Received estimate from Polite Paint shop in Gloucester. £3,950 labour excluding the welding and materials. I think this is good, but without materials, it’s a bit of a half answer. Anyway, useful reference point. A couple of hours on Saturday morning in the garage yielded some progress – I managed to release one of the screws securing the heater by drilling and then hitting with a hammer. Same technique did not work on the other screw. I will have a go at the remaining one next weekend with some mole grips and maybe a bit more drilling. It must give up at some point. It did occur to me that I have not yet released the heater control cables / knobs, so I will go under the dash next weekend to sort this. I released the brake lines to the servo unit and where the pressure sensor is so although the lines are still secured by the stubborn clip, we are slowly making progress toward removing the remaining under-bonnet components.
Met up with Dad and the family in Cirencester and he threw a curved ball into the respray planning by wondering if having stripped the engine bay, I could re-paint this area myself, not leave it for the paint shop to do. This is a good idea to explore and would save a lot of time / money at the paint shop. I’ll experiment and see what finish I can achieve before committing to this alternative.