A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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17 October 2013

Not The Monaco Dash.

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The consensus among the dinner guests was that Monaco was not the destination of choice. Pau and Angoulême were the alternatives and, as they're the same time of year as the trip was originally planned, the Ramparts Races at Angoulême romped home by a good length. But, 'The Monaco Dash' has a very nice ring to it so the name stays. I'll probably never get to Monaco in the Special - unless an invitation from The Winter Palace arrives - but even then, the Mercedes I hired had a tough time getting to le parking so I'd have to leave the Hillman at the bottom of the hill in any case. I mention this because it's now less than a year to go and I've still a great deal of work to do. I'm sure I can get it all done but it's been particularly difficult to make any progress on the car this week - I've been busy at work as the textile printing table nears the time for testing and several evening engagements have kept me out of the workshop. However, the weekend beckons and a full day on the scuttle is envisaged. This will mean taking the frame apart ready for final assembly. I've got a vintage car meet to go to on Saturday if the weather holds up which it looks like it might at the moment. That's the last of the season's gatherings and so there'll be no excuses for not making progress after that - except I'll be in Norfolk for most of the following week.....

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I've roughed out the first of the patterns for the steel braces and this rear one will make an enormous difference to the seating positions, allowing much more scope for adjustment than previously. The plate will also help to tie the tail and the cockpit together and the flanges on the front and rear faces will make it fairly solid. I think I'll get it cut out (by the laser people) in 3mm steel.

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And, just thinking out loud for a moment; if I were to put a handy hole in each of the corners of the plate, this might prove useful as some sort of hood fixing. I'd made up my mind that there wasn't going to be a hood but now I've got this plate, some provision for the attachment of something would save a lot of messing about later on - I'm just not quite clear about what that something might be.

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These are the parts of the original spare wheel carrier which I've managed finally to get apart in anticipation of using the studded flange to attach to the steel spine at the back of the car. I'm going to have to turn up a fairly hefty spigot with a 6mm slot in it and then arc weld it to the spine. Arc welding is reputed to be stronger than anything else and, as it happens, my new TIG Inverter welding outfit (the last one gave up the ghost) does arc welding as well, so that's handy. I have memories of welding up broken bits and pieces on the farm when I used to do a lot of tractor work years ago and I could never quite get the hang of the arc welder on the thinner stuff - exhausts and so forth. I had a go on one of these new HF units the other day; it was like squeezing toothpaste from a tube - it couldn't be easier!

Anyway, must dash....

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