A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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18 November 2012

Core Blimey!

The radiator people sent me an email to say that the new radiator core was ready for collection. Attached was this picture...

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... and it looks every bit as good in the flesh; it's a work of art and fits into the shell absolutely perfectly. Most people who do things for you do a good job but, very occasionally, someone does a job for you that stops you in your tracks - step forward the radiator people. And, what was also particularly nice about them was that they made time to show me round their works, they weren't in the least bit patronising about my obvious lack of knowledge and they stuck to the price they quoted; Pro Alloy Motorsport Ltd, Haverhill, Suffolk. Can't be beat.

You may recall that at the beginning of the summer the Hillman tourer lost its hood - a ripping sound and that was that. I lost the hood on the Bayliss Thomas as well one day but the frame went with that one so the fabric stayed intact. Anyway, trawling the web for suitable fabric for a replacement threw up a million options. Often, these things are best selected by reading the reviews or, better still, a recommendation by someone who's been down the road before you but, number 1 on my list of preferences was that the material had to be as wide as I could get - 72" if possible - because I wasn't keen on too many seams. I found some black cotton duck at 72" wide, sent for a sample and, seeing that it was good, ordered 4 mts. It's billed as 'watertight' rather than waterproof but, I'd rather it looked right than a bit plastic. All I've got to do now is restore the industrial sewing machine I've borrowed and I can get on with it (why don't people look after their stuff?)

The fuel tank, rear axle shaft casings and the brake drums have all come back from the blasters. The drums will go straight off to be painted in the same colour as the wheels - Aston Martin BRG - and I can set about reassembling the rear axle. I've still got to get a couple of rear wheel bearings but I think that I'll have to make do with single instead of double row as the latter are nowhere available in the right size. A spacer will take up the slack. The blasting of the fuel tank has shown up another hole near one of the seams at the end so there's some repairs to do there as well before it goes back for powder-coating. In the meantime, the installation of the wood-burner is complete,

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and, whilst on the subject of heating, the installation of the blowers over the fabric printing table (my work in Norfolk which takes me to the supply of Norfolk sausages) is also coming along very nicely.

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I mention this because you may have noticed a lack of material progress on the Special (no new bits bolted on) and I didn't want anyone to think I'm sitting around in the sunshine like certain other people I could mention. I was going to do a pile of stuff today in great-leap-forward fashion but the Great Collector rang to say that his big Darracq (not the little one) was being a bit irksome in the ignition department. Counsel and I slipped over and had the lot to bits to find that one of the platinum points had come adrift. Some get-you-home metal epoxy sorted that out but, in removing the mag, all the settings had been lost - we marked everything with white paint but it all came off in the handling. Corr blimey - blinkin' amateurs.

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