is important as it is the stop point for the pull ring so that the blind does not go down too far, making the cords slack, nor is held up high to be visible at the top of the squab.
The peg is a special made in ivory plastic mouded
I don’t know what happened but I pressed a wrong button. I’ll finish my long now.
The peg is made of ivory coloured plastic moulded over a wood screw. It is positioned at the point that holds the blind at the height that just covers the complete window frame.
I used nylon venetion blind cord and dyed it in strong black tea to take the whiteness away. In service, the cords stretch a bit, the longer one stretching further, causing the blind to be not horizontal so an adjustment will be required after a dozen or so uses.
I’ll see what I can photograph of the details and send in a later post.
Thank you Peter. I do have all the original parts with exception to the cord itself. Only a few pieces of the cord remain attached to the roller. Your detailed description is most helpful. The trick will be lowering the headliner and rethreading the new pull cord.
Some pictures of the hardware, and a few notes.
- note the direction on the roller to pull the blind out. Looking on the end with the dog spigot, the roller should unwind the blind anticlockwise, which means the slotted bracket should be on the right to keep the blind flush with the window.
- the oval section dowel was probably to keep the blind fabric slim.
- the eyelets should be as smooth as possible to allow the cord to slide easily.
- the special termination bracket is my homemade one and is a faithful copy of an original, made from thin galv. sheet and soldered together. The offset angles in the X and Y axes are important to ensure the cord exits in a slight downward direction and just below the general fabric plane.
Shouldn’t the colour of the blind match the colour of the head lining?
Yes, it’s on the list. You know the ‘list’ - the one that keeps getting longer.
So I think we’ve got the gist,
He’s got them on the list,
They’d none of them be missed.
Pretty funny to put in some modern joke lines to replace some of the old jokes from Queen Victoria’s time.
But he left out “and Australians of all kinds…”
Eric Idle’s performance got a big laugh there.
I guess you have to play to your audience.
Back to the subject at hand…
For a variation on the theme, in my '38 saloon the window shade draw string never went through the headliner. Instead there were more visible loops in the narrow trim above the doors, and I do not see any evidence of an ivory or wood knob to hook the end loop. It may have been at the windshield somewhere.
We have one of those window shades in my house, and it has a catch in the spring, so you jerk it to get it to retract.
The rollers are, in essence, the same as the old blinds your mum or grandma had over the kitchen sink - the ones that often needed a few tugs on the cord, then would take off and flap itself round and round at the top. Then you have to get up there and rewind it to reset the pretension. The funny things one remembers from childhood.
The difference is that there is no pawl and ratchet as these rollers have to work freely. I converted a modern equivalent by making a small sleeve and inserting it in the end of the roller, with the assistance of some epoxy, to prevent the pawl from engaging. Otherwise the driver will have to endure the annoying repetitious lock/unlock habits they have. Not a safe task whilst on the run. I am not familiar with the SS but I’m sure there would be some sort of cleat to hold the cord in the drawn position, as it is always in a retraction mode.
Yep, mine is over the kitchen sink, facing east so I get the morning sun, and my house was built in 1940.
I see your sense that it would be better in a car to have constant spring retraction, rather than having to jerk the cord to get it to retract.
Near as I can guess, the purpose was to shut out the lights of a car following too close, back in those days of sparse traffic and no wing mirrors, when people tooted the horn to pass.