A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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19 June 2013

Hello?..... No, Sorry Darling....

.. I'm in Monaco.

But before I left I was able to get the panel cut-outs done.

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The layout is more or less what I planned and there's a couple of controls yet to be installed; the engine stop and the exhaust lever (I'm still in two minds on that one). The indicators and the hand throttle will be the two controls attached to the steering column. It's quite a busy panel and there's still room for additions if I find I need them. A more practical problem came up in conversation the other day - what to do about windscreen wipers. I've got a couple of Lucas vacuum wiper motors...

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(his 'n' hers). These I prefer to the electric motors that hang from the top of the frame and which are so unsightly and likely to give you a headache if you hit one. Both solutions are not without drawbacks. My interpretation of the law is that if you can see over or around the windscreen from the driving position, wipers are not required (my A7 Special for instance). That's fine if the car has no hood but with a hood, wipers are a must. Actually, in my experience, driving and flying in open cockpit stuff in the rain doesn't pose a problem at all, in fact I've often been drier out in the open than when in an enclosed cockpit or with a hood up. Anyway, the jury's out on the wipers for the moment - I may do something a bit less obtrusive, perhaps with the mechanism coming up from the scuttle.

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I then went ahead and cut the first hole in the aluminium. The pattern looks all over the place when viewed at an oblique angle but head on, it's fine (I'm not doing it again - yet). I screwed the aluminium panel to the ply and drilled through from the back. I do miss Abrafiles; they made jobs like this a piece of cake. I'll have to try to find something similar. I've got a set of 'drill saws', but they don't really cut the mustard and it's quicker to whip round the circumference with an ordinary drill, then needle file through the joins and tidy up with a half-round.

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I've come to Monaco with Cook to see what there is in the way of digs for The Monaco Dash. The plan is to announce four days in advance that dinner is served on such-and-such a day at such-and-such a place and we all jump in our cars and belt off and the last one at table's a cissy. There's quite a mix of cars on the jolly including a Ferrari, an MGB, a Bentley, the Jowett, an MGA, a Lancia, my Hillman, and a Riley plus one other. It's the sort of thing that you have to do just once in your life, even if you're on short commons for the next 12 months. The worst part of the trip will be the flog down to Dover though I understand that Learned Counsel's already looking forward to a slap-up in the ship's greasy spoon. That's a bit over-confident in my view....

Hello?...... No darling, I'm in a lay-by near Ashford.

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