... fall in at the forward gangplank!
I shall miss my office of the last few weeks, but a long, hot soak in a bath and blessed silence will quickly eclipse the minor discomforts of my 30 days at sea. In that time, I've been planning a new approach to the Teardrop Special, but more of that anon.
Although I've mentioned this before, it's worth repeating. When you take your windscreen patterns to the glazier, write on them 'Port' and 'Starboard'. I discovered that if you say that the glass is for a car, there's much sucking of teeth and a refusal on the grounds of health and safety. If they think it's for a boat, the question isn't asked.
The inlet tract from the manifold to the SU was a stainless steel 90° bend onto which were welded 2 mild steel flanges. I always suspected that this extension was the cause of carb icing when the humidity and dew point clashed. The heat from the cast aluminium manifold didn't seem to transfer easily to keep the ice at bay
The extension also allowed me to bring the carb inside the bonnet line although the bellmouth (courtesy of Chumley for 12 Norfolk sausages) poked through the side panel.
I think that it was around this stage that I commissioned the seat. I first thought of doing it myself but wasn't at the time, brave enough. I would happily undertake the job nowadays. The seat back was just a little too upright for me to be comfortable over a long distance.
Competition Fabrications near Attleborough did the honours with the exhaust. I shaped an old bread board for the silencer pattern and they did the rest. Stainless steel has a particular ring to it and, being a straight-through system, it had a satisfying rasp, sounding a lot faster than the car ever went.
I should have attached the mudguard stays to the brake backplates - the clearance was totally inadequate at the front and the rear tyres also rubbed, but only on corners approached with enthusiasm. Saying that, I once politely mounted the verge in my lane to let a lady in a modern car pass and got stuck fast. I had to call one of the farm boys to come and help me lift the car back onto the road!
With the addition of the radiator shell, the car was complete - just in time to take it to its first (and last but one) show, where 'Sunita' took the prize for best pre-war sports car. The name 'Sunita' came about when I took it for its inspection by the DVSA. They checked all the numbers matched those on the logbook (thus confirming it was an Austin) and promptly announced that it couldn't be called an Austin for "copyright reasons". Copyright reasons? Would they care to elaborate? No, but I was at liberty to call it what I liked. The anagram went through unnoticed.