A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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31 July 2022


For some years I've been less than respectful about my friend's Morris Minor, in fact even Miss Whizzlong had two of them in her possession when I first met her back in the early eighties. Fortunately, my MKIII 2000E Cortina was the vehicle of choice.

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I took a prospective purchaser for a trip around the block in the Hillman, and on the way back the car started to slow down without the engine note changing. Hmm, I'd had this before. We pulled into a lane off the main road to investigate. It took me a moment to recall, but it was the blinkin' brake fluid again - or rather moisture in the brake fluid getting too hot in the system, turning to steam, expanding, and pressing the brakes on. All I had to do was crack one of the unions, let out the pressurised fluid and all would be well. Typically, this was the first time that I'd been out in the car without 1cwt of tools in the back; I hadn't the means to release the union. And who came sailing past in his Morris Minor, fully equipped with a suitable spanner but my chum in his Morris Minor. That'll learn me.

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Anyway, a deal was struck, and the car went off to Slovakia to take part in the Bugatti GP. I gather it's not a serious event - just as well as the Hillman is no racer - and suitably vintage and racy looking cars are welcomed. I hope to report on its progress in the future.

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I was persuaded to attend my school's Class of '75, Old Boys Reunion where the more sadistic among the company had brought along school photographs to gawp at. In the late sixties, when the local photographer was still using a plate camera, the annual photo was always an excuse for high jinks - appearing in the picture twice by swapping positions with other pranksters was a favourite, though I've never seen evidence of a successful double exposure, so to speak. As camera's advanced, so did opportunities for misbehaviour diminish. I have vague recollections of some of the people surrounding me - the blonde-haired chap at my 2 o'clock was at the do - but for the most part I haven't a clue who they are - it was after all, fifty years ago.

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Up betimes and to the Latitude musical event at Henham Hall in Suffolk. It was a 4:00am start to go and collect a freezer trailer from the site before the revellers' stampede to the exit as the effects of the previous night's whoopla wore off. My reward for this dawn dash was three trays of vegetables and a dozen steak and ale pies to put in my own freezer.

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I had to be a bit sharp retrieving the veg as the gulls from the nearby coast had got wind of the bounty and were stacking in the circuit, ready for breakfast.

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The early start gave me the rest of the day to ponder the bonnet frame. A welding rod gave me the shape which was then soldered to a piece of thin steel - the hinge had to have an offset arm attached, otherwise the front of the wing would tuck in and hit the tyre.

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This setup appears to have promise - the radiator shell also pivoting forward as the bonnet is raised. I'll have to pay careful attention as I proceed - complex hinges can behave anomalously.

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