A Special Builder's Notes


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14 December 2013

Another Plan.

Last week, Counsel showed me a Crossley that was completely ivory in colour and suggested that I should rethink the colour scheme for the Special (he had Learned Counsel's support in this). I have to admit that the idea of an all ivory car was beginning to wear thin and the picture of the Crossley confirmed that I was on the wrong track. Then I remembered what I thought was a picture of a Stutz but turned out to be a Duesenberg, in Ralph Stein's book, The Great Cars. It looked a bit like this...

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So that's what I'm going to do. I've just got to check that RR Velvet Green - very dark and almost black in some light - has the right hue to go with the Aston Martin BRG of the wheels. In the Aston colour, there's just enough blue to take it away from an overly grass-green (quite yellow) but not enough to destroy what in our imaginations is BRG. If the RR shade is too distinctly blue or yellow then I'll stick with the Aston shade for the body and wings. The ivory will need to be considered quite carefully; no doubt there are squillions of shades and hues available but only a couple of them will be right. Again, the yellow content in the ivory will have to balance with the yellow in the green. I've mixed colours for wallpaper and fabrics for many years and it's always colours like ivory that are the more tricky ones to get right.

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Counsel bought the Crossley in the end and it certainly looks a lot better in the flesh. It might be an interesting exercise to play around with Photoshop and see if the addition somewhere of another colour might give the car an extra lift. The other excitement this week was going with The Ambassador's Daughter to look at the wheeling machine that I've been lent...

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As I mentioned, all I've got to do is move it! The first thing will be to get to know what it can do and to keep my thumbs from getting in the way. The Austin front wings will be the first serious job to tackle. They should be fairly simple to achieve and as I'm not following any particular pattern, I've got a bit of latitude. As long as they're the same both sides and aren't ugly, they'll be fine and a good exercise to kick off with. The trip to Norfolk had an added bonus with the discovery of an excellent fishmonger and the fillets of plaice, after lightly frying them in butter and black pepper, were the best I've ever had. A good helping of samphire and some lightly fried red peppers and cabbage made a very nice supper. I must introduce the fishmonger to Cook.

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Almost the last batch of bits to be powder-coated went off this week. I've still the seat bases and backs to do but I'm not quite finished with the new hinge positions as yet. I've connected up the brake reservoir and this weekend I'll see if it all works. As the system is new I'm using DOT 5.1 fluid which I'm told is a racing car spec and, I'm assured, what will beĀ  immediately apparent is the faster application of the brakes due to the compression qualities of the fluid. So that's good then.

I don't usually look forward to Christmas but I think that with the fuel line going in (I'm installing a Facet fuel pump rather than using the original SU) and the brakes (with luck) working; if I can get the throttle linkage sorted out, the hols might be rather more exciting than I'd planned.

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