A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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09 September 2015


... is not yet upon us. I know this because the butter in my butter dish is still perfectly spreadable. I don't keep it in the fridge because there's nothing worse than when you're dying for a quick sandwich, you rip the bread to shreds trying to get the butter to spread. So despite the dewy mornings and the donning of hats for the weekly jolly in the Hillman, according to my butter, summer's still with us.

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The good news is that following the trials and tribulations of fading out and not starting when hot, the Hillman has been transformed by the fitting of a new coil. After all the fuss and palaver fitting heat sinks for the carb and whatnot, it was nice to get to the bottom of the problem and now I'm not nervous about even a simple trip to the garage (it was getting that bad).

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The grilles for the front of the Jowett Jolly-boat that I plated a couple of weeks ago have now been fitted. I know they're supposed to be chrome but nickel is so much nicer. I'm sure they'll end up chrome plated in time but for now they set the front of the car off very nicely.

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For the weekly run we were joined by The Great Collector's latest acquisition, a 1925 Star. Counsel had had it on the ramp to give it the once over and make sure everything was working as advertised. Our trip out was interrupted several times by what appeared to be an air lock in the Star's fuel system. The cure was to turn the fuel off at the tap below the scuttle tank, take the fuel filter bowl off, switch the fuel back on, replace the bowl and let the flow push the air all the way through the system until the float bowl refilled itself and there were no more bubbles coming past the float. I think the non-standard filter bowl may be messing up the levels but we'll spend an afternoon putting that right at some point. There was also evidence of a small leak in the petrol tank so there's some work to be done there. Otherwise it performed very well.

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This month's most desirable motor was this Sunbeam. It reminded me of the Hillman Tourer I used to have and had the great benefit of wire wheels. It was also a bit bigger (engine and body) than the Hillman but in essence much the same. I saw a Hillman tourer with wire wheels a few weeks ago when I collected the set of road springs to play with - the wires make all the difference.

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After my weeks of uninterrupted sunshine in Sweden and Germany, it was a bit of a come down to return to leaden skies and cold northerlies so as the sun made a surprise appearance over the weekend, The Ambassador's Daughter and I went off to Happisburgh by the Norfolk Broads. Boats have always had a certain appeal but it was interesting to note in the marina we stopped at for lunch, how many of the boats we saw looked rather sad and neglected. Thinking about it, the price of a boat is a lot of day rentals and if you owned one, when is it you'd be scraping off the barnacles?

In the winter. No thanks.

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