A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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14 August 2013

A Splendid Day Out....

... and not at all expensive so, Huzzah! for the Bentley Drivers Club.

We didn't go to Silverstone to see the Bentleys but they were nevertheless, in all their forms, magnificent and one in particular took my eye.

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It was the colour more than anything; in a sea of green, ivory is bound to stand out. I wondered what the Special would look like in ivory...

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Well, I quite like that. I'll run it past Miss X; she may have to make some adjustments to the hue of her wardrobe. There were other details on some of the Bentleys which also gave me a few ideas for further down the road - so to speak....

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...this chassis fairing and the leather lacing on the cockpit coaming was rather nice..

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But it was the Jowett Jupiters that Learned Counsel, The Navigator and I had come to see and there were three of them, two of which competed in the day's racing programme. This one had a more or less standard engine...

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...and this one was an all aluminium bodied job (including the otherwise standard steel scuttle) and had a fancy crank and rods, different carbs and lots of added lightness. It went very well.

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Here it is in action..

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The third Jupiter was evidently a seasoned rally car and was equally interesting to inspect.

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So, the weather was perfect, the pits were open to all and the various races, between which there was absolutely no delay, made for a delightful day out. My only criticism would be the catering. For such a prestigious venue and, what's more, for a fairly smartish event, I would have thought that someone might have known better than to put chunks of old tread in gravy and try to pass it off as beef stroganoff. Indeed, for any event, your franchise ought to be on the line for even thinking you'll get away with it. Good food doesn't have to be outrageously expensive and, if you make the effort to get it right, people like me wouldn't be taking a packed lunch the next time I visit. I noticed quite a few rather well-stocked hampers in evidence amongst the Bentleys; perhaps a lot of the BDC members were wise to this sad state of affairs.

Anyway, that didn't detract from a memorable day out. Whilst wandering around the circuit, I was thinking about how I would finish off the front of the Hillman tourer's hood and when I got home I settled down in front of the sewing machine to get it done. I had a 60" strip to add and wasn't quite sure how I was going to keep it all in place to get the stitching straight when I hit on the idea of stapling the 2 bits together. Worked like a dream.

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The more I think about it, the more I'm warming to the idea of ivory as the body colour. I know British Racing Green is, well, racy, but with BRG wheels and wings that aspect is taken care of really and the contrast is rather pleasing; ivory sets the nickel plating off quite nicely as well.

And for racing, I won't have to paint white circles on the car for the numbers. Splendid!

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