Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Selkirk Vintage Show

Rory and I popped over to Selkirk on Sunday to the excellent vintage rally. It was a great show which was nicely squeezed into a quite small field. Apart from the usually selection of single marque club stands, this one stands out with a few really interesting other exhibits. Like this 60's hydroplane up from Cumbria. It runs a flat head V8 with open headers. Sounds superb!

Big engine with a small boat attached

The other big attraction (for me at least) is the steamies. There is a large and thriving steam community in southern Scotland/northern England which moves around to various shows. There's nothing like steam, the sounds and smells are wonderful.

It was just me and Rory at the show, which was nice, bit of father and son bonding. The local model boat club were there and they even let Rory have a go!

All under control

Its always quite strange to find what grabs his attention. This organ had him mesmerised for ages!
Other "Rory Favourites" included the tractors, of which there were loads, in a wide range of restoration. Its nice to see concours vehicles next to vehicles which look as though they have just been dragged out of a barn, cranked up and driven to the show.

For Dad there was a great range of classic bikes, including this really neat Bantam. Did I mention I want one?

anyone for (the) Desert?

Gypsy fire engine

The Scottish MMOC were out in force, nice to see the scene is alive and well north of the border. Now Molly is on the road and usable again I'm going to be get getting a little more involved. First step is going to the AGM on Sunday.

Finally we managed to find the one and only Commer. A very nice RoadRanger conversion which is owned by a chap called Jim. It gets used regularly to lug reclaimed building materials!
Rory can't find the Commer

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lanni Clan

My first car was a teal blue Austin 1300. I was given it by my great aunt when she gave up driving. It vaporised its rear subframe and sills thereby preventing it from getting an MOT, so I never got to drive it on the road (...well maybe once). It was a pretty rubbish car, but it had me hooked. The only kind of car I was interested in was an old one. I spent hours pouring through Practical Classics looking for a replacement. Luckily Molly turned up at a local garage and the rest is history.

My little brother on the other hand, had no such revelation. He needed a car (a suitably slow one for a younger driver) and Dad had an idea. A 1954 series I landrover was sourced. This beast with its 2 litre petrol engine and soft top, neatly transported Jez and his friends around the local countryside to and from the local pubs at a nice sedate top speed of 50 mph (less if you wanted to hold a conversation). When it snowed they often set of round the local lanes with a tow rope, searching for people to help!

To the rescue!

Much like myself, Jez has held on to the lannie - well more precicely Dad has. Over the years it has been tweaked and tinkered with. New parts have been fitted and engines have been rebuilt. It now sports a Fairy Overdrive, making those 50mph conversations a much more reasonable prospect. Jez is now lucky enough to have somewhere to safely store and tinker with it so he has retrived it from Dad's house.

This lannie ain't no garage queen though. These photos were taken at the Malham show a few weeks ago. Where it was earning its keep on a good long distance run.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Give us a tune then George....

... ok then....

Jessica has been plagued by moss in her windows since we got her. It gathers (unlike a rolling stone) between the two sliding windows on each side, and in the channel they slide in. Apart from making her look even more untidy, it allows the channels to stay damp therefore causing more damage.

So... (you know where this is going don't you) I decided to make use of this weekend's sunny weather and do do something about it! I started by removing the trim strip, taking out each of the 30 odd screws and replacing them with stainless self tappers. Once they were all changed, I bravely took them all out again and levered the window out....

Easy peasy! The window came out of the frame without a hitch, so all that was left was to clean off the putty (yup real old fashioned window putty), clean the windows and put it all together again!

Daddy's little helper - no.. don't stand there...

Shiny shiny...


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Paul's 4 Door

A couple of weeks ago I popped in to see my old friend Paul. I know him from the good old days in Manchester, a fellow Manchester MMOC branch member. Back then (10+ years ago) he had two minors, a white traveller with a Midget 1275 engine and a black 1960 four door. Well, the traveller has long gone, but the intervening years (and Paul) have been kind to the 4 door.

Paul has taken a lot of time and effort to make the car as close to original spec as possible. Now this simple sounding task is often a lot more tricky than you expect. Any vehicle which is 49 years old will have (usually) been used and abused to some extent. Regular maintenace and repair will have taken its toll with non-standard, modern or inferior parts being used in place of the originals. Paul's mamoth task therefore was to try to track down suitable parts and get them fitted.

One of the hardest places to get back to originality is under the bonnet. Here, its the little things which make all the difference. For example, in 1960 batteries were large, black and made of rubber. Worm drive hose clips didn't exist, instead hoses were clamped to tubes using wire clips. Ignition leads were made of copper (which played havock with the radio reception!). All these things and more have been tracked down and (re) fitted to the car.

engine bay

Classic car interiors are another area where getting back to original can be a problem. Seats wear and go saggy. Parcel shelves get wet and collapse and interior paint gets dull and shipped. Not here though!


Finally there is the exterior. In some respect the easiest area to keep original, providing the previous owners have been careful and rust hasn't taken hold too badly. Once panels get removed and replaced they never really fit properly. Not a problem Paul seems to have.

All in all a lovely car, something to aspire to!

Monday, September 07, 2009


As you may know I've been having a little trouble with Jessica. Too many times she has developed a bit of a misfire when she's hot and coughs and splutters her way home after a nice day out. So I've decided to have another crack at sorting it. A month or so ago I changed the fuel pump (no change) and swapped out the coil and plug leads (no change) then I took a look in the carb dashpot (nothing untoward). So what was left... well the only thing I could think of was the dizzy. So I popped off to my local 24 hour motorfactor (yup - eBay) and bought a new electronically pointed 45D dizzy. Its nice and clean and looks like its up to the job. Anyway - I fitted it tonight and so far so good. The local test track (two roundabouts and a strip of duel carriageway) showed the power was up and everything was nice and smooth. Not 100% sure about the new timing position as I managed to smash the timing light in the fan... ooops..

In other news, Sunday was Mum's birthday (happy birthday Mum!) so I went down to deliver her new/old bike and on the way down popped in to see Paul, Pam, Michael, Rachel and little David in Stockport. I know Paul from way back, in the Manchester branch of the Morris Minor owner's club. He has a very nice Black 1960 4 door which is a concourse candidate, rubber battery and wire hose clips and everything! Maybe he'll let me show you some piccies if you're lucky...

See you soon guys!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ich bin ein Schatzbildner....*

Yeah... I got stuff and lots of it.

I had a little tidy in the garage this week, lucky I did as the rain has come down in a big (wet) way which has resulted in a soggy garage floor, inspite of all the water management I have in place - including the indoor guttering (tm). So Molly is nicely tucked away in the garage where I can have a look at the leaky screen seal, the scratches and the mucky engine bay (you can't have mucky engine bay now can you?).

While I was tiding up I (re)found this...

Its the instruction leaflet for a thing bought about 10 years ago. The thing is a car vacuum cleaner from way back when. It is powered by the exhaust of a running car (presumably the one you are cleaning). The idea is that you stuff the the adaptor up the exhaust pipe and the flow of gas out of the exhaust causes a reduction of pressure in the cleaner hose, allowing you to clean the carpets of your pride and joy. Nice. I've never used it as I'm scared of putting things up exhaust pipes. But it's pretty cool nevertheless.

I have the whole appliance in its (tatty) box with the instruction manual, which I'd like to think it's worth a bit, but to be honest (like much of the tat I have filled my home/garage with) I just like owing it.

In other news... The modern world we live in allows us to not have to speak to some one to be in touch. We can read their tweets, monitor their blogs, be their facebook friend and generally know they are there without actually being speaking to them. I have a friend called Meg, who is a New Media bigwig and knows a lot about the web and that. Her most recent blog post details the rise and rise of Blogging and Tweeting. As an innocent bystander of both of these phenomena, I'd be interested to know where the LittleYellowCar fits into the TechoSciocio-timeline.

Interested, but not interested enough to actually pick up the phone and ask Meg what she thinks.

*I'm a hoarder... in German

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

By the light of the silvery moon...

Or Yellowy street lamp... I admired Molly's new wing...

Not bad eh - the rare trishade highway yellow is coming through nicely