The Race that never was – Part 1

Lydden yesterday where Neil was invited to participate in a private "race" staged as part of a television motoring personalities Christmas DVD. No names no pack drill but I shall refer to him by the affectionate name he is known by at Chaos Manor, Bollock Brain.

Neil was delighted to be invited, the criteria being a car broadly off the Mk1 Escort generation, in practice a PHTC or Group 1 car, and the ability to behave on the race track. The problem came that he was on holiday with the family in the West Country at the time. So Mike Hayward and I bought the Fiesta down to Lydden with Neils van and trailer while Neil and Alistair drove across from Weston-Super-Mare.

There were 24 racers from the CTCRC more than matched by film crew complete with their Flying TV helicopter. There was also a full complement of marshals and a fire engine and crew.

The morning was spent with BB being filmed driving round and round the circuit in a road going Camaro while the racers were being filmed getting scruitinised. While all this was going on the Escort BB was going to race was having clutch trouble and was on and off Lyddens two poster while the guys that built the car tried to get the release bearing to function. I counted the gearbox coming in and out four times during the day.

Click Here for part 2

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Classics on the Common

Went over in the Model Y last night. Met up at the truck stop with a few others and we went in convoy. Neil took his White Mk2 Escort which he had just finished. Saw Alan with his Bristol, Cliff with his Jaguar and many others but didn’t see Nick Woolett and his Datzun 240Z.

The wether was quite nice until just after 8 when it started to rain and we joined the mass exodus. Got home around 9.30 so we had to use the lights for the last little bit.

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Old Ford Rally at Gaydon

Nice weather for this Y&C Register organised event. At Bob Wilkinsons request we took the Dellow. It went on the trailer as I hadn’t tested it put after all the work on the brakes and rear end.

We got there early to help out and were busy parking cars until nearly 11am. We were parked with the Side Valve Club. Trialler Nigel Hilling arrived with collapsed front suspension on his "best" Pop, a spring had broken as he left Leicester Forest East Services!

Once we finished doing our bit we had a good look round and of course we had a nose round the museum.

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Lydden Report

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Neil excellent 4th in Lydden Post Historic. David Howard won with Nigel Garrett 2nd

Mark Osborne made a great start from the second row, powering his Dolomite past Nigel Garretts similar machine and David Howards XJ12 to lead out of Chessons Drift. Neil was over on the grass as they were six abreast at one point, getting into fourth before being overtaken by Tony Crudgington and Brian Stevens and slipping back to his sixth position grid spot.

Mark Osbornes lead only lasted until the second lap when David Howard powered the big cat past, pulling away for an easy win on this tight circuit. Behind David Mark Osborne had Nigel Garretts similar machine in close attendance. These three soon pulled out a gap on 4th placed man Tony Crudgington in his Dolomite, followed by Brian Stevens in his Lotus Cortina, Neil Bray (Capri), Mark Aistrup (RS 2000) and former CTCRC stalwart James Christie in his Avenger.

It took about half a dozen laps for Nigel Garrett to win the second place battle with Mark Osborne and once he was past pulled away, although he couldn’t make an impression on David Howard.

By half way Neil was harrying Brian Stevens and finally got his nose inside around The Devils Elbow, holding the place and  immediately pulling away and closing on Tony Crudgington. Brian was soon harried by Mark Lucock who had sliced though the field from the back of the grid after problems in qualifying. A couple of laps later Neil had passed Tony Crudgington for fourth place. Tony himself was being challenged by Mark Lucock who had passed Brians Lotus.

The Crudgington/Lucock battle had hardly started when Tony lost control coming down Hairy Hill, rolling gently into the bank. Tony escaped with only his pride injured but the race was red flagged a couple of laps early.

Neil was pleased with his 4th place in the number two car which had suspension improvements since Thuxton to improve it’s handling vices. Although it’s nicer to drive after these changes it is still under powered and he is hoping good old no 1 will be back for Snetterton.

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Four Car Events in Five Days in Three Different Cars

Friday 9 July – Falcons Fish and Chip Run in the Green Dellow. Started at the BP services near Kempston on the A421. Route went up by St Neots, out to Ashwell and finished in Baldock. The Green Dellow went reasonably well but I didn’t like the clonking coming from the offside back. need to look at that.

Saturday 10 July – Bedfordshire County Show at Old Warden with the Chiltern Preservation Group. It was a really hot day, far to hot really. However, the Y went well, no overheating. Show was interesting but not so good we would go again. Only a few cars there and the people weren’t very friendly.

Sunday 11 July – Bromham Show – Out in the Ford Model Y again. The day started with a 40 mile road run, organised by Steve Casey, finisshing at a car show at the village fete. The run started at Bromham Mill and there must have been 40 cars, ranging from Lotus 7 style kit cars, a Lamborghini, 1935 MG PA and the inevitable Morris Minor. Just after the breakfast stop at The Sharnbrook Hotel we came across a broken down Frogeye Sprite. Tried to help as I thought the condnser was US but couldn’t get it going. Later Steve Casey found the petrol pump was the problem. Nice day.

Tuesday 13 July – Herts VW Club Show and Shine at The Checkers, Redbourne with the Beetle. Nice relaxed evening. Only problem was that we decided to eat there and had to wait ages for the food. Beetle went OK

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Classics in the Walled Garden

Took the Y to the second running of this event. Its organised by Peter Madden, the guy who started Classics on the Common. As the title suggests its held in the walled garden at Luton Hoo. The house is now a hotel and is separate from the garden which is being restored by a trust.

There were about 400/500 cars. 150 inside the walls and the others around the outside. Where you were depended on how quickly you got in your entry. We were quick off the mark so were inside. Saw quite a few people we knew. Geoff Spencer with his Porsche RSK rep, Neil Bray had his nice green E93A, Jack Taylor his streamlined Lotus Mk6. I also saw Roger Dudleys Marlin but not Roger himself. No Mike Hayward, got a text to say he had broken down on the way and was waiting for recovery.

The weather was good and there a nice atmosphere. Different to Classics on the Common at Harpenden as you don’t get so many spectators.

I decided to give the Y a birthday and changed all the oils after its long West Country trip and it seemed to run smoother, or was that my imagination. I decoded to put EP140 in the back axle and may put that in the Dellow as well. The ammeter was nice and steady so the third brush must be working well. I had set it to charge at 7 amps. It started off at that but seemed to increase as we went on and ended up charging just under ten.

Got home around 9 to load the second E93A engine in the back of the Freelanded as I am going to take it over to Tim Brandon for some TLC today.

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