Sunday, 28 November 2010

Movin' on up!

Just realised that I have not posted a BLOG for sometime, thought I'd better get my finger out and get typing.
Update on the cars:

GT6 mk2

Last use was the 2010 Round Britain Reliability Run, the car went well, apart from an annoying driveshaft vibration that started at 3400rpm. I had spent sometime before the RBRR attempting to find the problem, including the fitment of a new propshaft. I have not as yet found the cause, but after talking with Dave Pearson and Joe Welling at Canleys, the problem might be the gearbox mount. The gearbox has been leaking oil out of the speedo take off for sometime, the big 'O' ring being the issue, the thinking is that this oil has softened the mount? I have exhausted all other options, so will be attempting to fix this over the forthcoming Xmas break, thats if it warms up!

Obviously being the main organiser of the RBRR, I am impartial, but I thought the event was very good this year. The best aspect being the route, Nigel Abdullah does a great job with this and personally thinking I now think we have a found better roads in Wales than those in Scotland. A brave statement considering the use of the A872/A836/B9176/A833/A82 in Scotland, but for my way of thinking the A483 in Wales is a great road for driving in the middle of a Saturday night in October. I followed Tom Key (TR6), James Shackford (2.5Pi mk1), Dave Langrick (GT6 conv) and the Thompson brothers (2.5Pi mk1) plus some other Triumphs through this section and had a real blast, I got out of the car at Sugar Loaf buzzing. The little GT6 turned in so well and had enough power to keep up with these guys driving cars all benefitting from Lucas Pi. The Welsh section also offered two of the best controls on the event, Gledrich was mad, jam packed with Triumph cars and a real buzz as entrants got to think about the Welsh roads that were to come. Thanks to Roy Lacey, Paul and Scott Hughes for their management of the control. Sugar Loaf was a simple passage control, stuck in the middle of nowhere, ably manned by Nigel Abdullah and Nigel Molineux. What a place, no artificial light apart from a couple of yellow building site lights running off a genny, a spooky place to be in the middle of the night! I absolutely loved this stop, well worth the trip to Wales last year when we recce'd the Welsh route.

CT's Vice President, Malcolm Warren ran a great control at Bude, having tea on a nice lawn was extremely civilised. Then onto Dartmoor to Badgers Holt, again a superb venue, great to see all the entrants mixing it with walkers and canoeists. Pimperne was as good as ever, the WI vibe being a nice antidote to the rush and frenzy of the RBRR.

It was sad news that we experienced a couple of prangs amongst the entered cars, Steve Needham's Dolly has been written off, however Pat Barber's GT6 is to be re-built. The owner of Haggerty Insurance is going to restore her-great news. It was on their stand at the NEC Classic Car Show, and did look very sad, I cannot wait to see the car when it is finished.
I was also downhearted that both Ellis Stokes in the 'Bus' and Dale Barker in his lovely Herald both retired, however Ellis re-joined at Lancaster in his TR7 Sprint-dedication!

As the RBRR buck does stop with me, I must admit I find the build up to the event a bit worrying, so many factors that can go wrong making the last week a bit busy! If I was being honest I would say that before this one, I was thinking that the RBRR was starting to lose abit of its attraction, can't say that now, its bloody top!

Since the RBRR, the GT6 has lived in her garage and is awaiting the prop/gearbox work. I hope to take her out for my traditional solitary Xmas day early morning drive! Now approaching my 27th year of ownership, I see no reason why the next 27 will not be as good, it will have to go some to be better!

2.5Pi mk1

I have not used her for sometime. I must get an MOT on to her, I have a two week break this Xmas, so this will be attempted then. I have a few jobs to do, the first one being the fitment of a HUCO fuel pump. I have been running one of these on the GT6 and I am very impressed. However I have been browbeaten into thinking that now is the time to fit the Pi gear, so that must happen during 2011.

I have entered the 2011 10CR and would like to get the PI system on her for that event, this will mean that I must carry this out in April/May. Despite certain peoples thoughts, I will use a Bosch fuel pump, I want to drive the car, not spend time sitting on the side of the road!

Luckily enough Dave Kent has again agreed to do the 10CR with me. We had a good time during the event in 2009 despite a dodgy dizzy, Dave is a dogged type of bloke who will not be beaten by car issues, we must have stopped 10 times on that event, but his spirit did not drop, however I suspect the thought of Dutch lagers on the last night at Rolduc were the incentive?

Ellis and his team have revised the route again and we will be spending more time in the French/Italian/Swiss Alps this time, a fantastic idea, just hope the PI system will be able to cope with altitude changes!

Herald Coupe
The engine is back, however owing to the purchase of a mk2 Spitfire yesterday I will now be sticking this engine into that car. I have therefore decided to sell the Herald, the car has not deterioated too much since I bought her, in fact I have improved her. I have a few jobs to do, these being: Connect the propshaft, fit some calipers and discs to the front, rebuild the rear brakes and fit an exhaust to the car. Not to onerous eh! I will then get a 'ticket' for the car and offer her for sale, hoping that a CT member buys the car. Shame to sell the car, but I am now on a Autosolo mission and the Herald will not be competitive to keep up with a certain father and son team!

Dolomite Sprint
Again, this car will now be sold, if interested give me a call.

Spitfire mk2
Bought this little car yesterday from Dave Picton, driven 50 miles in her on the crowded M25 and must report no issues, the car being exactly as Dave stated. I will change the tyres though, the only comment I can make about the present items is DIRE! I went around one roundabout and had a momentary sideways experience-nice! I will fit the 5.5 solid steels I have, these have Yokos on them so will offer some grip!
Jobs to do to the car before April:
Fit 1300 engine and box
Change shockers for the AVO units sitting in the shed.
Fit 480lb front springs.
Fit tubular top wishbones that were going to be fitted to the GT6, and dial in some negative camber.
Fit alloy Hi Spec calipers that are in the shed.
Buy and fit Canley ball joint vertical links.
Buy and fit steel hardtop: Already in hand.
Source a full roll cage.
Fit oil pressure gauge(After the fitment of the 1300 engine-the present engine is a stroked 1500, ignorance is bliss).
Fit oil cooler kit.
Sort out sticky throttle, it is difficult to drive the car smoothly at present. A smooth throttle is essential for quick progress on 'Tests'.

Buying this car is a nice way to end my 2010 motoring exploits, and as always I have had a great year. This is simply down to being in the best Triumph Club in the UK, my friends in the Club make the taking part in events a real blast.

The best moments were the whole RBRR experience, coming third overall and 1st in Class B in the CT Autosolo, winning the HCR Test using a Saloon whilst being encouraged by CT charger Doug Foreman (Cheers buddy) and the 1.5 days spent in Scotland on the International Auto Ecosse (My team of Martin Randle, the car and me were doing well in the tests until the bearing failure-a good co-driver is Martin). The funniest moments were listening to Doug doing his 'spot on' Welsh impersonation whilst on the HCR in Wales, bloody funny. It's great that Doug is now getting back to his old self following his terrible accident at the beginning of 2009.
The worst bit being the 13 hour relay trip back from that event following wheel bearing failure near Faslane-what a bummer!

Next year's events cannot come quick enough!

Anyone reading this Blog who is thinking about buying a Triumph, get your wallet out, spend some money, join CT and get out there amongst it.
I guarantee that you will join up with a group of people who are some of the best, very few CT members seem to be typical of old car enthusiasts, they just seem to be up for some fun using old cars.
Maybe Mr Cameron and his 'Happiness' survey should talk to some CT people!

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