Taking The Biscuits...
... can be something of an adventure.
It's considered polite when visiting to bestow upon your hosts a small gesture of your appreciation. When calling in on Awkward and Leon, it's an established custom that a good quality biscuit is proffered. I was some two or three miles short of the workshop when disaster struck. It's been a constant niggle with the Special from the outset and I've never been able to exactly put my finger on it - until now.
After I'd coasted to a halt in a conveniently empty sugar beet clamp, it was fortunate that I resolved to return home when the engine started to pop and bang. I knew that letting the engine cool off was an aid to getting going again and following a short interval, I limped off until the engine predictably faded to nothing halfway up another friend's drive. By chance, Learned Counsel was present (he also being on the tea-and-biscuit circuit that morning) and between us we decided that the electronic ignition was the problem - or at least its relationship to the slight amount of play in the distributor spindle bushing.
Long story short, the points were back in the distributor by the end of the day. What a difference they made! I now have much more confidence in the car and it goes like a rocket. I have enough parts to rebuild a complete distributor that'll perform with the Hall sensor type ignition if required. The Riley Special has a different electronic ignition setup - the Megajolt type - which works off a disc on the crankshaft pulley, eliminating the distributor altogether.
Earlier in the week, I'd popped up to the Norfolk Butcher and tripped over this amusing scooter.
In chap's workshop was this shell on Jaguar running gear waiting to be painted. I'm told they're made in China.
With good weather forecast and the ignition problem solved, the Special has been in daily use. Pictured here at the venue for the upcoming Lacy Scott & Knight Fine Art, Cars and Motorcycles Auction on the 12th June, Viktoras iš Vilniaus, Counsel and I were doing some last-minute detailing and welcoming a couple of later entries.
Especially fine (and surprisingly lively) was this rare RHD 1936 Mercedes Cabriolet.
Though having to wait 64 years, two more firsts are now under my belt. I've at last driven a 3-wheeler Morgan, albeit not necessarily the model I would have picked for this momentous event, and secondly, I've been able to drive a car with a pre-selector gearbox. An Alvis Firefly tourer was so equipped and, like my mother, I rather took to it.
Without question, the star of the show would be this Citroen DS Décapotable. It's not a Chapron body which may upset the purists, but who cares. It's one of the most iconic and perfect works of motoring art to behold. The rear indicators alone, tucked in at the back of the hood, shout quality and attention to detail by any measure. How could anyone part with it? They must be completely kooky.