Monday 27 August 2018

Getting The Average Up

So far this year my Blatting average is pitifully low. Before August I'd been on only one SKCC run + the Rogue Runners trip, but my score is improving with three runs in August. Today I met some others at Buck Barn & we headed west almost to the A3, before heading back to finish at "Billy's On The Road" not far from Buck Barn.

The roads were wet when I set off, but it seemed pretty localised & by the time I reached Buck Barn (only a little bit late) they were dry. I was, as I mentioned, a little late & as I pulled in I assumed I'd missed them, but the sneaky crew had parked to one side of the usual spot, behind a headge. Soon after me, Russ arrived, so there would be two Furies today, about as different as they can be, as Russ' is a spyder done in a stripped out style which made mine look almost luxurious.

I ended up leading today & for once didn't immediately make a wrong turn, the route was excellent, the weather was dry & the traffic was light, so we made good progress. After 40ish miles I was looking for somewhere to stop for a break (& a leak), I rejected a couple of places, couldn't stop in time for another couple of places, but eventually spotted a field entrance with a pull in large enough for all the cars to get off the road & crucially - it had a hedge. As soon as we all got in & off the road, the very next car squeezed in between two kits & turned round to park in the field. We were all expecting a "GET ORF MOI LAAAAND!", but the chap got out waved a cheery greeting & wandered off.

After we set off, there was the inevitable closed road. I passed the signage hoping we might be OK as the SatNav was saying turn off in 0.3 miles, but it was not to be, the road was properly closed after 1/4 mile. So we deleted a couple of waypoints & turned round, only to find the main Horsham road closed by a fallen tree! Fortunately it was a very considerate tree & had only fallen across one side of a triangular junction, so after a quick diversion round the other two sides, we were on our way again.

Then all too soon we were At Billy's for Breakfast, where we ate a hearty full English over a train set mounted in a table. Sadly the trains weren't running - presumably due to the wrong kind of model snow or something.

When we left it was raining, but it soon stopped & I had a pleasant ride home

Sunday 26 August 2018

Wings & Wheels '18

The annual Dunsfold car / aeroplane / military mash-up, & again the SKCC had a stand there, for no better reason than we get in cheap & can find our cars easier at the end.

As Mrs Blatter is a big Red Arrows fan & had missed seeing them in Whitby when she was oop narth, she came along too, so the Fury's rack was loaded with two collapsible chairs, a golf umbrella, two rain coats, two cool bags, a flask & the picnic hamper.

The other SKCCers would be breakfasting at Box Hill, except while the café was open, there was only one staff member who was unable to cook & serve at the same time, so they left hungry. Mrs Blatter & I had arranged to meet them all at a large church in Rudgwick - it was there on Google Maps, but nowhere to be seen on the ground, so we met up at "The Three Compasses" just outside the Dunsfold gate. We were ushered in to a rather large stand just outside the motering paddock, so we got a lot of public interest even if we were rather spread out.

After the first "wheels" section, I wandered round the paddock with the camera.

There were four NASCAR racers there which were incredibly LOUD in the paddock, but less so out on the runway (I was expecting them to turn left 1/2 way along, but they avoided the temptation

I really should hate this - but I just can't

Allegedly, this is a genuine barn find one of those "fresh battery & petrol & it started" jobs, an Aston Martin DB2 barn find!!

Nykilodeon was probably the first world class HotRod built in the UK (in 1972), nice to see it's current owner uses it on the road & looks after it

Three aero-engine specials were running on the runway, the Napier Railton, once succinctly described to me as "a car built by the toolroom" because there is no attempt at lightness whatsoever. The chassis is made from large SLABS of metal, the rear axle is mounted on FOUR (count them) multi leaf Transit van sized semi-eliptic springs, each of the three banks of cylinders has it's own complete exhaust system of about 3" bore, the car is a complete monster - and it's street legal - though small indeed is the No. of people brave enough to drive it on the road.

The next one was a modern take on the classic 1930s aero-engine special running a Merlin (more likely a Meteor) engine& was perhaps foolishly equipped to take passengers.

Last of the three was a car made to the same formula, but a different time frame, using an engine from about 1910 with highly polished copper work

This guy is pretty determined not to wheelie.

Then the first 1/2 of the airshow, there were the usual treats including a Chinook - which I felt was more restrained than in previous years - perhaps because they now use the fly-by-wire Mk 6?

You really shouldn't be able to recover an aircraft from this, but a Pitts Special is no ordinary aircraft

Mmmmmm Hawker

The BBMF put in a nice appearance

Then back to the displays in the "wheels Zone"

The Americans don't do good styling often, but when they get it right - they get it SO right. Mid '50s Thunderbird.

Absolutely fantastic Fordson, proportions, style, drive train & engineering all spot on.

 Described by the commentators as a Ford model B, but we know it's a model A don't we?

Again subtle with just perfect stance.

If you don't want to get cut up on the daily commute, you need one of these.

Who has right-of-way at any junction? why the big Land Rover with two machine guns of course

Mmmmmmm - 53(ish) Chevy.

Back to the aeroplanes for part two of the airshow

I'm sure last time I saw B17 "Sally B" the nose art had had a swim suit painted on, She seems to have lost it now - which is a good thing, the politics of now shouldn't change history (in my opinion).

There were a couple of Vampires from the Norwegian historic flight, apparently painted in RAF markings to honour the 100th anniversary of the RAF.

Not having anything to do with the RAF was this MiG15 trainer. Nice to see though

The Red Arrows were every bit as spectacular as ever

  And finally the show was closed by the Blades. Mrs Blatter & I loaded the car & decided to wander back to the show centre & have a drink to let the traffic clear a little, but when a Pimms & 1/2 pint of cider came to £11 it was clear why most people had done a runner!

Sunday 19 August 2018

Sunday Blatt

The Start
Only the second Sunday blatt this year!

What with one thing & another, I've been a bit remiss with the Sunday drives this year & what with one thing and another I nearly didn't do this one. I was tromping along at a goodly rate on my way to the amusingly names Pease Pottage services when I came up behind a vintage something-or-other & realised the Fury wasn't slowing down. An experimental dab on the brakes slowed it - then it speeded up again.

This was not good.

I found somewhere to pull over, dropped the clutch & switched off the ignition. I jumped out (only a couple of minutes to spare before the departure time) & found a screw had unscrewed itself from the throttle linkage & was jamming the cable quadrant. Fortunately I had some tools with me so it was an easy fix. Just before I arrived at the meet point I passed a group of yanks & hotrods, the leading three of which were 100e Anglias (possibly Pops), they were all obviously tuned but tatty - in the current "rad rod" style. As I passed the leading one on a dual carriageway I heard the unmistakeable rumble of a large V8 as the driver stamped on the throttle. I stamped on mine too & the 100e stayed very definitely behind me.

The Middle

I arrived just after the "we'll DEFINEATLY be leaving at" time to find that not only were the cars still there, but the owners were still loitering about casually, but soon enough we all headed out.

The roads were pretty good, but we were unlucky with the traffic, getting stuck behind supermarket delivery vans & a sess-pit emptying truck. When we're in Scotland or France, folk driving slower things pull in to allow us to pass - not in the south east. Add to that the current trend for spending Sunday mornings dressed entirely in lycra & riding £8000 worth of ill-fitting carbon fibre at least 4feet from any curb (but I'm not bitter). When I did cycling properly, I had a bike custom made for me for a fraction of the price & to ride on the road I had wheels with a decent amount of strength so I could ride safely about a foot to 18" from the curb without irritating other road users or risking a shattered wheel (and, BREEEAAATH).

The End
Rant over.

These minor irritations did not spoil my enjoyment, & soon enough we were tucking into a sett of full English breakfasts & enjoying some first rate banter - which it what it's all about.

Thursday 9 August 2018

Basket Case

As the Fury now rides almost like a real car, the possibility arises of using is a little more often as it's a bit more "Mrs Blatter friendly". To this end I've made a purchase that's certain to get her in the passenger seat - BEHOLD!

For the princely sum of £22 from Ebay, I have a wicker picnic basket. It is like all internet purchases, not quite the size I thought it was. Advertising it as a "4 person" hamper was maybe pushing the bounds of the "sale of goods" act.

Four not terribly hungry people maybe. Four people who had a heavy lunch & are now thinking in terms of a light snack before going home for an evening meal perhaps. But none of this matters, it's plenty big enough for two people in a small two seater.


Saturday 4 August 2018

Better Than Ever

After it's rather prolonged hiatus, the Fury is BACK.

The rear wishbones are on & adjusted, the uprated springs are on & adjusted. it's now about an inch higher than it was which means it stays off the bump stops & rides better than it ever has, so with the spectacularly successful mods to the throttle & clutch linkages it's almost like a proper car. Today I took it round the M25 to my son's house to do some DIYing, we succeeded in working out some complex wiring the previous owner had installed - it's been perplexing us for some time, but today we got to the bottom of it & made it work.


On the way home I left the motorway early & came home on the lanes around Coldharbour - which I always considered to be a strange name for the Surrey village that's the highest above sea level. The lanes are not conducive to high speeds, but are wonderfully atmospheric, being sunken into the ground & over-arched by trees. Well, I think so anyway. They are certainly shady, which when it's 32c as it is at the moment, that's a good thing.