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Hello zipdang.

All is forgiven. I guess that we all have our own agenda that we work to. I could never claim to be a "purist" but I do enjoy working on my cars and have always thought that the end product of that work is to be able to enjoy driving in them. The simple task of working on old cars I find extremely satisfying in it's own way. To be able to solve some of the problems that are thrown up is often more than enough. To appreciate how the original designers and builders went about their respective tasks is quite fascinating to me.

 

Bj.

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Bernie,

This pic shows the diff joint on my Rover9 moderately well - the shaft going in is just round, but it lookes like it has 2 trunnions inside the split joint, which is bolted to the diff input flange. I suspect that you Humber had something similar. The prop shaft has a taper with keyway at both ends, the front with a 3 finger fabric UJ to the gearbox, the rear with cross pins fitting into the joint below, similar to one of your drive shafts. Let me know if you would like a closer pic.

john

IMG_0226_zpsmr6fzvpe.jpg

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Bernie,

A bit surprised at your estimate for an engine rebuild being so high. FWIW here are some numbers from my Rover's rebuild history, admittedly 25 years old now, but still....Dont know anything of the builder's reputation, as they are no long visible - Veteran and Vintage Engines of Bayswater, and Javco Engineering of Mulgrave, mostly..

Engine - strip, bore, remettal rods and mains, grind crank, reprofile cam, followers, reco head, new valves and guides, new pistons, timing chains, refurb starter, generator and magneto, waterpump - $3081.

Gearbox and clutch - $1650

Tailshaft - $1770

Diff rebuild (new wormwheel) - $2414

 

The engine runs well (might be first time run since rebuild?), very good oil pressure.

These are from receipts dated 1991-93. Have prices gone up that much?

 

john

 

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OK the "Imagined price" for an engine rebuild is on the high side although I suspect that things have changed dramatically since 1991.

 

I have used Crankshaft Rebuilders for my engine work for a very long time.

I know with their work, once the engine is back in the chassis you do not need to think about it except for normal maintenance AND use the car for some VERY hard motoring. The photo of the Rapier and myself is not some artistic studio confection.

Normaly I prefer to do my own final assembly.

It will be interesting to see some estimated costings for the same work today. Just don't hold your breath!

As I can now officially consider myself "old" I will allow myself some extra time for the Humber restoration. "say" two or even three years. The question is how many of you will still be around to check on me? Meanwhile I will attempt to obtain some estimates on the cost in 2017 to rebuild a simple four cylinder engine. Going back to JP's costings it is my understanding that you cannot get a "proper" Magneto rebuild including a re-wind for very much under $3,000. Even then do not expect to get a guarantee.

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Hello Bernie

Going by what I paid for the machining and parts on my Riley 12/4 motor a couple of years ago I would say about $5000 will see it out. A couple of local Riley RM rebuilds in the last year have been a similar price.

I now sometimes wonder if everything  does have to be new, as I have seen a few engines recently that operated surprisingly well given their condition. Last Nine magneto was $650, but unfortunately the rebuilder is no longer with us to do more. Check where the local aircraft have their magnetos rebuilt, as these have to be certified.

Matthew

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Hello Matthew

When I first rebuilt the Rapier in 1978/9 I did a conversion to coil ignition. I have since done over 100,000 miles and apart from replacing contacts and condensers have not had any ignition based problems. I will retain the magneto for the Humber but that is a little way down the track.

 

Bj.

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18 hours ago, oldcar said:

As I can now officially consider myself "old" I will allow myself some extra time for the Humber restoration. "say" two or even three years. The question is how many of you will still be around to check on me?

You're a lot younger than many folks half your age. I'm not going to stop watching now after following for so long!

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$3000 for a magneto rebuild sounds drastically high to me... perhaps an 8 cylinder Scintilla for an airplane but not a garden variety 4 for an automobile. Keep in mind that they were all bought out and people changed them regularly so using another mag, of proper size, should be quite acceptable to all but the purest of the pure. The makers of car used the cheapest mag they could buy and I don't feel any compunction about changing it for one with a much better reputation (and that is more easily rebuilt).

 

And... some mags can be converted to run as a conventional coil ignition. PM me and I'll tell you how. The worst problem is that will be no charging system, something you wouldn't have encountered with the Rapier.

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Try looking at the Magneto "experts" based in the UK with advertising on the internet.

My coil & distributor conversion on the Rapier uses a standard Lucas generator end plate complete with 90 degree  drive and a Bosch distributor. The Bosch distributor replaces a period Lucas one. It was the smallest distributor available at the time. Under the bonnet of the Rapier can be a little crowded. Tim Ashcroft, the designer of the Rapier engine, hated (rubber) belt drives so all the engine accessories are gear driven. The generator is driven at  engine speed from the side of the timing gears. The distributor is driven from the rear of the generator by a pair of 2 : 1 bevel gears. The electric fan is controled by a thermo switch with a sensor in the top water outlet at the front of the cylinder head. The oil pump is driven from the front of the triple sprocket for the camshaft drive chains. This oil pump set up is a modification designed by a Register member. It uses a Mini Cooper oil pump. At the operating temparature 30-40 degrees 'C' Oil Pressure is around 35 - 40 psi at idle speed (900  rpm) and runs between 60 and 80 psi at 2,500/3,500 rpm. 3,200 rpm  in top gear = 100kph (56 mph) The relief valve is set to 80psi. On it's present stage of tune, the motor develops approx 70 bhp and has "bags" of torque from 1,750 rpm. The rear axle (cwp) is 4.75:1.  Wheels are 17 inch with 500 x 17 Michelin "Super-comfort" tyres. These are designed to run at 20psi.   All this  has been set up with high speed touring and especially Alpine driving in mind. The engine runs to 6,000 rpm and is very happy at 3,500-4000 rpm.

 

Bj.

Tight fit  2.015.jpg

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Rapier engine_1.JPG

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Picture SuperConfort

The result of extensive research allowing the tyre to operate at even lower pressure and a slower rate of wear. 

Michelin offered a very low-pressure tyre, called “Superconfort”, in 1932, then launched “Superconfort Stop S” in 1935.

The first tyre with a heavily siped tread pattern, specially designed for wet surfaces. The recommended running pressure is 20 psi.

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As the Lagonda Rapier was introduced in July 1934 and my car was first registered to F.W. Morgan in Cardiff (Wales, UK) on June 8th 1935 It  would have been possible for it to be fitted with Michelin Supercomfort tyres when new.

 

Bj.

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On 11/12/2016 at 5:25 PM, oldcar said:

Hello John

I am just in the middle of stripping down the engine. It is about 80% in pieces (and a mess). I have to decide just how far I want/need to go in rebuilding it.

General consensus is that it would be a waste of money having the crank pins reground and new white metal big end bearings done.

In the past I would have done the whole thing but it seems difficult to justify spending $20/25,000 on the motor of a $7/10,000 car  and that would be just for the motor, there is still tyres, the body, trim, paint, plating etc etc,  how and where do you stop. The Humber is a rare car but it is not a Bugatti, Bentley or even a Rolls Royce. I guess that if I thought about it, I would end up doing nothing  but where is the FUN in that? Now that I have actually turned 80 I have to think how much time is left and what do I want to do in that time? I will try to find some photos for you. I can tell you that it is, 4 cylinder, side valve, fixed head, two main bearings, cast iron block and aluminium crankcase. 1750cc. Magneto ignition, NO electric starter or generator.  Three speed gearbox, cone clutch, foot brake on drum behind the gearbox, hand brake on rear wheels. 

All the "experts" tell me to do the body and cosmetics first then worry about the motor. They tell me "Nobody wants the drive these cars, if they had to crank start it they simply would not bother! As long as it "looks" OK then it is OK.

 

What do the people reading this think?

 

Bernie j.

 

What do I think?

 

I look forward to seeing your car driving around Doncaster East :)

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I have now delivered the main engine components to "Crankies", it will probably be early 2017 before they get to look at it but it is in the queue. 

I still have the camshaft on my bench as I have to discover why the front bearing is extremely tight. 

"hidden hunter" I would not hold my breath while waiting for the Humber to drive past. If you live in the East Doncaster area you are more likely to be familiar with the Lagonda Rapier.

Bj.

 

A hour or two later having washed the camshaft off with some degreaser. It seems as though that front cam bearing was stuck due to a build up of old oil & grease that had dried out to a super sticky mess. Washed off and the cam spins nice and freely in its bearing. One less thing for me to "worry" about. I have also wire-brushed the flywheel with a "cup" wire brush on my angle grinder and cleaned up the surface of the cone for the clutch with some fine emery cloth. I now have to decide if I paint the flywheel, which is totally exposed or leave it as bare metal as It has been for the last 100+ years

 

Bj.

 

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7 hours ago, oldcar said:

I have now delivered the main engine components to "Crankies", it will probably be early 2017 before they get to look at it but it is in the queue. 

I still have the camshaft on my bench as I have to discover why the front bearing is extremely tight. 

"hidden hunter" I would not hold my breath while waiting for the Humber to drive past. If you live in the East Doncaster area you are more likely to be familiar with the Lagonda Rapier.

 

 

My girlfriend lives in the East Doncaster area (near the Dan Murphey's) so I'll be on the look out 

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Hello 

We don't have many Buicks or Cadillacs come up our street. I have never owned a Cadillac and it is a very long time since I had a Buick, all I can remember of it was that it was an early 1920s,  six cylinder tourer with two wheel brakes and wire spoke wheels. 

Going back to the Humber; with the engine under control, my next task is to rectify a small mistake made by the person who assembled the rear axle assembly, they had put the axle tubes on the wrong sides of the centre housing. apart from meaning that the pinion was pointing down at an impossible angle the brake actuation levers were infront of the axle instead of behind it, where they belong.  With the rear axle on the floor It is a matter of unbolting the axle tubes and changing them from side to side. Not wanting to waste anything

the piece of beige paper next to the housing is actually a heavy (plain brown paper) envelope that recently brought  a Rapier Register News form the UK. This is just about right size and thickness to become the gaskets on each side.

 

Bj

DSCN5246.jpg

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Bernie... that's almost funny. It reminds me of something that was said about my late father... that he shouldn't be allowed to own a screwdriver.

That said... whoever assembled the transmission of my 1910 Mitchell put the selector rods in backward. It always astonishes me when people have absolutely no concept of how things might work AND try to do this stuff. At least my dad stayed away from screws.

 

From what I'm seeing in your photos, this looks to be a reasonably sound car - just one that has suffered the attentions of some seriously ill-informed mechanics.

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That and  as it had remained in bits for 50-60 years some lazy ones. I really have trouble comming to terms with people who delight in taking things apart but never get to put them back together again.

I suppose that I should be grateful; without them there would be no basket cases waiting to be rescued.

 

Bj

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Well, if it weren't for basket cases I'd have no early car at all. I agree re the pathological disassemblers. I had a friend many years ago like that. When his parents sold their house I helped them cart off a huge pile of radios and bicycles – all in pieces. NONE were ever reassembled.

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Continuing on with the used poatage envelopes. This series of three photographs should be self explanatory. Rather than using silicone which tends to ooze out and harden outside the joint to later come adrift and get carried around in the oil unlit it clogs up something vital. I use an old-fashioned shellac based adhesive that can be thinned out with turps and brushed on with the little brush provided attached inside the screw top of the container. Their should be no surplus to ooze out. The last photograph in this series shows the gasket that I removed from the joint and tha amount of silicone that had oozed out!

 

Bj

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A day later and all is well. The pinion no longer points to the ground and the axle is safely re-assembled with the "legs" on the correct side and the whole assembly secured to the springs. The brake shafts are in the correct location and I can now move on to the next task. Perhaps while I am at this end of the chassis sorting out the brake rods may be a good idea. First I should go through my bucket of nuts and sort out sufficient 5/16th BSF nuts to hold the rear cover of the differential in place. If I spend some time sorting through the Nut & Bolt shelves I may even find a packet containing new ones. For the benefit of all the house-proud people with the chassis back on four wheels I can push it out onto the drive way and sweep-up some of the gum leaves etc. I have already picked up all the spanners etc and returned them to the relevant tool box and packed the chain hoist up and put it away. Writing this I feel quite virtuous.... It is just about six o'clock and time to go and pour Helen a glass of good Australian "red".

I may even pour one for myself.

 

Bernie j.

DSCN5253.jpg

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Hello Ben,

Thank you your encouragement is always appreciated. Having crossed the 80 line it is both an achievement and a reason to be optimistic. A couple of weeks ago I was almost ready to give up on the Humber, now it is just another thing on the list of jobs to be done. 

 

Back to work

 

Bernie j.

 

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On 17/11/2016 at 11:22 AM, oldcar said:

Hello 

We don't have many Buicks or Cadillacs come up our street. I have never owned a Cadillac and it is a very long time since I had a Buick, all I can remember of it was that it was an early 1920s,  six cylinder tourer with two wheel brakes and wire spoke wheels. 

 

When the Cadillac arrives in Australia I'll try and get it over to Doncaster East :-) Really looking forward to seeing the Humber out on the road!

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Hello "old"Ben

January 13th is still a long way to go but I am sure that you will make it easily, especially as you have the right attitude Ben just "keep on keeping on".

 

Hello HH 

A long long time ago one of my friend found a early Caddilac in Thornbury, that could have saved you a whole lot of effort. I have no idea what happened to it and doubt if he can remember. 

 

Now I have an added Humber puzzle, checking before I spent too much time looking through my assorted 5/16" nuts I checked to see exactly what the thread on the studs holding the back cover on the Humber differential were. Much to my surprise I have discovered that they are 8 x 1.0 MM. I will have to ask some of the Humber specialists in the UK. I naturally thought that they would have used BSF (British Standard Fine).

 

Bj

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I would have thought Whitworth threads more likely than BSF, but both are readily available at Bunnings. So far everything on the Rover has been Whit , except the <expletive deleted> steering wheel bolt - 27/32 x 18tpi !

 

jp

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Thank You JP.

I automatically thought that Humber would have used Imperial sizes but firstly finding that a BSF nut would not go on I removed one stud and checked. It is a fine thread which ruled out BSW. I can now swear on a stack of bibles that they are metric thread. Both ends of the studs and all 12 of them. Thank goodness it is not a Rolls Royce or there would have been at least three dozen. 

Regarding the nuts you obtain from Bunnings I would  think  that you will find the fine threads will be UNF. These will not go onto BSF. There is a Nut and Bolt supplier in South Australia who can supply a good range of BSF & Whitworth thread nuts and bolts. I think that you will find that these are correct for the Rover.

Try looking up Classic Fasteners, Adelaide. If you cannot find them I will find the last invoice that I had from them and give you their details.

 

BSF ( British Standard Fine) was commonly used in virtually all English Cars up until WW2. UNF Unified Standard Fine was first used in "British" vehicles from the late 1950s to 70s. The one exception were  Nuffield (Morris etc) that used a unique metric thread that was a hang-over from when Willian Morris first started to build his own engines etc post WW1 after he bought the factory and equipment from the French firm Hotchkiss who had been making guns etc in England  Morris/Nuffield continued to use their screw cutting equipment but used Imperial bar-stock. This was "lovingly"referred to as Morris Metric. There is a fair chance that almost EVERY restored 1930s MG, Morris etc will have "buggered" threads somewhere. To confuse the ignorant and unwary, you can use normal Imperial BSW (Whitworth) spanners.

Occasionally you will come across "Cycle Engineers" threads just to completely confuse you. People restoring old "British Bikes" can tell you all about it.

 

Some uncaring people just use "shifting" (adjustable) spanners other wise known as "Monkey Wrenchs" for everything, and Vice Grip plyers after they have rounded the nuts and heads of bolts.

 

I am particularly fussy about using the correct nuts and bolts and tend to replace anything that is worn or "doubtful". This tends to add considerably to the cost of restoring a car which is possibly why my restorations seem to cost me twice as much as the "same" job costs other people.

If anyone is interested I have a couple of 20 litre drums of assorted secondhand nuts and bolts that I will give to anyone who cares to collect them.

 

Rather than Bunnings (a discount supplier of low quality cheap hardware) try "Costless Bolts" at Ringwood for proper engineering grade nuts & bolts. They also stock a wide range of taps and dies, spanners etc. Unfortunately they do not stock BSF.

I still believe that if a job is worth doing it is worth doing properly. But then I am old and old-fashioned.

 

Bernie j.

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1 hour ago, oldcar said:

 

If anyone is interested I have a couple of 20 litre drums of assorted secondhand nuts and bolts that I will give to anyone who cares to collect them.

 

 

Bernie j.

 

Is this with free delivery to Brisbane Bernie?

 

Then again, I am flying down to Melbourne tomorrow to visit family, I wonder if Tiger Air wont mind me having it as 'carry on' luggage...:)

 

I re-use +90% of bolts and nuts I remove from a project. Wire wheel turns an old bolt/nut into a brand new one. Its just like magic.

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Hello Mike

I am sorry for any confusion, I have just adjusted my original post to read 5/16 BSF. I really must tidy up my work bench. I had my tin of taps tipped out onto the bench and put one down and picked up the wrong one to read the size.

You are right that there is not a lot of difference. I have just ordered some 5/16 BSF nuts from Classic Fasteners, so I should have them next week. I know that all three are very close to each other but I prefer to use the correct thing where possible. The nuts are Aust 35cents each plus postage,  which in the over all scheme of things is not prohibitive. The three sizes all use a different spanner size. 5/16 BFS is 22 threads per inch if my memory is correct.

 

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I am sorry Maok 

You will have to collect them. A single 20 litre drum is too heavy for me to lift and carry. I don't know the actual weight but I can take the bathroom scales out to the garage if you really want to know. There is quite a percentage of new nuts and bolts mixed in from where I have bought one or two more than I needed. I actually do use the wire brush on my bench grinder quite a bit for cleaning things. 

Perhaps my attitude to these things goes some way to explain why I have been able to drive the Lagonda Rapier over 100,000 Miles since I restored it. This includes driving in most states in Australia, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium,  Germany, Holland and some that I have probably forgotten.

 

Bernie J.

 

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Bernie,

I can say definitively that every nut and bolt I have touched on the Rover requires a BSW spanner, and I have worked on more than 50% so far. Unfortunately my local engineering bits shop has gone trade only recently so I will have to visit your Ringwood place sometime soon. BSW bolts and nuts are readily available at my local Bunnings, but so far have only needed unseen stuff like sidelight retention bolts. They also have some chromed dome nuts in BSW. In Metric they will only carry common pitches for size - M8x1.25 should be ok, but I doubt they will have M8x1.

 

jp

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Just received from Peter Wilcox, my good 'umber Register friend in the UK.

 

Ah, that's the trap with all old Humbers!  All the threads were metric, so 8 x 1 mm is correct BUT all the nuts and bolt heads were Whitworth sizes so that commonly-available spanners would fit them.  You see, you do learn something every day.....
10 x 1.25 mm was another common thread size on Humbers.

 

Now we all know.

 

Bernie j.

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Thank you Mike

What I have just said in a reply to the Humber Register's Peter Wilcox is, "It does not take very much imagination following Deamus & Tarrings "little green book”, that starting out in the mid 1800s repairing French bicycles that Thomas Humber would have equipped himself with Metric taps and dies. Likewise he would have used the available Imperial bar stock to make any new nuts and bolts needed for those repairs. It would appear to have followed naturally that as he started to build his own bicycles, tricycles and eventually four wheelers, that Thomas Humber would have continued using the equipment at hand ie, Metric tooling".

 

The "little green book" is the readily available, first published in 1989, The Humber Story 1868-1932. (isbn 0 86299 596 5). It tells us that originally a "black-smith"  Thomas Humber first commenced building bicycles in 1868 and progressed to making first motor cycles and then motor cars. Humber continued to make motor cycles along side the motor cars. Thomas Humber retired from the firm in 1892. He died in 1910 although the company bearing his name continued until 1932 when it was swallowed up into the Rootes Brothers conglomerate. The Humber name survived, attached to military vehicles, into the 1990s. The previously successful motor cycles ceased production at about the time of the Rootes Group take over.

 

Humber was first based at the Midlands town of Beeston, production later moved to nearby Coventry. One of Humber's more inovative products was a shaft driven, chainless bicycle in 1898.

Like a number of other Motor car manufacturers, Humber attempted to produce models to cover the entire range of motor cars that were perceived as required by the entire market, building no less than 11 models in 1905. These ranged in size from the 5hp Humberette through 6 1/2 hp 7 1/2 hp, 8/10 hp, 19/12hp, 12/14hp to a 25hp Double Phaeton.

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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I think this raises an important question re restoration. Metric bolts for British Standard spanner sizes are not going to be available anywhere. They are either all intact or they have to be made indivisually. Thats all well and good with a handful but an entire car? I just finished making 8 special high head bolts from hex stock. In all, I may have the best part of 2 days work in them. If I had to do an entire car, I'd be at it for a year. Personally, I would use the appropriate metric bolt and ignore the spanner size but how would the "purest" restoration do it? The AACA rules obviously don't take a situation like this into consideration and these are the people who obsess about grade markings on bolts. I've found similar situations again and again with pre WWI cars. I couldn't care less about judging but I'm curious as to how it would be treated.

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Fortunately I am not concerned in show judging, my  main interest is in mechanical intregritary. Using the correct thread to match its partner should take priority. OK once it is done up no one will know. That is not the point; the strength of the job should be first and foremost. What good is a nice shiny chrome plated nut if it's internal thread is stripped due to using the wrong bolt? It is a bit like trying to use a Lawn mower piston in a big block chev. Sure it will go into the hole but is it the correct fit?

Bernie j.

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Today being Sunday, the supposed day of rest, I decided that I would have a nuch needed tidy of my shed/garge/workshop/parts store.

In doing so much to my delight I discovered a box containing nice new nuts and spring washers. The really good thing was that the label on the box told me that it contained a quantity of not just any old nuts but 8mm x 1.00 zinc plated steel nuts. Trying one on one of the studs retaining the rear axle back cover I discovered that it screwed on to the studs perfectly. I now have this buttoned up nicely. While moving one of the large wire crates full of rusty bits I also discovered the missing square block coupling. Unfortunately I can now confirm that this is not the required sliding joint it is far too large to fit the taper on the nose of the pinion. 

You cannot win them all! The Judges will not be at all pleased, I do not have all the flats on the nuts lined up. Sorry!

 

Bernie j.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, oldcar said:

The Judges will not be at all pleased, I do not have all the flats on the nuts lined up. Sorry!

Bernie j.

Bernie, that is hilarious! :D  I love your attitude. But seriously, in your previous post you are exactly right, mechanical integrity should be the primary goal. But, like I'm sure you have seen also, I have seen beautiful show cars that the owners did not trust to drive 10 miles much less 100 or 1000 miles. Safety and functionality should be first and foremost, and you model that with your cars especially the Rapier. (Not saying the Rapier doesn't look really nice too, because it does  :).)

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For some years there  was an MG A that consistently won the club concours. It over came the rule about being driven onto the show site by being driven on the starter motor.

There was no problen with overcoming the friction in the motor as there were no con-rods or pistons. It did not suffer from oil leaks either as there was no  oil in the sump. It took some years before anyone complained and actually checked it out.

 

As you can guess I am not a big fan of car shows.

 

Thank you for the nice compliment about the Rapier. Having just the one car to worry about has its advantages.

It is a tough little car and very seldom gives me any grief. Again having stuck with it for so long I think we both have got to know each other. The one thing I am really carefull about is changing the oil and filter  every 1,000 miles and greasing the chassis before every long trip. This even to the extent of seeking out a friendly (village) garage to do it when overseas. Usually they are happy to put the car onto their hoist and let me do the rest. Way back in 1984 I took it to the main Aston Martin - Lagonda "works" at Newport Pagnel, in England for its 50 year service. Once they had got over the surprise they were terrific, They had a foreman and two apprentices go all over the car. It cost a lot but how many people can say that they too have had a 50 year service done on their car at the "factory"? And one of the company executives took me to lunch at their village pub while I was waiting.  Somewhere I should have some photographs of it up on a hoist inbetween two brand new Astons

 

Bernie j.

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