A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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02 August 2014


Statistically, a proportion of the cars components will fail in a fairly short space of time; it's just a question of which ones.

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It shouldn't be the headlamp wiring. It was quite tricky getting the cables in through the tiny gaps in the structure - the old stuff was amply encased in putty which had gone like concrete but patience paid off and for once I didn't break anything in getting it all out. A quick polish of the alloy rim finished the first one off very nicely and I couldn't resist popping it on the car to see what it looked like...

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The next lamp is a little bit more difficult because I did break something - the little Paxolin tab washer which acts as the festoon bulb input insulator. I'll have to shape a suitable piece of plastic to replace it. And since I had an appointment with George, it was imperative that the car was ready for the road on Thursday morning. The rear lights and number plates were finished off..

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.. and the indicators and brake lights worked first time! I haven't tried the side lights but I have every confidence...

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When I get back, I can get on with the reversing light - rather a novelty on a car this age - but I've got a very nice Butler half round rear light that I'm going to mount just aft of the spare wheel, bringing the total length of the car to 173" (1" longer than a 4.5lt Bentley). The bracket will pick up the spare wheel mounting studs and be secured with half nuts. I'll build in a plug so that the removal of the spare wheel isn't a problem.

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And this I just couldn't resist. My friends Jodel light aircraft was a 'Paris-Nice' model (there was enough fuel capacity to get you from Paris to Nice) and I always thought that a nice touch. My Jodel (a D117) had 5 hours of fuel on board (4.5 hours before you needed to find somewhere to land - if you could stay up that long without refreshment and other conveniences) and that gave you a still-air range of about 450 statute miles. That's Paris to Nice and a run along the beach as well so why mine wasn't called a Paris-Nice job I don't know. Anyway, the Hillman certainly wouldn't make Monaco in one hit but it's a nice name for the car - after all, that's what it was built for.

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So it remains to be seen how the car performs on the open road; I'm obviously going to take it steady for the shakedown period. In time, if I can achieve a solid and stable cruise at about 55-60mph, I'll be happy. Incidentally, a chum dropped by earlier and I was explaining to him about the carb being a bit slow on deceleration and, after examining the carb, he suggested that I fit an extra throttle return spring to take out the lost motion in the system. The extra spring would also double as a safety feature that would close the throttle in the event of the failure of the throttle linkage.... which is the sort of thing I was thinking about when I came in.

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