Friday, 15 October 2010

Back on the Road and Nice photos!

I've fixed all the mechanical damage from our "incident" on the Round Britain run, tie rod arm replaced with new assembly, handbrake reattached, Exhaust fixed, Bonnet re-aligned (reasonably well anyway), dent in the wheelarch fettled. I also took the car in for a 4 wheel alignment, good news is that nothing is bent or twisted chassis wise and the garage was able to adjust everything to within tolerance. I have found another dent, but this is in the floorpan (just in front of the tie rod mounting) so I won't worry about that too much. Still need to get the rear valence replaced, the small dents in the quarter valences filled and painted.

New Tie Bar fitted

Dent in the Rear Valance, panel to be replaced....

I've still not received the magazine or photo copies promised by the journalist from the practical classics article despite chasing this up. However, the article had the name of the freelance photographer, Mark Fagelson. I googled Mark and sent him an email politely asking if he could send me some photos. Mark duly obliged and sent me a disc with a copy of the photos in the next post, so he's a jolly nice bloke as well as a damn good photographer!

There were quite a few really good pictures that hadn't been published as well. Mark included a letter regarding copyright and I'm allowed to use the photo's for my own personal use including publishing on the interweb as long as it's not for profit so here are 3 of my favourite photos from the shoot.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

It's been a strange week!

After the damage from the Stag avoidance off road antics on the round Britain run at the weekend the GT6 is now featured in an article in the November issue of Practical Classics magazine that came out this week. 

Some excellent pictures of the car looking in really fine fettle. The article it's self is pretty generic regarding GT6s rather than specific to may car. In the 3 way road test against the MGA and the Sunbeam Alpine they liked the Alpine best but did admit that the GT6 sounded more "sophisticated" but was the noisiest of the bunch. That'll be the fact that I have a sports exhaust and the others were boring standard ones then!

Probably best that I don't publish the actual article on my blog but the picture below was extracted from Practical Classics website so is already in the public domain.

The article doesn't really say much that I haven't heard before regarding GT6s but I must admit the photos are excellent, especially the action shots, there's one action shot that clearly shows me behind the wheel, my 15 minutes of fame I guess!

Monday, 4 October 2010

An Eventful Round Britain Run for Team 30

Well what an eventful weekend, unlucky but lucky at the same time. Our Round Britain Run came to an abrupt end at John O'Groats yesterday morning following an incident that had happened a few hours previously in the early hours. A Stag ran out in front of us on the A9 in the Highlands (Just South of Aviemore) at about 4am. Mark swerved and avoided the beast but the car spun off the road doing a couple of 360s and came to a halt against a grass bank. Doug  & Katie Foreman and another crew stopped to help. I managed to get the car out of the boggy mud and back to the road and drove it along about ¼ mile to a layby, the car was very unstable at the back end and the rear nearside wheel was at a very funny angle. Jacked it up and found that a rear tie bar was badly bent downwards. Managed to straighten it out a bit with the trolley Jack. Tried the car and it didn’t feel too bad so drove on to the next control point at Skiach Services, refueled and then carried on to John O'Groats. On the way the car started making a knocking sound on left hand bends so  after Breakfast in the John O’Groats Seaview Hotel we jacked the car up investigated more in the daylight. We noticed that the tie rod was still a bit bent but couldn’t see much else wrong (except the handbrake cable had come un attached). I tried to straighten the tie rod properly but it snapped. That meant it was game over for us so we had to be recovered by the AA. It took over 24 hours and 4 relay trucks to get us home but that did include a night in a hotel near Warrington paid for by the AA. The car also has some dents, a dented and split rear valance, a dented front quarter valence and a dent in the return flange of the front wheelarch. We realise we were lucky though, the Stag was darn big and would have written the car off if we'd hit it. Also we saw that stretch of the A9 in the daylight from the breakdown truck on the way back and there are loads of nasty drops and sheer rock faces along the rod side so we were lucky it happened exactly where it did.

I think Mark should have drunk more Lucozade looking at the following advert (which features a GT6 and a Stag or two!)

The GT6 at the Start, the Plough, Enfield

More Cars at the Start

Bodders Changes a Wheel Bearing at the Start

Edinburgh Airport Control

Not Entirely Certain but I think this is where we spun off

We made it to John O'Groats

The offending broken tie rod

The end of our Round Britain Run

Doug and Katie overtake the recovery truck just south of Stirling

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

All Prepped up and Ready to go

The GT6 is all prepared ready for the round Britain Run.

It's had a good check over, Engine Oil and Filter changed, blockage in the coolant system fixed, flushed and new coolant, door handle fixed, carb float chambers cleaned out (after a leaky float chamber on one earlier in the week) , all fluids checked and topped up, tyre pressures done, extra 12v sockets fitted under the dash, washed and stickers applied.

To be honest I made a bit of a hash of the stickers and may replace them at the start in Enfield if there's time on Friday.

I've also got snacks on order to keep going between the official breakfast, pie and cake stops in the form of pasties, egg & bacon bites and ginger bread men. Plus a few bottles of energy drink.

Sponsorship has started rolling in although the Virgin giving website going down the today is not good. Especially after I got a slot on a weekly directors briefing call at work to talk about the run and the charity to about 500 people. Several spoke to me today saying they would sponsor me on line but I suspect if they try and the site is still down I'll problem miss out....

Anyway, pictures of the car ready to go below.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Team 30 Changes Car

Mark and I have now agreed to change cars for our entry into the round Britain Run and will now be using my GT6.

I have in any case been starting to prepare the car over the last week or two as per my previous blog post so no big deal.

Still have the door handle to fix, the part arrived today so this should be no problem. Then it's an oil and filter change, check the tyre pressures, give it a wash, apply the RBRR stickers and off we go.

Picture below was taken on the 2008 RBRR near Loch Naver up towards the top of Scotlandshire.

Monday, 20 September 2010

RBRR getting Close!

Only 10 days to go until the Club Triumph Round Britain Run and at this stage team 30 are still not sure whether Marks's 2500 Saloon will be ready or not. I'm therefore busy preparing the GT6 as our back up car. Not that it needs too much doing to it as over the past year I've rebuilt half the rear suspension (the other half was done a couple of years ago), rebuilt the front suspension, changed the diff, changed the clutch, rebuilt the front suspension with new springs, shocks and polybushes, replaced the starter, replaced some of the seals and pipes in the braking system.

Apart from a basic service the couple of jobs which do need to be done are:-
1. Firstly fixing the passenger door handle so it opens from the outside, the broken link piece has been ordered.
2.  Fixing the heater which didn't work on the last RBRR back in 2008 when Bodders and  froze our nuts off driving up the A9 past Aviemore. I've just finished fixing the heater this evening, problem was traced down to a blockage in the pipe through the inlet manifold which feeds the heater valve. Cleaned it out with a bit of wire and then ran the car on bars flush for a while. this included a 190 mile round trip to the RBRR drivers brief on Sunday which certainly gave it a good flushing! I flushed out the system with clean water tonight and refilled with fresh water/antifreeze/barsleak coolant mix. The heater now works a treat!

Had a good run up to the drivers grief which was at Gaydon this year, good to hear from the Charity mind, hear Tim, Jason and Nigel's brief and get a quick look around teh museum. Talking of charity, I've now set up a virgin money giving site plus a micro website for team 30. See and .

Pictures from the Drivers Brief at Gaydon

My GT6 and a few other RBRR cars amongst the other classics at Gaydon.

Tim and Nigel go through the road book briefing.

Triumph Sprint Engined Formula 3 car in the Museum, ex Nigel Mansell.

Works TR8, ex Tony Pond/Fred Gallagher.

The last Spitfire off the Production line.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Practical Classics Photoshoot

Had a busy day yesterday, went along to the practical classics photoshoot during the day which ended up being in the new Forest and then up to Bedfordshire that evening for a 40th birthday party for Matt Hollingsworth an old triumph mate who I first met around 23 years ago. Matt's now into American Mopar Cars but he does still own the Herald tucked away at home that he had when I first met him all that time ago. Here's a picture of Matt with his Herald back in 1988 taken at Dover Docks on a TSSC Essex trip to the International Spitfire weekend in Holland.

The photoshoot moved location, first I was told it was going to be at Popham airfield then it got moved to the motor museum at Beaulieu. I got up early and had a nice drive in the GT6 down to Beaulieu and met up with the journalist (Andrew Roberts) and photography team and the other two cars on the shoot an MGA and Sunbeam Alpine. The photograher then got "creative" and decided he didn't want to use the museum as a location, he'd recently done a shoot of some Ferrari's in the new Forest and wanted to use a car park surrounded by pine trees as the red MG, white Alpine and Nappy Cack Yellow GT6 would look good against a dark pine green background. Only problem was he didn't know exactly where the car park was. So we got taken to a pub for coffee and he went out to find the mystery car park. An hour and a half later he returned, he couldn't find it so had settled for another car park....

Anyway we lined our cars up as directed and he took a few pictures of the three together and details shots of the individual cars. I was surprised that even though it was daylight he used several remote flashes on tripods as well as a flash on the camera, still I suppose that's all about being a professional and knowing what you are doing!

The Journalist Andrew was not a small chap, about 6ft 4 tall and well over 20 stone, he wanted a ride out in the GT6. It was a tight squeeze to say the least getting him in the passenger seat. No chance of the seat belt being long enough! Also no chance of him driving the car as he wouldn't have fitted behind the wheel. We went out for a short drive and then when we arrived back at the car park he had to try and extract himself out of the car again. The only way he could do this was literally to roll out on the the ground in the muddy car park!

Another journalist who was helping (and didn't want to be named as he works for another magazine!) then asked me about the car and took the car out for a drive for a few miles.

We then had a very nice lunch at a local pub courtesy of Practical Classics then it was back to photo shooting with some action shots of the cars driving out on the new forest roads.

The article should be out in the November issue of Practical Classics, can't wait!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Door not opening plus photo shoot invite

Tried to open the passenger door on the GT6 from the outside a couple of weeks ago and it wouldn't open. Ah I thought, probably just something come loose or out of adjustment. Took the door apart and all looked to be in place but it was apparent that the internal lever on the outer door handle assembly wasn't being operated with the outer handle. Stripped out the handle assembly and a piece of plastic fell out, this had broken off a key shapped moulding inside the assembly. This must be a common fault as Paddock's and Canley's sell the plastic pice on it's own. However I have been toying with the idea of replacing the handles, firstly to reduce the number of keys on the keyring as I'll be able to buy a matched pair, secondly because new ones will be nice and shiny!  So do I spend about £120 on a pair of handles or about 6 quid on the little plastic bit. My brain says no my heart say yes..... Decisions Decisions!

Had a call last week in my capacity as a TSSC area organiser from a journalist working for Practical Classics, did I know anyone locally in Hampshire with a GT6 because they wanted to do a photo shoot, I immediately replied, "Well you could use my GT6!" so I'll be going along on Saturday to Popham Airfield to get a few photo's taken. Spent Sunday giving the car a clean, and I'll do a bit of polishing this week so it's extra shiny.....

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Classic car Show in Beer (The fishing village not the drink!)

I was away on my family holidays last week down in Dorset. Still I did manage to get along to a Classic Car show at Pecorama down in Beer in Devon on my holiday to Dorset allbeit in the modern rather then the GT6. Quite a few Triumph's there from  the TR Register, Stag Owners Club and the TSSC Devon and Somerset areas, plus I had a nice chat with Robin Nichols from the newly formed South Dorset TSSC area, I found out about the show through their facebook group, I checked this out in case they had anything going on during my visit which is how I found out about the show.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Standard Triumph Marque Day, Prescott Speed Hill Climb

What a fantastic weekend. Great Weather for camping and getting the tyres nice and sticky for a blat up the hill. Started off with a few beers and a barbeque on the Saturday night. Got up early on Sunday and walked the track. Then come 10 o'clock on Sunday morning the track erupted to the sound of straight 6's V8s and 4 pots screaming up the hill accompanied by plenty of tyre screeching. I had a nice couple of fairly aggressive runs up the hill in the GT6 and took plenty of photos of other Triumphs and the odd unusual car (eg even an Amphicar!) blasting up the hill. I also had a look around the Bugatti trust museum as well which was a nice cool break from the blistering sun.

On the way home I got a call from James Cooper who had left before us warning me the traffic on the M4 was a nightmare. The good thing about that was I managed to change my route and cut across from Cirencester to Reading via Fairford, Lechlade, Wantage along the A417. Pretty empty, picturesque and  good driving road on a nice summers evening and a great drive home with the GT6 doing what is does best, a bit of fast A road touring...... A Nice way to finish off a great weekend.

In car Video of my GT6 going up the Hill
Cookies Run Prescott 2010

My GT6 on the Campsite

Richard and Stephanie Brake pulling away from the start

Richard and Natasha Brake exiting the Ettores Hairpin

Dave Aspinal in his tidy MK1 2.5 PI Saloon

Adam Chignall looks like he's ready to have some fun

And here he is attacking the hill!

Jessica Brake enjoying herself in the Herald

You don't see many of these, an Amphicar

Jigsaw Racing's Spitfire Le Mans Replica ADU1B

The well sorted Hart Racing Stag

Monday, 17 May 2010

Hampshire Treasure Hunt

Paul “Bodders” Bodiam orgainised a Treasure Hunt last Sunday for our local TSSC area. It was a shame that only 2 cars and 5 people turned up as Paul had put some real effort into organising a really good Treasure Hunt with Challenging Interesting Questions and nice countryside.

I took my 7 year old Daughter Alice with me as Navigator/helper and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. We managed to answer all the questions and got them all correct except Paul docked us ½ point as we only got the month and year rather then the full date for a question on when the Basingstoke Canal was re-opened. Bodders is obviously a stickler for detail! Needless to say we came first, but then if we’d come last we still would have been in 2nd place!

The Crooked Billet start of the Treasure Hunt

Carl in His Dolomite Sprint (the other car!) leaves the Crooked Billet.

Alice the "Navigator"!

One of the Questions was about the Wellington Statue. Only 2 miles from home but I'd never been there before!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New Clutch

I've now completed my clutch change, ready for a couple of runs up the hill climb course at Prescott in 10 days time.

The old clutch was worn down to the rivets on the pressure plate side and had worn a tell tale groove on the pressure plate surface..

There was still a little bit of friction material above the rivets on the flywheel side so luckily there was no damage there. The new clutch is much lighter in operation than the old one and is biting much lower on the pedal travel, another sign that the old one was past it's sell by date! While the gearbox was out I took the opportunity to clean out the overdrive filter and the overdrive engagement is now much quicker with a clean filter and a change of gearbox oil.

One little tip for all you overdrive Triumph owners out there. The fixings for the overdrive gearbox mount are really difficult to do up or undo without the aid of an assistant unless you've got 4ft long arms like a Gorilla as you can't reach the bolt head inside the car and the nut under the car at the same time. I've got around this on my car by putting a nut between the overdrive mounting and the mounting platform, this only raises the gearbox by about 1/4 inch so causes no problems and it locks the bolt in place inside the car so you only have to worry about doing up or undoing the nuts under the car. 

To finish off here's a couple of pictures from SEM at Leatherhead last weekend, I managed to get along to this but not in the Triumph as it was still in pieces!

The show

Turbocharged Sprint Engined Spitfire, this used to be seen regularly at Triumph shows  a few years ago and was back out again being used in anger.

Nicely prepared TR7 racer