Saturday, 31 October 2009

The Devil was in my car!

Jeez, where does the time go?
About time I worte about my latest Triumph news, so here goes.
GT6 mk2:
I have not used the car much as I was concentrating on getting the 2.5 ready for the 10CR. In fact the only use has been to take the car to a CT North London meeting at The Plough and entering another Oxford MC Autosolo event .
The Autosolo was last Sunday (04/10/09), before the event I decided to change the anti roll bar to the correct GT6 item, I have been using a Spitfire 1500 arb for years with obvious under-steer issues. The change in conjunction with polyurethane bushes has as expected resulted in a far more neutral handling car, if still prone to understeer! Still one cannot change basic laws of motion!
So to the A’solo, after a nice drive to Silverstone through deserted roads from Chertsey to Silverstone through Beaconsfield, Aylesbury and Buckingham to the venue at an early time I arrived to be met by Mike and Matthew Helm in Mike’s Spitfire and Katie and Doug Foreman in Katie’s newly acquired mk2 GT6-royal blue-very nice!!!! Doug was supposed to be using his Herald, unfortunately he could’nt finish the engine re-build he is undertaking so had entered the GT6. As they had only picked the car up on day before this was surprising, what a baptism of fire! As agreed previously Katie was driving my car, and I was seriously conscious of the fact that she could beat me! The first runs were on a very wet surface, and by lunch after 2 ‘Tests’ I was 2.3 secs. in front of Katie, after the 3rd ‘Test’ I was still 2.1 secs. in front and looked to be on my way to my first Class win at this sport. All I had to do was get two competitive times in and I would win, however my first run at the 4th and final ‘Test’ I wrong slotted, but the next two were fine for a ‘Wet’ run. Sadly for me during Katie’s and Matthew’s runs an entrant in another class in a Golf GTi lost a wheel meaning a 45 min delay, as the sun had come out the course started to dry out. This resulted in damp and dry runs for them both, meaning that they decimated my times! Katie therefore won the ‘Historic’ class by 0.1 sec from Matthew and 1.2secs from me!
I watched Katie driving my car, boy has she got a talent for driving these cars, during the whole day she hardly put a foot wrong, some of the lines she took being very precise, in fact she flattered my car, very impressive. Of course she now has her own GT6, so she can use her own car next time! Doug did very well in the totally standard car, and was constantly managing to reduce his times throughout the day. It was weird looking at this car as it reminded me so much of what my car looked like when I bought it in 1983! Doug, has so impressed me, 7 months ago he was hanging onto life by way of a life support machine following his awful M25 crash and is now entering autosolos and navigation rallies, what a trooper, good man!
I see they did 'The Regis Rally' in the car, it seems to have found some 5.5J solid steels, looks good-its gonna be fascinating to see this car over the years and the way it gets transformed. I must admit I have been mystified recently by comments on the CT Forum that suggest the mk2 GT6 is not the best looking example, I feel that with its higher mounted bumper it looks more purposeful, one only has to look at the Group 44 racers to realise this!

Next plans, well the last 2009 motoring event for me will be the MGoT Track Day at Oulton Park in early November. For that event I have just fitted some unused Wilwood 4 pot calipers that I bought years ago from a a chap that Ellis Stokes knows that was going to use them on his Kit Car. These went on relatively easy, the only pain being the need for some longer fasteners to fit the caliper adapters onto the mk2 GT6 caliper mounts, I ended up using suitably strong cap head 7/16unf set screws. The edges of the GT6 caliper mounts needed to be slightly ground down to facilitate the alloy caliper conversion brackets. At the moment I have a new set of green stuff pads in the calipers, however will probably change these to a set of Mintex 1144s.
I still have not fitted the tubular top wishbones to the car, reckoning on doing this after the TD. The other priority is to sort out the rear end damage, might well take the car up to MW restorations in Saffron Walden, Mike Wilkinson is a good guy who did some bodywork on the car years ago.

2.5Pi Mk1
I made the decision during the event to buy a 123 Electronic Distributor, which I duly did, buying it from Southern Carburettors from Mitcham. These are superb units and very easy to fit and as expected have cured some of my running issues. By the way Southern Carbs. are a nice company, the chap I spoke to was very attentive. Please do not confuse with SC Parts! All that’s left to do is to fit the spare cylinder head that I have in the shed.
One great bit of news that will help to ensure the longevity of the car is that I have started to use a neighbours garage to store the car.
A nice pic taken of the car near Aix le-Bains on the September 10CR, with James Carruthers superb 2000 mk1-which by the way certainly goes well!!!! Thanks to Craig Gingell for the snap.

Blimey, I have just moved the old thing off the front drive into the space previously occuppied by the 2.5. This of course means that I can crack on and get some work done on the car.
Last weekend I went up to see Roy Burrell who is modding the cylinder head for me, must say I am impressed by the work he has done. Roy was recommended to me by Karl Dandridge, Dave Pearson and Craig Gingell, so far I must say I am impressed. I collected the carbs and inlet manifold I had previously bought from Andrew Turner, Roy has cleaned up the tracts in the manifold and done a bit of flow work to the SU HS4s. Must admit I am starting to get a bit revved up over the thought of using the car.
She will need some bodywork repairs, as follows:
A)Front wheel arches to be repaired
B) Lower off side door repair
C)Lower part of offside panel between door and wheelarch
D) Repairs to rear deck on the offside.
E) Rear valance perforated, will replace with fibreglass units.
As I have previously mentioned that car is a 1962 Herald 1200 Coupe, that was stuck onto a 13/60 chassis at some point. This is great news as I can fit the overdrive gearbox that I have. In theory the cars spec should be as follows:
Engine: 1300 + 60thou, TH5 cam, modded head with bigger valves, carbs as above and tubular exhaust manifold with Vitesse exhaust system
Gearbox: Spitfire mk3 with J type overdrive. Works type overdrive toggel switch on gear lever.
Front Suspension: Red polybushed, with AVO shockers and 330lb springs (These will in all likelihood be changed for 480lb items). Spitfire 1500 arb with Jon Wolfe links.
Rear Suspension: Swing spring with red polybushes and AVO shockers.
Brakes: Front: 4 pot Hi Spec units with Mintex 1144 pads, Rear: Standard-though may be changed to GT6 units.
Wheels etc: 13'' 5.5J Dunlop solid steels with Yokohama 185/60 13'' tyres.
Interior: Standard except 6 point cage and added instrumentation (Rev Counter, oil pressure gauge and mechanical temp gauge). Will probably purchase (when rich!) some Corbeau period looking buckets.
Its riduculous as I have had most of the above equipment for years, just been so busy with the other cars ! Anyrate, I hope the car will be a nice little example, however it will not be in the same league as Craig Gingell's gorgeous supercharged Coupe. I hope to use her on next year's CT HCR?
Right that will do for now. Of course the biggest project that will occupy most of my time for the next 11 months is the CT RBRR. We have already started on this event and cannot wait for the weekend of the event in early October next year!!!!

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