So with two weeks to go, the snoozing and socialising will have to stop. John has already completed the dash board, seats, armrest and door panels and I would have to say that he has made a superb job of them. The remaining work, hood, tonneau cover, cockpit rolls, side screens and carpets will be tailored specifically to the car, hence the need for it to be away at his workshop for the best part of a month.
|Special dispensation given to store seats at home for a while|
|Exceptional job by John Richardson of Shildon County Durham|
This is an ideal place to hide the controls for the ICE kit and other occasional use switches, plus a switch to activate a small digital display showing battery voltage, to avoid fitting a voltmeter, much more use than an ammeter if the cars been fitted with an alternator.
I had some nice period switch labels engraved but couldn't resist having a second set made up for the benefit of the grand kids. Telling grandson Freddy that he shouldn't on any account open the lid between the seats in Bobsy's 'special car' then leaving him to play should be interesting, especially when the 'countdown' LED's illuminate immediately after he's activated the eject switch.
|Work in progress with alternative label for grand kids|
|Engine bay - almost ready for engine installation on 17th Feb|
Thinking about this, I realise that the early 120 master cylinder (also used on the 140) effectively has its own reservoir holding around half a pint of fluid which in turn is kept topped up by the glass one. I can only guess that the glass reservoir was added to make it easy to check the fluid level and top it up. In any event, it was a very satisfying part to recondition. New rubber seals were made and fitted top and bottom and the metalwork powder coated in a colour very close to the original. Local and ever helpful company Hawk fasteners actually had in stock the tiny rivets used to fasten the brass manufacturers plate back in place.
|Master cylinder with its own half pint reservoir - ready for assembly|
|Glass brake fluid reservoir - scarey!|
|Lovely original brass plaque|
The weather today, Saturday 16th, has taken a turn for the better, so time to disinter the 140 from it's winter slumbers. I've run the engine and moved the car a few feet back and forth every couple of weeks, but this will be it's first run out this year. As ever it started without any fuss and ran beautifully with all gauges indicating healthy levels of everything.
Just around the corner from my workshop is a newly re-furbished building dating from 1916. Originally the HQ for the Cargo Fleet Iron Company which peaked in output in the 1950's and may even have made the steel used in the 140's construction. The entrance makes an interesting backdrop for a photograph.
Preceding this building by around fifty years, Prime Minister William Gladstone, visiting Middlesbrough's Iron Foundries in the 1860's described the town thus :
"This remarkable place, the youngest child of England's enterprise, is an infant, but if an infant, an infant Hercules"
I can't help but wonder what he would say if he could see the town in middle age.
|140 after its winter break, a little dusty but otherwise superb|
Now retired with the company DD cancelled, it would from hereon be up to me. So, I had two calls to make, Saga and the AA. Fortuitously I chose Saga first.
Answered by a UK call center, no multiple choice button punching, recorded messages and music, just a charming young man called Zack, who efficiently arranged my renewal. He went on to pitch for breakdown cover, in conjunction with - you've guessed - the AA. I read from my renewal document exactly what £202.96 provided and explained that was precisely what he needed to quote for, stressing each aspect, family membership etc. He absolutely confirmed it would be identical, and quoted me £37.00 yes - thirty seven pounds! I look forward to receiving the documents to see if this can be true.
Next Post end of February