Statistically, a proportion of the cars components will fail in a fairly short space of time; it’s just a question of which ones.
It shouldn’t be the headlamp wiring. It was quite tricky getting the cables in through the tiny gaps in the structure – the old stuff was amply encased in putty which had gone like concrete but patience paid off and for once I didn’t break anything in getting it all out. A quick polish of the alloy rim finished the first one off very nicely and I couldn’t resist popping it on the car to see what it looked like…
The next lamp is a little bit more difficult because I did break something – the little Paxolin tab washer which acts as the festoon bulb input insulator. I’ll have to shape a suitable piece of plastic to replace it. And since I had an appointment with George, it was imperative that the car was ready for the road on Thursday morning. The rear lights and number plates were finished off..
.. and the indicators and brake lights worked first time! I haven’t tried the side lights but I have every confidence…
When I get back, I can get on with the reversing light – rather a novelty on a car this age – but I’ve got a very nice Butler half round rear light that I’m going to mount just aft of the spare wheel, bringing the total length of the car to 173″ (1″ longer than a 4.5lt Bentley). The bracket will pick up the spare wheel mounting studs and be secured with half nuts. I’ll build in a plug so that the removal of the spare wheel isn’t a problem.
And this I just couldn’t resist. My friends Jodel light aircraft was a ‘Paris-Nice’ model (there was enough fuel capacity to get you from Paris to Nice) and I always thought that a nice touch. My Jodel (a D117) had 5 hours of fuel on board (4.5 hours before you needed to find somewhere to land – if you could stay up that long without refreshment and other conveniences) and that gave you a still-air range of about 450 statute miles. That’s Paris to Nice and a run along the beach as well so why mine wasn’t called a Paris-Nice job I don’t know. Anyway, the Hillman certainly wouldn’t make Monaco in one hit but it’s a nice name for the car – after all, that’s what it was built for.
So it remains to be seen how the car performs on the open road; I’m obviously going to take it steady for the shakedown period. In time, if I can achieve a solid and stable cruise at about 55-60mph, I’ll be happy. Incidentally, a chum dropped by earlier and I was explaining to him about the carb being a bit slow on deceleration and, after examining the carb, he suggested that I fit an extra throttle return spring to take out the lost motion in the system. The extra spring would also double as a safety feature that would close the throttle in the event of the failure of the throttle linkage…. which is the sort of thing I was thinking about when I came in.