oldcar

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About oldcar

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  • Birthday 11/09/1936

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  1. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Now for the one that got away. Having owned two or three Jaguar XJ6 sedans I always wanted a Jaguar XJ6 Coupe. The two door pillarless version Finally one came up at auction in Sydney several hundred miles to the north from where we live. Having looked at all the pre-sale documents and photographs I decided to take a risk and put in a bid without actually seeing the car. We were away when it was due to be delivered and I arranged for it to be delivered to a well known Jaguar specialist for him to give it a service and put it through its "Road-worthy" test. This is required by our Motor Registration Office. Imagine my horror when on our return I was greeted with a message. "I have the motor out and stripped down you had better come and decide what you want to do."
  2. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    So that no one feels left out I have attached a copy of our "Christmas/End of another Year Letter. Welcome to our year 2018. 2018 has been a somewhat different year but none the less an exciting one. Without doubt the most important happening was Helen’s decision to have her right hip “replaced”. This has made a vast difference to her mobility and overall comfort. The operation took place on May 15th and Helen spent four days in the Box Hill Hospital followed by an extended period with her going as an outpatient to physiotherapy for an hour or so twice per week on a Tuesday and Thursday morning until mid July. Typically she has made a great recovery and is now back to playing her weekly round of Golf at “Heidelberg” her one concession is to hire a “cart’ rather than walking the 18 holes. Each week her game is improving. Helen’s other important celebration was her 80th Birthday, this occasion was somehow extended to cover two or three weeks, with friends and family joining in. The first event was a family affair with our four and their respective partners and families enjoying Lunch at the Riverwalk Cafe. This also included my sister Beth and her friend Vytas. Our son Nic along with his wife Susannah and their two, Julius and Helena, made a special trip over from Adelaide. The following weekend we had a special Sunday Lunch with 30 friends coming to celebrate with us at home. Another fabulous day! Apart from Helen’s Golf and U3A activities, French, Strength Training and Yoga, as most you already know, our joint Vintage Car activities take up much of our leisure time. The 1934 Lagonda Rapier has been central to this since I first bought it in 1978, a long time ago. Added to this, buying restoring and selling Vintage “Basket cases” is a form of compulsory saving for me. This is my contribution to our “Going away Fund. This years main addition to this fund came in the form of:- 1. The sale of the 1920 Studebaker mentioned in last years letter. The has gone off to a far more dedicated person in England. This was followed up by the purchase of :- 2. A 1926 Fiat 501. Bought as several trailer loads of someone else’s junk. These rather pedestrian little Italian cars seem to have quite a following, especially when disguised as a Targa Florio “racer”. I make a habit of researching any relevant history of the particular make and model that is my then current project car. While doing this I discovered that in the early 1920s a young Czechoslovakian lady made quite an impact on European motor racing. She later went on to become a famous Bugatti driver. Eliška Junková (16 November 1900 – 5 January 1994), born Alžběta Pospíšilová and also known as Elisabeth Junek. For convenience I will use her anglicised name. Either way while not pretending to build a replica of her car, I decided to make my Fiat a “salute to her memory”. It has progressed from a load of old rubbish to a restored “rolling chassis” with a well advanced aluminium clad sporting two seater body. Now I really cannot explain but my recent “restorations” have seemingly progressed so far when I will wake up one morning having decided overnight that I really have had enough of this nonsense. Without further thought or discussion, I will decide that I have done enough, go on-line to the Prewarcar website and advertise the car for sale. In the case of the Fiat the response to my advert was so quick I had barely stepped away from my computer than I received the first of a rush of enquiries. So much so that I could even sell a similar pile of Fiat parts that our son Steve had bought from a deceased estate in the north-western country town of Stawell. Since buying his “Fiat” Steve had decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps, and so was glad to be rid of it so easily. Both “collections” are now packed into the one container and headed to the new owner in England. With all this “out of the way” we could start thinking about our next five yearly visit to England and France. This is Helen’s territory and she now hard at work sorting out Air travel and Ferry schedules for Channel crossings. We have decided that as we had been to Jersey some years ago that we should try going via Guernsey we will have a one night stop over on the island. In fact the voyage from Guernsey to St Marlo requires a short stay on Jersey where we are required to change Ferries. But before that I have a heap of work to make the Rapier ready. To meet present day Australian Border Force (Customs) requirements I have sent my spare set of the vital internal gearbox parts to England to be relined with asbestos-free material. The Rapier has an ENV Preselector gearbox that uses special linings on a series of “brake” bands to engage the various gears. These require a special friction material designed to operate inside the gearbox filled with oil. To replace these I must first totally dismantle the gearbox. I have already had all the car’s brake linings replaced with similar asbestos free material. Without doing this work on the car it is liable to be impounded by the Australian Border Force on its return to Australia. The only other alternative would be to sell the car in England; This is not an option! I am currently waiting very impatiently for the vital parts to return from England. I do not really want to start taking the car apart until I am sure that I have everything to complete the gearbox rebuild. Even then I will have to do the job in record time to meet all the shipping etc deadlines. Unfortunately some of the people I am forced to deal with are not noted for their speed . The electronic “tracking of parcels makes interesting reading. It has taken Twelve Days for the 2 kg parcel to do a journey that I am reliably informed should take 1hour and 35 minutes travelling by bus & train. Hopefully the courier firm involved may pass the parcel to Santa for him to deliver it to me. Now back to our more recent activities in the Lagonda Rapier, the most recent outing was for the VSCC Alpine Trial. This event took us well into the mountains one of the high points in the drive was crossing McKillops Bridge, this is said to be one of the longest Timber bed bridges in the world. It is 255 metres long and is a single lane bridge. see https://www.dangerousroads.org/australia-and-oceania/australia/6145-mckillops-bridge.html But this just one bridge in four days motoring over almost 2,000kms including over 300kms of dirt roads. It was along this road that we took a minor excursion into the bush. Fortunately a group of members of the Kooweerup and Lang Lang Rotary Club’s 4 Wheel Drive section came along at exactly the right time and with their help we were back on the road and on our way. We completed the “Alpine” with out further problems although we did cut the final drive home short as most of the way we were driving in drizzling rain. I must add that this years “Alpine” was a First for us in that for the first time we had entered as Tourists rather than taking the “Competitive” option; the main difference being that we were not required to find the answers to pages of questions designed to prove that we had taken the proscribed route. For those people wanting to follow more closely our adventure on a map of Victoria and Southern New South Wales, our first nights stop was Bairnsdale, where the Trial officially started. The next night’s destination was Jindabyne, followed by Omeo and finally Mansfield. At no time could we be accused of simply following the Highway, if anything the opposite. At one stage on the road into Mansfield we drove very slowly and very carefully through a huge mob of cattle that due to the drought conditions had been turned out on to the “Long Paddock” , the grass verges along either side of the road. We later learnt that each of ten farmers had combined to add 50 head of cattle to the mob each, bringing the total to around 500! At mansfield we slept at a huge motel style Ski Lodge that had been built in the early years of the last century as a Convent/school for young Catholic Ladies. Being the last night everybody came together for Dinner and Discussion at one of the towns hotels. Again from Mansfield rather than charge down the Highway we took a devious route going back into the nearby “Hill Country”. For the final event for the year the VSCC had a relatively short tour through the Dandenong Ranges finishing at Belgrave with Lunch at the local RSL. (Returned Soldiers League) Probably typically we opted not to return home directly down the main road deciding instead to make detour home via side roads through Lillydale, Here we ran into early peak hour traffic being brought to a crawl. Most uncharacteristically the Rapier started to over heat, normally this is automatically countered by the thermo controlled electric fan coming on to bring the temperature down again. It is quite some time, at least two or three years since the fan has been required so next day I decided to investigate the problem. Very quickly it became apparent that the motor for the fan was seized solid, simply from a lack of use. Being a typical modern accessory there is no way of servicing this and the sole solution was to buy a new one. Of course nothing remains the same and this also applies to the method of mounting for one of these simple appliances. New mounting brackets were required, for a change rather than mess about trying to adapt the old brackets I bought a length of steel strip from the local hardware and made new ones. This kept me entertained for the best part of an afternoon. Fortunately the original thermo-switch is still working OK which saved me having to go through the process of adapting a new one to the Rapiers cooling system. All that is now required is to leave the motor running long enough to raise the temperature to near boiling, so I can reset the switch on position on the switch. As already mentioned I am still waiting for the new asbestos-free gearbox parts to come from England. The arrival of these from England is critical to the timing of the cars departure on it’s next adventure. There is about three or four days work that required to remove and fully dismantle the Pre-selector gearbox replace the “bands” and then put it back into the car. It now looks as though this will be my first task for the New Year. I just hope that the weather gods are kind to me. The car has to be “on the water” no later than Mid February, Now all that remains is to on behalf of Helen and myself wish everyone A very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. Cheers! Helen and Bernie.
  3. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    On a slightly different tack, I receive a desk calendar every year from the Strohmer Family in Switzerland. They run the West End Hotel in Merano. We stayed with them some years ago on one of our numerous adventures in Europe. Merano (NOT Milano which is in Italy) is an ideal base for anyone wanting to enjoy a week or two exploring the Swiss Alps. For our guide book we used a little book titled"Motorcycle Journeys through the Alps" by John Herman. I can recommend both to any one planing a holiday exploring in this fabulous part of the world. Just reading some of John Herman's descriptions of his various rides in the Alps is enough to make you want to go. There are excellent descriptions, maps and photographs throughout the book. We stayed for seven or eight days/relaxing nights at the West End Hotel. Bernie j.
  4. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Now I can say that I really do believe in Santa Claus! I have just had an email from Australia Post, they have just received a mystery parcel addressed to me from the UK. They hope to deliver it tomorrow. Not that I am about to take back all that stuff I have said or thought about the British. Bernie j. Some of my best friends are British. AND the British used to make some very fine motorcars! Your delivery is coming tomorrow* Delivering to VIC 3109 It’s on its way Scheduled for delivery on Wednesday 19 Dec 2018* From Landmark-928 Tracking number 334642995170 If nobody’s home to receive your delivery, we’ll leave it in a safe place. If there isn’t one, we’ll take it to a local Post Office and email you when it’s available to pick up. Here are your delivery options. Redirect it to a different address You can redirect for free – to a 24/7 Parcel Locker, a Post Office of your choice or a different street address. Just remember it’ll take 1 or more extra days to deliver.# Australia Post will never send you an email asking for your password, credit card details or account information. * This is the date currently scheduled for your delivery. We’ll update you if anything changes. # Terms and conditions apply. Collection time limits apply. Post Office collect service only available at participating Post Offices. Redirect service only available for parcels in transit, when the sender has provided sufficient information. In order to redirect a parcel you must be registered for a MyPost account. This email was sent by Australia Post, 111 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE VIC 3000. If you have any concerns, or don’t think you should have received this email, please call us on 13 13 18. Visit auspost.com.au for further information on our online security. Please note that this is an automatically generated email, replies will not be answered. Unsubscribe if you don’t wish to receive any further emails about this delivery. We may still send you emails if this delivery is waiting to be collected at an Australia Post retail outlet or Parcel Locker and emails about future deliveries. Australia Post does not represent, warrant or guarantee that the integrity of this email communication has been maintained nor that the communication is free of errors, viruses or interference. Help & support Terms & conditions Privacy policy Our tracking service
  5. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    No, it is all part of their "service"! I have just this minute checked the courriers "tracking service". There has been no change since 3.04 13/12/2018. which would indicate that there has been no further movement. I have now decided as there is nothing I can do to speed things up, I can relax and enjoy Christmas and the New Year. This will give me part of January and most of February before the car has to be loaded into the container for the sea voyage to England if all else fails we will have to modify our plans to fit around travelling in a Hire car. Not impossible but nowhere near as much fun. As a diversion I am currently working on our customary "Christmas Letter". As a further diversion, for anyone wanting to trace the (approximate) route of this years VSCC Alpine Trial, attached is the list of each days possible Fuel Stops. You will need a map of Victoria and Southern New South Wales. (Australia) This event covered approximately 2,000 miles including some 300 miles on dirt roads of varing quality, from good to loose gravel and potholes and frequently crossed with deep water courses. All extremely dusty when dry and muddy when wet! Of particular note is the "Fuel Stop" at Tubbut.(Day two) The road into Tubbut is such that it is not suitable for a Tanker Truck to deliver petrol. All fuel is delivered by 44 gallon drums on the back of a pick-up". Day 5. There was another half days drive from Mansfield to home (Melbourne). Below are also a couple of photoghraphs of the Tubbut "Service Station". Most of you should by now be familiar with the little white car in the foreground of the second pic. 60146.
  6. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Yes Stude 17 I did ask for the parcel to be sent Express Air Mail. The same way that I had sent the parts to them! This was ignored and they sent it by their local Courrier, I also sent them payment by telegraph transfer so there would be no hold up in their recieving payment. All this was to no avail! As you can see from the bank receipt this was not a cheap exercise! Bj
  7. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    This Parcel tracking game is fun! Since the last report two days ago my parcel has gone nowhere. Perhaps the delivery boy has gone home to mummy to have her put a "Band-aid" on his grazed knee ? Perhaps next time he will take the train & bus option?. One other thought is that Hermes may have lost his "winged helmet"? He may have put it down on a bench while he wiped the perspiration from his brow and one of the other couriers has taken it and hidden it. The options are endless. All or any other suggestions welcome. Perhaps I should ask Mrs May?
  8. oldcar

    Sale advice: 1952 Alvis TA21

    Hello I am living in Melbourne Australia but I regularly use:- www.prewarcar.co and the matching site www.postwarclassic.co. I get enquiries and sell cars all around the world. It will only take a minute to have a look and you may be surprised. While it is an English Car there is a huge market for similar cars that are LHD in Europe. Bernie j.
  9. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    There is something wrong here, I am reliably informed that from Bristol to Heston is a 1hour and 35 minute journey by train & bus. Perhaps I was close to the truth when I suggested to someone that "the courier must have fallen off his bicycle". Bj.
  10. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Location:- Heston Middx England Wow! now this is super fast service! In TEN days my parcel of gearbox parts has travelled 20 miles. Date-Time Description Details 13/12/2018 - 03:04 Crossing border and in transit to carrier hub Location: Heston, MIDDX 13/12/2018 - 03:03 Transmitted customs information Location: Heston, MIDDX 13/12/2018 - 03:03 Grouped when pallet scanned to crossing (DAI POST MEL 1) Location: Heston, MIDDX 13/12/2018 - 01:46 Scanned at Landmark crossdock facility Location: Heston, MIDDX 12/12/2018 - 19:05 Processed Location: Heston, MIDDX 04/12/2018 - 09:36 Shipment Data Uploaded Location: Heston, MIDDX Parcel Number: 1600303980194389 Date / Time Description Details 08/12/2018 - 13:58 Delivery attempt made, allow 24h 08/12/2018 - 07:37 The parcel has been handed over to the Hermes delivery driver to take to the Landmark depot 16 07/12/2018 - 20:18 Preparing for delivery to Landmark depot 16 07/12/2018 - 20:13 Preparing for delivery to Landmark depot 86 07/12/2018 - 10:58 At the national sorting hub 03 07/12/2018 - 10:57 At the national sorting hub 03 05/12/2018 - 08:52 Collected by the courier
  11. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    I have only just now discovered that my parts are still sitting in a Couriers Depot in Middlesex England. Fantastic Service.!!!!!!! Bj.
  12. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Maybe you are lucky or it may be that you are just two jumps away, one across the pond and another from east to west, OR maybe I am just being too impatient or is it that I take people at their word. Too many alternatives. Or perhaps no alternative? Friction Services came highly recommended. It seems as though I do not have any alternative now but to sit on my hands and wait. Either that or press my hands together a pray that the parcel has not really been lost. That it will simply turn up on Christmas Eve; so I only have another 12 days to wait. By then I will have chewed my fingernails down to my elbows. I have justy looked up the Courier Company, They trade under the name "Hermes":- Hermes (Roman name: Mercury) was the ancient Greek god of trade, wealth, luck, fertility, animal husbandry, sleep, language, thieves, and travel. One of the most mischievous of the Olympian gods. Now I really have a problem, I can only wonder how they came to choose that name? What I do know is that I have already spent over $1,000 and I have nothing to show for it.
  13. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    It is now almost another week and still no sign of the gearbox bands and no further action on the "parcel tracking". at least it has given me the time to replace the radiator "thermo" fan. To help pass the time, I can make a start on writing our annual Chtismas Letter. We must be getting older, we seem to had done a whole lot less activities this year so it may be a much shorter letter! Bj. 59877
  14. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    If I hadn't told you youwould never know. I have just spent the last two days or at least sometime on each of the last two days making the two mounting brackets and sorting out the installation of the new electric thermo controlled radiator fan. I was lucky in that I could adapt the existing thermo switch. The old fan had actually died due to a lack of use. Being a sealed unit there was no way that I could get into it to lubricate the bearings that had actually seized due to under use. It probably had not run for at least three or four years and of course when It was needed it failed to perform. Normally the Rapier tends to run too cool struggling to reach 80c. Lagonda never thought that it was necessary to install a fan on the Rapier engine and it is only in exceptionally heavy traffic that the fan is needed. Even in the UK and France we tend to avoid traffic bottle-necks but sometimes you do get caught. Now with a new fan installed we should not have too many problems. I am quite pleased that the new fan is no more conspicuous that the old one. If I hadn't told you you would never know........ Looking at todays photograph, perhaps I should paint the thermo switch and the rear of the fan body matt black. Bj.
  15. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hi Mike That was one of the options open to me until I started to assemble the "spare" box. It was only then I discovered that it was missing some of the vital parts for its reverse gear selection. The Rapier Register "Used Spares" almost certainly has the bits I need but they feel that it would be better if I identified these parts while I am in the UK. The "Used Spares" are looked after by an old friend who lives in a village in Wales. He does not "do" Emails. I still have some time and do not have to make a decision until probably in the New Year. The car will not leave here until late January. Surrending the gearbox is not the whole story, the Australian Border Force will simply "Impound the car". I don't want to sound negative but at the same time I need to be realistic. Bj.