A Few Days Clear…

…. is what I thought I had but no such luck.


On our way back from Sweden, we had a couple of hours to kill so we stopped off in Amsterdam for lunch. Unfortunately, following some sort of festival the night before, the place was knee-deep in broken glass, empty cans and left-over food trodden into the pavement – to say nothing of the smell from the over-flowing pissoirs. It was not a good introduction to an otherwise charming city.

Sunset Hoek of Holland

The sun was setting as we left the Hook of Holland..


…. and was coming up as we slipped into Harwich. Since I’ve been away, everything seems to have been taken to bits.

Racing Jowett chassis

The Jowett destined for Le Mans has had its body removed (and the repair to one of the front tubes completed).

Lotus Europa

And the Lotus Europa which turned up in Learned Counsel’s workshop; that’s had its body removed as well. I know ‘adding lightness’ was part of the Chapman creed but I wouldn’t like to roll a Europa; the windscreen pillars are like match sticks. I’d not seen a Europa chassis before and I learn that Learned Counsel and his dad used to build them for Lotus – this might be one of theirs!

Austin 10

The Austin 10 water elbow had only just arrived so we hoped to flush out the system and give the engine a whirl. Alas, less interesting jobs took precedence – a boom on a loader arm needed changing as someone had managed to bend it out of true – I can’t imagine what people do with these things. A trip out in the Hillman was more of a chore than a pleasure as this fading out and refusing to start malarkey is getting worse. I have the fuel pressure regulator ready to fit but I’m beginning to wonder if the electronic ignition is not quite as it should be. Awkward put a spark plug tester on a couple of the cylinders and we expected to see the little neon bulb light up like Blackpool Tower (a zillion volts is meant to be generated by the fancy system) but it all seemed rather dim. There’s a ballast resistor on the coil (I can’t quite remember why but the ignition fitting instructions called for one) so we by-passed that to get a few more volts through the coil which didn’t seem to make a big difference. Maybe the coil’s duff or there’s a possibility that if the ignition’s been left on without the engine running for any length of time, the box of tricks in the distributor might have been damaged but it’s more likely to be the coil.

Avon Special

Anyway, Awkward’s got his own work cut out as the Avon’s engine is out. A new camshaft is being experimented with in the pursuit of more hp. Leon’s Austin 7 Special broke a halfshaft while I was away so no-one’s going anywhere fast for the next couple of weeks.


As for me, I’ve been sent back to Sweden for another 10 days so I’m in the clear.



2 comments on “A Few Days Clear…

  1. paul needham says:


    IIRC that resistor used to be called a cold start resistor and was fitted because the coil was 9v and not 12v ?

    When you move the ignition switch to the Start position it applied 12v directly to the 9v coil for more spark then when the ignition switch was released to the Run position the coil feed went through the resistor dropping the voltage to the coil to avoid burning it out.

    Of course I could also be completely wrong 🙂


  2. No, you’re completely right. I’ve got a Pertronix system fitted so I might splash out on one of their Flamethrower coils – I can’t quite remember where the current coil came from but I know I had to change it for some reason. If the Flamethrower performs as advertised at least that’ll be one factor out of the way.

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