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

    RUN BY Alain de Cadenet
    OWNED SINCE 2005
    PREVIOUS REPORT July 2016

    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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    Alain De Cadenet
    Alain De Cadenet joined the group Citroen CX owners and fan Club
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    Alain De Cadenet
    Alain De Cadenet unlocked the badge Journalist
    Journalist
    Loves browsing photos
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    THWARTED BY A FUEL GREMLIN
    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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    MARIO ANDRETTI

    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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    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 150,286
    Owned since 1972
    Miles since February
    report 56
    Latest costs nil

    PLUG SHORTAGE TURNS OUT WELL

    I’ve not done too much on the car recently, due to not being around and the ghastly weather. All quite normal for winter of course, but I have finally got over the nightmare of finding original-style 18mm spark plugs. From the 1930s right up to the late ’70s, the ideal fitment for the Alfa was a Lodge platinumelectrode long-reach item that was listed as an HL1P, and for which you needed a 1in AF long socket to put them in and take them out.

    Today, such plugs are unobtainable. I used to advertise for them in the 1980s, and was surprised when the late Hon Patrick Lindsay called to say that he’d bought some brand new from the old KLG/Lodge office that used to be down by the Kingston bypass. Originally they were 15s each (75p), which was expensive for the time. You can’t clean a platinum plug using glass beads without causing damage to the electrode, but I’ve used a baking soda blaster and done quite a good job over the years. The only real solution is to fit 18-14mm adapters and run modern alternatives.

    So, after spending many hours on the Myford drilling, turning and threading some phosphor-bronze hexagonal bar, I’ve ended up with eight inserts that now enable me to use #NGK #BP6ES plugs for tootling around and B7ESs for racing. I even have some B7EVs for use with methanol. Three different types, whereas one used to do all three jobs. If I was judging 8Cs at Goodwood, Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, would I penalise an owner for not having 18mm plugs? Yes, I would. Going is one thing, showing is something else. I notice that new-manufactured heads are all drilled for 14mm plugs, anyway.

    Alfisti par excellence, Chris Mann, runs an early Weber carb on his 8C, as indeed do I. He told me of his modification that lets him adjust the main jet needle from the cockpit by way of a cable drive. This enables him to fine-tune the mixture with a lambda sensor placed in the exhaust.

    He leans off in towns to avoid stinky black smoke and richens up when on the open road. Healthier for the environment and his wallet. Considering that these old birds were always run rich in period (to lessen the likelihood of combustion chamber cracks), this struck me as something that I had to try myself.

    It works beautifully. I do plug ‘cuts’ at various settings and can get them from off-white on the electrodes via the ideal coffee colour to black and sooty, just by twiddling my home-made cable system. Horrible ethanol petrol works fine with this device, as does Goodwood Mega Gas. Thank you, Chris, for that one.

    All this makes me realise how terribly boring modern cars are in comparison, and how lazy we get letting science do all the work. I much prefer being the #ECU myself.

    Our Leica stalwart pays a visit to the camera manufacturer’s Mayfair outlet – the Alfa isn’t afraid of London traffic.

    Old 18-14mm adaptor served as template. Lodge HL1P plugs are no longer available. Electrode is easily damaged by cleaning. Weber carburettor has been modified to allow adjustment of main jet needle on the go.
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    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; www.cotswoldcars.com

    WHEN IT WAS NEW

    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.

    SUMMARY

    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

    SHOULD I BUY IT?

    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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    Alain De Cadenet
    Alain De Cadenet joined the group Ferrari 328
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    Alain De Cadenet
    Alain De Cadenet joined the group Ferrari 308/208 GTB and GTS
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    CAR: #Ferrari-F599GTB-F1 / #Ferrari-F599GTB / #Ferrari-F599 / #Ferrari-599 / #Ferrari-599GTB / #Ferrari-599GTB-Fiorano / #Ferrari / #Ferrari-V12
    Year of manufacture #2006 (first reg 2/1/07)
    Recorded mileage 26,250
    Asking price £124,990
    Vendor Simon Furlonger Specialist Cars, Ashford, Kent; tel: 01233 646328; simonfurlonger.co.uk


    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £171,825
    Max power 612bhp
    Max torque 488lb ft
    0-60mph 3.6 secs
    Top speed 205mph
    Mpg 11-15


    The F599 is, as Furlonger’s Matt Honeysett puts it, “the last of the monsters”, sharing the Enzo’s engine block, though with the wick turned down from its 661bhp. This car was specced with just about every option, including 20in monolithic wheels, Giallo brake calipers, inset Scuderia shields, front and rear parking sensors, carbon driver zone with LEDs and red rev counter, centre console and carbon ‘Daytona’ electric seats. There’s full history with supporting bills. The front has been refinished to eliminate stone-chips, and it’s smooth under the chin. Each of its four owners must have treated it gently because the (week) 4606-dated rear tyres still have a few mm of tread. The 2012 fronts have lots of life.

    Inside, the carbon dash panels are unscratched, and the rest of it still looks new – except for the seat leather being lightly creased, with slight wear to the driver’s outer bolster. The motor is in factory finishes and dry on the outside; it was last serviced just 500 miles ago, in April 2016.

    It starts instantly on the button, feeling lither than a 6-litre, and is easy to conduct, having the Superfast generation of paddle shift. You have to click through a few menus before it will tell you such things as coolant temperature, but the tyre pressure monitoring system insisted we had a puncture. The bills show that this has had various resets, so we ignored it.

    Of more interest is the menu selectable by toggle on the steering wheel. In ‘Race’ the car is epically fast. Basically, floor it, then see if you can keep pulling the right paddle fast enough to stay in front of the succession of red LEDs that light up around the circumference of the wheel as you approach the 8500 (yes!) redline. It feels as if the back wants to squirm off somewhere over your right shoulder, but somehow the cleverness keeps it all contained and, just as you approach event horizon, the carbonceramic brakes kill the madness like an arrestor hook. Quite remarkable.

    It will come with the books, two sets of keys, warranty, fresh MoT, new rear tyres, a service and Furlonger’s usual six-month/3000-mile warranty.


    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Part refinished and like new
    INTERIOR Only slight wear to seat hide
    MECHANICALS Full history; errant tyre pressure monitor needs investigating

    VALUE ★★★★★★★★✩✩
    For Who needs Saturn 5?
    Against Not the subtlest shade for a large 200mph car

    SHOULD I BUY IT?

    Sure to become collectable like the Daytona and 575M – and this one has all the toys. Prices range from £119-150,000, so it’s competitive.
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