……but with still an hour to go before getting up, I’ve managed to convert the selector lever fore and aft movement to movement in the lateral plane at a point remote from the box. The shift lever is also – in my mind – beginning to behave itself though I’ve realised that the new gear lever is working in reverse to what is commonly acceptable. A reversal of the action of the selector bell crank has corrected this anomaly and it’s time to get up and get on with the day.
An interesting day it turns out to be. At 4.00pm this afternoon I was hurtling down the Hangar Straight at Silverstone at 130mph in a Ferrari 360.’Brake! Brake! Brake!’ shouted my instructor, ‘Turn in, Power, More Power…’ and so it went for 5 laps. Totally absorbing and utterly thrilling but, over all too quickly.
On the way to the circuit, I had discussed the gearbox with Learned Counsel who proposed that I should look into the possibility of using another more conventional box to start with. This idea has its attractions because, studying the manual the night before and visiting a couple of forums, it seemed that the precise set-up of the column change was critical to the boxes’ correct and smooth operation. The introduction of my linkage, however well thought out and executed, would encourage what might be politely described as ‘lost motion’.
The Morris Six and the Wolseley 6/80 were, as far as I can tell, never provided with the option of a floor shift box and it hadn’t occurred to me that I could use another brand of box. It would have to be from an engine with much the same power output. Though this new angle might prove to be a bit of a wild goose chase, the Triumph Vitesse box would be my first port of call and, happily, I had only to look across the fields to a near neighbour who I knew could provide any number of them.
The laser-cutting people rang today to say that I could definitely collect the engine mount bits this coming Friday – which gives me the weekend to play with them.