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Do I really need a new project?


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Than is a very difficult question for me to answer,  Without a project I am wandering around like a lost soul.   Against that, I am now well into my 85th year and while I am fit and well, at my age do I really need another pile of someone else's junk. I have only just this morning received this month's Singer Club's Newsletter. Among the for sale adverts is another 1928 "Junior", a model I have lots of experience with. It is at a price that comes well within my budget. I have asked the vendor to send me some photographs so I should know some more in a day or two.  The "Junior" is a small, under 1,000cc, four cylinder, overhead cam engine.  I will just have to wait to see the photographs........

To help refresh your memory here is a phorograph of one of my earlier Singer Juniors....,image.png.52a7e19e61569d99fd4b96c995a3d8b2.png

 

Bj.

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The less you do the less you can do and when you stop you drop. 

 

Everyone needs a project, but that doesn't necessarily mean taking on the monster sized project of completely restoring someone else's large pile of junk. 

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Thank you Digger,

Those are my thoughts precisely. I have another 1927 Singer "Junior" lined up to look at right now.

I have already "done" one or two of these so I have a fair idea of what is involved. 

This one is slightly later being a 1934, "9 hp". These days the earlier "Junior" appeals to me more. 743771404_SingerLC001..jpeg.425477a1e3b63a527fbe005bfd51c1c9.jpeg

 

image.png.a06ed3adf80db09fe1ac5a5ef2cf364b.png

 

This one is actually a Citroen from the same period and the body style is universal. This new Singer comes with a choice of wire spoke or disc wheels so something similar to this (above) is possible and relatively easy to build.  Only time will tell. A lot will depend on what, if any mudguards (fenders), if any, come with it.

Bernie j.

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images-1.jpeg.02030feeae25f28f755998cbb55caeeb.jpeg

 

This roadster is one of the same model(1920's Junior) and make (Singer) as this new project. Very achievable.......

I rebuilt this one 40 or 50 years ago so nothing is changed.

 

Bj.

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Bernie,

 

Glad to hear you are again actively seeking a project. The Singer Junior sounds like something doable. The earlier one you showed is a great looking little car and probably great driving fun.

 

our rainy season has turned dry, so the MG has been getting regular exercise around our county roads. It seems to run really well between 45 and. 60 F. 
 

Keep us posted on the Singers.

 

Cheers!

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Hello Al and Dr Data

It is all OK. I have agreed to buy another Basket-case Singer, this one a 1928 Junior (8hp).   I have yet to see It but from its description,it is not all that different to the "pile of bits"  shown in my photograph of an earlier project (above). 
All should be revealed in the next week or two.

 

Bernie j.

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DSCN7542.jpg.9e0ef35fff2a74b78fb4551280c4ea68.jpg

 

DSCN7543.jpg.bf766184d0103d9a00c3c5beaef667aa.jpg

 

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Thank you for the thought Dr D but for one reason or anotherI I am not a big fan of supercharging. 

I prefer simply using tried and proven means of squeezing another horse or two out of an engine.

some better breathing, brought about by improved valve timing and larger inlet valves together with a mild increase in the compression ratio is about all that is needed to extract  a little more power from an OLD engine. 

After all if this proposed "new" car goes anywhere, it is most likely a gentle tour to a local picnic spot and home again!

I have just come in from the garage where I had been checking the fluid levels in the Lagonda Rapier in preparation for one of its, gentle runs  to a VSCC  of Aust meeting, this month it is the Annual, first meeting for the year BBQ at a near by Park.

The engine will be lucky to get properly warmed up and will almost certainly not exceed 2.5 to 3 thousand rpm.

Boring stuff but for an 85 year old driver and only slightly younger passenger, it will have to do.

 

BUT reverting to the Singer question, before I do anything, I need to go and look at what it is that is being offered for sale?.

Having looked at what is there I can then decide IF I really do need to become involved in another TOTAL restoration. 
Let us face it, I already have one of the best examples of one of the best "Light-cars" known anywhere in the world.

Perhaps I really should be satisfied with that!

Please look at the three photographs taken just minutes  ago and tell me what is there not to like?

 

Looking at the middle photograph (of the engine) I am reminded that "IT" is not exactly "standard", but then it is two years older than me, having been constructed in 1934.

There are several examples of modifications from"standard" readily identifiable in at least one of the three photographs, above. You can work them out for your selves.

 

Bj.

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All I can tell you is that they are Lucas. I am not sure of the year and the wattage depends on what globe you fit. the probably date from the 1960s or 70s. They were a poplar "after market" light. You could buy them as either "fog" with the patterned glass or "driving" with a  plain lens.

At present I have "amber" globes fitted for fog and heavy rain. 
We take the car to Europe for 3-4 months every four years, for that time it is our every day drive. 
You may not be familiar with the "Pre-selector" gear change.  You need to "Look that up". Also look at the Michelin tyres, they are designed to be run at 20 p.s.i.. You will not find too many Lagonda Rapiers in the USA. There were slightly less than 400 made in total. This also includes the cars "badged" as "Rapier" and made from 1936 to 39

 My car has had the vertical radiator "slats" replaced with wire mesh for better cooling in Competition/racing/etc..

The four "club"  badges are Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia, Vintage Sports Car Club UK, The (Lagonda) Rapier Register and the Brooklands Society.. The mesh "headlamp stone-guards" do serve a purpose.

 

Berniej.DSCN7542.jpg.cd24b3302d005a77751e42bc3cf397da.jpgDSCN7543.jpg.fa6de51aadfa0e6c4a02843912ba6716.jpg

 

DSCN7544.jpg.58b3243805a595e7c27136e431095655.jpg

 

 

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Bernie,

 

The Lagonda is an incredible example of cars of that era. MGs also had double OHC  engines and were used by police departments.

 

Looking at the shot of your engine, there appears to be some discoloration where the rear carb meets the manifold. You may be replacing a gasket soon.

 

I hope you and Helen enjoy the outing.

 

Cheer!

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I have a constant reminder ro care for my Rapier engine hanging on the wall above my desk.

Also this sevres as a very good reason for changing from the standard Rapier con-rods to, in my case, Jaguar  rods!

Having said that, it more must be more that 50 years since I had an engine with original "rods".DSCN7548.jpg.4442fc77fb49aabd61fe0949a6788fb5.jpg

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And what an incredible  mixture of cars there is, a Citroen, two Singers, A Packard, a Dodge "Four", a SS Jaguar, a "Side valve" Riley, the Dixie Flyer, a Morris Cowley and an Austin. Added to these, there are no less than FIVE different Lagonda Rapiers and a LG45..  Remember those are the cars that were actually photographed, made it into a frame, "under glass!" and able to find a space on the wall!.

How many more I dread to think!

 

Bernie j,

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This early (two wheel brake) Singer is one of the few cars that I would be happy to have again.

To my thinking it captured the "Spirit of Brooklands" perhaps more that any other car that I have owned.  WHERE IS IT NOW?

 

B's Covid certificate..jpeg

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There is still another car, this one I really do need to buy back so I can finish it.

While I have lost the details from whem I sold it, it has never re-appeared so I can only think that it remains unfinished,

and yet more than anything else it deserves to be completed.

This is of course the Three Litre Lagonda Special, built around a Six-cylinder 1920's Lagonda engine, mounted in an Austin 12 hp chassis. While it has a very respectable Fabric covered (Vinyl) two/four seater body, it still requires some more work on the rear axle, brakes & etc. I know basically where it is as far as the most likely street but not the actual house number.  I have previously done a "letter-box drop" without success.

My next move is to do a door to door search.   It  really is too good to let just fade away.

Right now it is mid-summer here in Melbourne, Australia and too hot to be out walking and knocking on doors so the search will have to wait a bit more.  Don't worry I will not be forgetting it or putting it into the "too hard basket".

 

I would be delighted to hear from anyone living in the Eaglemont or East Ivanhoe area here in Suburban Melbourne, Australia who can add any more up to date info. It must be at least 20 years since I sold it.

 

Bj.

 

1056965681_3LitreLagondaSpecialphotos..jpeg.c207acbf2af8b967739fdc4fef31afe3.jpeg

 

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Looks like you have had a lot of interesting and fun vehicles over the years.  I'm seriously looking to build one of these.  I have a source for all the MG parts as donors.  I would use the 1.8L engine.  I have the plans for building the frame and being a fabricator it shouldn't be a problem at all.  

 

Lotus-7-Series-1-Overhead-1600x1224.jpg

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Hello Martin,

That looks like a great deal of fun both in the building and driving.

My approach to "Kit cars" has been a little different but then perhaps our taste in cars is a little different..

 

image.png.5a8408a72673b259fa16a4ad7d29b2e1.png

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I have to remind myself, our Rapier was a very different car when we bought it. The photo below shows it during the 1960's when it was owned and driven by Beatrice Shilling.62272518_BsCovidcertificate.1.jpeg.3d4325d6fc450c2101aa281512dc7230.jpegDSCN0698.jpg.f07e1cb4a6fbbb255370fd8e5dac01c3.jpg

 

This lower photograph shows the same car while on one of our trips to France with it.

Hard to believe there were/are people who complained very bitterly that I had DESTROYED AN HISTORIC CAR.

My reply is NO! We have just written the next chapter!

Todays photograph (below) shows the car in our home garage, ready and waiting for our next European tour.

Brrrrmm.

 

Bernie j.

DSCN7551.jpg

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While it is probably a bad habit, I will again answer my own question.

I have attached a photo drawn from my own archives, This one is of my very first Rapiers and only my second Lagonda.

Bought in semi derelict condition this one LAG000 was sold to Austin Tope who went on to rebuild the rear of body changing it back to an Abbot Tourer.. The car was then repainted to a dark green. The one interesting thing about this photo shows the car in its WHITE paint, something that has continued on as my "signature" colour for most of "my"cars.

 

Bj.image.png.00a07fa1a2029042673a2a63fadba099.png

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DSCN7551.jpg.9d0c0751b9975b0326f8df9844a12e15.jpg

 

You could be excused for thinking that there are no colour marching problems with white.

How wrong can you be.  The only thing is that it is better for hiding some blemishes in panel work.

Despite it's age "KG" always cleans up well.

Bj

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Having said that I would not wish to change cars and go back to what must have been my introduction to Rapiers!

When first purchased it had been left out in the open under the shelter of a pine tree and at the mercy of a gang of school children with very little to fill in their time.

Fortunately together with a coating of pine-needles and rubbish, the bonnet hinge had rusted shut preventing their access to the engine etc, but it did not stop then smashing piece of glass on the car! Headlamps, instruments, windscreen and etc. Not a particularly good way to start my lifetime love affair with Rapiers!

What it did do, was start another habit that has stayed with me.... That of fitting mesh stone guards to my Rapier's headlamps!  I cannot recall ever needing to replace a headlamp glass due to stone damage whilst driving on the road!

 

Bj.

 

 

 

 

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In all those years I dread to think how many miles must have past under the wheels of the various Rapiers we have owned and driven.

Properly put together they are virtually "bullet proof" and such a rewarding car to drive.

As they say in the "Classics, "Fan-bloody-tastic"!IMG_1633.jpg.5f0e509fa58063648896fa78abaca02d.jpg

 

Real "Rapier" country,  there should be more of it!

IF you have never driven a Lagonda Rapier through country-side like this, you have never driven! Properly driven you can have the Pre-selector gearbox singing songs to you.

If you cannot imagine that, you had better lie down, you must be dead!

                                                                                                                   B.J.

                     

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Thank you Dr Data

Perhaps you may have to be a little bit mad to fully appreciate what I am trying to describe.  

I do not believe that very many people really enjoy a "oneness" with their cars. 

This is something that is impossible to explain so I am not even going to try.

It is also something that I believe is impossible to obtain while driving the average

"Grey porridge" modern saloon car.

I will say no more!

 

Bj.

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For the benefit of those who do not comprehend the meaning to the term "Grey Porridge", to explain this, these are cars that ar almost exciting to drive as is eating cold, lumpy, grey porridge for breakfast. Porridge is usually made from rolled oats "cooked" by boiling in water. If you need further explanation, you really do have a problem!

Bj.

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Now, I have just come in from shutting the garage door.

While I have not had the Rapier out "on the road" for a while (since before Christmas) just standing out there and blowing some dust off it, I cannot help but to think just how lucky I am, to have it, even just standing in the garage it has a "presence". It must be something to do with my advancing "age", I believe that my days of needing a "project" if not "over" are comming to an end. There must be "half a dozen" little jobs that I can be doing (on the Rapier) to keep me "occupied". 

It may be better if I did not look!

 

Bj.

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On 2/1/2022 at 12:54 AM, Rapier said:

There must be "half a dozen" little jobs that I can be doing (on the Rapier) to keep me "occupied". 

It may be better if I did not look!

Best to get on top of these half dozen little jobs and while you're at it find a couple dozen more, or you could end up scrubbing the loo and everything around it.

Experience has taught me that keeping myself busy is much more rewarding than having someone else finding little "projects" to keep me busy. 

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I  have just rejected the suggestion that I consider buying a "Basket Case" Metalurgique. The vendor was asking Aust$20,000 plus for a "car" requiring a total restoration including building a new body 

I have in fact just sent them an email suggesting thatr I could be interested at about half that price.

It is a shame how some people have grossly over inflated ideas about the value of what is essentially scrap metal in the eyes of the majority of the population.

To send an prospective purchaser a photograph of "something" hidden under a tarpaulin is little short of a joke! The only thing that this tells me is that it is a Metalurgique and that the radiator seems undamaged and that it has two headlamps.

That and that it has been out in the open albeit under a tarpaulin for a very long time.

 

Bernie j.

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Image copy.jpeg

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Having done a little more research I now know that all the Met's during the 1920s were four cylinder, two litre engines with a single overhead cam. Not a "bad" basis for a mid sized sports special.

Will the vendor ultimately see sense or will they continue to hang on hoping for some crazy person to come along with a "bag full of money"?

Only time will tell !

 

Bj.

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OK! Back to the Lagonda Rapier where all my attention really belongs! Having completed a 250 Mile run on Sunday (Yesterday) I now have the front carpet out of the Rapier and the starter motor on my bench. This has been a approximately two hour job as before I could remove the starter I had to remove the exhaust manifold.  This is a four branch, tuned length arrangement. so nothing is simple. Add to this here in Melbourne, Australia, summer is starting to catch up, so it has been quite a warm day. at least for me, now into my 85th year, while not a scorching hot day it has been enough to chase me inside after a couple of hours out in my garage with both the front and rear doors open.

I now have the starter on my "bench" and tomorrow I can lift the battery out of the Lagonda and give it a short test "run'. 

While I am doing all this I will also have a look at the "adjustment" of the ENV 75 Preselect gearbox. On our way home yesterday, it had started to "slip" in both first and top gear.

That statement no doubt will have some of you scratching your heads but after more that fifty years of driving cars equiped with "Pre-selector" gear boxes they do not hold too many worries for me. The only thing that I wonder about the wisdom of, is that just last week, I sold all my ENV spares.

 

Bernie j.

 

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Since writing my previous message I have spent some time adjusting both First and Top gears. I have yet to take the car out for a test drive but trying both gears in the garage, it is possible to "stall" the engine in both First and Top while holding the car on the handbrake. I WILL take the car out for a "Test-drive" before our next long outing.

I am not really too concerned about unloading all my gearbox spares. Just this morning I have sold some more "stuff" off the shelves in my garage. A total of four electric "horns" all excess to my requirements. KG does in fact have two different electric horns fitted with a switch controlling the "Air-tone" which is tucked away under the front "Dumb-iron cover".

I am not entirely happy with the shade of green I have only recently painted the centre diaphram and now intend to take it off again and repaint it the more traditional "Black". Either that or I will  have to mix a small amount of the dark green matching that on other parts of the car. i.e. The mesh infront of the radiator and directly behind the horn.

 

Bj

 

 

DSCN7597.jpg.5e4813b5847c7e9f6e84077ca4343b30.jpg

 

Bj.

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Just looking at the above photograph it is not difficult to understand  why I would want to hold onto it for so long. That and why both my wife, Helen & I have enjoyed our travels here in Australia, the UK and France.

I know that I have said this before but I cannot imagine an other car that even after driving for more than 100,000 miles over a long period of time, could be any more enjoyable than the big part of a lifetime of motoring in KG 5636 has been!  I.e. 1968 until the present time. 

 

Bj.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Now back to the subject, Do I Really need a New Project?

I really am becoming far too vague!  Earlier this month I paid an inrerstate vendor Aust $8,500 for a part restored Vintage Alvis. (Unseen) I have had an emailed conversation with an Interstate Car transport company who told me that the could not deliver the car until the "end of the month".   I have now sent the 91 year old vendor an email and have had no reply. It is now Easter Holidays in Australia.

Now some days later, I am assured that both the Vendor and the Alvis really do exist, I will just have tp learn to be patient. With the Easter Holidays almost over, the time will go quickly enough. I am assured that It should arrive in East Foncaster before the end of this month.

 

image.png.5873f4c3f00826222dbf4aa9d7028943.png

 

Bj.

 

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