Tuesday, April 28, 2009

HCR '09

We did it! My brother and I actually completed the Historic Counties Run! As might have been obvious from my last post's lack of words, things got a bit hectic heading towards the weekend. There was a seemingly endless list of small jobs to be done. This list included replacing a leaky caliper seal, replacing the brake light switch, an oil change, replacing the entire clutch hydraulic system, replacing the throttle cable, adjusting the timing, removing the old starter solenoid, fitting the Nippon Denso starter, fitting 12v sports coil, replacing ballast wire, balancing carbs and refitting the parcel shelf!

I set out from Walsall on the Saturday, planning to meet my brother in Cambridge on the way. I put the hood down and got to Cambridge station about an hour and a half later! With my brother, Henry, on board we headed down to Southwold. It was at this point that that Henry pointed out that he'd never actually driven my car before, so we swapped seats and he got his first experience of classic motoring! We got to Southwold a couple of hours before the 'off' and had a fish and chips on the pier.

The first half of the run was relatively straightforward for us. The only minor hitches were our failure to brim the tanks and pump up the tyres so we had to stop off and do that. We also had a bit of scare when the temperature gauge went off the scale. The engine didn't look or feel hot and the 'tell tales' on the cylinder head and radiator were normal. When I noticed the fuel gauge was also a bit dodgy and the speedo illumination had failed I stopped worrying about it which was just as well because it fixed itself a few hours later!
The second half was more intense. Henry did the graveyard shift while I navigated. Thanks to a sat nav cock up we ended up wasting about half an hour in Hampshire and thanks to a cock up on my part we nearly ended up missing out Shropshire! For me, the Welsh roads were the best part of the whole event. We had a great time keeping up with Phil in the magenta GT6. Annoyingly though we'd developed an leak from the front oil seal which was dripping Duckhams finest all over the front pulley. Unfortunately the pulley was flicking it all over the drivers side brakes. I can now categorically confirm that oiled brakes don't work very well! Fortunately the were still just about good enough to finish the event on and we made it to Newport only a couple of hours late!
The trip back would've been a bit much with the dodgy brakes, so I had to call the AA in the end and we made the journey back on a flatbed. In all honesty I wasn't even sure it'd make the start line so I was absolutely chuffed that we finished the event. We had a great time, drove on some great roads, met some cool people and ended up completely knackered. Next time I'm going to book some time of work afterwards!
More pics on my facebook album here!