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It is Thursday, day 1 of the Buick National Meet in Portland, OR. The cars are rolling in, it looks like a hundred or so this morning and lots more by the afternoon. Here are a few of the cars from this morning.

After looking at the cars for a bit, we headed down the road to the Evergreen Aviation Museum. What a great place. Lots to see. They had mostly airplanes, a few helos, and a space exhibit. All in all, very worth the trip. Took lots of pics too. Oh, and some Soviet armor too.

















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and here are the last of the pics. Most interesting to see a Boeing 747 on top of a building with a water ride coming out of the side of the aircraft. A novel use for an old airplane. I have no idea how they got it on the roof. Tomorrow, more car pics for sure and we are taking a trip up the Columbia River gorge.





















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Wow, what a museum, John! I enjoyed trying to guess those WWII era planes and then checking to see if I was right. I think I see a P-51, a P-40, a P-38, and the big bomber, the B-17. Cool planes. Did you take a ride on the water slide? :rolleyes:

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Chris, no on the water side. I would probably drown.

It is Friday, PM, Day 2 of the show, July 25th. We headed off today to tour the Hood River county. We visited Multnomah Falls and then headed up to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood. The lodge is at 6,000 feet. Built in 1937 by the WPA it is still in use today. Lots of folk out on this beautiful day. Lots of people were skiing and hiking. Very beautiful. We then headed back to the hotel. More car showed up today and this evening. Here are a few shots to include Joe and his 55 Century.















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It is Saturday, July 26th. The big day. Great day for a Buick car show. Beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. Looks to be over 300 cars on display by 10 AM. Here are the pics I took. Lots of great cars. My favorite, a 56 Buick estate wagon.













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The final group of pics. The last few pics are Joe's 55 being judged. Joe was sweating bullets. He said that he was marked down for not having the right color of fluid in the washer bottle, should have been blue versus orange. We will see how Joe did. The awards dinner is tonight. Should be fun.








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Here are the final pics of the show, and the awards dinner. Joe's 55 Century received a Bronze Award. He was very happy. Well deserved.

285 cars attended the show with 850 Buick nuts attending. A very good show.











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John, your photos are really nice. However, I have just one question for you. Who is the Joe you talked about that received an award for a '55 he owns? A last name would be most helpful here. My oldest daughter lives in Clackamas and we have been all over the Portland area when we go out there. Once again we enjoyed your photos.

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas Doo Dah

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Terry, it is Joe Hopkins from Ferndale, WA. Joe is sometimes featured in the blog. We followed his restoration in the blog. I sometimes forget we get first time visitors. I will remember next time.

It is Monday, July 28th. We made it back to the kid's home so we are settled in for the next two weeks. And we do have a report from Greg this morning. Looks like Paul Rose has a real Avanti runner on his hands.

Here is Greg's report.

"This weekend update is mostly concerning the Paul Rose R3736 low mileage Avanti. He had the good fortune to locate a correct 3506 carburetor only fifteen minutes from his home. Barb and I stopped by on Saturday as he arrived with it. Within a few minutes we had it installed and the car started just to see where he stood.

Enclosed is his report. It sounds like the confidence factor is building and he'll be venturing cross country in it very soon.

The photo collage he sent was taken by his son Preston . Nicely composed.

Ps. Paul, I think I have a good set of used "blue stripe" heater hoses off of 5054 for you.

To: gregcone@msn.com

Subject: Avanti (forward) progress today!

From: vintagemotorcar@aol.com

Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:40:33 -0400

Hey Greg,

Made great strides today with the 3736!

I was able to clean and reassemble the carburetor after soaking parts overnight (lots of varnish on the small parts). I double checked all of the jets and needles (correct). I blew out all of the passages (enema style) and reassembled the carb, making all of the adjustments per the factory manual. I installed the carb and it started right up. Nice smooth idle and good acceleration. I was also able to repair the dash pot unit (I think it’s a stall saver and a starting assist as it works as vacuum is all but depleted, it also holds the throttle open just a smidge to allow for an easy turnkey start).

I ran the car up and down the street a few times (spooking the cows) and then Ann, Mary and I went for a 40 mile cruise. We stopped to fill up with high test (as high as it gets anyway). The car runs very well considering the time it has been idle. I think some long runs would be good for it.

Upon our return I had some time to start some cleaning and bonding time with the car, not perfect but a great driver for my needs. The interior seems to have some “sticky stuff” on it. I’m using a mild cleaner cut with water and it is easily removed.

I did note a small heater core leak that I will have to address, not a big deal. I temporary looped the heater hose at the water pump so it could be driven during the heater core repair (don't worry, not the original hose).

Next I work with the original mufflers and head liner now that I can drive the car back and forth from the shop for the lift work.

Thanks for all of your support!




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August 1st, Friday morning, and we have an avaitation report from Greg.

"While I've been fighting the Avanti door vent battle, old friend Andrew King has been out doing what he does best.

Vintage barnstorming. I'll send along this neat report from him, but I guess I'd better preface a little bit.

When Lindbergh made his trans Atlantic flight, he opened up aviation for everyone. Factories sprung up all over the country to turn out aircraft for military and the general public. Not only that but homebuilders also got into the act.

I'm not the authority on Bernie Pietenpol's contribution to general aviation, but he built a few light aircraft designed around Model T and A Ford engines. Plans were also sold for their construction at home. They are still being turned out of basements and garages, usually with more modern power. Here's Andrew's tale of rescuing a true survivor with a known pedigree."

Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:23:37 -0400

Subject: Wisconsin

From: baldeagle527@gmail.com

To: gregcone@msn.com


Didn't make it to Oshkosh, but did have a good long trip. I got your message but wanted to wait till I got home (just landed this afternoon) so I could send some photos of the airplane I bought with Bob. It's a Pietenpol built in about 1934 by a guy named Centilli in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the Piet fly-in at Brodhead a couple of guys from Texas showed up with the remains on a trailer and started selling it off piecemeal. It had a set of WW1 instruments, neat old clincher wheels, honeycomb radiator, it was all dispersing. All that stuff had been together for 80 years and was going to disappear, I couldn't stand to see it happen, so I said to Bob, "We have to buy that thing." So we paid $600 for the engine and what was left of the fuselage and tails, and then went around and bought back everything that other people had bought (and they made a profit...). Ended up with about $2,600 in it, but it turns out to have a cool story, it was owned in the late '30s and '40s in Ohio by a guy named Stan Richards "The Fun Flying Farmer", who painted it in a neat red and white zig zag scheme. I'll attach some photos that happened to show up on Facebook a few weeks ago, and I realized yesterday that they were of the same airplane.

Other than that I flew the Taylorcraft to Ohio and picked up the Rudolf Pietenpol and flew it to Brodhead. We had a good show at the farm, about 13 airplanes, and between the end of dinner and sundown (well maybe a little after sundown...) we gave about 90 people rides. We had 3 biplanes and a Cub (I flew) and a Champ just going around the patch and lining up for riders, really felt like 1932.

After the Piet fly-in Bob and me and another guy with a Model A Pietenpol flew to Cherry Grove, Minnesota, where Bernard Pietenpol lived. He had two best friends who helped him when he got started in airplanes, Don Finke and Orrin Hoopman, and Orrin's daughter married Don's nephew. Bernis and John still live there and they showed us around the little town (pop 50), where Bernard's shop and house were, where the old airstrip was (about 1/4 mile from the one we landed on), and Orrin's grave stone in the little cemetary, it had a Pietenpol engraved on it. The Piet I was flying was in a flying club there from about '37 to '40, and Bernard, Don, and Orrin surely all flew it, so it was neat having it there. Then we swung south through Iowa and back through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Oh, our "new" PIet was named "Blitzkrieg", I'll attach a couple of photos, and one from the GoPro on Bob's airplane of us flying over Cherry Grove. I'm in the red and silver one, and Larry is in the yellow one. Also one from one of the hayfields we landed in during the trip.

All for now-








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It is Tuesday, August 5th. Still running around the Seattle area on vacation. But Greg has a very short Avanti progress report for us.

"All that struggle for this?! I finally have the 5054 vent window frames assembled and ready to install in the doors. Knowing that there is a rubber strip that gets trapped and must go in the doors first, I got them coming. It wasn't until after they arrived that I discovered the clips that hold them in place aren't in the best of shape. I'll try to get some coming and if they aren't available, I'll form some from the appropriate spring wire.

Sunday did offer some time on the hill, so I cleaned the rear wheel houses and frame rails. Shot some aerosol undercoating and the rear wheels are ready to go back on. Then I began the replacement of the rusty trunk release cable.

Overall a quiet and restful weekend with some progress to show.

Also a report from Paul Rose indicates that his confidence level is increasing as he takes the new Avanti on longer jaunts."

Oh, while on vacation we visited Mt Rainier National park and did a selfie. Makes you laugh. Not as easy to take as you might think.

Stopped by Ft. Lewis where I served almost four years. Here is a pic of the bad boys I got to play with. M60A1 main battle tank, and a M114 light tracked vehicle, the Sheridan. They are in the post museum, does that tell you anything?









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It is Tuesday, August 6th. Getting ready for my 50th HS reunion this weekend. Catching up with old classmates. Tracked down one from elementary and high school. We were best friends back in the day. Then I went to college and he went to work for his dad. He was a car guy back then too. Had not seen him since we graduated, but we made contact and went to see him with another old friend today. I told him on the phone of my cars, he did not say much, but indicated that he was still into cars. Great to catch up with him.

Here is his stable for your enjoyment.















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Yes John, he is still into cars. Period. They are pretty, expensive and I received no enjoyment from them. Show me a desert junkyard and I will enjoy that more than his high-dollar street rods. But thanks for trying John. We know where your heart is! :D

Chuck in Kansas

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Well, we get to go home from the Pacific Northwest tomorrow. After three weeks on the road we are very excited about heading back to the farm.

Greg sent me a report yesterday. Here is what he has been up to.

"A busy but pleasant weekend. Even with showers forecast, we pulled it off. Some time on the hill with the black Avanti, a cruise-in, a Sunday brunch, a Tango class......

I've now gotten the black Avanti 5054 ventilators loosely installed in the doors. No need to tighten them until the doors are adjusted to the body openings and the windows in place. A milestone nevertheless. Window mechanisms are next.

Saturday's weather proved to be just right for Paul Rose and family to meet us in Front Royal at an informal cruise-in. A highlight for me was to make the acquaintance of someone from the area who knew the first owner of Seabiscuit, the maroon Avanti. Didn't only go to school with him but raised hell with him in my car. I've been looking for contacts for thirty years. That first owner has since pasted.

Sunday provided time for more 5054 work, and more time with Barbara, gourmet chicken sandwiches and practicing some dance steps. Milkshakes on the way home a bonus.


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It is Friday, August 15th. Wow, made it back to VA. It is sure good to be back at the farm. Three weeks is just too long. We have spent the last three days recovering from jet lag, and cleaning up the farm. We have been mowing and weeding until we can no longer function. Been like zombies.

Today we still had farm chores to do, but closing in on being done. Just got the mowing done when the mower belt on the John Deere gave up. Took the time to pull the deck and clean it real good. It also got new blades. The new belt should be here on Monday.

We also moved and stacked 105 bales of hay into the barn. This give us 210 bales for the winter. Still the middle of summer and we are prepared for winter. Go figure.

I did get the chance to install the new steering column flashlight mount that I bought at the Buick meet in Portland. I had a period flashlight that I bought many years ago and it has just been sitting in a box. So polished it up and put it on the 23 McLaughlin Buick. Here are a couple of pics.





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It is Tuesday, August 19th, and here is a weekend report from Greg.

"Nice weather prevailed for Saturday. Got in some quality time with the Avanti 5054. I've decided to proceed in the direction of hearing the engine run. I'd been waiting on the repair of an oil temperature gauge. I'd sent it to a firm who supposedly specializes in Auto Instruments in lower Virginia. Thinking it would be quicker being in state, I was mistaken. Numerous calls and excuses so far. Since its sending unit screws into the oil pan, I wanted it plugged in so that I could then add motor oil. I've opted for Plan B. I put a pipe plug in the gauge bung and now have it filled with Rotella T1 30 wt spiked with Lucas engine breakin additive. Cylinder head studs are torqued, valves adjusted, exhaust manifolds tightened, the oil gauge line tightened, vacuum gauge hose installed, brake booster port plugged, valve covers installed, some oil squirted in the spark plug holes and an old set of plugs put in..... the distributor was installed and ready to be timed. ...

Unimog John was quick to answer a plea for the loan of a 12 v battery, with that in place I tried touching the cables. I got spark which told me something was robbing current. Made sure the ignition switch was off and tried it again. Spark. Even though I have all the lights disconnected, I pulled all the fuses from contact. Still spark. To begin searching for the current leak I started pulling the wires from the voltage regulator. That's where I found the problem. One of the terminals was getting voltage when it shouldn't . The regulator is a new solid state conversion. The original Prestolite regulators are drying up and I thought what the heck. As much as I hate these new "upgrades" like breakerless ignition and newfangled regulators, I'd give one a try. Some rave over them. This is another example of the old ways aren't so bad. Newfangled regulator will go back for observation while I resort to a NAPA replacement from a '71 Jeep. Different mounting pattern but I find the box of coils, springs and gears much more dependable.

The Harvester. The last time I had it out it was running like sixteen. Felt really good until it hiccupped, backfired once and quit. Before it stopped rolling I switched ignition back to Battery timer and it picked up and resumed the pace. I found that the magneto had locked up, kicked itself aside. Inspection showed that the internal bearings that support the armature had spun in the pot metal end castings which allowed the armature to drag. "Pot" is a curious metal that not only gets brittle and cracks with age, it also grows in dimension. Considering different ways to salvage them, instead of surgery which could prove to be lethal , I chose to build up the worn areas with JB epoxy and remachine the bearing seats. The first try, the quick and dirty way of indicating on what I thought was the unworn area turned out to be a steaming pile of failure.

The armature still drug due to close tolerances and a bad guess. Only after a fixture was machined to locate the casting for reboring on center was I able to reassemble the unit correctly. I should remagnetize the unit before I try it.

Saturday also found us enjoying the evening dining with the Burchills which included round trips across the Potomac on the Jubal Early ferry boat. Nice evening."


Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Tuesday, went off to town with the Jaguar this morning. She was running great. I rounded a corner and heard a slight pop and the rear end got squishy. Do I have a flat?

Pulled over and looked at the tires, all fine. So I headed slowly home, about a twelve mile trip at 20 mph. Every time I rounded a corner I heard that faint pop and could feel that floating feeling. It feels like the rear end or a tire is moving back and forth. Could I have broken an axle and still be able to drive it?

But I made it home OK, have to head back into town so will put it up on jack stands this afternoon and see if I can see anything amiss. Oh, and I did check the knock offs, they seems to be tight.

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Glad to see you had arrived home safe and sound. Sorry that we couldn't have spent more time together at the Nationals.

We got home on the 6th in time for me to be back at work for the 7th. 7,177 miles but it was a trip of a lifetime for us!

I like the new addition. I had been looking for the same type of set up for my 1925. Every time I found a period type of flash light in useable condition the price was out of sight. I will keep looking.


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It is Friday, August 22nd, AM. Well yesterday I pulled out the Jaguar from the garage. It has been raining hard here so had to work between storms. I jacked up the car so that both wheels on one side were off the ground. Then used the copper headed mallet to check the knock off hubs. Both were about an inch loose. They are tight now. I then crawled under the car and inspected the shocks, springs, etc for signs of any movement. None found. I then did the same to the other side of the car. The front hub moved about two inches before it tightened. Also checked that side of the suspension for any obvious problems. None found. Took the opportunity to pump in grease to the rear wheel bearings and emergency brake cables.

I did find that the right rear drum is really dragging so I grabbed the manual this morning and figured out how to release the adjuster. So will do that sometime today/Friday to see if I can free it without pulling the drum. So more on that sometime today.

I did take some time to really scrub and treat the tires while they were off the ground. They look great.

Update: still AM. Got the Jag back up and found out the process of adjustment from the manual. Easy, find the slotted screw and back off. So did that the wheel rotated easily. So Shadow and I took the car out for a ten mile drive. No more clunk and wobble. It was a loose wheel sliding on the hub spline.


Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Pat, no damage to the splines. I was real easy getting her home.

It is Monday, August 15th, AM. The rain has finally let up and yesterday was a nice day so took the opportunity to make some minor adjustments to the green Avanti. Going to head out today and fill it with fuel.

And speaking of Avanti, here is Greg's weekend report for your enjoyment.

"Well, did get some things done. Fair weather to work on the black Avanti 5054. I've been hooking up enough stuff to hopefully hear the engine run. Not enough to drive. Only after I've run it long enough to get the coolant temperature up will I be able to retorque the heads, etc. Then I will start adding the things that were in the way. Power steering pump, brake booster and master cylinder , etc.

Saturday I had enough done to try startup. A fresh engine isn't always eager to light off for the first time, but I did coax it to life. The fact that everything is new and out of adjustment still causes some issues. It starts and runs well, too well. For some reason it doesn't like to slow down towards idle and needs plenty of choke. Usually this means a vacuum leak somewhere. And speaking of leaks, the nicely painted radiator surge tank spews water. The old spare was called into play.

Other chores: The fuel pressure gauge has been replumbed, the shift mechanism has been adjusted, more transmission fluid added. When running the engine does sound strong, oil pressure up around sixty pounds.

Also the carburetor has been rebuilt to R-2 specs (289 cubic inch supercharged), but this engine is to R-3 specs (304 cu. in supercharged) and this might be an issue, but wouldn't think so. So I'll try another carburetor that has the right settings and also check for gaskets that haven't sealed.

All I know is that now that I'm older and smarter .....I'm having problems with things that never bothered me when I was young and stupid.

I guess you've noticed that I haven't been enclosing any photos. Somehow the settings on my camera got changed to increase my images to a size that blows fuses in most computers. I only know enough about the thing to leave it alone without supervision."


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Been out driving the green Avanti and getting a lot of waves. Cleaned up the Jag for a old car picnic on Saturday.

And here is a cute story from Greg.

When I made a career move to aviation history and restoration about twenty years ago, I fell into a whole new group of friends. One of them, Pete Hays I don't get to see very often, but I know that flying is is livelihood and antique aviation his other interest. He sent me this video clip today. What could be better than a Piper Cub (military L-4 at that. Notice the abundance of windows for the observer).

A beautiful day, little Olivia just as cool as a cucumber on her first real airplane ride, the door open (watch it float as he settles in for a landing)......what a treat even if we couldn't ride along. Thanks Pete!

> Subject: Olivia's First Plane Ride HD - YouTube

> From: lphays99@yahoo.com

> Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:43:50 -0400

> To: gregcone@msn.com


> My seven year old's first real plane ride.




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John, I see it. Looks to be a XK150 FHC. Sad to see it in such a state. I saw one like it, only white, on Ebay a couple of days ago. It was a number 4 car, but they said it ran. Did not meet reserve at $44,000. I also saw a XK120 at auction on tv. It went up to $107,000 and did not meet the reserve. Looks like they are either going up in price or folks are just asking much too much money for them. I will keep mine.

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Had a great visit with John and others yesterday, a friend has an old car storage facility on the mountain between Winchester and Washington DC, every Labor Day weekend has his old car buddies over for food, drink, music, and bragging....I didn't take pictures, because I saw John clicking away, awaiting report! Some nice cars there, I took my Pierce, John had his Jaguar, Greg had his restored Avanti, and the first thing people wanted to know about his car was what kind of wheels...factory optional Halibrand mags!..... John's friend Steve came with a beautiful early Camaro...I'm sure there'll be pictures soon!

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Thanks David. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces and some new folks too. Love the old car group. Joe was a gracious host providing food, drink and the great band. It will be on the agenda for next year to be sure. Here are the pics I took. That is David Coco with his 31 Pierce Arrow, and then the other cars you should recognize. There is a pic of a 64? white convertible with red interior, this is the car David did all the trim work for twenty years ago. Still looks as new today. The car I really liked was the 68 Chev Impala, now if it in my price range. It was a great ride in the mountains, the Jag ran great.





















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I helped Joe acquire a 1960 Cadillac convertible about 20 years ago, then reupholstered the biscuit tufted leather seats for him...it's under the cover behind the red Thunderbird convertible in one picture....

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It is Thursday, September 4th. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Getting Jag ready for the Concours in Reston, VA on the 21st. Today I am doing a deep cleaning of the boot area.

For more reading enjoyment, here is a Greg report.

"Things have been moving along. Didn't check in over the weekend even though it was a good one. Car wise, we attended a party hosted by Joe Pascal who has a really nice spread on the Blue Ridge mountain overlooking the East. A very nice affair, food drinks entertainment and car talk. And the weather was beautiful. Unimog and Trimacar beat us there!

Otherwise, tonight was an Avanti milestone. 5054 made its first trip to the garden hose for a bath, first time under its own power since 1978. It wasn't too keen about it, but as I always say, any round trip is a good one. This one especially so, the trip made without brakes meant careful planning.

Back in the shed safe and sound, there's a lot yet to be done. Hopefully working over the Winter and next Spring will see it roadworthy.

Ps. Sorry for the crappy pictures. Trying new settings.





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Still Thursday. Greg has a wide and diverse set of car guy friends that he sends his updates. Once in a while one of them hits a "reply all". So I received this last night and thought I would post it as it is very interesting.

"Hi Greg,

I thought you might be interested in some of the results of the vintage races at Monterey Reunion at Laguna Seca raceway in California during mid August this year. We had 2 racecars there.

We bought a sorry looking Morgan 3 wheeler some 16 years ago as it had good racing history, being one of the factory racecars during 1935-36. It was also the prototype vehicle for some of successive models that the factory produced in the following years, including the 4 wheel variety.

Our restoration progress was rather slow, some work completed in 1999, some in 2003, some in 2008 and finally the finished product in 2014. We applied to take the car to the Monterey Reunion, the world's largest vintage race week and it was accepted. The driver was to be Karen since her normal open wheel formula car race group was not included this year. She would be the pilot of the Morgan 3 wheeler and had never driven one before mid-August. She does have about 20 years experience in racing several open wheel formula cars.

Restoration included replacing all body wood as the original was too rotted. The new wood is all ash. In a similar manner, the original steel body was badly rusted and could not be salvaged so a new body was hand formed from aluminum. The car has a steel chassis, one of the first to be so fitted by the Morgan company - earlier cars had a wood chassis with some steel bracing. The engine and running gear were restored but the starter failed at the last moment so we had to hand crank it - it generally started on the first active pull after a few engine turns without a charged system.

We also added the fundamental racecar driver protection features; roll bar, fuel cell, seat belts, inside fire system, battery on/off switch on dash, coil on/off switch on dash, fuel on/off valve on car left front and new tires.

Karen finished 8th out of 25 pre-war group 1 entries. A photo of Karen and the racecar was in the Monterey Herald on the first page of the sports section.and was the only one of the 550 racecars there that was in the paper. She is also the first woman to race a Morgan 3 wheeler in the USA.

The drivers of this racecar in period included the factory director and Peter Morgan, so it has good history. The race last month was the first time the car had been in competition since 1936, some 78 years ago. We will continue to use it for vintage racing from now on.



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It is Friday, September 5th. Another hot one here today. Going to be in the 90s with a heat and humidity index of over 100 degrees. This is really rare for Virginia. We should be in the mid 80s with no humidity. Here is a pic of how Blackie the cat handles the heat.

Last weekend at the picnic I told Greg that the green Avanti had a stumble. He asked if I was using the correct plug. Well, I had no clue what was correct. I have modern plugs in the engine. He chuckled and told me to find Champion UJ-12Y. He said that these were the plugs the engine came with. He suggested that the modern plugs were "c...". So I went on Ebay and was able to purchase two boxes/20 plugs. So at some point a set will go into the Avanti. Oh, they were last made in the mid 70s. Here is a pic.

I also spent some time on the boot of the Jaguar. It has been all cleaned and made ready. Pulled out the original Dunlop spare and made sure it had air and was nice and clean. All the tools were checked so we are ready to close up the boot and move on to the engine and suspension. Oh, the concours is on September 21st.

Remember last month I said that I was going to enter the Jaguar in the Champion class, which has a very high level of judging? Well the car has been accepted for that class. I also said that I was going to spend $500 bring it up to the next level to hopefully knock off some items that will give me major deductions. So I spent all the money today.

I ordered a complete decal set, a correct tool roll, a leather pouch for the cam adjuster tool, and a complete coolant hose kit.




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