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To coin a phrase. Here we go again! Hopefully this will become a more permanent home for the ramblings of "OLDCAR" aka Bernie j.

Rather than looking into the past, it is my believe that it is better to be looking forward to new and exciting things. So I will imeadiately go againsy my own advice. Earlier I had posted some photographs taken of some of the decoration on the walls of my "study" otherwise referred to as my "Dog Kennel" as this title is more appropiate given the actual space. Anong this collection of mainly "Motoring Oriented Stuff" is this somewhat damaged "connnecting rod", mounted on a suitably ancient piece of timber. To bring this into some relevance I am also attaching another photo of an undamaged "rod" and also a (3rd) photo of a Jaguar connecting rod from a 3.8 litre engine. This the type of 'rod I am currently using as a cost effective replacement.  This has the advantage of using easily replaced "slipper" big-end bearings, The one disadvantage is that the "little-end" (gudgeon pin) requires a slightly thicker than ultimately desirable bronze bush. I have been using these 'rods in my Rapier engine for several years  (over 100,000 miles) now with any problem.

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Bernie,

 

Quite the souvenir!  The original rod really let go...what is the backstory?

 

I seem to recall that when you let go of a project, you often jump into something new rather quickly...anything interesting on your horizons?

 

I was finally able to locate (have made) a set of piston rings for the oversize Wellworthy pistons in my MG.  As long as mechanics are considered "essential" businesses, the old TD should be back on the road in  few weeks.

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The story around that con-rod is simple. 
I was on the front row of the grid at a Historic Race meeting next to a very fast Super-charged Austin. There was just a short sprint to the "first corner", I held second gear (6,000 rpm) a fraction too long with the obvious result.

 

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I am afraid my change-ability is a symptom of "old age"!  I find it frustrating when I realise that there is a good chance that I will not be able to finish something.  

I think that in future I will simply have to  resist the temptation to have one last "project".  As it is I have more than outlived my (Cancer) Specialist (doctor)  predicted life span.

He suggested that the radical surgery he performed would give me an extra five years life, more than fifteen years ago. I now have what is called a "Neo-bladder" made from a section cut from my small intestine. You can look up the details on Google.  Just yesterday morning, I had my  annual "Cystoscopy" (internal examination of my bladder) I will l leave that to your imagination. The supervising doctor very encouragingly told me that he would "see me in 12 months".  

 

Be carefull to check the "gap" in the new piston rings while (before) you are re-assembling your TD MG engine.

 

Bernie j.

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Bernie,

 

You and your Lagonda have certainly shared some interesting experiences.  Glad to hear all went well with your last annual. May you have many more...

 

Cheers!

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Hi DrData

Thank you, but you must remember I/we have been doing it for a long time. "KG" my most recent "old lag" has been in my care since the 1970's before then I had already owned  four other Rapiers, a V12, a 4.5 Litre six cylinder, a 3 Litre six cylinder and a 2 Litre four cylinder, so you can see that I am well and truly infected by the Lagonda virus. So far I have not been able to discover an antidote, not that I can say that I have been looking.

Those four Rapiers have all been different, all open cars although I did "look after" a two door saloon for a deceased estate for a year or two but I have not counted it as I never actually "owned" it.  I did count the "Amilcar-Rapier" Special. It was all Rapier except for the chassis frame. That and one of the other Rapiers was a Drop Head (convertible) Coupe which could be considered "Non-sporting".

 

Bj.

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Reading the above, I should also note that the V12 was also a 4 door saloon. I am currently doing some work on "KG" replacing the water pump drive flange. This had failed for some unknown reason while we were touring in Tasmania. 

Tasmania is the Island a 10/12 hour Car-Ferry voyage south from Melbourne, Victoria. where we live.

 

Bj.

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Keep us updated Bernie.  I am always interested in learning new things and when something goes wrong, it is always an opportunity.

 

Glad you were able to get the Tasmania trip in with all the virus issues shutting everything down.

 

Frank

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Thank you Frank

Looking at the website https://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/sailing-fares I would appear that the ferry, Sprit of Tasmania is still running its daily service so perhaps we would not have had a problem getting home.

Unfortunately the map (below) is taken from the VSCC Newsletter so it is a little vague.  It does however show how convoluted the route for the three days was.

Tasmania is a relatively small Island and not very densely populated, many of the roads are un-made.  mainly gravel surfaces. 

Devonport is the Terminal port for the ferry, Launceston is the second largest city with Hobart, not shown on this map is the Capital City and the main port for  freight and the Australian base for the Antarctic Exploration shipping.  The island is quite mountainous towards the centre.  After the Rally finished we stayed on for another ten or twelve days following the East coast down to Hobart where I have two nephews living with their families. On our return we drove up through the centre and to the west of the "great lakes" back to Devonport to catch the car-ferry back to Melbourne.The lightest coloured section of the map is the least populated, much of it natural bush. A  great place for some "Vintage Touring" Below is the list of entrants. The VSCC in Australia divide the members cars into two classes, Vintage (up to 1930 and Post Vintage Thoroughbred (PVT)(up to 1939).  Members may also take their "Modern Classic" cars but cannot take part in Club Competition.

We (Helen and I) no longer take the Competition very seriously: 

The list of Entrants  will give you some idea of the cars that the Club caters for. i.e. (Just one Ford A Model. the only American car entered for this event.)

The Club has two Annual (Perpetual) Trophies. The Vickery Trophy (for Vintage Cars) and the PVT Cup. These are awarded on the number of "points" scored over the year. Pointa are awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd and one point for entrants.

The entries shown as "Touring" follow the route but do not take part in "Competition". Points are scored both on Time and Observation.

 

*Australia is below the Equator so the further you go South the cooler the average temperature. 

 

Bj.

 

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While most VSCC members do take some pride in the appearance of their cars the Club Competition is based on performance  of both car and driver-navigator.

Our Club does NOT hold Car Shows or "Concour de Elegance" .  Points towards the two main Annual Trophies are awarded for both Navigation, Finding your way to a location which includes the ability to follow instructions and/or map reading in Road Events which also include an"expired time". Time taken on the road over a given distance, from point to point. Electronic navigation aids are prohibited.

Road Rules and Maximum Speed Laws must be obeyed. The Club also holds "Track " events both Hill Climbing, Sprint and Circuit Racing.

 

Bj.

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Hello Frank

Over quite a long lifetime the VSCC has played quite an important role, I did spend some years as a committee member that cluminated in two years as President. But that was all a long time ago. Lagonda cars have also had quite an influence on my life, certainly the  adult years, Lagonda Rapiers in particular. Even now in my 83rd year I am currently working  for several hours in a day on "KG", a car that I have owned since 1976. I am sure that you all know its story, so I will not bore you by repeating the details. It is simply the best car that I have every owned, it has been developed over the years and has been our transport over several visits to the UK and Europe. On these overseas visits it has played an important role as through its presence, we have come to meet so many people. People whom we would never had a chance to even speak to without the car being a common interest. I cannot imagine a hire car ever "bridging the gap" in the same way. Even here on this forum, without our common interest in "old cars" we would have never had a reason to communicate with each other. Even right now as people all around the world are in "Lock-down" we can carry on our interest and should never be bored. Once I have finished here for today, I have hours of interesting things to do, working on "KG's" putting the water pump back and putting the car back into running order.  Without this interest, I may find other things to occupy my mind but it is hard, for me, to imagine anything that would do it so well. Perhaps I am still just a naughty little boy who loves getting his hands dirty!

 

Bj. 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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What is it and what is its purpose?  It is one of those special tools that can only be used when working on a twin overhead cam engine.  Probably a screw-driver would do the same task but not with the same accuracy. It is something that I made for myself and I have never seen it's counter part in anyone else's tool kit. 

 

 

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Hi Frank

I have always thought that a forum was meant to be a two way street, so thank you for making the effort.

For it to work you need to have an engine with the spark plug directly over the piston. While this applies to the Rapier's twin overhead cam there are not many other modern engines that do fit this requirement.

The alternative is to look at the timing marks on the flywheel which usually involves pulling up carpet and climbing in under the dash board. With this tool I can watch it while working on the engine. It is difficult to see from this photograph but it does actually have timing markings on the moving rod. In addition to TDC it has the "spark" and valve openings.   It could also work on some early side valve engines with the spark plug directly over the piston. The end on section view drawing from the Rapier's hand-book shows the location of the spark-plug directly over the piston. Looking at this drawing I am reminded, You do have to be careful not to get it tangled up with the valves.

 

Bj.

 

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I now have the Rapier running again this afternoon, some hours later here in Australia it is just about my bedtime. 

Tomorrow I can finish putting the bonnet (hood) back on and give the car a good clean, (oily hand prints etc), fill the radiator with water. I cannot take it out for a good run right now as we are in "Con-vid" lock-down.

 

Bj.  

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It seems amazing how quickly this virus has travelled around the world. If you are in the least bit vulnerable it is likely to find you out. It is difficult to understand but the only way to escape it is to keep well away from crowds and other people and above all else, stay away from Cruise Ships!

It you must travel then a Vintage or Classic "two seater" is the safest way to go. Fresh air and driving through some superb country and interesting roads that you have never travelled on before and are unlikely to see again.  Best of all some wonderful memories and no Con-vid 19!

 

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Above, we are in France for the 1999 Randonnee de La Vallee du Sancy. This was one of our "away years". Three months of touring in England and France. These events, mainly organised by local car clubs, take you into new and different areas where you meet new and like minded, enthusiastic people.

 Bj.

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Some of you may have wondered from time to time about those badges on the front of the Lagonda.  They are in turn; The Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia (Victoria),  The Vintage Sports Car Club (UK), The Rapier Register, and the Brooklands Society.

In consecutive order The VSCC of A (Victoria) I joined in the late 1960s, I am a Past President and a  Life Member'.  Next the VSCC (UK) I joined in 1982 and have been a member ever since. Most important, the Rapier Register. I joined in 1971, I am also a Life Member, finally the Brooklands Society I joined this too in 1982, I allowed my membership lapse about 10 years ago, We do still try to make at least one visit to "Brooklands" each time we go to England. I wonder how many of the people looking at this appreciate that the badge is in fact a map of the Brooklands circuit.  Finally the Lagonda Radiator badge put on the car before it left the factory in 1934. As with all Rapiers it left the factory as a chassis to have a coach built body built to the first owners requirements. Since then it has had two other bodies, the Beatrice Shilling home built "racing two seater" and the Eagle two seater body supplied by a group of enthusiastic Rapier Register members who commissioned a batch of 12 or 14 of these bodies to be built in the 1970s. These are unofficial known as "Woodbridge" Eagles. Named after the Suffolk (UK) town where they were built.  

 

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There is one last "badge" on "KG".  This one is on the rear of the right hand side, rear mudguard, fender or wing depending on which part of the world you live.

This is a Kangaroo sitting on a Boomerang. Both very "Australian". This is based on a WW2 Australian Army insignia. In effect the Kangaroo indicates our Australian origin, The Boomerang simply indicates the well known myth "That it always comes back". I wonder how many of you appreciate the importance of this sentiment to us?  At this point I do not apologise for the fact that I have not washed and polished the mudguard before taking the photograph. This in turn signifies that "KG" is in fact a "working car" that has been & still is driven over a great variety of roads in a number of countries around the world. Hopefully this state of affairs will continue for a very long time to come.

Bj.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

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And now for something different, while the language may be something of a challenge,  the French website for the magazine La Vie de la  Auto has news of many of the Rallies and events in France, while impracticable right now. It is always good to have something to think about and to look forward to.

It is also interesting to see the cars that other enthusiasts are restoring and driving. Believe me, they are very different to yours.  It only takes a second to see  some of this for yourself . For people living in the East of the USA it is just a quick dash across the Atlantic.  In the past we have found it easier to ship the car to England and then take any one of a number of Car-Ferry  services across the Channel.  

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While living in "Lock Down" right now,  this will not last forever!  Meanwhile there is no law against "dreaming".

 

If two Eighty + Year Olds in a car that is even older can do it,  WHY  CAN'T YOU ?  223637575_Frenchcartoon..jpeg.5104b33996ed946c811e906301710e27.jpeg24609_19.jpg.71bc30bbde0bc8bf2aee9754a1e8b4f3.jpg

Bernie j.

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In case you missed the point of the Chante Loup Les Vignes. It is a celebration of the "Oldest Motor Hill Climb in the World". These days, as it is run over public roads, it is "Non-competitive"!  It is a two day event, the First day an approximate 100 Kms road drive, the second day are untimed runs on a closed section of road with the "Pits" in the local Church Yard, like all good French events there are two Dinners and a sit down lunch. All with the appropriate wines! 

 

Bj.

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3 hours ago, oldcar said:

In case you missed the point of the Chante Loup Les Vignes. It is a celebration of the "Oldest Motor Hill Climb in the World". These days, as it is run over public roads, it is "Non-competitive"!  It is a two day event, the First day an approximate 100 Kms road drive, the second day are untimed runs on a closed section of road with the "Pits" in the local Church Yard, like all good French events there are two Dinners and a sit down lunch. All with the appropriate wines! 

 

Bj.

 

Now that is what I am talking about!  Our little development here in MD had a local food truck (Taco Friday) come set up and a couple of restaurant had their drink trucks so we had beer and margaritas/sangria for virus medication.  😉

 

With the proper protective gear and appropriate social distancing, we had the neighborhood out in the fresh air supporting local businesses and getting some face (mask) time.

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Hello Frank

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It seem as though every country and perhaps every state has a different approach to this problem.  Here in Australia we have had an almost universal "Lock-down". 

We are only leaving home for essentials. We do a once weekly "shoping trip" and as far as possible buy all our provisions for the week on that one weekly visit. 

Other wise we do not leave home. (House & garden). Without wanting to appear biased I believe that the vast majority of our infections come from the one source, Cruise Ships!

Over many years going on a "Cruise" has been the first thing that Australian people of retiring age want to do. Fortunately we, my wife Helen & I, have never felt compelled to go "sailing off into the sunset".  I can think of nothing that I would like to do less. With anything up to two or three thousand people all loaded onto the one Luxury "Ship', the chance of acquiring some transmitable infection must be extremely high. To my way of thinking driving in an open car, with just the one other occupant, through open thinly populated country, is infinitely more appealing.

 

Bj.

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I'm with you Bernie.  I am not excited by the prospect of getting on a big ol ship with a bunch of other people and going sailing around the ocean.  One wave looks pretty much like another to me.  lol  

 

I would much rather get the TBird done and go explore Route 66 and some other back roads of the US that I haven't seen yet.  Gotta get back to work now to make that happen!

 

Frank

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From our brief experience of the USA is that there is a lot to see. I am just sorry that we will probably never get to see more of it or to meet in person so many of the people we share so much in common with. One of the many reasons that I enjoy meeting them here on the AACA Forum.

 

Oldcar aka Bernie j.

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The really good thing about the forum is that while we can communicate, we cannot pass the Covid 19 bugs to others.  Hopefully the only thing to pass from here is enthusiasm, and that it is two way traffic!

My good news for today is that my (project) Singer is now definitely sold with the money in the bank. I can now concentrate on enjoying the Lagonda. 

 

Bj.

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All the above being true and factual, I have spent this afternoon replacing the small bolt and nut with a correct clevis pin. For some unaccountable reason the original one had dropped out of one of the Rapiers brake rod "ends" and had been temporally replaced with a small bolt as a "get me home fix" As it was with the Rapiers brakes we still had front wheel brakes fully operational. The Hand brake was also working so apart from the one brake rod draging along the road it was not a disaster waiting to happen. Having said that after a half hour job this afternoon all is now back how it should be. 

 

Bj.

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12 hours ago, oldcar said:

The really good thing about the forum is that while we can communicate, we cannot pass the Covid 19 bugs to others.  Hopefully the only thing to pass from here is enthusiasm, and that it is two way traffic!

My good news for today is that my (project) Singer is now definitely sold with the money in the bank. I can now concentrate on enjoying the Lagonda. 

 

Bj.

Congrats on the Singer!

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Thank you Frank. I am  afraid my days of taking on such big projects are over. I really need to be able to see the end. I realise that I just may not have the unlimited time required to finish a total restoration. I know that may sound defeatist but I just have to be honest with myself.

 

Bj

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At last after many months of sheltering out under the carport, the Rapier is now back in the garage. I still have to go in there and tidy up the work bench, etc and I need to check the Rapier's voltage regulator. Currently it is not passing a charge on to the battery.  This is not so much a problem with day time only driving but as our days get shorter (with the onset of winter) it is more critical. Not that with the dreaded Co-vid 19 virus still controling our movements, we are driving anywhere. 

Looking at these, I realise that I do have quite a lot of "tidying up" to do, so I should not worry about becoming bored!

The mostdifficult part is not allowing myself to get distracted and  going off on a tangent.

 

Bj.

 

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Good Morning

I often wonder as a guest on this forum how many of the participants really understand where I am coming from. I tend by nature to be a person that could be compared with an open book. This in many ways is typical of most Australians. However unlike the majority of people that use the AACA Forum my main interest is for English and or those coming from Europe, Cars.

Having said that at various times I have owned American cars, although these have been confined to Vintage (1920s) Dodge 4 cylinder and Studebakers either from the 1920s of 1960s. I have at various times also owned Australian built cars from the General Motors stable i.e. Holden. These both 6 cylinder and V8s. My interest in Lagonda cars goes back quite some way, but none of these would come into the "daily driver" category. With one or two notable exceptions. The 1935 LG 45 Drop-head Coupe (6 cylinder 4.5 litre) I bought over the telephone, (From England.) no emails then. It turned out to be an incredibly original car and it provided a wonderful introduction to the world of "old cars" to our four small children.  They were squeezed into the rear seat. Always with the hood down but with the side windows wound up. NO seat belts or "child seats).  Motoring in this manner they were completely unaware of just how fast they were travelling, often between 85 and 90 mph.  I am glad to say that it does not appear, all these years later, to have done them any harm.  Much later (1976) I bought the remnants of a Rapier "racing car", this had been brought to Australia by an English enthusiast, the late David Seath, he had brought three "Rapiers out to Australia when he moved here. They were the one remaining Bertelli bodied two seater, the incomplete remains of KG 5363, the car that had been rebuilt just after WW2 by Beatrice Shilling. David had run this with mixed success in Vintage Racing in England. And a third car totally dismantled and again missing some vital parts. Little did anyone think that I would still own and be driving "KG" all these years later. But that is an entirely different story, one that you will have to wait to hear. Many of you already know much of this saga already.

Bj.

 

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Now no doubt some of you are asking, What about the other model Lagondas?

In addition to the LG45 and "KG" I have at various times owned a "Vintage" 3 Litre, a V12, a Supercharged 2 Litre and several other Rapiers including a two seater, 4 Seat tourer and a Drop-head Coupe in addition to the Single seat Amilcar-Rapier racing car. The one model from "Pre-war" years that I have not owned is the Crossley engined 16/80 although I have owned  a Crossley six cylinder-two litre which was the donor car for the 16/80 engine. I also built a 2/4 seat tourer "Special" with a Lagonda 6 cylinder/3 Litre engine in a Vintage Austin "12" chassis. Despite being sold locally I have not seen or heard of this car again.

 

Bernie j.  443.

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Good Morning

For all the people who have never seen one and are unlikely io ever to come across one in the street, my Lagonda LG 45 was one of the first new generation of Lagonda Cars built by the restructured (1935) company under the Direction of A C Goode hence the LG i.e. Lagonda-Goode. the 45 indicating that it was one of the second generation of cars powered by the Meadows 4.5 Litre, 6 cylinder engine. The earlier 4.5 Litre cars designated M 45. This had a standard "factory" body probably one of the most handsome of these meadows engined cars. The two small boys standing at the start line to the right of the car are two of my sons now both well into their 40s. This was taken at the then Lakeland Hillclimb on the outskirts of Melbourne. The LG 45 subsequently was sold by the next owner and is now back in England. It has since been "Restored" which included painting it a dark metallic red with beige trim and chrome plated wheels. I still think that I prefer it as it left the factory. Prior to my buying it, it has spent some time on a rubber plantation in Malaya.  Prior to this car, I had already owned a 1928 Lagonda 3 Litre and the first of my Rapiers, registered number LAG 000. As the first "Australian" owner having imported it from England I registered this car number LG 045.

Bj.

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Hello again

Going back to the Rapier "KG, we have been extremely fortunate to make a number of visits to France in this car. These included visiting the Swiss and Italian Alps on two occasions. 

The attached photogtaphs may give you some idea of why we enjoy driving the Rapier in this country. Also included is one very rare photograph of KG with the "top" up.. The map shows just one days driving. "Somewhere we have probably over 100 similar photographs but I will not risk boring you. I wonder how many of you can see the significance of the final photograph?

 

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Outstanding pics Bernie.  You just totally brightened my day!  And I really liked the mud flap on the back of the truck/trailer.

Keep them coming!

 

Frank

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