Saturday, 20 June 2009

Getting ready for Brands Hatch, Jaguars and the 'Space Race'

Have decided that I will use the GT6 for this week's TD evening at Brands Hatch. Therefore I have spent some time today working on the old car, this consisted of making some plates for sticking on the inner wheelarchs to spread the load for the roll over bar fixings, all went well. However I have found that the bottom of the rear NS wing has broken away from the floor and is flapping in the breeze. After having a good poke around a fair bit of welding is needed, I will need to get someone to make some plates up and get welding at some point (Maybe its time to start to learn to weld).
I also fitted the 5.5J steels onto the car, however I do not think they suit the car so will take off and go to Brands with the Revs fitted.
I had wanted to fit the Wilwood brake calipers to the car, however I do not have the correct studs so will not bother for now. I hope to be able to find the correct studs at say the Silverstone Historic or buy some from Namerick the nut and bolt supplier in Hove, Sussex.

Sort of looking forward to the evening, reckoning on getting about an hour or so solid driving around the track. Chris Shaw the Club's Track Day Organiser has done a great job selling the tickets, at one point it looked like we would only sell 10 tickets, his networking skills are good!

Talking to Dave Picton and 'Fred' Slezak who always do the CT TDs, I understand that Dave will be taking his mk2 Jag along as he does not have a Triumph on the road at present. Its a great car that is now looking a bit scruffy, in fact very similar to the mk2 Jag that featured within the film 'Withnail and I'. Dave and Fred left it with me one Xmas whilst they went to the USA and told me that I could have free use of her over the break, so took it out on Xmas Eve for a tour of few local pubs with my buddy Diz. Gotta say I enjoyed the drive, the weather was lousy, but we had some fun in the car. It was interesting to compare the car with my 2.5 saloon, in most areas I felt the Triumph was superior. The handling and ride of the 2.5 was superior and felt more modern. However the Jag had more grunt but was let down by the recalcitrant moss gearbox, but boy did the car have some prescence and it felt special to be driving something different on Xmas Eve.

Must say that I think the mk2 is a better looking car than the Triumph, William Lyons could definitely draw and style good looking cars. I think Jaguar saloon cars were better looking than the sports cars they produced, the XJ6 series one being to my eyes the best looking saloon car ever made. One of my neighbours has a newish XJ Jag and it sure is one good looking car, especially since Jaguar added the duct into the front wing just past the wheelarch. So exciting that Jaguar seem to be making cutting edge cars after years of being overshadowed by the German luxury car makers. This summer will see the replacement Jaguar of the XJ saloon and from what I have read it looks to be a tour de force, the car will again be alloy bodied, glued together like the present XJ and will have the latest Jaguar V8 engines in both petrol and stump pulling diesel guises. If it looks and goes anything like the XF they will have a winner on their hands. Gotta say I get sad when I think about the way the British car manufactuering business went, this nation has produced some great cars especially in the 60s and its sad to think they have all gone away. I know some will say that one can still buy Minis, Bentley and Rolls Royce, but they seem sort of fraudulant, especially the 'plastic' Mini that is sold on a bogus 60s Britain ticket, reckon Issigonis must be turning in his grave! I just hope that BMW do not ever re-introduce the Triumph marque name, time to let the name die!

With regard to the saloon I have purchased two TCAs with which have polybushes fitted from James Paddock, also bought some up-rated anti roll bar links and a head gasket set for the impending cylinder head change. Must say I was impressed with the service and prices I received from this company, will use them again. I hope to get stuck into the car next weekend. As I have mentioned before I bought the head from Andy Pearce, he contacted me the other week to tell me to get the head on pronto as its a good one and I will notice an immediate increase in both power and torque. I cannot think why I have never fitted the thing?

On a completely different subject there have been a number of programmes on BBC commemorating the 40th Anniversary since the NASA Apollo moon landings. I was eight when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first stepped on the moon and don't really have much memory of it. But my word how amazing that they did such a thing, I think the computing power of the moon landing craft was less than the computer I am using to type this blog! Shocking really that the promise of the Apollo missions was not built upon apart from the Space Shuttle missions. One of the programmes had a NASA chap on who stated that they hope to go back to the Moon in I think 2018. Blimey from Kennedy's emotive speech about going the moon it took 8 years, even though the missions in 2018 will be alot more complicated it shows the speed and will power involved in Apollo!

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