A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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26 June 2016

A Rare Picture....

.... because it was usually my father with the camera.

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Father would have been in his late twenties when this picture was taken by my mother. She must have been standing on something or hanging over a balcony to get the angle; it was quite difficult to replicate. Counsel popped by (he's been to photography classes and knows what's what) to do the honours and the farm provided the cherry picker.

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Just about got it. We didn't have a lot of time (I thought about dragging out my 'country' jacket and tie but it would have looked a bit contrived) and it was nice to get the two images together at last. It's funny to think that I'm probably twice my father's age here. I've still got the hare (and some hair I see) and a folder of correspondence that my father had with the Alvis works at the time. Unfortunately, I can't fully read the number plate so I don't know if the car survives.

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And to continue the theme - I stopped to buy ice creams on the way to Leon and Awkward's workshop - and noticed that everything seemed to look 'right' for a picture which was some consolation for paying the same price as a gallon of petrol for four choc ices!

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I took a couple of days off from Project 'X' to complete the brake levers for a chum's Hurtu. I'd previously drawn up and had laser cut the various parts for fabrication. The originals were cast and would have been too expensive to replicate for this one-off job.

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There were taper pins to drill for and fit and various bits of shaping to make the levers look right. Also, blending the welding (I used multiple runs of TIG as I'm less confident with the stick welder through lack of practice) to make sure all the anticipated loads flow through the parts as they should. That took a bit of time - practically all day in fact.

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But I'm very pleased with the result. It's all too easy to get the levers the wrong way round if you're too eager to get the job done - in fact that's my usual trick and I'm delighted that I got to the end of the job without having to do anything twice! The middle bracket attaches to the differential case and secures a rod which acts as a torque tube might; there's one either side.

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You'll recall that Leon and Awkward changed the engine in Leon's Special - removing the troublesome Coventry Climax and putting the original Austin engine back in - well, they were working to a deadline as they'd set themselves the task of going to the South of France in the Standard Avon and the A7. Ils sont arrivés.

A picture with Awkward in it is a rare thing.






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