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1913 36 model 17 in the UK


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Evenin everybody,


The cold is with us !  I have been out a few times on the Chalmers this last couple of week's but not very far, I have been over to the Crewe railway heritage centre,


I was able to get very close to the 1938 Crewe built Duchess of Sutherland,






also on the museum site I found my mate Ray's double decker bus,




I got another great shot of the old Joules brewery building next to the canal in Stone,




these beautiful almshouses in Nantwich,




while I was looking for more Chalmers information on the web I found these photo's of one of my trip's out, they were taken locally while I was calling in for fuel,






you never know if you are being followed !


with 3250 miles so far this year I don't think there will be many more to add unless we have a heatwave !




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  • 3 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


Sorry for the lack of updates,   the winter has arrived,   I think the chances of getting out on the Chalmers are slim,


I am doing some work on a 1967 Silver Shadow that my Grandfather had in 1969, I have stored it for over 20 years and we are starting a restoration, I am doing a few things before it goes away for bodywork,




It started without to much trouble but the carbs needed cleaning up which took a bit of time but was worth it.


The exhaust will be next to receive some attention, always the worst job.





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  • 4 weeks later...

Afternoon everybody,


I have been working on the shadow's brake's which are not only the most complicated braking system I have ever seen but is also the most seized up braking system I have ever seen, I started with the reservoir that was full of brake fluid jelly ,




I will have to strip all the various brake valve's, there is about 10 of them !


The weather has been exceptionally cold for us this year,




we walked down to the field and checked on the donkey's,




Have a great Christmas, keep the workshop's warm and busy.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Evenin everybody and a Happy New Year,


Christmas really did arrive here this year,    a spare 1913 Chalmers engine and gearbox arrived last week,




I have started to take it apart and I am very happy with it, it has not run for over 60 years,




it is come apart really well, the carb is in great condition and will be tested on the car this spring,




it looks very clean inside,




number 4 cylinder has had some water in it, I am soaking it in diesel while adding some load, it has moved a little already,




It is a great feeling knowing I have some good spares and hopefully a running engine.


Definitely a happy New Year.










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  • 1 month later...

Evenin everybody,


Sorry again for the lack of updates, my main excuse is the lack of warmth outside !  I do sound very old !


I have been working on stripping down the spare Chalmers engine and it has gone quite well,




number 4 piston was stuck but after pouring in some diesel and putting pressure on for a few days it came out only leaving a bit of a rusty patch on the bore,






I removed the water jacket cover plate and removed a mouse nest, acorn's and a mouse skull !  when doing this most of the bolt's that went through to the coolant snapped off, I was able to remove this portion of the bolts and restore the threads,




the block has been taken for a rebore and the rusty portion of the bore has now been removed and the other bores have been taken out to the same size,




all the timing marks line up,




the crank was pulled out and looks to be in excellent condition,




I am still working on my Grandfather's Rolls Royce, the brakes are really taking a lot of time but I am getting there slowly,




the Chalmers crankcase and sump are away being fully cleaned and should be back in a couple of weeks.




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  • 1 month later...

Evenin everybody,


Very sorry for the lack of updates on the Chalmers and the spare engine, 


The block has been bored and honed, there is some discolouration where the rust was in number 4 cylinder but no pitting or any holes,




all the outer faces have cleaned up well,





a set of pistons that are ready to be modified to match the originals are here as are the replacement valves, these are as before from a Caterpillar D9 dozer,




the crank pressed off the flywheel and is in good condition, now awaiting a light grind to clean it up and the rods are being re-Babbitted to suit,




the rear bearing carrier and oil seal are ready to be re-used,




the Rolls brakes and ride height system has been a much bigger job than I ever imagined, the car is now movable under it's own power and only requires a few more job's before it goes for bodywork,




now back to where we should be, today I fitted the carb off the spare engine which on inspection was a slightly later model and is 1.75" rather than the original of 1.5", hopefully it will give the car a little more go !






as the weather is improving I hope to have a few runs out to set this carb up and see if there is any improvement in performance.








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  • 4 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


I have not been here for ages now although I have been doing loads of stuff,  the Rolls has now got working brakes and is ready for the paintshop and several mundane spring task's have been achieved.


We have had a few day's of great weather and I have been able to get out on the Chalmers for some good run's,


I got as far as Tutbury Castle, this is quite old, started off in 1068,








I did several trip's with the spare carb I fitted, it was difficult to start, gave terrible miles per gallon but did go better !   but after lot's of adjusting and a few difficult start's I decided to swap it back to the original for driving out and then maybe a quick swap back for the hillclimb's,



A nice afternoon tea can be found in Audlem, in the next door shop to the cafe they have a brass "National Cash Register", a local link between the two Chalmers product's !




The spare crankcase is looking very good,




Well out on one of my sunny day's out I found this Austin 7 looking well used in the great setting of a pub carpark,




With over 400 miles now this year everything feels good and I am looking forward to Curborough on the 6th May.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


The sun is out and the Chalmers is flying along, I have been able to get out and travel quite a few miles recently, 


Audlem again always a nice place for lunch,




The Shroppie Fly was also good for lunch,




more to follow.






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Curborough was hot, fast and lots of fun, I was 0.02 quicker than last year ! that really isn't an improvement, although I was still running the old carb as the bigger one still gave starting problems,




 This wonderful 1907 Humber turned up, a real little gem, unfortunately it had some troubles but will be back at the next meeting,







A friend turned up on his Henderson, it sounded really good with the exhaust cut-out, 




Just before Curborough a special delivery arrived, new Chalmers valve spring's, these have been hand made for the current engine and the spare, with 105 years and some rust pits I thought it was about time for a change,




A good warm spell has allowed the Chalmers to have done over 600 miles, a new set of tyres has been ordered !




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  • 3 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


Sorry as usual for the late updates.


The weather has been good and the Chalmers has been out and about to all the usual haunt's,


It was great to see Clive and his Chalmers again, a set of the valve spring's will be on that car as very soon,





our trip to Foxfield railway's military day is always fun, it has a great atmosphere, good food and old stuff everywhere,





on an evening's drive out to the Raven cafe Bikers night I found this beautifully built special, a dream of what could have been ?





on Monday a quick run out to the Audlem festival and parking up in our usual canal side space the Chalmers found two new admirer's from the narrowboat next to us,





while looking for Chalmers stuff online I found this photo from Curborough with the caption, " like wrestling a bear "




With 900 miles traveled this year so far it is time for a check over ready for Harewood hillclimb this weekend.




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Hi Falconriley and all,


The only time you have to watch out is puddles of water, other than that nothing at all.


I have really enjoyed my times in Queensland, I raced at Bathurst with a team based on the Gold Coast, we tested at Lakeside,   we finished 19th in the 1998 FAI 1000.


A few years later we were with Dick Johnson at his place at Stapylton, he showed us all round and we saw the sister car to the DJR Sierra RS500 I used to own and race.


Thanks for looking.




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Evenin everybody,


It is always good to go to Yorkshire and this trip to Harewood Hillclimb was no exception, even when we had rain through the night and through into the afternoon, the course was wonderful to drive on, the map gives you an idea of how twisty and diverse it is,




you even go through farm building's on the way up the hill !





the Chalmers performed really well in the wet and I actually got to the point where I could start to drift the tail out, this was so much fun,





of the 2 Edwardian car's in the class the Chalmers was fastest in both wet practice's and damp 1st and 2nd runs then on the dry 3rd run we were beaten !  it was still  the best hillclimb I have had in ages, I have not thrown the Chalmers around like that before,      Harewood hillclimb has to be on your "things to do and see" list.


in the afternoon I assisted Chris Williams when an oil leak appeared on the Lion engine, we found a tiny crack on a camshaft oil feed pipe, with lot's of people offering tools, blowtorch and solder we had the repair sorted and the mighty Napier Bentley was back out on the hill,





after a great weekend I will check the car over and then take advantage of the good weather.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


We have been out and about a lot recently and have had a great time meeting up with loads of petrolheads,


We had a fantastic reception when we called in at our local Shires Bikers weekend party,




this BSA was very sharp,




The annual Wharf pub classic car night has an amazing range of car's with over 200 in attendance,




and also many bikes,  Netty found her favourite bike,




Mill Meece was open again and the Chalmers always has new fans,




We have now driven over 1200 miles this year and it was time for a new set of tyres,




the front's lasted over 12,000 miles and the rear's about half that, the hillclimb's really take it out of them.


I hope to take the Chalmer's on a short tour soon, weather permitting.






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Thank you for your continuing updates and reports! A wonderful vintage road/speed car, doing what it was meant to do. I continue to check in here from time to time. Again, thank you. And a beautiful countryside to enjoy pictures of as well!

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Evening Wayne, Barry and everybody,


Gentlemen, thank you very much for your kind words and interest in the Chalmers adventures, we are having so much fun getting around on this old car,  last week we took the Chalmers up to the Lake District for a short break and then to a friends birthday party,


our camper makes towing the Chalmers on the trailer look easy,  we stayed at the excellent Black Beck camp site which I would recommend to anyone wanting to stay in the Lakes,




on the first day we drove only a few miles up the road to nearby Newby Bridge and the Lakeland motor museum,  https://www.lakelandmotormuseum.co.uk/  this museum is a wonderful place to visit,  we were about to park in the car park when Edwin who is one of the museum director's spotted us and ushered us into the museum concourse area by the main entrance, we were then shown around the museum by Chris who is another one of the directors, these guy's made us feel so welcome,






they have a great collection of car's, bikes and motoring items,




four hours later we carried on our drive !


we drove around lake Windermere and onto Coniston where Donald Campbell attempted the water speed record, we stopped for lunch with Coniston in the background,




the next day we called in to Old Hall farm,   http://oldhallfarmbouth.com/    to see  Alex and Charlotte who seem to work about 30 hours a day building steam engines to rearing abandoned deer fawns !   Alex now has the Fowler name and is building and restoring steam traction engines, we saw a large traction engine in mid rebuild alongside a special boiler repair,




a rebuild of a Sentinel steam lorry was nearing completion and was one of a selection of the many steam powered vehicles being worked on,






they also run steam traction engine driving courses which look very interesting, this was the end of a run out and the steam was being released, it was very exciting to see and hear,




on our third day we drove out to Cartmel which is the home of "sticky toffee pudding" and is a beautiful tiny village,




the last day was a drive to our party, it was a typical biker do with a lot of beer and loud music, it was a great night, happy birthday Ken.


We have now covered about 1400 miles and I will give the car a check over before this weekends Shelsley Walsh hillclimb.








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  • 2 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


We are a couple of weeks into a period of stunning weather and the Chalmers has been out and about a lot and I have been getting through the factor 30 sunscreen,


Shelsley Walsh is the steepest hill we go to and is always great fun, a little quieter than usual this year and very hot, this GN was beautiful,




the Chalmers went 2 seconds faster than before which is a good indication the engine is in good order,




our local VSCC pub meeting had a superb car park this month, including 4 Riley's, 2 XK Jaguar's,




a wonderful Humber special,




and a pristine 1934 Moto Guzzi,




This week I have made a bit of room by selling my 1943 Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine, it is going to a new owner who will ground run the engine,




with over 1500 miles this year the Chalmers is feeling strong and we are enjoying the sunshine.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


The fantastic weather is still with us and the Chalmers has been all over the place,  on a lovely trip around Cheshire I stopped off at Oulton Park race circuit,  I had my first race win at this track, it was way back in 1995 in a Ford Sapphire Cosworth,    a few people were out testing in the heat,




I then went on to Stretton Mill which is the oldest water mill in the UK with it's original working's,




the caretaker started up the mill for me,




one night I drove over to see a mate in Denstone which is near the huge JCB excavator factory in Rocester, we drove up the road to Denstone college for a photo,




in the week I collected some of the spare Chalmers engine parts that had been worked on for me, the crank had a light polish,




and the rods have been re metaled,




today we had a great trip to Wales, in fact the route we used took us in and out several times, we stopped for lunch at The Boat at Erbistock, a really beautiful spot down by the river Dee,




we then carried on to Llangollen,  we went along by the canal,




to the motor museum, which was closed, maybe another day,




we have now covered nearly 1900 miles this year and will be soon getting ready for the VSCC event at Prescott at the start of next month.






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Great stuff Andy .It looks like you are getting great weather judging from the brown grass ( lack of rain?)  It has been brutally hot here and we could actually use some rain.  

I should mention the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa where I used to work has a  beautiful operating Fowler which they restored.It has the distinction of having helped create the first paved road in Canada in Toronto as I recall. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Evening Barry and all,


Barry, you are very observant, the weather has been superb which has given us lots of days out !



On one of our trips we went through Oakamoor near Alton Towers and found the old station platforms, the railway went along time ago,




not far away we stopped by a reconstruction of Joe Bamford's ( JCB excavators ) first factory,




on one of our VSCC pub meets a great looking Morgan Aero turned up, the owner also has a race version,




now we move onto Prescott hillclimb and again I found a great looking Morgan, although a little older,




Prescott always brings out superb car's, this outrageous Salmson was the only saloon of it's type and spent years in a Swiss ladies clothes shop,




this Amilcar was stunning,




then when you think you have seen everything a Bugatti engined Frazer Nash turns up,




the Chalmers went very well, we took 2.5 seconds off our time from the last visit,   the VSCC start crew's are always smiling,




Prescott is a wonderful place,





so far this year we have traveled over 2300 miles with very few adjustment's or issues, in fact it has began to feel " normal" to drive the Chalmers than the modern car !




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  • 1 month later...

Evenin Barry and everybody,



Barry, I don't think I will get an award for having fun driving the car but I feel more elderly !



The Chalmers has been on more adventures around the countryside,  the great weather we had gave us many enjoyable drives,  which is basically lot's of runs out for tea and cake


On a trip to Derbyshire I pulled in at Osmaston Park, the drive up the park didn't seem to end,




in the village they had a scarecrow competition, this one was brilliant,





I found another place by the canal, this the flint mill in Cheddleton near Leek,




they have 2 operating wheels, this mill ground burnt flint for the pottery industry,





the old control tower at Sleap airfield has a great cafe overlooking the runway, it is a typical WW2 building,





last weekend was Loton Park hillclimb, we had rain on Saturday and a dry Sunday,  on Saturday the Chalmers was the 2nd quickest in the Edwardian class in the wet practice and went on to get 2nd handicap in class,




on the dry Sunday we tried our best but were back to slowest in class,




as with all VSCC events you see some gems,  this Peugeot was beautiful,




Mark Walker's "Thunderbug" is motoring art,





The Chalmers clutch fluid needed changing after Loton as the extra heat from hard start's tends to overheat the lubricant and makes the clutch drag, a new kerosene and engine oil mix and we are back to normal.


with Curborough, Harewood, Shelsley Walsh, Prescott short and Loton Park done we have Prescott long course in a couple of weeks and that will finish the competition for the year, along with about 2700 miles so far the Chalmers is doing well, I will be starting on the spare engine rebuild soon.










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  • 3 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


We had a sunny Prescott long course meeting last Saturday, the Chalmers went well, 1.6 seconds faster than last year, there was a good selection of Edwardian's,




a varied selection of racer's,




and some great "homebrew's",




the long course is a very flowing track that is wonderful to drive, 





We have been out and about since the last update, a nice lunch stop in Alton, with it's round lockup, and beautiful bridge,






and as usual we have to wait at the railway crossing on the way home,  you may have spotted my Chalmers "ECU" ( Elastic Control Unit ) it holds the advance for me !




we have now traveled over 2800 miles and hopefully we will have a few good day's left.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Evenin Barry and all,


Sorry again for the lack of updates, life seems to take over sometimes,


Barry, the Alton I was in is the Staffordshire Alton, this is where the famous Alton Towers theme park is based, it is a really nice village with several pubs including my favourite the Bulls Head.


As usual I have been working on various projects including removing a set of pistons that were seized in their bores, this an engine for another project but I thought I would show you how I managed to pull the rusted-in pistons from the block, I put the block in the bonfire and got it nice and hot then used the ram from my press along with a few laser cut plates, my assistant Jack and out they came.






A couple of weeks ago we took a ride out to Great Haywood for lunch near the canal,




it was a lovely day but the Chalmers wasn't happy on the road and seemed to get very hot and ran quite erratically, when we came to leave the engine would not start, I did just about everything I could think of, when I tried to flood the carb the fuel seemed to "boil" in the float bowl, very concerning indeed, I removed the plugs that were very overheated with gaps way to wide, I re-gapped the plug's and after letting the engine cool down I managed to get it started, we headed for home with a rather unhappy running engine.

Thinking back to when the problem started I realised that I had filled the tank with fuel just before the poor running started, when we got home I drained the tank and refilled it with fuel from a different petrol station, after this had been done the engine started and ran beautifully and has done so ever since, I have sent a fuel sample away to be checked, watch this space for the results and always be aware of poor fuel.


Today I drove out to Audlem which is a favourite even now when the temperature has dropped,




on my way back I stopped at Woore church to look at the sculpture of a WW1 soldier that has been made to commemorate the end of The Great War,




with over 3100 miles traveled over the year I think the temperature has now beaten me, the warm workshop beckons with the rebuild of the spare Chalmers engine up first.




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  • 3 months later...

Evenin everybody,


Happy New Year to you all, yes I know I have not posted an update in ages but that doesn't mean I have been sitting around doing nothing, well not all the time !


Since my last update I decided it was time to go through a car I have not used in 15 years, it is my 1988 Ferrari 328 GTB, I have gone through the car from indicator lenses to cam belts, injection metering heads to brake disc's, as soon as the sun comes out I will have the car back on the road,






I have been spending most of my time on the spare Chalmers engine I am rebuilding,


I have modified the spark plug carrier's just like I did on the first engine, it allow's the electrode to be in the mixture rather than up inside the thread's,




I have again used Caterpillar D9 engine valves, I shorten them to suit and add a new collet groove, I have also used new valve spring's,




I cleaned up up the camshaft bearings and gave the camshaft a little "run in" on the lathe,




The spare crank has had a light grind, new bearing's and has been pressed back together with the help of my Riley driving friend Andy in the next village who has a 100 ton press,




the timing gears are all lined up and the lifters fitted,






the con rod's have been re-metaled and I am making new big end bolts,




I am waiting on suppliers of wrist pins as the original's are pitted, I have yet to modify the pistons.


Again sorry for the delay in updating.





Daves model A (3).JPG


Sorry I forgot to add that my friend Dave came round in his model A.



Edited by racer2_uk
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I always enjoy reading your updates. No worries about their timeliness. I would rather believe you are out enjoying that wonderful automobile than sitting and posting anyway.

I mostly wanted to comment that we also get bad gasoline (petrol to you) from time to time. About eight years ago, I got a bad tank-full in my older modern vehicle, plugged fuel filters stopped me about four times in five miles. A really annoying pain in the----. And that was from a gasoline station I had traded at for years with no troubles. It was about two years before I went back there, and I have had no troubles since. 

There is also one particular brand of petrol in our part of this nation that has terrible gasoline. I don't know how they get away with it. All their posted fuel grade numbers given are what they are supposed to be. However, numerous people have tried their product and find that the fuel economy goes down about 20 to 25 percent (consistently) relative to even other cheap brands of gasoline. The extremely poor performance and the fact that one must push the pedal (foot-feed?) all the way down for even poor performance also confirms the fuels poor quality. 

I can only guess that an awful lot of people over here are totally clueless about their car's proper performance, and they get used to it by always going in for that cheap gas to "save money". They of course are also clueless that saving 10 percent on the price is no savings whatsoever when the mileage goes down 20 percent.

Ah, what a world we do live in today?


Good luck with your winter projects!

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Good evening Barry, Wayne, Carl and all,


Yes, I am still around, I have too apologise even more than normal due to my late updates,  I have been doing various projects and non Chalmers stuff along with Life !


Since my last update ( just after the last century ) the Chalmers has been here, there and everywhere.  


We went on a lovely trip to Jersey to see family and friends and found a great museum,




won the local pub's car club's best car award,




Curborough sprint went well and I was a second better than last time,




I put my Ferrari on the road after all the work earlier in the year, it is so good to be driving it again,




Dave turned up in his stunning Riley special one morning,




Harewood hillclimb was just as good as ever, although I didn't improve my time I did get the Chalmers very sideways a couple of times,




We have attended many pub meets, and have been on lots of trips and the Chalmers is doing well with over 1500 miles so far this year,


Shelsley Walsh is alway's special, such a long motorsport history, the Chalmers went 3 seconds quicker up the hill mainly due to fitting the spare carb, the downside is terrible mpg although I still couldn't get even close to this Le Zebre with a Curtiss OX-5 !




I was invited to the Chateau Impney hillclimb near Droitwich to run the Napier Lion engine for everybody, I had the assistance of Jack to help start the engine, the event was one of the best motoring weekend's I have been to,




I found this great piece of footage on Youtube, thanks to the poster for his great camera work,



I found this wonderful 2 owners Brough SS100 outside the Saturday night party,




we had a flyby on both day's from the Lancaster,




and in true supercar fashion the Fiat S76 "Beast of Turin" outshon a Bugatti Veyron,




I will try to get my update regularity back to normal, thanks to everybody for their messages, I am still here !





















Edited by racer2_uk
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  • 5 months later...

Good evening Barry and all,


Happy New Year,



Well as usual I have to apologise for the ridiculously long time between updates and this time it really has been a long time, sorry !


Since the last update loads of things have happened, we had a lovely VSCC Prescott weekend, I took the Chalmers to a very old well known iron landmark along with several trips over to the Welsh border, a great VSCC Loton Park hillclimb, a wonderful holiday in Barbados, a complete computer meltdown and subsequent loss of photo's and info, a total knee replacement and various  other sundry annoyances and disasters, other than that everything has been normal !


VSCC Prescott was it's usual delight of mad old cars and mad old people, we blended in quite well,




The Chalmers looked well with the backdrop of the Ironbridge in Ironbridge gorge,




on a wonderful run out to Llangollen I found the motor museum was open , they have a very rare Alfa Romeo Montreal,




Barbados was wonderful and here are a few typical holiday photos,    the steam power plant at Nicholas Abbey,




the incredible HARP gun,




and a really fun track session at Bushy Park in a Radical,




in October I had my second total knee replacement, I am now starting to get back to normal but they do hurt, a lot !




after a really good year hillclimbing the Chalmers has won 2 awards from the VSCC, the Edwardian trophy for the most championship points by an Edwardian car and the Marc Birkigt trophy for the most championship points in the 5 to 10 litre category, I am yet to understand how a car that will only manage 53 mph downhill can actually win trophies for going uphill !


I have just started to get back into the workshop even if it is only for a few hours until my knee is 100%, I have started modifying the pistons for the spare Chalmers engine and have been working on a repaired cylinder block for another project, I have to keep remembering to rest my knee !


machining the block after extensive cast iron weld repairs,





We travelled just over 3000 miles in 2019 and had a lot of fun doing it, I have decided that for 2020 we will give the hillclimbing a rest and take the Chalmers touring some interesting places around the UK instead.


Thank you all for your patience and hopefully I will have some interesting stuff to report this year.







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  • 2 months later...

Good evening everybody,


I hope you are all being very careful while we are going through this very unusual time in the world, self isolation is the new way to live so we are being told, although I have to admit I have been trying to self isolate for years !


I have been able to be in the workshop a lot recently now my new knee is performing well, 


I finished modifying the Chalmers pistons and added new gudgeon pins,




the repainted block assembly dropped onto the bottom end fairly easily,




most of the ancillaries went on and the engine is now sitting on it's stand ready to be fitted in the future,




I have been worried for a long time about the magneto on the Chalmers, the cast aluminium bearing carrier plate that sit's behind the points is very weak, I have bought a couple of these Splitdorf model X magneto's as basket cases over the years and they have all been broken,




I decided to make a new carrier out of aluminium plate, it is a very time consuming job but is very satisfying,




I will keep you updated as I progress with the machining and hopefully I will end up with another functioning unit.


While all this workshop time has been going on I helped Jack make a 4 branch manifold for his Riley 9,




just before we all went into "lockdown" due to the virus I made the most of a warm day and drove out to my favourite canalside stop,




I had already decided not to compete on the Chalmers this year but due to the virus all motorsport has been stopped until further notice.


I will update the magneto progress soon.


Be safe everybody.





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Hi Andy, Your spare Chalmers engine rebuild looks superb. What mods did the pistons require? I have a large stash of early pistons including many cast iron all NOS. 

Probably scrap metal only as most go with aluminum replacements these days. I recall that one can run much closer clearances with iron but probably not a worthwhile endeavour.   Looks like a very nice lathe, Gratziano? Harrison?   just curious as I am in the market for  a bigger newer unit . Over here one of the favourites in the Hardinge, I think they have or had a UK factory as well as headquarters not far from here in New York. I am also getting a lot of shop work done on my 1926 Brough and 1980 XR 750 Harley projects. I abandoned the Lagonda  project after completing the chassis restoration as the bodywork etc  was too intimidating for me. The chap who bought it lives in London and has a saloon 2 serial numbers from the one I had !  It went to the best possible home. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Barry, thumbs up-ers and all,


Barry, I use Lister Petter generator pistons, they come in the correct size, are very good quality and are very reasonably priced, I modify the gudgeon pin bosses to give more little end width and weld in an alloy piece to get rid of the diesel combustion chamber, I have given up on re-inventing the wheel !


I use a Colchester lathe, it has been an excellent piece of kit, I have had it for over 20 years along with a Bridgeport mill.


I have finished the Splitdorf magneto repair, I made the replica bearing carrier plate to replace the broken item and also gave the distribution disc a light skim,




it went together quite well,




I then fitted the distributor cap and points assembly,




finally the magneto was trial fitted on the spare engine,




I now need to make and fit a leather drive disc and then time the magneto.


I know we are hearing this all the time but will everybody please be careful at the moment,   STAY SAFE,     stay in the workshop as much as possible !




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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Andy, Alastair Chalmers here, aka Kiwi carman, I've just trawled through your photos and posts, only one word, all awesome with 2 standouts, the Chalmers sideways on the hillclimb and the Napier Lion aero engine at Chateau Impney. I was due to be back in the UK during June and July this year but that's not going to happen now although it will be as soon as possible after things return to as near normal as they are ever going to get to because my younger son and his family live just north of Manchester and we have a 6 month old grandson that we've not met in person yet. When I eventually get there I would love to come and see your Chalmers, it looks a stunning work of mechanical art and obviously gets well used, just how they should be. Cheers, Alastair

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Alastair, thumbs up-ers and all,


As usual I have to apologise for my lateness of updates, sorry again !


Alastair, when things are nearer to normal and you have made the trip to visit family, please get in touch and call round to see the Chalmers, I am not that far from Manchester.


We have been doing the right thing and keeping ourselves to ourselves and that will hopefully help in the reduction of virus transmission, the few times we have been out it has been at some sort of distance,  on a particularly hot night we had a great night run and passed Blithfield reservoir,




another hot day we ended up at Hetty's tea rooms which is situated at Froghall next to some preserved 19th century lime kilns which the Caldon canal was built to serve, the lunch was very good, 




I have been finishing some extra parts for my spare Chalmers engine, I have made a water jacket cover plate as I want to try a twin carb conversion,




I hope to use a pair of early Dodge carbs,




I have also been working on another project and recently cleaned out the oilways on a crank, this tells us that if you have the chance on a rebuild you must clean the oilways thoroughly,




I also had to make a set of shell-backs to white metal,




and today we had a great run out to Grindley Brook near Whitchurch, the wonderful Lockside cafe served a wonderful lunch while watching the narrow boats going up and down the Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union canal,




The Chalmers has been driving well, and I am just about to fit a new pair of rear tyres before they get to be slicks !


I will keep you updated as we wind our way through these socially distanced times.






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  • 1 month later...

Hi Andy,


I've just come back on the forum and seen your post above, normally I would get a notification of a post but missed this one. I managed to get my Chalmers running the other day, jury rigged electrics and fuel dribbled into the carb, 12 volts to the 6 volt starter and the fire extinguisher handy and she ran, albeit for only a few seconds, but where there's a spark there's hope. Quite how it got power to the plugs given the state of the HT leads I'm really not sure so I'll have to get my order in to Vintage Supplies for a pile of bits to make things better.


When we do finally get to the UK we'll make a plan for a visit to see your car, it's a fabulous piece of kit and the photos of it out and about are inspirational. We've been working for almost a year now to get a bigger garage up as a storage unit to keep the cars in but with Covid and the bureaucracy levels here everything is taking forever to get past council, very frustrating, and when that's done I'll replace my existing garage with a workshop facility to allow me to crack on with the restorations.


Hope that you and yours are all well, Alastair

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  • 7 months later...

Evenin Alastair and all,


Well this has been a long stretch between updates, apologies up and above the usual, I haven't got that much to tell you guy's other than the covid hasn't got me yet !


During UK lockdown I have been busy and rebuilt a couple of engines, more recently I have done a bit of work on the Chalmers, the gearbox input bearing was making a small amount of noise, I think several years living in the kerosene and engine oil clutch mix finished it off so I changed it for a sealed unit,




I also made up a small oil separator tank for the fuel tank pressure system, it would occasionally get engine oil in the small pipework and cause the pressure gauge to read very high.


I then gave the old girl a good clean,




Hopefully we will be able to get out and do a bit of touring this year, oh dear, have I said that to early ?  lets see what happens.


All the best to you and please stay safe.




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