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  •   Stewart Perry reacted to this post about 8 months ago

    Car #Porsche-356A / #Porsche-356 / #Porsche

    RUN BY Alain de Cadenet
    OWNED SINCE 2005

    I rediscovered that leaving the 356 parked up and lonely was the worst thing I could have done. I had to get another 6V battery, change the hygroscopic brake fluid and seriously detail the paintwork. It was, however, tricky to use the car when one’s health is not really up to it as well. But it was so exciting to have the car back from Andy Prill, who had done a great job on the motor and set up the suspension – including camber change and toe-in adjustment. It is now spot-on.

    Meanwhile, I did a full grease-up and gave it some TLC all around. I could hardly wait to get in the magnificent old bird and try her out. The motor pulls well (all 60bhp of it) on the original single-choke #Solex-32PBIC carbs, which had endured a complete rebuild to factory specification and now enable the car to pull away with some extra low-down torque.

    Having driven another 356 at Monterey last year, I had remarked that the car handled far better than mine – only to realise that it was fitted with #Vredestein 155SR15 #Sprint-Classic-tyres . That’s tires over there, of course. Naturally I had to have some of those, but I found it tricky to source a local tyre-fitter who could handle tyres that needed inner tubes!

    Not far from the mews in Kensington – in Munster Road, Fulham, in fact – I found someone and he did a great job fitting my new ones. But he did not have a mandrel on which to mount the wheels for balancing, so now I have to find someone with an on-car balancing set-up to finish it off. These ‘A’-type 356s have Volkswagen open-centre wheels, as you may know. However, on my first outing of some 120 miles I didn’t notice any vibration to concern me at legal road speeds. Plus I happen to prefer the 155 rather than the 165 tyre size.

    There is a small difference in the rolling radius but the car feels so good and has less drag than on the 165s. It also sits well on the road, just as it did when new. I have never understood why folk want to turn these older machines into something way out-performing what they were originally, with big tyres and double or more the horsepower.

    But they do. And why shouldn’t they? It’s just not for me. The tyre-fitter also produced some small plastic collars that fit into the valve hole in the wheel rim to stop the neck of the valve chafing on the steel of the wheel. It makes sense to have these for the first time, something I was pleased to learn about and yet another trick of the trade that you can only find out from someone who knows about such things. I have a rally coming up and expect it to run as well as she did when new after all this attention.
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  •   BimmerPost reacted to this post about 9 months ago
    CAR: #Ferrari-250-Testa-Rossa-Replica / #Ferrari-250-Testa-Rossa / #Ferrari-250 / #Ferrari / #Ferrari-V12 / #Colombo-V12 / #Ferrari-250TR / #1982 / #1963
    Year of manufacture: 1982, using ’1963 parts
    Asking price: £395,000
    Vendor: The Old Racing Car Company, north Norfolk; tel: 01692 538007;


    Price n/a
    Max power 300bhp / DIN
    Max torque 220lb ft / DIN
    Standing ¼ -mile 4.5 secs
    Top speed 168mph
    Mpg n/a

    This bespoke Ferrari was built in 1982 by Garnier and Billot (P3 Automobiles) for former Le Mans racer Régis Fraissinet, using a 1963 #Ferrari-250GTE as a donor – the identity of which it retains. Incorporating Fraissinet’s favourite Ferrari characteristics, it most resembles the 250TR raced by Phil Hill in 1960, and came to the UK in about 2004.

    After 35 years, it’s just taking on a sheen of patina; the paint is even and undamaged and the well-crafted aluminium body is straight, with no stars, pings or chips. There’s evidence on the rear deck that it’s had a roll-bar, where holes have been filled, neatly ringed in socket-head screws. The alloy-rim wheels are in good shape, shod in 2015-dated Michelin Pilotes, with plenty of tread. Inside, the leather is taking on creases and the crackle dash finish is perfect. Like the original, there’s no speedo or odometer.

    The motor, a correctly presented outside-plug Colombo-V12 , is a 4-litre from a 330, said to make 380bhp. It’s clean and dry, wearing an alternator plus a remote oil filter, and there’s an electric fan. Its carbs are 40DFIs. This car has evidently been loved, and on our visit was being chaperoned by GTB Restorations, so the fluids will be clean and to the correct levels. Push in the key, press the button and it fires with a deep, thunderous rumble from the four-megaphone exhaust system. Though the clutch is sharp, the car’s light weight makes it easy to conduct – but steering lock is limited. The engine feels well set up, too – tractable from 2000rpm and with minimal spitting and popping through the carburettors.

    Going harder, the agile chassis flows beautifully through bends with a delightful feel to the steering – the motor simply providing as much power as you ask for the more you prod it, with a linear delivery, revving eagerly to 6500rpm and probably beyond. The all-disc brakes pull up straight, plus it’s easy to heel and toe. The gearchange is heavy, with hard-sprung detents, and you have to be precise where you aim the stick. It shows 5bar oil pressure, right in the middle of the gauge in typical Ferrari fashion, water at about 70ºC and oil temperature well under control, having just cracked off the stop. Gorgeous and, with that sublime #V12 howl, a bit addictive.


    EXTERIOR Straight aluminium; nice paint
    INTERIOR Not much, though it’s all good
    MECHANICALS Well sorted; drives beautifully
    VALUE ★★★★★★★★★★

    For Like the real thing, but for a 30th of the asking price

    Against Wouldn’t get HTP papers, so it can’t run in FIA events


    If you want the proper ’50s Ferrari sports-racer experience delivered using the right bits, this is fantastic value and is lovely in its own right.
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  •   Jay Leno reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    The founder of the most famous marque in motor racing was no slouch behind the wheel, having driven for the Alfa Romeo works team before setting up the #Scuderia-Ferrari / #Enzo-Ferrari / #Ferrari .

    Born 18 February #1898
    From Modena
    Died 14 August #1988
    Career highlights Winner of Circuito di Modena and Coppa Acerbo; set up Scuderia Ferrari

    Choosing a hero for this issue was the perfect excuse to go for the great man himself. So much has been written about him (including his own utterings in Piloti, che gente… and My Terrible Joys), I can only offer my observations.

    Enzo Ferrari certainly had a hard climb out of relative mediocrity to the heights of leading the most famous brand on earth. Born in 1898, he made it through most of WWI in the military, albeit in poor health, and eventually got himself employed at Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali. By 1920, he was with ALFA (later Alfa Romeo) at Portillo. Around 1921, by dint of hard work, determination and considerable charm, he was manager of the fledgling race team, as well as a driver in the company of Antonio Ascari, Ugo Sivocco and the inimitable Giuseppe Campari.

    Bringing Vittorio Jano from FIAT to replace designer Giuseppe Merosi was a brilliant stroke, moving Alfa into the serious quality car market. As he progressed, the forceful and pragmatic Ferrari noticed that aside from works drivers, there was no shortage of wealthy amateurs anxious to compete but not wanting to get their hands grubby. Harnessing his know-how, he set up his own firm at the end of 1929, preparing and transporting Alfas (and ’bikes) for clients.

    Some of the drivers turned out to be rather good at the job. Mario Tadini, for instance, could beat the best of the competition in hillclimbing and was a fine wheelman on the Mille Miglia. So, indeed was Felice Trossi, who took over the presidency of the Scuderia in 1932 when Alfredo Caniato (one of the original backers) resigned. As Enzo Ferrari prospered, his pace as a racer diminished. Sufficiently so that in August ’1931, competing in an ex-factory 8C in the Tre Provincia road race near Bologna, he was thrashed by a diminutive driver in an older 6C-1750. Nuvolari and Ferrari were made for each other.

    When Alfa withdrew from racing and handed over the hardware to Ferrari, with it came drivers such as Arcangeli, Borzachinni, and Nuvolari.

    Enzo’s ability to keep the balls in the air required copious doses of ingenuity, guile, willpower and sheer bravado. Juggling businessmen, racers, mechanics, suppliers, bankers, officials, press, public and family required the patience of Job and the skill of Niccolo Machiavelli. It was to be Ferrari’s life until he died in ’1988. Enzo derived great joy from the control and influence that he had over everyone he came into contact with – none more so than his drivers.

    Did he really connive Nuvolari’s win on the 1930 Mille Miglia by having Varzi informed that he was well ahead when he wasn’t? Was Eugenio Castellotti really summoned from his bed to the Modena Autodrome in March ’1957 and told the lap record there was no longer his? Was de Portago really told that Gendebien was ahead of him on the ’1957 Mille Miglia?

    The infatuation with Ferrari’s life and cars knows no bounds. Myth, folklore and truth are constantly intermingled. In the ’60s, books rarely dealt with the man himself. That’s all changed. Today you can find out who made his suits, how he dealt with those close to him, why he loved going to his house at Fiorano. Someone even tracked down who produced the ink with which he signed his documents and what sized bottles it came in. Who on earth would care?

    Okay… it was bought from Olivieri’s shop at Via Claudia 95, Maranello, which got it in 1-litre bottles from Gnocchi in Treviso. It was made by Francesco Rubinato, and Enzo liked the colour because his father used a purple pencil to mark out sheets of steel. There is likely only one noble person left who could add to the history, and she has no reason whatsoever to oblige.

    Ferrari finished second on the Targa Florio in #1920 driving an Alfa Romeo 40/60. Below: Enzo pictured in later life with his signature sunglasses.
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR: #Ferrari-328GTS-Turbo / #Ferrari-328GTS / #Ferrari-328 / #Ferrari-328-Turbo / #Ferrari-GTS-Turbo / #1988-Ferrari-GTS-Turbo / #Ferrari / #Ferrari-V8

    Year of manufacture #1988
    Recorded mileage 2878km
    Asking price £125,000
    Vendor Cotswold Collectors Cars, near Bibury, Glos; tel: 01242 821600;


    Price not listed in UK
    Max power 254bhp
    Max torque 246lb ft
    0-60mph 6.2 secs
    Top speed 157mph
    Mpg 16.3

    Rather more powerful than the 210bhp 208 turbo models that it replaced, and featuring all of the same styling changes as the new 3.2-litre 328 launched in 1986, this tax-break special is the final development of the transverse #V8-engined two-seat Ferrari series. One of 828 made between 1986 and 1989, it was first owned by a member of the Brunei royal family but clearly hardly used. The most recent keeper is selling, having decided that he doesn’t want to add to the tiny mileage. The car recently went to marque specialist Bob Houghton in Northleach for £3500 of remedial and recommissioning work, including new front dampers.

    It’s crisp and unscuffed, the Azzurro metallic paint deep and shiny, and the glassfibre roof panel protected in its bag. The blue leather seats are unworn, plus the dash top is perfect. Its tyres are Goodyear Eagles with full tread, but they’re not date-stamped so are probably the originals.

    The motor is clean, with a new oil pipe to the turbo, presumably fitted during the latest cambelt service in 2016, which also involved freeing off the clutch because the car had been standing for so long. The jack is still in its bag in the boot, and there’s a cover, along with the orange front marker light lenses that had to be changed for its MoT following import to the UK.

    We were prepared to be underwhelmed by how the car drives, but it’s actually really good, the 1991cc intercooled turbo version of the four-cam #V8 making it about as fast as a 328 but delivered in a more exciting way, the rush of torque at 4000rpm – with correct max boost of 0.6bar – feeling more immediate, after which it behaves similarly to the larger-engined car. The chassis is taut, the brakes work well and second gear is available more or less from the start. Warm oil pressure is 6bar at 3000rpm and above, temperature steady at 80ºC. The aircon blows cold, no surprise because the pump looks new, and both electric windows and mirrors work.

    The GTS Turbo will be sold with the factory warranty card and service book, plus the guarantee for the Tuff-Kote Dinol rust treatment done in 2015, and an MoT until January. It’s not yet British-registered, though the NOVA paperwork has been done, so it easily can be if it stays in the UK.


    EXTERIOR Excellent paintwork, likewise the plastic and rubber trim
    INTERIOR Superb; virtually unmarked
    MECHANICALS Almost new and recommissioned, but needs a fresh set of tyres

    VALUE ★★★★★✩✩✩✩✩
    For Ultra-low mileage…
    Against …a double-edged sword


    Yes, if you fancy an interesting alternative to a 328: an immaculate one of those would cost about the same or perhaps a little more.
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  •   Peter Collins reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Alain De Cadenet updated the cover photo for Ferrari 365
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  • Alain De Cadenet unlocked the badge Journalist
    Loves browsing photos To unlock this badge, you need to browse more than 150 photos on the site.
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  •   Alain De Cadenet reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR: Alfa Romeo 8C
    Run by Alain de Cadenet
    Total mileage 150,230
    Owned since 1972
    Miles since February
    report 230
    Latest costs £50 (petrol)

    / #Alfa-Romeo-8C / #Alfa-Romeo / #1931-Alfa-Romeo-Touring-Spider / #1931-Alfa-Romeo-8C-2300-Touring-Spider / #1931 / #Alfa-Romeo-Touring-Spider / #Alfa-Romeo-8C-2300 / #Alfa-Romeo-8C-2300-Touring-Spider /

    For various reasons, FLC didn’t get much use during last summer. So, when an 8C Monza drive at the Goodwood Revival fell through, I had no option other than to nominate FLC instead. Short of time to prepare her properly, I paid most attention to the motor.

    There’s nothing like a nice fresh oil change as you know – cheapest maintenance you can ever do for a car. I bought a 20-litre container of Extol 20w50 and added a couple of pints of Torco MPZ concentrate. Traditionally, flat tappet surfaces – as often encountered on overhead- cam engines – are in need of the lubricating properties afforded by the presence of zinc. Coupled with phosphorus, these two elements offer great benefit to an #8C-motor , but they are usually lacking from today’s oils. Something to do with the environment, perhaps. The valvegear on an 8C is simple but effective, with Vittorio Jano’s version of the instantly adjustable tappet. The valves have the upper stem threaded (8mm x 1.25), with two grooves cut down the sides.

    The actual tappet has serrations around the periphery and an 8mm female fitting that threads onto the valve. Underneath this tappet is another fitting with a larger diameter, also serrated, that acts as a locking device to stop the tappet self-adjusting while in use. Between the two discs are interlocking ridges that give a satisfying ‘click’ when rotated against each other. A special tool anchors into the hole adjacent to each valve and thus enables it to be rotated, either opening or closing the tappet clearance.

    The 8C feeler gauge allows ‘Passa’ at 0.45mm and ‘Non Passa’ at 0.5mm. In fact, this is another process that is easier done than said because it takes me only about half an hour to remove the cam boxes and check all 16 tappets. Like all Jano engines, the valve springs are not stiff and the valves can easily be pushed open with your thumb.
    Checking the differential housing for oil allowed me to let out a little EP90 and put it back into the gearbox, from whence it had dribbled over time. Quite normal. The diff mounting bolts needed a tighten, which they always do. I’ve been meaning to drill off the bolts and lock-wire them for 40 years.

    Must do it next time, of course. Using this car spiritedly tends to wear the front brake linings, which allows the rears to lock up – especially the offside – so I undid the adjusting nuts two turns to fix that. The only other prep I had time for was to change the Blockley 500-19 tyres on the front wheels. I did this and the balancing myself because I have the use of a machine and have the right mandrel to fit the hubs. Anything under 20 grams out is excellent going for old wires.

    The drive down was great – no trouble pulling 4000rpm in second and third. So I saw no reason why I couldn’t hit the revs in top. I have rather a lengthy crownwheel and pinion fitted to FLC, which gives 27mph per 1000rpm. Anything over 4000 at Goodwood would be good enough. Before practice, I put in five gallons of Lord March’s 110-octane rocket fuel to give me a little more advance on the sparks and tightened up the front friction dampers with my special spanner. The lovely Siata knob on the dashboard got three turns, too, which sorted the rear dampers.

    Practice was a disaster. The motor wouldn’t pull over 3400rpm in top, although the handling and brakes were brilliant, plus the oil pressure and water temperature etc were fine. What little spare time I had to rectify the problem was spent believing that I had fuel vaporisation in the copper pipe down to the single Weber. David Biggins, with whom I worked on Sicilian Dreams, gave me the silver foil from his Naafi wagon bacon bap, which I wrapped around the fuel tube. This, surely, would cure the problem.

    Idiot that I am, that wasn’t the fault. My race was spent trying to keep in front of Chloe Mason in her Aston Ulster and I couldn’t. I think I may have come last. Back in the paddock, I discovered that a tiny sliver of polythene had lodged in the float valve – starving the carb of fuel. So I picked it out. Problem solved. It pulled 4800 on the way back to London that night. Very boring because the next Brooklands Trophy race probably won’t be for another three years. Doubt I’ll get an entry after 2015’s effort…

    Not so glorious Goodwood, when de Cad was stymied by the Alfa’s unwillingness to rev – traced to an errant piece of polythene in carb. Inset: slotted valve visible through tappet adjuster.

    Alfa valve adjuster tool and feeler gauge. Valve is grooved and threaded for setting. It slots in and engages on ‘teeth’ of tappet.
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  •   Alain De Cadenet reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Alain De Cadenet updated the cover photo for Alfa Romeo 8C
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  •   Henry Hope-Frost reacted to this post about 2 years ago

    Born 28 February #1940
    From Montona, Italy
    Career highlights #F1-World-Champion-1978 ; winner of ’1967 Daytona 500, 1969 Indy 500 and 1972 Daytona 24 Hours

    Italian-born Mario Andretti enjoyed a competition career that encompassed everything from stock cars to F1, and remains the most successful American driver of all time… #1978-Formula-1

    / #Mario-Andretti / #F1-World-Champion-1978 / #1978 / #Formula-1 / #F1 / #1940

    This month, we have an exemplary tale of dedication and determination that came out of fearsome adversity to produce one of the world’s most accomplished drivers. Mario Andretti and his twin brother Aldo were born in 1940 in Montona, Istria – the peninsula that juts into the Adriatic south of Trieste (then part of Italy).

    Growing up in a country at war, their home was absorbed into communist Yugoslavia, meaning that they lived in refugee camps in Tuscany for seven years with continual concern over where the next meal might come from. It gave the boys’ parents every excuse to emigrate. The USA proved to be the family’s saviour, and the trans-Atlantic crossing was undertaken in 1955, but a propitious event took place the year before.

    A garagiste in Lucca, where the brothers learnt to drive and helped out with parking duties, took them to the 1954 Italian GP at Monza. Ascari’s noble efforts chasing eventual victor Fangio really got to Mario and Aldo, and they came away determined to somehow become racers. Once in the US, the family settled in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and the twins wasted no time trying to get themselves on track. Meanwhile, their father was also being successful and proudly showed up one day in his brand-new #1957-Chevy #Bel-Air . About as American as a car could get.

    The acquisition of a junked Hudson Hornet was an excuse to prepare it for racing, while a stroke of genius was the purchase of copious set-up notes from a team that had successfully run a Hornet stock car. Fiddling their licences, the brothers started winning at the local Nazareth speedway and elsewhere. What they learnt early on is that preparation and having a car fine-tuned to the conditions of each track made up for lacking the mere grunt from a hot motor.

    Aldo had a big one at the end of 1959, totalling the Hudson and almost himself. Maybe Mario was deterred, maybe not, but he soldiered on, picking up rides in stock cars and Midget racing on indoor cinder tracks. Tough stuff and I doubt that anyone took prisoners in either formula.

    What Mario displayed was an innate ability to wring the most out of anything he drove. Mixt hat with his determination not to come second and you have a man who rose up the ladder, getting his first seat in a #USAC sprint car in 1963. Up against the best of the best, he won his first Championship race in ’ #1964 . When the successful Dean Van Lines team’s driver ran into the back of his Sprint car, Mario wound up taking his rival’s place in the équipe. It brought a decent salary with it, so he gave up his job and became professional. There was to be no stopping him. He was ‘rookie of the year’ at the Indy 500 in ’1965 and Champion by the end of the season.

    With a voracious appetite for racing, he drove for #NART in sports-car events, kept up his Midget outings and put in Can-Am and #NASCAR appearances, including victory in the ’ #1967-Daytona-500 . He famously won the 1969 Indy 500 in a back-up car after his #Lotus was demolished in practice.

    Mario’s schedule was incredible, racing in GPs for Lotus (he was World Champion in ’1978) as well as Champ car outings in the US every other weekend. If there was ever a gap, he filled it with whatever he could find.

    His only drive for Scuderia Ferrari was at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in ’1982. As qualifying finished, he snatched pole in the turbo 126C2 (which he’d never raced before), sending the tifosi mad. A good day’s work for a 42 year old. If he had a dream when he went to Monza in ’1955, he more than fulfilled it. He was still winning in his 50s and remains the most successful American racer of all time. Just as important, he’s an object lesson in pursuing ambition.

    Andretti heads for victory in the ’1969 Indy 500 in the Brawner-Hawk – his 4WD Lotus 64 was destroyed in practice after a hub failed.
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    CAR: #Alfa-Romeo-8C / #Alfa-Romeo / #1931-Alfa-Romeo-Touring-Spider / #1931-Alfa-Romeo-8C-2300-Touring-Spider / #1931 / #Alfa-Romeo-Touring-Spider / #Alfa-Romeo-8C-2300 / #Alfa-Romeo-8C-2300-Touring-Spider /

    Run by Alain de Cadenet
    Total mileage 151,187
    Owned since 1972
    Miles since May 2016 report 901
    Latest costs £374


    I was out on a run in the Alfa in March when a loud screech started coming up from the front of the gearbox. I was stationary with my foot off the clutch, and pressure on the pedal stopped the sound immediately. The clutch worked fine, but I couldn’t work out what could cause such a din. I didn’t think it could be the thrust bearings, which are beefy, modified affairs that run on a throw-out ring manufactured by Paul Grist.

    For some reason, I jumped to the conclusion that the ’box had to come off to investigate the problem. So, floorboards out, pedal board out, pedals off, bell-housing nuts off… With the chassis perched in the air on decrepit axle stands I withdrew the cart spring through-bolts to drop the banjo/diff unit complete. Next came the oil lines, speedo cable, front brake rods et al. After hours on my tod, cussing like a navvy, I finally got the gearbox/ torque tube/propshaft and banjo on its brake drums rolled back to investigate the cause of the problem.

    You’d think that after looking after the old dear for more than 45 years I’d know better than to go through the above. What a goon I am. All that had happened is that the clutch pedal rear limit bolt and lock nut had worked loose. As a result, the two thrust roller races were able to come back too far and mill away the aluminium collar that goes over the input shaft to protect the bearing from ingesting grit.

    A 10-second adjustment was enough to cure the fault, but trying to get everything back in place was going to be impossible without skilled help. Fortunately, I managed to recruit C&SC’s international editor Mick Walsh, who’s even more afflicted by 8Cs than I am. He even turned up with his own overalls – eschewing my offer of genuine Alfa factory gear – and with work shoes, to boot. Impressive. Cool colleague to have come and sort it out.

    The old bird is back to exactly how she was again, having had one over on me right royally. I’ll have my revenge. At least it gave me the chance to grease the shackles and bolts, and re-adjust the speedo drive, which is on an eccentric bronze mounting that has to be correctly positioned to give a gnat’s of backlash on the gearbox internal drive.

    While everything was down I decided to replace the exhaust gaskets, which had to be made from solid copper and then annealed. I also fitted an in-line petrol filter to avoid a recurrence of the fuel starvation that I had at Goodwood a few years ago.

    I have also finally managed to obtain a pair of the desirable Bosch tail-lamps that contain a 5W festoon bulb for the rear light and a 15W single filament brake light. I’d been after some of these for years, but when I took them to pieces I discovered that one of them was only made with the festoon, and no cutout for the numberplate light or a brake light. Should I perform surgery on it, or try to find another partner for the good one?

    The total cost of repairing FLC was four gallons of Exol 20/50 oil, one paper filter, a cartridge filter, gearbox oil (EP90) and a Thai lunch for Walsh, all of which came to 130 quid. Labour would have been costly, I suppose. Thankfully, I still have a decent toolkit and a sort of brain from the old days.

    ‘The old bird is back to how she was again, having had one over on me right royally. I shall have my revenge’

    Just who needs a fancy workshop, anyway? De Cad with the Alfa Romeo after stripping and rebuilding it in his London mews garage.

    Only one of the recently acquired lamps is correct type. Offending clutch-pedal stop bolt and nut. The bronze eccentric speedo drive housing. Races were grinding the input shaft collar. Outside The Black Lion on Chiswick Mall.
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