The Olympics: My Part in Their Success….

… was minor but key. I’ve thought about it and even experimented with a few lines but, let’s face it, bigging up the job of unloading pallets and distributing them around a multi-storey car park in the small hours, even if it was for the Olympics, is pushing the envelope.

My role in this task was that of banksman to one of the fork-lift drivers and, in anticipation of a lot of walking, I took along my bicycle – an excellent decision despite getting a puncture at the end of the job. And, knowing that we might be able to snatch a few winks at some point, I took as well my collapsible camp bed. This, at around a quarter to four in the morning, I was able to assemble and put on the buck of the truck for a couple of hours R & R. I wish I could report that I drifted off under a twinkling night sky with only the rustlings of the urban fox to disturb me but a generator in the compound providing electricity for sets of security floodlights rather spoiled the mood.

The bushing and reaming of the springs and spring hangers – courtesy of Chumley – went very well and he was delighted with his sausages. To fill the time before I left for London, I jury rigged the springs to the chassis.

More clearly:

… and the rears.

You’ll notice that I’ve placed the radiator on the chassis. This is just to keep an eye on aesthetics and I can see that I can’t go any further for the moment without at least the front axle and wheels. Without those on – even temporarily – the height of the bonnet and the scuttle can’t be decided. I can measure off from the plan and go ahead on that basis but I’m slightly suspicious of my drawing in that I think that on paper, the car  is proportionally smaller and less grand than it appears.  If I scale from the drawing I think I’m going to get into trouble. At the moment the radiator height is still not yet set in stone but I shall have to commit fairly soon and for that I need to determine the look of the thing in real life.  The lack of front axle and wheels also precludes me from accurately placing the steering box and column – another factor determining scuttle height and position. Fortunately, I heard from the wheel builder last week and the wheels’ completion is imminent, so I won’t have to wait long before I can get cracking again.

This may all sound like a lot of nonsense and that I’m just dreaming up problems for myself but this is the very thing that tripped me up on the Austin 7 Special. Because I couldn’t get far enough away from it (thin workshop) before the wheels went on (by that time the body was well advanced) I ended up with a car that looked a bit like it was going to trip over itself. Most people didn’t notice but it drove me nuts and I moved the front axle forward 6″. That helped a lot, but it’s not something I want to have to do on the Hillman.

That would be an olympian task.

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