Mr Laken, a Special Builder on the other side of the world, has got himself out of a hole with some very clever thinking and engineering.
His Special, based on Wolseley parts from models of all ages, has a Wolseley 6/80 engine and gearbox. Unfortunately, it dropped a valve guide and the idea, whilst the camshaft was removed, was to renew all 12 guides at the same time as getting someone to weld up and Stellite face the burnt valve from the dropped guide.
Mr Laken reports the usual fight to get the camshaft out, but that he was also hindered by valve guides of different lengths preventing the camshaft from sliding over the followers. A new set of guides would solve this problem, but rather than the usual bronze replacements, after reading an article that cast doubt on the efficacy of bronze guides in a cast iron head - expansion and contraction rates of the two metals being dissimilar - he bought 12 cast iron guides and engineered them to fit.
Turning his attention to the burnt-out exhaust valve, Mr Laken decided he would renew all six by utilising the 6/80 stems and the heads from the Wolseley 1500 machined to the correct diameter.
High temperature Loctite will make sure that the two parts are never separated. Clever stuff indeed.
Leon has fitted his Reece Fish carb to the Coventry Climax and reports excellent results. Additionally, he's converted to a cable throttle rather than all the bellcranks and levers as it affords more positive engine control when drifting around roundabouts.
The Derrington Morris Oxford exhaust manifold was going to cost too much to reproduce - the inlet tubes for the twin carbs were much more affordable. The quickest way to achieve the new layout was to remove the inlet side of things from the casting to make way for the two SU's.
Voila! The casting was a bit thin where the lower carb stud is located, but a couple of inches of weld sorted that out.
Meanwhile, I haven't managed to do a lot because people keep asking me to do things - "can you make a hatch in the roof of my truck so I can go lamping", "can you mend the door handle on my Airstream caravan?", "can you mend the blades on my (40-year-old) food processor?". I should learn to say 'no, not now!' I had five minutes to assess the position of the windscreen on the Special.
I'll add some more of the buck to get the door weighed off. The scuttle is the bit I need to get right, so taking my time is no bad thing.
I spotted a silk upholstered chair in a friend's house - the perfect colour for the Special. The spots might not be to everyone's taste, but it's an option. Whilst they were indisposed, I snipped a bit off and shall get it matched at the paint shop so I can experiment on the wheels.
And I see young Harry is practising his 737 unusual approach procedures - you never know... what larks!