Before I move on to the next stage - engine runs and the bodywork - there are some jobs which will have to be completed and I made a promise to myself that I would not be distracted from those tasks.
The hole for the battery cut-off for instance, would not be easy to do with even more restricted access. It was difficult enough as it was until I remembered that I had a 40mm hole cutter which went through the 2mm steel like butter.
The scuttle came off and was removed to the farm workshop where I could make up the plates for the windscreen demisting vents and weld them in place. It will be much easier to prepare and paint the scuttle in the lean-to next to the shop.
The stainless-steel exhaust system that I've made up is going to exit just in front of the nearside rear wheel. This saves me having to bend tubes to go over the back axle and also allows me to weld together everything from the downpipe flange backwards, as one piece.
Walking up and down to the farm workshop, I noticed Learned Counsel's door was open and popped in to see what was going on. His son, who shares the unit, was changing his Lotus Elise gear lever for a custom-made mechanism that improves gear selection no end over the original item.
The original system is nothing like as finely engineered and as a consequence has a lot of slop both across the gate and in the throw. The new kit is machined from solid billet - how I would do it if I knew how - and the bellcranks at the gearbox end are also swapped out as part of the conversion.
Counsel and I have started to investigate the addition of a starter motor to the 1913 Buick. There's room - and some well-placed cross-beams - to accommodate an underslung starter which would engage a solid rubber wheel on the surface of the flywheel. The flywheel might have to have some aircraft walkway strip applied to give the wheel some grip - that's the first option. The second and likely the better choice, is to mount a dynastart that is constantly engaged with the flywheel via a multi ribbed 'V' belt. There's much more contact area on the flywheel with this method. Once the starter has done its job, it reverts to being a generator and keeps the battery topped up.
This will be a separate electrical system to the trembler coil and magneto which by the looks of the cable diameter is probably a 6v affair.
A quick peek under the seat of the 1901 De Dion revealed an interesting starting mechanism - the sprocket and chain shaft extends to the outside of the body and is attached to a crank at a sensible height. Of course, all this amounts to distractions that I promised myself I would avoid - c'est la vie.