We finished loading the Living Stone on Saturday night, packed up and drove home on Sunday morning. The A1 is usually jammed with traffic and eyes in the back of your head are an indispensable requisite for dealing with hazards along the way.
I wasn't even sure that we'd got the right road. Sometimes, up to half a mile in front and behind us was completely clear. It was the first time I'd actually 'seen' the road and its surroundings. It was a place I didn't recognise at all.
Which prompted me to recall the picture I put up of the flights over Europe and Africa in January 2015. A 'then' and 'now' comparison might be of interest and you may notice some people having fun in balloons on the borders of Kenya and Tanzania. It's also interesting that although the count is very much reduced, the shape of the movements is still the same - just on a bit of a diet. Back in the workshop there was work waiting, or more accurately, a work out.
With the Riley chassis on axle stands and the wheels, drums and hubs removed, I tackled the brake cylinders. They were well past their prime, though it was worth having a look inside one to see how the piston had fared over the years.
Some minor corrosion, but as the bodies were beginning to turn to dust, they were binned. The new pattern parts looked identical and I hope to have more success this time around.
I didn't expect that dismantling the front suspension - which probably hadn't been apart since 1954 - was going to be easy, but I didn't reckon on wishbones and torsion bars rusted onto their splines and rubber bushes amalgamated with steel. I think I must have lost a couple of pounds on the first side!
I made up a nylon guide for the drift to protect the splines in the torsion bar carriers. To get the carriers out, I'll have to make up another special tool. Oddly enough, the only thing that defied all my efforts was the top bolt on the nearside shock absorber. I'll show it the cutting disc - that'll settle its hash.
Learned Counsel, who's been itching for something to be produced on the wheeling machine, called to say that he needed a hardtop for one of his Jowett Jupiters and could I think about a design that would improve on the current unspeakable rabbit hutch affair that is just too embarrassing to erect. Well, it would be rude not to.
A couple of preliminary sketches demonstrated that the Jupiter is a difficult shape to work with. The profile pictured here, flatters the rather bulbous lines of the body which in real life give the impression of a hand-me-down overcoat - something which the chassis might eventually grow into.
The point of the exercise is to produce something detachable like the hardtop of the Triumph Stag. The body - bar a couple of holes for securing pins - must remain untouched. And on this drawing I remembered the rear window.