Tuesday 20 August 2019

Almost Mended

With the gearbox mount arriving at work as promised, I headed over to my brother's to pick up the bell washer he had spare, he also had a spare gearbox mount bolt which he'd lightened for me - he knows me so well.


So the car's almost back together, the belly pan is back on & It's just waiting for the transmission tunnel top to be re-fitted.


Sunday 18 August 2019

Nearly There

Another busy day on the drive, I cut back & polished the side pod, which now looks like this:-

Not "invisibly mended", but a lot better than it was & this side faces the ground so only gnomes & people I've run over will ever see it.

I also glued the heat insulation back in & just need to get some 4mm pop rivets & attach one new bracket before the pod goes back on.

I've slotted the holes the gearbox mount attaches to so it can find it's own happy place.

I wired up the Cactus' tow bar, so I just need a No. plate & I'm done with that. A good weekend's work all in all.

Saturday 17 August 2019


Now the sump seems to be sorted - did I tell you the supplier called & said my kit had the wrong pick-up pipe? It was time to move onto the other repairs. The "bell washer" in the gearbox mount looked like this

That's kind-of sideways, so it needed to get replaced. It all came off pretty easily in the end, I supported the gearbox from a block of wood above the tunnel & with a little persuasion it came off. Bit of a mess though, the bell washer is split & the mount rubber has separated from the surround. There's another mount in the post - should arrive Monday - & my brother has a spare bell washer. Fortunately the bolt & the mounting lug are OK.

After that I took of the side pod I'd put the jack through, straightened the floor where it mounts & had a good look round it.

It's in a pretty sorry state & really needs replacing, but now is not the time.

The front wall had been broken by something a while ago, the rear wall was all cracked, one of the anchor nuts had pulled through the GRP.

So where to begin?

I started with the rear wall as I could mend that with aluminium.

I made up a new support bracket with stiffening flanges & riveted it on - that stabilised the back, one of the rear brackets broke as I took the pod down, so I made a new one of those too

So now I had little choice but to look at the GRP, I'm really not confident with it which is pat of the problem, though this afternoon I was quite pleased with how it went.

To the left is was the sorry sight at the start, so after a lot of cleaning & stripping the heat shielding out (this is the exhaust pod) I trimmed the frilly edge back until the panel fore & aft of the crack was aligned, then made up some resin & laid the glass across the inside.

It went pretty well & cured at almost exactly the right time.

Before the new gel - resin filler went in
After that I turned it over & filled the crack with 50% gel-coat, 50% resin & a little catalyst. That's still hardening off in the garage, but tomorrows job will be to cut it back to the surface & polish it. It will look a mess as the existing gel-coat is all cracked, but it'll look better than it did & it'll do for now - I may have a cunning plan for a semi-permanent "fix" which will change the look again, but that'll have to wait until I have somewhere more permanent to keep the car.


Monday 12 August 2019

Shuttleworth & SuperNats 3

This amused me, in one of the hangers there were a number of 1920s / 30s posters with - say a picture of a dynamic looking couple of blokes labelled "Pilot & Navigator" or "Engine & Mechanic" or "Explorer & Driver" then there was this one..... if you were a woman, you only got to be a blonde or a brunette - this was in the era of Amy Johnson & Tilly Shilling for goodness sake!!! How times change.
 This is the original Wallis Autogyro from whichever James Bond film it was. Dummy rockets, missiles & guns of course, I doubt the structure could take the recoil. Only as I post the picture here do I notice ANOTHER Kingston designed aircraft in the background, looks like a Sopwith 1 1/2 Stutter - yes the actually named it the One-And-A-Half-Strutter. That's what the pilots nick-named it after the struts between the wings - & it became official, but that's not really an excuse.

Ah the Dragon Rapide, Another badly named aircraft. I remember as an apprentice being told that guys working on Concorde would occasionally be flown to Filton (Bristol) on the Company Dragon Rapide & would look out of the windows as the cars on the M4 overtaking them.


At the other end of the scale, but still with DeHavilland is the DH88 Comet, designed specifically for the MacRobertson air race from London to Australia. With 400bhp & able to travel at 200mph for 2500 miles, this was a pretty hot ship in it's day.

It's a ply wood monocoque, so a direct ancestor of - the DH98 Mosquito

There's more here:-


Like all the planes at Old Warden it is airworthy, but it's a bit of a handful, look at pictures of it on the ground & think about what the pilot could see when on the ground. It's ealy life was Race, Crash, Repair, Repeat.

But isn't it stunning


Onto the cars & a lot less waffle from me


WHY don't any of the Cobra kit makers do a 59 'Vette shell as an alternative??

 Thus was weird, Good weird, but weird

It takes a lot of work to look this un-cared for


Some people have TOO much time on their hands

Would you call that a paint job, or dazzle pattern camouflage?

Just classic (see what I did there) 

Who doesn't like a big purple Willys?
Austin Devon (or possibly Dorset)


I know it's "only" a Morris Minor, but look at it - EVERY panel has been re-worked to such a high standard that you don't notice the work. Minor doors don't blend like that, the headlights are 2" forward, then Frenched in, the font panel is blended, the more I looked, the more work there was.


This appeared to be built on a DAX Tojero chassis - camber compensation
system gave it away. The trailer has double wishbone suspension & coil-overs

Feeling Peeky?

Had two, still want another one

This was - odd. Fantastic workmanship, amazing design & vision, but (I have to ask) why??

Well, what else would you want to sleep in?

On a HotRod, there's no such thing as "can't be seen"

This is under a hinged panel in the pick-up bed