I wanted to get some jobs squared away before I went to Rognan for a few days magnetising.
We were booked for an early departure on Monday morning when I noticed that SAS were on strike and most flights cancelled. We were delayed until the following day and the only option was a BA flight to Oslo and then on to Bodø with Norwegian. Of course, those carriers promptly doubled their prices to take advantage of everyone's inconvenience.
The extra day came in handy as a chum's Darracq was refusing to run - or it fired up for only long enough to keep you interested. The timing is, as on most cars with a mag, a pain to check and adjust. The symptoms included a manic desire to break the starter's wrist, so it was definitely far too advanced. By the time I'd got there, the exhaust and intake manifolds were being replaced, so seeing what the pushrods were doing in order to establish TDC at the top of the firing stroke was difficult. I usually get everything 180° out on the first attempt and sure enough....
The photo's a bit dark, but this Straker Squire in the same garage, never fails to impress. Wire wheels set it off as a truly elegant Edwardian.
The 1908 Rover sitting in my workshop needed a new brake cross shaft. The 3/4" shaft runs in a tube with oiling points along its length. Rejecting the welded tube I was offered, I suggested that some seamless aircraft tube would be more suitable. It had been a few years since I'd bought any and the price of it was now ludicrous. Much less expensive was a 3/4" x 200mm long drill and a bag of Norfolk sausages. Chumley did the honours and I got the final clearance by pulling the tube up against the flutes of the drill with a leather strap and then polishing internally with grinding paste. Worked a treat.
Conversely, new bearings for the RR fan spindle were not only available off the shelf, but surprisingly inexpensive at £13 the pair. Unfortunately, it looks like I could be away for the struggle to get the fan back on and dropping the tiny washers on the floor - that's a shame. Other tasks included a repair to a 19th century fire-iron and re-working a top-link bracket on one of the farm's tractors.
Regular commentator and all-round clever chap, Renaud (see Le Sandford de mon père) is making progress with his Series II Lotus 7. My only trip in a Series II was from The Central School of Art on London's Southampton Row, down to the Aldwych and back up through the then open Holborn Kingsway underpass, to emerge again in the Row at an indicated 120mph. That was in 1968 and I'd just turned 12. The government of the day had obligingly abolished theatre censorship in time for the evening's entertainment - Hair - then recently opened at The Shaftesbury Theatre.
There was a scene where nobody had anything on! Yikes!