Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Post Unofficial La Carrera Caledonia

Well back safe and sound from Scotland after a mammoth 535miles drive yesterday. I left Aviemore at 6.20am and got home at 14.40, not bad.
Following the trip, I have a number of issues to address on the car:

1. Bottom ball joints (TCA) need replacing. Some have told me that these are easy, some others tell me that one needs to get them done professionally, not sure. I see Rimmers sell rebuilt TCAs at £38ish. Seems dear, will shop around.

2. Valve seat recession is starting to get very bad. I checked the valve clearances at Callender and found that the car had no gap on the exhaust valves. Years ago I bought a 2500S head from Andy Pearce, so will have look at that and fit it. It is fitted with bigger valves so should be suitable.

3. I reckon the sills need to be replaced, the car is creaking and when jacked up the doors do not close very cleanly. (I remember this happening to a new Pug 405 I had years ago-good eh). Money being a bit tight means that I will have to wait abit though. The MOT test is due before the Club Triumph 10 Countries Run, so will hope to get the car through with some localised welding?

4. Ujs are knocking on take up, so will replace those once the problem ones have been identified.

Otherwise she remains a great example of one of these under-rated cars, what old sixties saloon car could travel 500 miles very easily in 8 hours and still be able to mix it with the fat cats in their modern Jags and BMWs on the M40 motorway as we headed to London!

Talking with Dave Langrick a couple of months ago he feels I am stretched attempting to keep two cars on the road, gawd knows what it will be like when I start to use the Herald. Still I have nothing I wish to do to the GT6, so hopefully expenditure will not be needed on that little car.

Back to the 'Unofficial' LCC, it was ok, but taking part on my own was'nt as good as I had hoped. However spending time with Dave Pearson and Jason Chinn was good, thanks to them for letting me tag along. Dave's Vitesse was fine, low geared but otherwise she went well, very nippy.

As usual the Scottish scenery was breathtaking, I always find it amusing that British people like to bog off to Europe, when all they need to do is travel up to Scotland and see such marvellous views, still leaves it all unspoilt. Best thing about Scotland is the sense of pride the locals have in their beautiful countryside, exemplified by the lack of rubbish everywhere.
The best moment for me during the event was finding a superb dinner stop at Dull, a village near Tummel Bridge. If ever in the vicinity, do go to the 'Adventure' business and have lunch-very tasty. As is the way on the LCC, the Saturday night was a bit boozie. I enjoyed a nice curry with Dave, Jase, Mike and Ive and then we stumbled into the Waverley Hotel to find Dave L, Frenchie and co already stuck into the beer, seemed rude not to join them. I waddled back to the Dreadnought Hotel (Reckon its days are past-knock it down!) at gone 12, marvelling at the darkness of the town, remember that in June it does not get dark until 10.30-11.00 up there. The Dread's Scottish breakfast lived up to its name-nouveau Brekkie anyone!

What to do next year now that McJim has finished the event. Many feel that Club Triumph should take it over. At last nights CT Ctte meeting we discussed this, but will have further talks and make a decision soon. One thing is for sure if we do, we must invite other old car clubs along, the variety of vehicles makes the event more interesting. Also Jim's knowledge of Scottish roads is extensive, so I am sure he would have to be consulted/utilised.
A Saturday afternoon stop when we bumped into the Notts lot.
Saturday early evening at the car park near 'The Dreadnought Hotel'. Looks like some of the usual CT small talk is on! Actually what a poor pic!
Car park at Kenmore, Dave and Jase look to be deep in conversation. Nice orange ST in the background eh!
So all in all a nice weekend.
What next, MGoT Track Evening at Brands Hatch on Thursday 25/06: I will use the GT6 and I hope to have the Wilwood brake calipers fitted.
As a postscript, if ever in Cumbria, have a drive along the B5305 from M6 jct 41 to Wigton, great road!

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