Next Week, I Shall Be Mostly….

…. building the frame for the body.

I’m still in the thick of the friction damper mountings and I’m looking forward to moving away from the lathe and doing a bit of woodwork. The mountings have gone reasonably well although a couple of the threads were a bit off course as it’s quite difficult to get the die centred especially when doing a thread as big as 9/16″. Very Learned Counsel showed me his Coventry Die head – that’s a handy piece of kit and would take a lot of the cursing out of thread making.


The other irritating thing was that the 14mm drill that I bought at great expense, is only about 13.6mm. Normally, they’re a swire oversize so I don’t know quite what’s gone on in this instance. The irritation was that the grip lengths for the rear mounting bolts had to be re-turned to fit the holes in the blocks. Fortunately, the three bolts I have yet to make are for the front mountings. The drawing for the top mounting brackets went off to the laser-cutting people and they’ll be ready for collection next week.

Friction damper top brackets

I still find it slightly unreal that these 4 brackets will cost something like £25 and they’re ready to fit (bar the painting). In 4mm steel, they would take me the best part of a morning to make by hand which makes them expensive at a commercial rate. So now, I don’t even think twice – whip up a drawing, send it off and get on with something else.

Rear mounting block

I was lying awake this morning thinking that the rear mounting block security was a bit flaky – it having to rely solely on the 9/16″ bolt that locates in the axle casting. There’s just room to squeeze in a ‘U’ bolt – as shown above – which does 2 things: 1) it adds a bit of extra weight to the back which, however small, is going to help and, 2) it means I can go back to sleep.

The plan for next week’s body building is firstly to shape the outer base boards to get the plan view right. Then I can build up the step which accommodates the rise over the back axle and rough out a design for the spare wheel mounting. I anticipate some pretty hefty metal work (the wheel’s a considerable weight) which again, adds more gription to the back of the car and will also provide some protection for the fuel tank in the event of a rear-end shunt. But the most interesting bit will be the building of the scuttle and the mounting of the instruments, steering wheel, brake reservoir and so forth. Then there’s the tricky bit – making provision for the hood mechanism.

Hood plan

Once the steering wheel’s in and I know where the driver’s seat is going to be, I can establish the position of the vertical component of the hood frame when erect and work backwards from there. Of course, I’ll need to site the windscreen and I haven’t quite decided what shape that’ll be. If it’s like my Austin’s screen it’ll be a bit of a game getting the hood to fit and look good without the aid of some sort of additional frame to square the top off when the hood’s up. Then, where d’you store the frame when it’s not in use….. and on it goes. A straight-topped folding frame with a couple of aero screens – a la Bentley?

I won’t get that far next week.


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