Monday, 3 December 2018

December 2017: FHC goes to Body Shop

Just before I took the FHC to the bodyshop a selection of old TR7 parts popped up on Ebay at a very low starting price. It was mostly a lot of stuff to throw away but amongst it was five TR7 radiators and the seller was only about ten miles away so I put in the startng bid of £20.

Being a fairly early car my new FHC had its radiator header tank on the right side which I always thought gets in the way of the carbs etc so I planned to swap it over to the left side like on the later cars and where there is a lot more room.  The Ebay radiators were of both types so good spares either way if only for rebuild cores. Then my low starting bid won the auction.

When I went to collect the stuff there was much more than I expected and it filled the whole of our Mercedes estate car!

It also turned out that the seller had been a member of my motor club from the 1960s-70s and remembered my old rally cars.


Like many clubs 143 Motor Club folded in the 1980s as the active members moved away or married and had families which obviously was more important than playing with cars so most of us had lost touch.  Recently we have reformed on Facebook and have had a couple of nostalgic reunions.


 Sorting through the boxes of stuff at home I found a number of TR7 repair panels including all four sections to replace the rear lower wings behind the wheels as shown below.

This area of the new car was in need of tidying and these parts alone would be expensive to buy at almost £200 so my £20 was an even better bargain than I expected!  They went with the car to the bodyshop.
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Once I started getting the car ready for the bodyshop I found quite a few more problems. This was not a surprise and I added these to the list of jobs for them.

A few pictures to give an idea of jobs to be done:-

Passenger front footwell:-

Rear deck end left side:-





 That's more like it:-

Lower rear wing behind wheel:-




Lower rear wing, bodyshop work in progress:-







Friday, 23 November 2018

27th November 2017, A "New" TR7 arrives


After doing some classic runs in the DHC on rainy days I thought how nice it would be to have a proper roof that didn't leak so had started to look around for another TR7 but this time it would be a FHC.  This would not be instead of the faithful DHC but would be a second one for those cold and wet days.

Asking around the various TR7 groups I found a likely car up at S&S Preparations at Bacup near Manchester so a quick trip up there was arranged to have a look at it.  Steve Wilcox the owner of S&S has a yard full of TR7s in various states of repair and an old mill full of spares.  The car we went to see was not as good as I hoped. After a look around Steve showed me a Pageant Blue TR7 FHC that was complete but needed a bit of work.  It had been laid up for a couple of years and needed some of welding but was in pretty good condition with a very tidy interior. Someone had obviously cared for it and already done some of the work.





Some welding work had been done on the inner wings,







And the ends of the rear deck would need repairing in the usual places,


The plan was to have it as a running restoration and do these jobs at convenient times.  The car was delivered and I was able to drive it into my garage before starting a thorough mechanical check. The car had been laid up for sometime so a lot of items like the brakes needed a good going over.

As it turned out I decided it would be better to get an MOT and then take it to my bodyshop man before starting any more serious mechanical work.  Luckily I was able to free the brakes and get it running well enough for an MOT pass so drove it the few miles to my bodyshop man to do the welding and paint that was needed. 
 


 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

May - September 2017. Busy Summer of Events

21st May 2017:-  Hills & Valley Scenic Tour.

After the Wheelnuts car show we were out on a series of events during the summer. First of these was the Hills & Valley Tour run by Kidderminster Car Club. This started and finished at the Kerry Vale Vineyard near Newtown in Powys and took us out on a lovely run all around mid-Wales visiting lots of places I knew well from my proper rallying days in the 1970s-80s.  I chose to stop at a B&B the night before to avoid an early start and where could be better than our old favourite the Dragon Hotel in Montgomery.  It has not changed much over the years and there were several other crews also staying there so we had a good evening with them over a few drinks.

Morning coffee stop was at Abbey-Cwm-Hir Hall where the cafe is covered with lots of memorabilia including this little advert.  I wonder if I am related to the makers?
Not much to say about this?
The scenery is lovely in this part of mid-Wales and we found time to stop for a few pictures, here at the Clywedog Reservoir.

Clywedog Reservoir
A few days later we flew off to Portugal for our early summer holidays but TR7 business resumed the week we got back on the next run.

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25th June 2017:- Black Mountains Classic Tour

The Black Mountains Classic Tour is run by the Brecon Motor and was based at Talgarth near Abergavenny.

Unfortunately the weather very "changeable" so the run lived up to the name and the mountains remained covered in black clouds for much of the day.  There were some nice sunny spells as well so we did get to see some of the countryside and got some nice pictures from the event photgraphers.


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2nd July 2017:- Dursley Rotary Club Cotswold Tour

The Dursley Rotary Club Cotswold run has always clashed with our holidays but this year they had moved it to a new date and it was the week after we got back. Excellent stuff, but even better was that the start/finish was also moved to Rednock School which is about 200 metres from our house!

A rose between two thorns?
There was a mixture of classic and "modern" cars taking part as you can see above.

Leaving the start
The weather for this run was perfect and even required some sun-screen applied to faces.  Being very local the roads used were familiar to us but it was still enjoyable to drive them on such a nice day with the other crews.   Morning stop was at the AV8 cafe on the old RAF Kemble airfield, now called the Cotswold Airport. There was a surprising amount of light aircraft movements and we watched the Tiger Moth take off over our coffee and excellent cake.
Beautiful old Toger Moth ready to go.

At the finish back at Rednock School after 100 miles or so they gave us a finishers certificate with a nice meal and our journey home took less than 1 minute! How good is that.
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16th July 2017:-  Newark Park Rally

One of our TR Register friends is also a member of the 750 Motor Club and is involved in organising their annual rally at Newark Park. 

Its also open to other classics so he invited us to bring the TR7 along.  Newark Park is a Tudor hunting lodge and a National Trust property set on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment only a few miles from home.  It has fabulous views across unspoilt country to the south and west with the Mendip Hills visible on a clear day over 30 miles away.
Newark Park
The rally is just a turn up and park event with most folks bringing a picnic. There was a good number of Austin 7's as well as a few more unusual models.
 
Some well loved Austin 7's

Few of us more modern visitors
A Newark Park resident peacock checks out and MGB
As well as the folks who came with their cars there were a very large number of other visitors on the day who also enjoyed the occasion and the lovely weather.
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23rd July 2017:-  Lavender Run

The Lavender Run is a nice little tour based at Stratford upon Avon. It takes crews out around the North Cotswolds and as the name suggests it includes a stop at a well known lavender farm.
Leaving the start.
The route took us out through some very well kept villages around Chipping Campden and Halford where you could almost smell the money. Many of the old local pubs have been turned into modern restaurants which seems a shame to me.  We passed the site of the Civil War battle at Edge Hill  and on to the lunch stop at Compton Verney. This is an eighteenth century house that has been made into an art gallery with the grounds landscaped by Capability Brown also open to the public. We had time for a brief tour of the art gallery but it needs a longer visit.
Lunch halt at Compton Verney
 The afternoon took us the the lavender farm that gives the run its name but just as we got there the heavens opened so we enjoyed our cuppa and biscuits before leaving the place to the Japanese tourists.
There was a lot of lavender.
 A nice little jaunt brought us back to the finish at Stratford Garden centre where they gave us a decent meal and a nice lavender coloured shopping bag!
Arriving at the finish.
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5th August 2017: Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravaganza

As usual the steam fair at South Cerney was on for three days but our club chose to attend on the Saturday only. The show was even bigger than ever this year with so much to see it was impossible to get round it all in the one day.
The weather was rather variable with some very heavy showers and we all had to duck under our Glavon tent. One of our group took some pictures of us all hiding
But between the showers it was a lovely day and we had lots of nice compliments on our display of about 20 assorted TR's plus a nice Spitfire.
There was also the usual amazing display of various transport machinery
More super old tractors than ever!
Great selection of trucks and buses.
Overall a great day out.

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6th August 2017: Valleys and Villages Classic Tour

The Valleys and Villages Classic Tour is based near Bradford on Avon so quite near to home. We set

off just after 7:00am on a beautiful sunny morning and were first to arrive, even before most of the organising team.   We had expected the route to be around the Bradford on Avon area but instead it headed further north and we actually passed within about 5 miles of our house!  To be fair the organisers had to do some last-minute route alterations due to road works but they still put on a good run.  There were some very tricky lanes around Slaughterford which were very narrow and a small error in the road book which had crews milling around in Biddestone (where the TV series Agatha Raisin is filmed) for a while, but some quick map work pointed us in the right direction.

Heading up to Minchinhampton Common
 We had a coffee stop at the very popular AV8 cafe on Kemble airfield before lunch at the Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common.
This Red Arrow would look good in the garden.
 Finish was back at the rather posh Cumberwell Park golf club where the very smart uniformed staff served us a nice meal.
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20th August 2017: Tewkesbury Classic Car Show

Twekesbury Classic Car Show is a charity event to raise money for the Air Ambulance and has got bigger each year. This year was no exception with between 700-800 vehicles on display.

We joined up with friends from the Evesham TR7 group so we had a nice  little row of 5 TR7's.
The reason we were all there and the star of the show also dropped in to visit.
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28th August 2017: Pershore Plum Festival.

Whilst we were chatting with the Evesham TR Register folks at Tewkesbury they invited us to the Pershore Plum Festival the following weekend. We had never heard of it before but it turns out to be a three day festival over the Bank Holiday weekend when the whole of Evesham goes purple!
 The classic car part takes place on the Bank Holiday Monday when around 800 cars are gathered in the grounds around Pershore Abbey. The Evesham TR group are allocated the perfect spot right next to the abbey itself and we were included in their display of almost 40 TR's.
TR Register cars at Pershore Abbey
 Amazingly for a Bank Holiday the weather was absolutely perfect and had everyone reaching for their sun protection cream.
Another great day out which we thoroughly enjoyed so we will have to try and do it again in 2018.

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3rd September 2017: Cotswold Classic Run

 The Cotswold Classic Run is another local event and actually started from the AV8 cafe on Kemble airfield. Unfortunately the weather was not kind to us and it rained - sometimes heavily - for most of the day.  Not too bad for us even in a convertible car but spare a thought for the marshalls who had a rough time.
The start marshalls were still smiling
Leaving the start in heavy rain we had the opportunity to pose in front of a lovely Bristol Britannia for this must-have picture for the scrapbook.
The weather did imporve somewhat during the day but never relented completely so umberellas were still required for the finish at the Classic Motor Hub near Bibury.  This place is quite a surprise with some beautiful and very expensive cars being stored and maintained there. They also have events and open days throughout the year so its well worth a visit.
How about a nice Ferarri ?
or a Bugatti ?
or even this fabulous Delage
Despite the weather a really fun day out and we will have to do it all again next year.
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10th September: Two Rivers Tour
This was the first running of the Two River Tour organised by the Forresters Car Club.  They are a hard-core rally club and the tour was put on as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations.  The route used much of their original night navigation road rally from all those years ago with a few concessions to the old cars (and crews) taking part.
The route was based around the Abergavenny area with mostly very smooth roads and was very well marshalled as you would expect.  Weather was again changeable but still provided some great views of  this lovely part of the world.
Storm clouds over Raglan Castle at the coffee halt


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4th November: Autumn Classic Leaves Tour

Last event of 2017 was the Autumn Leaves Classic Tour which is run in the Forest of Dean Area.

My old rally navigator Oliver Tomlins came along for the day as my wife was busy. The weather for the start at Chaceley Stock near Tewkesbury was a bit grey and damp but it soon brightened up.






We enjoyed a nice run going up as far as Malvern and then back for a cuppa in a nice cafe at the old Rank Zerox factory in Mitcheldean. Rank have long gone but its now a trading estate.  Finish was back at the New Inn on the banks of the River Severn at Chaceley for a very nice, but later than usual, Sunday Roast dinner.

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