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I had the great pleasure of chatting with Phil Irving at the Vincent rally at Shadow Lake Ontario circa 1980. A truly great man.

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I trust that you all do not think that I am some sort of horrible ogre. It is very easy to led off the subject but the primary reason for this thread is to discuss Lagonda Rapiers, minor excursions can be tolerated but any attempt to "take over", promoting unrelated material will be discouraged. Hopefully at least some of you will understand. After all I do not make posts on, for instance a Dodge or Chev thread, telling the readers how much better British Sports cars than their clunkers!

It is just as easy to start a new Thread as it is to post a reply.

Bj.

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The ship having been delayed by 7 days, we hope to load the five Rapiers (and one Riley) into the container for their sea voyage to the UK next Thursday or Friday.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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With the car virtually ready to go into the container there were just one or two little jobs left to do.

The main one was to check that the carbutettors were nicely "in tune". This can be litterally taken in the musical sense of the word as will soon be revealed.

The very first thing with a pair of twin or dual SU carbs is to make sure that they are synchronised. To do this it is necessary to release the throttle shaft coupling (See Below) so that each throttle can be moved independently. With the motor running and nicely warmed up and the air filters removed, Listen to each of the intakes in turn through a short length of rubber tube or hose. You will hear a hissing noise, by listening each in turn adjust the idle screw (Moving in very small adjustment each time) on each until the hiss sounds for both carbs is the same in loudness and tone. You can then re-tigthen the coupling making sure that you did not disturb the setting in the process. The carbs should now be synchronised. Next thing is the check the mixture. Most modern (1950s & 60s SUs have a little piston lifting needle under the right hand side of the dashpot (see photograph below). Again with the motor warmed up and running at an idle lift one piston, if the engine speeds up the mixture is too rich, if it slows or stops it is too lean, if the motor continues to run at an even idle the mixture is correct. If your carbs do not have these lifters you must lift the piston very slightly with a flat blade screw driver or similar, This should be approx 1/32 in) Proceed to check the other carb, if the mixture is either too rich ot lean this can be adjusted by screwing the jet adjusting nut (see diagram) ONE FLAT AT A TIME Screwing "Up" to weaken and "Down" to richen, rechecking the mixture with each adjustment.

Many people are un-aware that, with SU carbs in particular, the level of the float in the float bowl can effect the mixture strength. This is checked bu carefully removing the float bowl lid making sure that you do not drop the metering needle. The float level is measured by the clearance between the lever that rests of the top of the float and bears onto the bottom of the needle regulating the supply of fuel into the carb. To check this use a short piece of metal rod placed between the "prongs" and the lid of the float bowl. (The shank of a twist-drill is ideal.)

This varies depending on the year and size of the carburettor and the diameter of the float bowl. Sealing of the needle on its seat can be checked by gently blowing through the inlet on the side of the float bowl lid. (See attached chart below).

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Most (post WW2) SU's Have dampers incorporated with their dashpot screw-in oil caps. (See below) These should be topped up once per month, (depending on the amount of driving done) Note NOT filled to the top of the dashpot but filled to the top of the chamber in the piston guide.

Finally once per year it is a good idea to remove the Bandjo fitting bringing the fuel into the float bowl, there should be a small conical filter that requires cleaning before replacing back into its place in the junction.

Bj

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There is often discussion about the correct oil to put in dashpot dampers. Most instruction books simply say "light oil" An ideal oil is as far away as your supermarket home hardware shelves, usually marketed as "3 in 1" or Sewing machine oil. Engine oils are generally too thick and too viscous. Singer Sewing machine oil is usually readily available, a 100 ml container, as shown, should last some considerable time.

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Browsing through old Car books is often a rewarding past time. I discovered these gems in the introduction of a 1924 "Repair Manual"

"Many car owners are quite capable of undertaking their own repairs, or even a complete overhaul with a little instruction. The only difficulty confronting the majority is a want of confidence. It should be realized that the dismantling and re-assembling of a car presents as little difficulty, and certainly as much pleasure , as a "jig-saw" puzzle.

Motor car parts are made within such accurate limits that with careful handling, they are bound to go together again as before they were taken apart."

In an advertisement in the same book.

"This Splendid all-the-year-round Motor Coat keeps one warm when the wind is keen and cool, clean and comfortable on hot or dusty days.

Double buttoning fronts prevent wet getting through the button-holes whilst wind-cuffs protect the wrists and fore-arms.

Detachable linings of Fleece, Fur or Leather regulate the warmth."

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Oh! what jolly fun the modern automobile driver is missing out on!

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hello

Yesterday (27/3) was "Packing Day" with the six cars (5 Rapiers & 1 Riley) being crammed into a 40ft Shipping Container.

Previously we had prepared the steel channel section beams that was to form the "structure" to support three cars directly above those standing on the floor of the container. This exercise which also involved the services of a "tilt-tray" tow truck took some six hours. After months of drought like conditions it was predictable that the day was to start with steady rain as we drove the 30 kms to the Container Depot. Two of the cars arrived on trailers, one coming from interstate, almost 1,000 kms the other from out of town. The remain four arrived with their tops down regardless of the weather. To facilitate the loading the three cars to be loaded on the top also had their windscreens either lowered or completely removed. The tow-

truck being used to lift these up to the level of the top "deck".

Unfortunately the weather conditions were not ideal for photography but hopefully these few will give you some idea. Our shipping agent Greg very kindly organised the use of a large "shed" where we could dry off the cars before they were loaded. Bertelli Rapier owner Bruce Rodgers, a retired Engineer is to be congratulated on the terriffic job he has done in Planning the structure, ordering the steel etc and doing the bulk of the preparatory work. Without his input the alternative was to ship just three in a container virtually doubling the cost of shipping the cars from Australia to Europe.

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Unfortunately the route instructions for our journey around France is too large a file to post here but anyone wanting a copy can send me a PM with their e-mail address. two_oldlags@optusnet.com.au

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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That's impressive. What a great adventure. Will the ship go via Suez ? How do you arrange auto insurance for Europe?

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Hello Barry

Owing to the situation in the Middle East these days all shipping from Australia to Europe now goes across the Pacific, through the Panama then across the Atlantic. That is why ships take six to seven weeks for the voyage.

Regarding Insurance in the UK and EU. Some years back the British Classic Car Insurance Industry decided that they would no longer offer Insurance to visitors wanting to drive their own cars. Fortunately Hagertys felt that this was rather unfair and decided to open an office in England. They now insure virtually all the "foreign" visitors to the UK and those like us who use the UK as a start point, in the process picking up millions of dollars worth of business. Just think of all those owners of Bugattis, Bentleys, Rolls Royces etc etc all wanting to take part in Rallyes or like us just want to organise their own tour. Our shipping man has just recently shipped 17 Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts. He is kept busy shipping Vintage and Classic cars just out of one port in Australia, AND he is just one shipping agent.

If you are wondering about our "Equipe Australie" signage, that is simply French for "Team Australia", so that there is no confusion in the minds of the French public, mistaking us for English.

Bj.

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More photographs from "Packing day" these from photographer John Doutch. His profesional eye was quick to pick up the subtle differences between Radiator treatments. Four cars all the same make and model but each one different.

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Now for some different photographs of loading the container.

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Two of the "top-deck cars waiting their turn. Geoff Burford in his 1934 Riley 12/4 2/4 seat "Special" & my 1934 Lagonda Rapier "Eagle" two seater.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Great pics Bernie... it's always a treat and an education to visit your thread. Looking forward to the pics from your upcoming adventure.

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Thank you Whtbaron

Here are a couple more interesting pics for you.

First is Geoff's Riley engine and for comparison a Rapier engine. The Riley has two cams high in the cylinder block with short pushrods to operate the valves while the Rapier has two overhead cams working directly onto the valves. Both use Preslector gearboxes.

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The Riley is 1.5 Litre with a bore of 69mm and stroke of 100mm.

The Rapier is 1.1 Litre with a bore of 61.5mm and a stroke of 90mm.

My own Rapier is one of just a handful of 1.5 Litre with a Bore of 72.5mm and a stroke of 90mm. This is possible due to a batch of very special cylinder blocks commissioned by members of the Rapier Register during the 1970s.

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hello Barry

Not by 1934, by then "Diecast" aluminium was the usual material in use. The carbs on the Riley are later probably 1950s or even later, the float bowl lids are a big "give-away".

Those on the Rapier engine are the original as illustrated by the lack of a flange for a bolt on air filter, that and the horizontal carb to manifold flanges. My own car being something of a "wolf in sheeps clothing" has later 1 1/2 in carbs, with air filters, in lieu of the original 1 1/8 in.

Bj.

You need to look to find........ Compare this pic with the one of the standard Rapier engine above. How many differences are obvious? At least THREE should just about jump out and bite you.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Bernie,

Bruce Rogers might like to see the attached photo, which I assume is of his car. It's certainly of a Bertelli-bodied Rapier, and was taken on a VSCC rally around 1972. It was then owned by B Naylor, and I believe carried a UK registration plate VD**** - I cannot remember the numbers.

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I also cannot explain why the front mudguard is missing! I don't think he had been involved in an accident, so presumably a bracket broke and the wing was removed during the rally...

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A long time ago 20 years plus I was living in Kalgoorlie WA, I had and still have a Chrysler 66 on one of my Chrysler hunting trips which usually came about by someone telling me about an old car in the bush that looked like my Chrysler anyway on one trip up through Kookynie and Yilgangie I was in the bush looking for the said car when I came across an old camp, there was nobody around although it looked lived in so I was very cautious as to my actions but I could not help noticing the headlight of an old car through a lean to make shift door, peering in I could see it was a Lagonda but not knowing the models of these cars or anything about them I could not identify the model.

I waited quite a while but nobody turned up and I was running out of light and had to get back to Kalgoorlie, I never went back because I was never really interested in this make of car, silly me,

I often wonder if it is still there.

Regards

George

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Now that your Rapier has departed, you may be short of material for this thread, so here's an illustration from the Autocar of October 13, 1933 announcing 'the new 10hp Lagonda'. No doubt you have seen it before, but others may be interested...

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...Later still "Rapier Car Company" cars had a central "Remote control" gearchange instead of the neat little lever mounted ahead of the hand brake lever on the side of the chassis frame. This had a habit of finding its way up trouser legs of drivers with a driver-side door.

Not all the Rapiers had the centre change; my father's 1936 car had the right-hand floor change. I understood the centre change was only fitted to the supercharged cars, but I may be wrong about that.

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Bernie, have a great flight and tour. Keep us posted on how things are going. Just changed the tube in my 1923 McLaughlin Buick's rear tire. Not that hard of a job if you have a tire spreader. So I am all set for this summer's events.

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Bernie,

It's been some time since I posted any comments but I've continued to follow along on all your posts. I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your wife a safe and fun filled trip. Scott...

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Bernie, if Helen agrees post the link to her Facebook page. Would love to follow along with the family.

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When they were searching the Indian Ocean for plane wreckage, I seem to recall at one point they said there was about 3,000 of those shipping containers floating around out there. Sure glad to hear that yours wasn't one of them! A guy could open his own Walmart store just retrieving them....

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My friend Bruce Rogers who is taking his extremely rare* Bertelli (of Aston Martin fame) bodied 1936 Rapier, one of the less than 100 post Lagonda "Rapier car Company" cars, is busy on his final preparations for our trip. These preparations include re-setting the rear springs and replacing top gear cone in the gearbox.

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* Bruces "Bertelli Rapier" is the sole survivor still with its original body of just two built.

Bj.

I just met the Equipe Australie Lagonda Rapier team on the Fougeres Rally in Brittany France, - the cars were looking great and the team were soaking up the hospitality (and the rain). Bruce Rogers' car in its 'working' state gets my vote but I'm going to have to win the Lotto to trade up from my Austin Seven Special!post-100986-14314253474_thumb.jpg

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