Fuel me twice
Car: 1950 Ford Club Coupe
Owner: Delwyn Mallett
With the Weather improving I rang a local chum, James, to see if he fancied a V8 trip to the Barley Mow – me in my 1950 flathead Ford and him in his hemi-headed Daimler. As the Barley Mow is only two miles from my home, if slightly further for James, this was less a major day out than a chance to park the cars outside and sip a pint in the sunshine while we admired (or not) our respective steeds.
As I may have mentioned in previous Ford updates, among other problems it’s displaying a voracious appetite for fuel. Its consumption seems to be way off the scale and down in single figures. Unfortunately the fuel gauge doesn’t work – it was the only item that refused to respond after I had the car rewired and converted from 6 to 12 volts. I always carry a container or two of fuel as a precaution, and before setting out I glanced in the back to make sure they were aboard. Glancing, however, should have been accompanied by lifting.
Having enjoyed our interlude we set out on the return leg. A mile from home the Ford spluttered and died, retaining just enough momentum to coast onto the grass verge. Incredulous that once again I had contrived to run out of fuel, I reached for my spare cans. Empty, of course. Both of them.
Fortunately James, who had sped off into the distance, noticed my absence from his rear-view mirror and backtracked. After a mercy mission to the nearest petrol station, James returned and I was soon back on the tarmac.
Then, to add insult to injury, by the time I reached home the engine was once again running strangely. With the hood up (it’s an American car), a quick glance revealed that the accelerator linkage had fallen off one of the carbs – it sports twin carburettors on a Fenton manifold – so only one of them was doing the bidding of the accelerator pedal.
In the March issue, I mentioned how lucky I was that, when a tiny nut fell off the carburettor linkage of my ‘Goccia’ Abarth, it had travelled but a few inches and lodged itself in the rim of the rocker cover. No such luck this time. The threaded plug that screws into the end of the linking rod, and locks it to the ball end on the carb lever, was gone. Close inspection revealed a series of holes for a split pin that the previous hot-rodder omitted to fit. A short length of wire has provided a temporary and somewhat wobbly fix – or bodge, as it’s known in the trade.
Meanwhile I’ve also rigged a temporary petrol tank so that I can measure accurately how few miles to the gallon I’m getting. Establishing the reason may take a little longer.
Top and above Linkage’s retaining plug had fallen out, rendering one carburettor inoperative; temporary tank helps mpg measurement.