A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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30 March 2013

A Suitable Book.

I mentioned that I was in Norfolk last weekend. This was to attend the christening of my niece's daughter. It's the custom to celebrate these events with a touching gift that will in time, give cause to the youngster to remember their generous benefactor. Those with a bit of dosh will have lobbed out on a piece of silver - a child's cutlery set or an intricately patterned bon-bon dish; both popular choices. I opted for the Improving Volume but couldn't decide between 'The Secret Garden', 'Wind in the Willows' or 'Gulliver's Travels'. Of course, the only one in which vintage motoring plays a part is Grahame's classic. Job done.

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The brake and clutch part of the pedal box has continued to occupy me and the parts were tacked together to see if everything worked. It did but, I got the centre mounting hole in the wrong place and had to apply the file - which should teach me to measure a bit more carefully as it's a bit of a sweat filing 6mm steel plate.

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However, it's all gone together pretty much how I wanted it to but the real test will be to see if I've managed to get the dimensions right when it's assembled in the car. I'm looking forward to that moment because I really want to get on with the firewall and scuttle, get the engine started and whizz round the yard in it. But for that, I'll need to complete the radiator installation and, as it happens, progress has been made in that direction too.

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I soft soldered the brass strip to the inside rim of the shell and instead of epoxying the grille to the strip, I've drilled the brass every inch or two and, with locking wire, secured the grille - altogether a neater and less messy solution - the locking wire is barely visible. I've also ditched the idea of the stainless steel wire to finish off the front; it looks perfectly ok without it, thus saving another messy job. The next thing was to do a final fit on the actual radiator and for this I've riveted to the inner rim of the shell, 2BA captive nuts. Six cheese-head screws will hold the radiator and shell together. I've yet to do the mountings which will secure the whole assembly to the chassis as I'm still looking for some suitably sized vulcanised mountings. They don't need to be particularly substantial because, like the Austin, the hoses will take part of the load and contribute to its general suspension.

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It doesn't look great at the moment but since this picture, the core has been painted black and I've amused myself with some doodles apropros the grille decorations...

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I'm not quite there yet. Perhaps a big white '14'? Perhaps not; that would look too much like a racing number. It definitely needs something to take the eye away from the modern core. I could do 'Hillman Special' in the style of 'Hispano Suiza'? I'll think of something.

I never found the pictures of The Great Collector's Darracq but today an opportunity arose to take some more..

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'The motor-car went Poop, poop, poop as it raced along the road....'

Yes, a particularly suitable book.

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