Having fully retired at the end of January and with goodness knows how many potentially empty days ahead of me, it now seems like not such a good idea. But I had made a point over the past couple of years that completion was scheduled for my 65th birthday on June 16th this year. In addition to this, I now have a firm date of July 4th to get the car down to Poole in Dorset to meet up with it's first owner, Vernon Maitland. This is such a incredibly rare opportunity that it must not be missed at any cost, so the last couple of weeks have been hectic.
|Start and finish dates with schedule and reminders in between|
|Door gap with chassis on axle stands well in from wheels|
|and with car back on it's wheels|
The only other items to be sorted before the inaugural trip were the windscreen wipers and security bonnet catch. I had pondered the possibility of a leather bonnet strap but was undecided about how they look. One thing is certain though, with a strap over the front, there is absolutely no chance of the bonnet misbehaving so pragmatism wins out. I order one from Guy Broads; its the type with two buckles which means that if you undo them both, you don't have the problem of the metal bits scratching the paint. I'm also told that they are lined with soft Elk Skin which is less likely to scuff. Really?
|With the central bit removed - no buckles to scratch paint|
|140 arm end 120 pre mod 120 post mod|
Its always a bit scary to think of the great number of fasteners that have been removed and re-fitted knowing that some are crucial to the avoidance of pain and expense and it usually takes 500 or so miles before I start to relax and stop listening for unusual noises.
Anyway, the first 10 mile trip went very well except that half way the heavens opened. With no hood or tonneau all I could do was to stop and take off my coat to cover the passenger seat. (what greater love etc.) Once moving again most of the rain went straight over the top so no great problem; a good test for the wipers which worked tolerably well.
Once at Auto-Bodycraft, the door gaps were easily sorted, and Alex came up with a solution for the nasty bit of damage I had incurred when fitting the windscreen.
A great deal of debate went into what should be done about this. Alex wanted to repaint the whole front of the car but I wanted a very small localised repair. This he politely refused to do saying it would always show, especially after some time. The compromise solution was a 'patch'.
|Note colour coded ground plane for DAB aerial|
A great number of other small jobs including the fitting of a tonneau cover from Aldridge Trimming occupy the remaining week which takes me nicely up to Saturday 15th June. This was always planned as it's very first show outing, I know it's a day earlier than the scheduled finish date but what the hell. This Classic Car show is in my home town of Stokesley and less than a mile from home which even meant that I could pop back and bring the 140 along for company.
|And I said I would never take it out in the rain!|
So, more or less cosmetically finished, but I still have a huge list of jobs to complete before the trip to Poole.
You may remember that last year we did the Beamish Run in the 140, a 144 mile trial over some fairly testing moorland roads for pre 1955 cars. It was a great day, especially as we were the overall winners out of 150 cars. 'We' in this case included passenger and friend Tony Firth who was solely responsible for our victory. In the 140 again this year, alas Tony could not join me as he is recovering from an operation. The results aren't out yet but I would guess that without Tony, it'll be only slightly better than a DNF. Get well soon mate.
The following pictures were taken during the lunch stop at Bainbridge, North Yorkshire with the cars and bikes assembled on the village green
Next post early July