How to restore a Thistle Pecal car:  click here

How to restore a MOBO Pecal car: click here


What would the next generations prefer after 50 years?

It's open to dispute whether to restore your toy or not. There are arguments enough to leave the toy as it is. On the other hand, if you serious restore the toy, lots of collectors will appreciate it, perhaps not at the present moment, but sure in the future. I will explain on this page how you can do a solid restoration. We are going to restore this Route master. At the bottom of this page you can find a link how to restore a Pedal Car.


Dismantling the bus is quite simple, but take very good care when you push the tabs. When they break off then you have serious problem. Handle them with care! (see bottom of this page)

Remove the wheels and axles. You dismantle the bus from the bottom to the top. Slightly bend the 12 bottom tabs back. You will notice it is no hell of a job to dismantle the bus

For the Route master you need 4 colours. Red off course, blue for the seats and staircase, white (or ivory) and yellow or the steering wheel. Some steering wheels need no spray

they are chromium. Take from each part of the bus a sample. With these parts you go to a special paint shop. They have (in Holland at least,so why not in your country) an appliance which can scan the exact colours you need for your bus. The red colour for instance, has a code you can see on the left picture.

Next you have to investigate if there is a company in your neighbourhood with a sandblast installation.

Sandblasting is the best way to clean the bus thoroughly. It is not expensive, in Holland we pay €30 (£21) for a bus. Pay very good attention that they use a LOW pressure when

they sandblast the parts. If they don't, the pressure will blast big holes through the steel!

Experienced restorers sprinkle the sandblasted parts slightly with water. It gives a perfect base for the primer. As we are not experienced, we don't. Spray a first layer of primer on the parts.

(use a rapid dry primer) After one hour you can sandpaper the parts. Use waterproof sandpaper of a fine grain.(T223/180) Repeat this three times. (Three layers primer)

The most common colour of primer has the same colour as the filler. Therefore we spray the first layer of the desired colour on the parts which need some filler. Use a rubber spatula to put the filler in place.

The final coat of paint has also three layers. Spray or brush a thin layer. Sandpaper between every layer. Use waterproof sandpaper with the finest grain.

After the last paint layer, leave the parts for at least two days harden. At his moment you have two options. You can start rebuilding the bus or first put the decals in place. We prefer the

second option.It is easier to place the decals on the different parts. More important is that the decals, after drying for at least one day, need a final protection with a clear acrylic varnish.

The varnish protects the decal against UV radiation and water.Time to rebuilt the bus. Start to place the seats at the upper deck and the lower section. Mount the bell!Be carefully when you bend the tabs back in place!Mount the roof on the upper deck. Don't forget to place the bar before the upper deck is mounted on the lower section.

Then rebuilt the upper deck on the ground level, be very carefully that the staircase and all tabs are in place. Most buses does still have the bell but not the mechanism to ring it. With a small spoke of a bike you can easy make a new one.Just bend the spoke and add a little rod at the end where it hits the bell. With a string you can pull the bell. ( we have a close up photo if you want to see the construction, just mail us click here) Replace the axles and wheels and your bus looks like ours!

Our restored bus. It took 25 days of our spare time . We used 2 cans (400 ml)of primer,3 cans red colour , 2 white and a little can yellow.



It often happens that the grill on a Tri-ang is pretty rusty.

As my grandmother once learned me it is not so difficult to clean this alloy.

All you need is some tinfoil .Tinfoil has a glossy and a matt site.

To clean the grill use the matt side. Make a kind of ball and polish the grill.


Old toys often lose their shine , their bright colour and are weathered . To clean a Tri-ang we use a Commandant 4 cleaner. This cleaner is easy to use and gives a great result.


Clean rubber parts with furniture oil

followed by a rubbing alcohol bath.

Broken TABS

In case that a tab of a Tri-ang part or grill breaks off there is a way to solve this problem.   Buy in a ironmongery soft split pins. Cut a part of the pin and glue with a special

epoxy glue this part on the place of the broken tab. We use a special glue for iron: Loctite 3430 Hysol.

Be careful when you bend the "new" tabs!




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