... though very welcome, was provided by an invitation to have a few laps at Snetterton.
Copyright - Xtreme Sports Photography
On the next lap we ran into a wall of rain. I was interested to watch Mr Marvellous, who had been pushing to get past me, over-cook it and go straight on into the cabbages instead of turning left at the next corner.
If I've measured the chassis once, I must have measured it a squillion times and I'm only this week nearly convinced that my original concern about the whole thing being too short was unfounded. I think I know what's been putting me off my stride - a simple optical illusion. With the chassis on axle stands, it all looks like it's too low and short when in actual fact it's at exactly the height it will be with the wheels on. This is why I was nervous about fixing the radiator height. I needn't have been. Of course, visually it hasn't helped having an engine and gearbox assembly at 72" long appearing to fill the void leaving little room for anything else.
The next job will be to make up a couple of seats and get the base plates for the body attached to the chassis. I say 'the next job', what I mean is, that's the next thing to distract me. There's plenty of stuff I haven't finished yet - the brakes for example.
Anyway, like building a jig for a wing rib, I've plotted the curves for the body and I'll use this drawing as a guide. I'm really rather looking forward to the woodwork and seeing the car take shape but that won't be started proper until I've completely fitted out the chassis and engine. Things like fuel lines can be easily overlooked in the general excitement.
The drawing's a bit manky because there's been a lot of rubbing out and re-drawing. I'm not concerned with the front because that's now fixed at the same height as the '29 tourer. When I attach the front axle this weekend, I can determine the steering box position and confirm the dimensions of the scuttle. The Special at 40" wide is about 8" slimmer at the cockpit than the tourer but still has ample room for Miss X and me to have a comfortable drive to Monaco. The staggered cockpit will help in this respect.
To occupy myself whilst I've been thinking all this through for the umpteenth time, I've shown the engine the wire brush. Come up a treat look.
And the other side:
I've got some bits and pieces that I'll take to work and bead blast - the manifold and the cranshaft balance weight - then a coat of red will I think finish it off very nicely. Before that I would be wise to change the core plugs; as the oil and grime came off it was evident that someone had been having a go at plugging a leak with Red Hematite. The thermostat was missing as well so I think there had been problems along the way. Still, it ran so smoothly that I'm not going to worry about the engine until I need to.
So, this weekend's fun with the front axle will push the project along and it'll be that much nearer to a rolling chassis. The back axle is also going to be fun because I'm going to have to see if the earlier fabric joint spider can be swapped for a later universal type to accomodate the Morris propshaft. I'm not sure what I'll do if this isn't possible - there might be a later back axle in the spares but I think what I saw was largely dismantled. I'll have to check again.
See? That's how easy it is to be distracted.