unimogjohn

Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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It is Saturday, July 7th. Just too hot. Now at 6 PM it is 102 degrees with a heat index of 120 to 125. No outside stuff today. Pool is too warm too.

Thought I would give you a quick update on the 1923 McLaughlin Buick. Ever since we found the 1925 driver's license of Ethel Hickmott of England in the door panel, I have been on the quest to find her. After a three year search I was able to contact the son of the daughter of one of Ethyl's sister. He actually remembered his aunt, and his mom, who is 94, remembered the car. All this was about six months ago. During our discussions I asked if they had any pictures of Ethel. Yesterday I received a reply with a few pics of the family and then one of "Ettie" and her friend, Ethel is on the right. Ethel passed away in 1964. Longfield Court was the family home where she lived most of her entire life.

It was great to finally put a face to the car, and the first owner to boot. It has been a long quest, but worth it. Here are the pics I was sent.

Pictures show- Longfield Court, Kent, England

Uncle Henry, Grandma, Aunt Dodo, Uncle Bert who were Ethel (Ettie) brother's and sister and Mother- although there were 12 of them They are standing by the original stable block which was then used to garage the car.

Picture of Penny (friend) and Ettie on the right in the garden of Longfield.

And have included a pic of the car as she is today.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

It is Monday, July 9th, AM. Going out soon to see if we have damage from the storms that hit us last evening about 6 PM and all night long. 2.5 inches of rain out of them too. During the first storm we had one big fir tree come down next to the house. A close call. Looks like I have a lot of chain saw work to do. Here are a couple of pics. I have never seen so much lightening in living here almost 15 years. One good thing is that the temps are down to 72 degrees this morning.

And Greg called this morning and said that they arrived home at midnight to a war zone. Lots of trees down and now power. But they made it home safe and sound. We will get more from Greg later on in the week.

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It is Monday, July 9th. Walked around the pastures this morning. Had to close one off as we have a lot of downed electric fence. It will take several days of work to get it put back together. So we tackled the downed fir tree. We spent about six hours with the chain saw and finally had it all removed. I was able to get the stump out too and moved it to our wood pile with the tractor. Here are a couple of "after" pics.

And I just received a report from Greg.

"Ok, this will be brief. We arrived Warrenton last night about midnight. Same old story. Looked like ground zero. Another storm had been through taking down large trees, lines, and of course the power.

After hacking our way into the apartment (large tree had crashed the porch), forcing open some windows that had been painted shut, we were done for the night.

This morning we assessed damages, including the large tree that fell on the hangar on the hill which perforated the roof, broke rafters and knocked debris on Seabiscuit. Thankfully no damage.

The power came back this evening, but of course the internet is still KIA so I'm timing out at the local library.

A brief wrapup of the past weekend would be that we had a long drive, what I'd call great weather (the ambient temps were noted to be 106 - 109 degrees, hard to tell what it was at the Miller Mile asphalt bowl) and best of all ....NO RAIN!!!

The Stoddard performed flawlessly. It represented the Dayton factory very well. Not only did it give no trouble (other than trying to perform on ethanol, my dumbness), but when given the opportunity I found that with only about 3/4 throttle available (floormat in the way of the gas pedal) I could , when given the chance, hang with the T-head Mercers.

We saw and made friends, hopped a lot of rides and compliment the Harry A Miller club for putting on a unique and first class event.

Photos will follow sometime.

Timer says gotta go."

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Wow, John, sorry you folks are having such a bad weather time, but sure glad no one got hurt. Living in the "sunny South" is one thing I do not miss at all, but still worry about all our folks there. Perhaps the badness will be over soon and not screw up more stuff. When we bought our land in Alabama, we were still living in Nashville, Tn, and about '96 or so, there were ice storms that covered the south. We had at least one tree on every building we owned in both states, and even one on our Boxer's dog house trapping her. Trees are gorgeous and necessary, but when we built in Alabama, we made sure we were WAY more than a tree length from the closest one. Take care with all that clearing, it's a big and dangerous job. Good luck, John

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John, good to hear from you. Glad that you are still enjoying yourselves in the land of the swaying palm trees.

It is Tuesday, July 10th, more clean up for me today. And I am sure for Greg too. But he did send me this short message late last night. And a pic too. I rotated it so everyone does not have to rotate their computer screen.

From Greg, "Photos and video were taken at the Miller Club meet, but they are yet to be processed. Meanwhile, this shot has found it's way in.

Entitled "Mile a minute" by Bill Evans.

No, we weren't upside down at the time, you'll have to flip it because I don't know how."

A good pic of Greg, and by the looks of it, he had the pedal mashed to the floorboards.

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It is Wednesday, July 11th, PM early. Well I am back. The forum moderators have opened the thread.

And just in time too. Here is a report from Greg.

"Ok, you wanted pictures, we got pictures. Barbara has been busy all day downloading and sending photos she took at the Miller Meet. I'll forward them and offer a description. This will be in serial form and might take a while.

The event was kicked off with a reception on Thursday night. We were to be at the track and ready for a group photo early Friday morning. These first pics were taken when we found Bill Evans' Blitzen Benz and Issota Fraschini cars alrady staged,

I jumped the lineup to make sure I got a shot of the SD along side the fast crowd.

Otherwise, the crank for the Wright arrived. It looks good, should fit. Today I began the alteration of the plastic copies of the 6-60 rods to visualize how I'm going to make modified copies to suit my needs.

While I have the Stoddard at hand, there's some detail work to be done. The oil level indicator is a sight gauge operated by a sunken float. In order to remove the gauge I needed to loosen the exhaust manifold, pull the #4 magneto spark plug, ignition conduit, piping, etc.

Of course then this morning we got orders to rearrange the aircraft jammed and intertwined in our hangar. That meant putting the SD back together so that I could move it. Never fails.

And...a package arrived. Rechromed R-3 valve and valley covers.

Cut lunch short so that I could be ready to spray the paint on the Granatelli engine block this evening, but I was again detoured.

These are busy times."

Photos: 1 & 2. Fast movers at Milwaukee

3. Wright 8-60 crank

4. Plastic rod alteration

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Still Wednesday. Thought you might like some Jaguar projects I am involved in.

First off, I had recorded a TV program a couple of days ago titled "The World's Most Expensive Cars". It was about the Auto Union 1939 type D racing car that was going to auction in Paris. As part of the program they interviewed a several folks who were interested in buying back a Ferrari. In the background I spied a XK 120 drop head couple, and guess what, it was pastel green. The same as ours. I then went to Google to see if the auction house still had information on the car on its web site. They did, and confirmed that it was pastel green with a green leather interior. How cool is that, another green jag. Attached is a pic of the screen where you can see the car.

Anyway, our Jag was sold at a RM auction in 2004. In the description of the car it mentioned that it had been selected for and shown at the Meadow Brook Hall Concours in Michigan in 1990 and 1995. It also noted that it had won a couple of awards. Nothing I received with the car had any documentation of this sort. So I am on a search for the documentation. I found a poster advertising the 1990 event, which featured the Jaguar mark, but have not found a program. So I bought the poster. But I did find a program for 1995 event so bought that, and it should arrive here at home in a few days. Here is a pic of the 1990 poster. If I can be certain that the car was in the 95 event (the program will give me that data), I will contact the organizers to see if they can give me any information.

I was also told by a Jag judge that the dampers on the SU carbs of my engine are incorrect. They have a plastic top of the later XKE model carbs. They should have a pair of brass chrome plated dampers that are stamped with "oil reservoir" on top. Just so happened that I was on Ebay and a pair came up. So got them a a very good price. One has a longer rod than the other, but will compare them to the ones on the car now. Not great quality, but they are correct for the engine. Worse case I can use them when the car is being shown rather than when the engine is running. Here is a pic.

I will update you when I get the 1995 program. Oh, and I did do a Google search for the show results, but could find nothing going back that far.

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Edited by unimogjohn
new damper pic (see edit history)

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Still Wednesday, but PM. I would like to thank the forum moderators for allowing this little thread to continue. I appreciate everyone going to bat for it to continue. So with that said, here is Greg's report on his trip. I am sure we will be getting little snippets over the next few days as he collects his thoughts of what he has seen and heard. Also, here is a link to the Blitzen Benz on Wikipedia. Blitzen Benz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"I'm going to jump to a couple of Barb's photos to answer a question received concerning the Blitzen (Lightning) Benz. What's the deal? It doesn't look so big.

Built for one purpose, land speed record work, Benz installed an aero engine in one of their chain drive chassis. One of their two hundred horsepower, twenty-two litre ones. That's about thirteen hundred cubic inches of displacement (that's about a 327 Chevy in each cylinder).

Drive sprockets the size of manhole covers, might even be overdriven in fourth gear, I don't know.

Aerodynamic bodywork, the thing was held to over one hundred forty miles per hour in 1914.

So no, compared to the Stoddard, it isn't very big. Until you remove the hood.

Awesome.

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More from Greg.

"During our trip to Milwaukee we were flattered by the company of the Davisons. Stoddard owners themselves, they made the trip in from the West Coast just to pit crew for us. Here are a few shots when he got in a few laps."

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And one last one for today.

"We met Staunton, Va. resident Lee Stohr, the Christie front drive specialist. Here's a shot taken during his laps of the track. He was filming, and it was during his ride that we encountered the vapor locking."

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John,

I now can go to bed tonight and get some proper rest knowing that your update will continue on. I true enjoy your posts on your cars and adventures and of course really do enjoy Greg's updates too that you pass along. Scott...

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FYI. Lots of discussion and pics on the HAMB web forum of the show. Here is a link History Auto racing 1894-1944 - Page 404 - THE H.A.M.B.

Thanks for link..Looks very interesting...<object width="1" height="1" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="undefined" value="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="1" height="1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" undefined="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" allowScriptAccess="always" allowscriptaccess="always" /></object>;)

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It was just too hot to work outside so spent a couple of hours doing more searches on the Jag in the 1990 Meadow Brook Hall concours. To my surprise I found a set of pics of several years of the concours. They were on Flicker under the user name of carphotosbyrichard. He has done almost all years beginning with 1990. And I found the Jag in his pictures. The link is below. If you go to his main page on Flicker you can see all his albums. The color does not look like pastel green, but pastel grey/blue. I think that the color pallet is off. I did not see any pics of the Jag in his 1995 album.

All sizes | 1953 Jaguar XK120 coupe | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I sent Richard a note to see if he has any pics that he did not publish of the 90 and 95 events. Will let you know if he responds.

Update: About an hour or so after I sent a note to Richard, he responded that he would look through his files for additional pics.

Edited by unimogjohn
received a message from Richard (see edit history)

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It is Friday, July 13th. Rain in the forecast today. We need some.

I played a bit with the Jag yesterday. The pooch and I went out for a long ride. Oh, she runs and sounds so good. But we are on country roads, so we can only make third gear. When we got back I decided to check the new, correct style, damper rods with the ones in the engine. Well, one of the new ones is about a quarter of an inch shorter than the ones in the car. I have a SU repair book, think I will take a look to see what the one really does fit. But for now I am leaving the ones on the carbs on. If I ever go to a show that requires the correct cap, then I can always slide them in. A two minute job.

And for your morning coffee, here is a Greg report.

"Tonight's photo recollection: In the pits.

While driving toward Milwaukee in the Fesermobile with trailer, I had time to think of things I hadn't done.

I hadn't had the Stoddard out since the Indy Celebration over a year ago. Oil pressure gauge repairs hadn't been tested, and another issue I hadn't yet addressed was a compression thing. It had always had two cylinders that when hand cranking it, felt softer than the other two. I'd been meaning to check compression, but kindof hard to do by myself with a rubber tipped gauge to hold in the plug hole while you hand cranked with the other.

What to do? I called Glenn Miller. He was going to attend, and I could enlist his help. When I called he was doing what he must do most of the summer. Had his face in a slice of watermellon. Anyway, when we decided to do the test, he'd brought a tester, part of which he had welded up at five in the morning before he had gotten on the road.

I think it was quite appropriate that we did this while in the pits at the Miller Mile.

Test results? #1 50 psi #2 60 psi #3 65 psi #4 65 psi.

Yep, the front two cylinders are a bit weak, especially the first. We had considered doing the Bon Ami trick that might help seat

any piston rings that weren't, but we opted to put the plugs back in and go out to play instead.

Otherwise, back to another project. The Granatelli Avanti engine assembly.

I had planned to get the cylinder block painted last Monday evening. Power outage, etc had gotten in my way until I finally got it sprayed during today's lunch. Now to start hanging parts as I get them ready. (I asked Greg what he had planned for this engine since the engine for the black Avanti was done. He said "display" for now." He wants to use up performance parts that he had collected for years into "complete things" versus just things.)

Photos of the great Compression Test. Glenn seems to be enjoying himself. Didn't realize he wasn't going to get paid.

In the background is his son Dan. It's really neat to see that he enjoys this old iron.

And Glenn, have a slice of watermellon on me (so to speak)."

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Still Friday, but after the PM mail delivery.

Received the 1995 Meadow Brook Hall Concours d'Elegance program, all 152 glossy pages. A very impressive publication. I turned to the entrant page and found our Jaguar. After quickly going through the program, I realized that the 1994 awards and pictures were highlighted. So I returned to Ebay and found a 1996 program, which I promptly bought. While I was on the hunt I looked for a 1991 program and found one, bought that one too. So here are pics of the 95 program and the car's entrant information. I will see if I can get any information on Mr. Miller Beurmann and see if I can contact him.

I also decided to obtain a Jaguar Heritage Certificate for the car. So I completed the application with the required documentation and pictures, and sent that in. It will take four to six weeks to get the cert. Why am I doing all of this? Well, I enjoy the hunt, and I also want to document the history of the car. I know that I am only a caretaker of the car and want to be able to pass along its history at some point.

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It is still Friday. Her name is "Beatrice". I found the name, address, and phone number of Miller and Barbara on the WWW white pages. So I gave them a call and Barbara answered. We had a great conversation. She remembered all about the car and its history, and informed me that a complete history/diary of the car was given to the previous owner when he bought the car at auction, which included notes and pictures from all of the previous owners. So I have contacted the broker to see if he can find the copy.

She said that the car was a special order car by a judge in Ames, IA., then at his estate auction it was sold to the Arthur Murray Dance HQ in FL, then made it back to Bloomsfield Hill, MI and finally, Howard, MI. They were the ones who sold the car at the R/M auction in 2004. She said that the car had won several first place, concours level, awards in MI to include best in show. She said that Miller keeps notes on all his cars (they still have six Jags) and would try to find them for us.

So it was great to talk to Barbara. She said that they are still involved in the Jag community and have a large circle of car friends. She is 70 and Miller is 80 and still both going strong.

So the Jaguar's name is Beatrice, and in our care we will continue that name.

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John,

I am happy to be able to catch up on your discussion. They were finally able to fix the technical glitch that has prevented me (and I assume many others) from viewing this particular discussion since the software upgrade. It is good to be able to read your posts again.

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Matthew, glad I am back. I had a note from the administrators that it is or was a technical glitch. Glad they did, as everything seems to be OK now. So I guess Greg and I will press ahead. We are still getting 200 to 300 hits a day on the thread. When no one reads us any more that will be the time for us to quit, but until then we have decided to just press ahead with our little snippets. Thanks for your support.

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count me in on your "hits" at least daily when physically able, Mr. F, since '09!!! :)

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Guest pfloro

IMHO, there is a friendly & honest quality to John Feser's 'Avanti, etc.' thread. John writes well and he shares wonderful knowledge & daily experiences. His pictures add to the adventure.

I too look forward to reading John's thread and learning about his cars as well as Greg's work...

Thank You, John...

Paul

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It is Monday, July 16th. It has been a couple of hot days and getting hotter over the next couple of days. Llamas tolerate some heat, but love fans blowing on them in the shade. And of course a couple of big fans just had issues. Fixed one, but one has a broken fan belt. So off to find a replacement.

But Greg has sent us some more pics of the Blitzen, and himself as the co-driver, mechanic. Just like the old days.

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And for your Monday morning coffee, here is Greg's report for the weekend.

"Friday's mail contained a foam carburetor float , what it fits I don't know, but I cut and shaped it to fit the oil level gauge on the Dayton. When it fit correctly, I gave it a coat of Caswell Fuel Tank Epoxy to seal it.

Now the float is working again. That's the only way of checking the 12 quart level in the engine.

Then, back to the Granatelli display engine. I was about out of the custom matched and mixed red, so it was a road trip to Winchester to get another quart.

The cylinder heads being the next to get ready. Nasty job, but I got them cleaned and then painted. While they dry I need to make some bridge supports to secure the engine to the stand. I don't trust all that weight to four coarse thread bell housing bolts through the stand's bracket.

And Saturday evening we enjoyed being invited to celebrate Frank Gable's birthday. Being a professional baseball player must have been good for him. Hard to believe he's seventy! Doesn't look or act it. Another I'm pleased to call a friend."

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Just an update on the Jaguar documentation. I have contacted the previous owner via the broker, and they will see if they have the "diary" from the car. Also receive a note from Barbara that if the previous owner (Greg) does not have the diary, then they would check their information on the car and see what they have for me. Also Barbara sent us a pic of their current driver. I believe it to be a XK 140 roadster.

Since I was on a roll I decided to see if I could find out any information on the Jags reported first owner. Got to poking around the web and found the obituaries for both the husband and wife. He passed in 1986 and she in 2011. But it was reported that they had a son who is active in the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg automobile club. So I found an email address for him on their forum site and sent him a note. So we will see if he responds and let you all know. It would be great to find the original owner and may even a pic of the car and him together.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Still Monday, hot and humid, about 95, waiting for the storms to come in.

Got the afternoon mail. Don't believe everything you read unless you have the proof, in writing. It was documented in the 2004 RM auction brochure that the Jag was selected for the 1990 Meadow Brook Hall Concours event. Today, I received the 1991 program where the 1990 participants and winners were acknowledged. Well, our Jaguar is not there. So much for oral history.

At least I know that it was entered in 1995 as shown in the program, and the 1996 program is on its way. Now that will be proof.

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