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 I barely looked out the door today It was too blxxdy cold and not a day to be standing around on a cold wet concrete floor. I have finally got rid of the  Chilblains from under my heels and under the instep of my feet. If you have never had them, you certainly do not want them.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Having well and truly recovered from the dreaded chilblains I decided that I should give the Rapier some well deserved TLC, this started with a wash & polish although I must confess I still have to properly clean the wheels. Part of this process was to give the car a general once over. To my dismay I found that the fog/driving lights at the front of the car were not working. Having checked and found all the fuses intact I just had to look a little further.

It did not take too long to discover that the wire attached to one side of the dashboard switch had become disconnected. Of course when I went to reconnect it I discovered that after a great many years of faithful service that this particular wire had finally given up hanging on under the grub screw intended to hold it in place. If fact the wire must have always been a particularly tight fit. After two or three unsuccessful attempts to re-connect it  I decided that the only way I could make it reach the required terminal was to add another two or three inches to its length. After poking around in my box of (new) electrical fittings I found a matching pair of Crimp-on Spade connectors. Looking a little further I found a short piece of the required wire which was even the correct colour. "Easy- peasy" I can hear you saying but then you have probably never worked at the back (business side) of a Rapier Dashboard.  That and with luck on your side you are not about to turn 81.  Enough of all that, with my head wedged between the gear change and the foot pedals and my feet over the passenger's seat back I could manage to work the lead-light into a position where it would not be constantly falling down and I could get a stubby screw-driver in close enought to undo and re-tighten the grub screw. 

Remarkably in under an hour I have everythinghooked-up and the lights working again. This may sound a little obsessive as the last time we were driving in fog was almost three years ago in the French Pyrenees. None the less I have this "thing" that when I say "every thing works except the driver" I really mean that every piece of equipment on or in the car is in good working condition. The one other exception is the Smiths 2 inch Dashboard 8 day clock. It would work but I do not wind it up because the "tick" is so loud you can hear it inside our house with the Rapier outside in the car-port. I must say that when wound-up it does keep quite good time. When I first rebuilt the car I had put an electric clock out of a Modern car in it. There was just one problem, I have a battery master switch which I turn off when parking the car either over night of for an extended period which meant every time I went to drive the car I had to re-set the time. It was only after three or four years of searching that I found the correct clock complete with Lagonda across the clock's face.

The Fog/Driving light switch is the one one the dash above the starter button & inbetween the amp-meter and the petrol gauge. If you have sufficiently good imagination you can visualise how accessible the back of this switch is. Observant people will have also noticed the extra piece I had to insert to make up the difference of the diameter of the electric clock and the mechanical 8 day. Oh - yes, the fog/driving lights do have amber globes for driving in France.

 

Bernie j

 

 

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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You folks are into the spring weather season down under, so I expect you are looking forward to warm weather motoring in the Rapier. (On the other hand, us here in the eastern USA are heading into the fall; in fact, the temp dropped about 20 deg F from yesterday with a stiff breeze - time to replace my shorts with my bib overalls. :) )

 

Very nice dash on that car Bernie. What are the small badges at the top of the dash between the indicator lights?

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DSCN5690.thumb.jpg.6d971f93891760274a3578c3e8084aa0.jpgHello Paul

You will have to polish up your bi-focals, quite simply they are lapel badges as issued to the participants at many major events, Instead of sticking them all over a cap or hat as many people do  I have chosen just four from significant events that we have participated in around the world, to place on the dash board. From Left to Right they are The 1996 FIVA World Rally held in England to celebrate the 100th year of the British Motor Industry sponsored for that year by Rover. The centre badge was for another Rally in England in 1984 by the Rapier Register to celebrate the first 50 years of the Rapier. The One on the Right is from the Australian Mille which was only run for three or four years. It was a Road Navigation event run over four days covering 1,000 miles around Victoria, our home state, in 1997. It would be virtually impossible to run this event today as the required average speeds were frequently in excess of todays outright speed limit. We were one of the few Pre-war cars taking part, mixing with Austin Healy, Jaguars, MG and Triumph TRs etc. We were awarded the Organiser's  Special Award as the car driven most in the spirit of the Mille Miglia . The fourth badge is in the center near the bottom between the ignition /light switch and the Clock. It is in the form of a St Christopher medallion. Around the edge it has the words Lagonda Centenary 1899-1999. This covered a series of events around England and a Four Day Rally in France.  They are all events that cannot be held again each marking a special event in the History of Motoring.  We did attend the AACA's 75th Anniversary in Louisville Kentucky but with the Dixie Flyer, not in the Rapier. I decided some time ago during my ownership of the Rapier, there will be no more of these badges added to the collection.  The indicator lights are for Headlight High beam on the right and Fog/driving lights on the left. The two small markers on the Speedo are Gold for the built-up area limit of 60kph and the Black for the over-all speed limit of 100kph. In fact in some parts of Australia on divided highways the limit is 110 kph and in built up areas 50kph.  The Speedo is calibrated in MPH reading up to 100mph and the Rev counter up to 6,000 rpm The Green and Red wedges on the rev counter are more about gear-change points rather than maximum revs, The Rapier can and has frequently reached the end of the calibrations on both dials. There is a 2inch combined Oil Pressure and Radiator temperature gauge further to the right directly in front of the driver. Oil pressure runs at a steady 50/60 psi while the temperature tends to sit at between 70 and 80 centigrade, if anything a shade too cool. I have a "blind" to cover the bottom 6-8 inches of the Radiator in cold weather.

Loosely translated from the French, FIVA stands for Federation International Vehicles Ancient. 

On the wall above the window next to my desk there is a collection of "Rally Plates" issued for events both here in Australia and in Europe. This is a small part of them. Of particular interest is the Gold, 24 Hours LeMans 2004 plate issued to the cars selected to take part in the "Driver's Parade" held through the city of LeMans the day prior to the start of the famous 24 Hour Race.

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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DSCN5692.thumb.jpg.56fba531fe642643f65f8bc45a89d40e.jpg

 

One other thing unique to our Rapier is this Kangaroo sitting on a Boomerang, mounted on the rear mudguard (fender)

It is actually the insignature of the Sixth Division of the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF) from WW2 . It was given to us some years ago, its significance is two-fold. The Kangaroo is essentially Australian and the Boomerang is well known because of its ability to, when thrown, return back to the thrower.  this indicates that while Australian travellers, no matter where we may go, we will always return home. 

I have never seen another and people have commented/asked about it all around Australia, the UK and Europe.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hi!  Just wait a minute, I do not know how many of the people reading this know anything of our Rapier KG 5363's history before 1998 when I bought it from the late David Seath who had at that time recently arrived in Australia from England. He actually brought three Rapiers or bits of them with him to Australia when he moved here with his family in the Mid-1990s

The first photograph shows David in KG 5363 probably at Silverstone, three or four years earlier. By the time it arrived in Australia the motor was in pieces and that is how I bought it. But let us not race ahead, The next  photograph shows the car in the early post WW2 years when it was owned and raced by Beatrice Shilling. Through the war and into subsequent years Beatrice owned the car firstly as her daily transport to her place of employment at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough England where she was employed as the Carburation Specialist vitally envolved it keeping Britian's aeroplanes in the air and at the top of their performance, Anyone interested in discovering more about this fascinating lady should read Matthew Freudenberg's story of her life in his book 'Negative Gravity.'59feaf0ab96d0_DavidSeathHSD2392.thumb.jpeg.7870c78ef2bfaeb7e02e2bc502e01ef3.jpeg During the war years the Rapier KG 5363 was still fitted with its original Abbott Fixed Head  Coupe. It was not until the early post war years that she decided to remove this body and construct one of her design largely using scrap aircraft aluminium, This was built to meet the RAC's regualtions for "Sports Cars'". You can see the result in the photograph.To meet the regulations as a Sports Car it was required to have at least one door and to seat two people. and have lights and mudguards (Fenders) fitted  If you look very closely you may just make out that the (light weight) door "hinges" are in fact short pieces of rubber belt.

After I had bought it from David Seath I stripped the car down to its basic components before rebuilding it as the car we know today. At the time I was severely castigated for destroying a Historic Car. See below.59feaf1369acf_BeatriceShillingKGtakenfroman8Clubsprogramnofthe1950s030.thumb.jpg.dffc7cc51ae11bce5fbbbced799d066b.jpg

 

This is in fact the same car, KG 5363,  I have owned since rebuilding it in 1978-80. I initially built it without lights or mudguards as a "stripped" two seater racing car. but after just one or two events decided that it was such a "nice" car to drive it would be a waste not to be able to, register it and drive not on the roads. 

Most of you know the Rest.

 

 

Bernie j.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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12 hours ago, oldcar said:

Hello Paul

You will have to polish up your bi-focals, quite simply they are lapel badges as issued to the participants at many major events

Bernie j.

 

That's what I get for looking at pictures on my tiny I-phone instead of on my 'real' computer! :)

 

The number of significant events that you and the Rapier have participated in is impressive. Thanks for sharing!

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Hi Paul

What I think is amazing is just how many friends we have made in just the one lifetime and hopefully we still have a little way to go.

 

Bj.

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Rather than bore the socks off the rest of you I will send the rest in a PM to Paul.

 

I must apologise for taking up valuable Forum space with my personal reminiscences.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Wow, that is a lot of adventures Bernie! Some folks only have one or two of those type adventures in a lifetime. I had noticed the Alpine Rally plate in the picture on your wall, and looked that up. Sounds like a great trip, the views (if you got time to look :)) must have been fantastic. The pics I looked at of Tasmania were amazing.

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Watch out Paul you will be wanting to come here and see it for your self.

When you have done that go and drive in some of the rural areas of France. It really does not matter Fall, Winter Spring or Summer. You may want to stop for Dinner This is the menu for the day after tomorrow. November 11 so you will have to hurry to book. Funny thing Granny Smith Apples are an Australian Variety of cooking apple.

 

Le mois de novembre approche, pensez dès à présent à réserver pour ses prochaines dates afin de d'écouvrir nos produits d'Automne, ses belles couleurs d'Automne 

Réserver dès maintenant

Menu proposé le dimanche 1er et le mercredi 11 Novembre 

Le menu 65€ 
Savoureux apéritifs et cuillères légères 
*** 
Noix de saint-jacques de la baie d'Erquy, les légumes de Monsieur Nesme, bouillon d'étrille au curcuma 
*** 
Foie gras de canard poê, pommes granny smith au verjuis, raisins marinés et navet longs 
*** 
Filet de chevreuil aux graines de moutarde, choux de bruxelles, carottes fanes et champignons, jus réduit à l'ail noir 
*** 
Chariot de fromages affinés ou Faisselle fermière 
*** 
Poire pochée verveine, pavlova, crumble praliné et sorbet poire 
*** 
Figures et mandarines rôti au miel de Monsieur Auby, sarasin et glace vanille de l'Ile de la Réunion 
*** 
Les douceurs d'Estelle 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bon Jour

This one is for Paul. We went on it during our 2014 visit to France. Just a two day event but wonderful scenery and the food is extremely good too.

Prizes include up to 120 bottles of some very good Bordeaux wine.

Centered on the town of Caddilac it is one of the Events we will endeavour to do again (2019?)

 https://rallye-cadillaccotesdebordeaux.jimdo.com/

Entry fee for Pre 1945 cars or any model Cadillac is just Euro 78. per person.

Basically a Tour of the District, you are given a set list of Chateau to visit, You must get your card stamped at each one you visit. You must visit their "Tasting Room" in order to get your card stamped.  The "Chateaux" are all stunning and their wines are very good too! 
A great way to spend a weekend in France.

 

Bj.

 

 

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From time to time I make mention of my favourite breed of Dog, Airedale Terriers. It is almost 65 years since I owned one but I still talk to the occasional one I meet on the street. I was pleasantly surprised when my grand-daughter "Lottie" gave me this surprisingly accurate drawing of one yesterday. Woof!

 

Bj.Airedale.thumb.jpeg.63c6ae99e9cc35f617f2a2d2afa4e3da.jpeg

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Hi Paul

Lottie is the second youngest of our nine grandchildren, she is Nine years old. Not to be out done Otto Her elder brother did this one. Otto is 11 years old Below is a photograph of the car I think that Otto was drawing. It is now in the UK Last time I saw it it had been painted blue.

 

Bj

The mesh "box" was fitted to the carbs because the circuit we were racing on had been recently "resurfaced" and there was still a lot of loose stones in places around the track.

The other (action) photograph was taken at the now defunct Templestowe Hill Climb. This was quite a long climb with a 1 in 4 "peak" which had a 90 degree turn as you  reached  the crest of the hill.

 

The "trumpets" fitted to the carbs were not just cosmetic, it had a huge amount of overlap on the cams and the "ram tubes" were designed to help cope with the "stand-off."experienced at between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm. As there was no clutch and no starter motor fitted (it had a ENV preselector gear box and was "push started") the flywheel was extremely small and light. 

 

"KG" our long suffering "road two seater" uses the same ENV pre-select gearbox and has no clutch fitted. It does have a modern "geared starter" working on a lightened flywheel. Just removing the clutch & pressure plate reduces the weight of the flywheel considerably. There is a single steel drive plate with a splined hub in the centre, this is bolted directly to the flywheel. You need to look up ENV Pre-selector Gearboxes to see how it all works.  Historic British racing cars such as the ERA also used preselect transmissions. These were/are standard fitting to Lagonda Rapiers The last photo is of a standard Lagonda Rapier gear selector. it is shown in neutral. It goes one notch forward for reverse (protected by a flip-over lock out latch) and pulls back through five inline detents for neutral and the four forward gears . The selected gear is "engaged" by pushing in and releasing the "clutch" pedal. Very fast, positive gear changes are possible.

 

Bj.

 

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.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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OK! How many people actually looked up how a "Pre-selector " works?

Major Wilson first invented this type of transmission during the 1914/18 war so that men that had never driven anything other than a horse and cart could get into and drive a tank. It is quite an interesting history lesson.

Adding a "Clutch" is just adding complication and weight to the flywheel. Yes, some big lazy old engines do need a heavy flywheel to keep them going. A bit like some early agricultural "hit and miss" stationary engines.

But not a sports car engine that needs instant acceleration and frequent changes of speed. The same applies to the type of transmission. With a Preselector out on the road (or track) coming into a tight (slow) corner you can go straight from top to second then back to third in the time it took to read this.

 

Bj

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One outstanding difference between the Crossley Regis and my Rapier is simple, one is a 1250cc or 1500cc touring car often with a heavy, 4 door, saloon body and with an engine that may have produced something around 25 -30 bhp and KG which has a highly developed1500cc engine producing around 80 bhp in a light weight two seater with just one door. The difference in up-hill starts alone is like chalk and cheese. As I commented just a week or two back to another Rapier Driver, the Rapier's designer Tim Ashcroft knew a thing or two when he incorporated a "fly-off" handbrake  in the Rapiers design. Any owner of a sporting car who preferrs to slip the clutch to start off up hill rather than hold the car on the hand-brake until the clutch bites needs to go back to Driving School. In my book at least it is far better to start off  up-hill with a little wheel spin than to start off with a smoking clutch. It is probably no accident that when just a little bit younger, my favourite form of competitive  motor sport was "Hill-climbs".

Not KG5363 this time but a much earlier lightweight "1232cc" Rapier two-seater "BYY 626". It was re-built from a "basket case" bought in England and shipped "home' to Australia. Unfortunately it has not been seen for some years after a subsequent owner sold it to a "Collector" in Europe. The back of one of these photographs tells me that the year was 1978.

 

5a14ed45a0230_BYYBjandaveryyoungPaulnavigatingontheVSCCTwoDayTrial1979..jpg.5bcec4cf13e0b60c15a7a73a39c47c58.jpg

 

5a14ee4595e69_BYYracingatSandownHistorics.jpg.e5d3f1cd1aac7130d805c84a094abe09.jpg

 

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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