The Road To Le Mans III

My next bit of Jowett fun is going to be replicating the dashboard…

Le Mans cockpit

… from this car.

Le Mans Jowett

I can’t quite tell from the photo but it looks like some blighter is lifting fuel from the tank while chap’s got his head under the bonnet; sort of thing Sir Cuthbert would get Perkins involved in.

Le Mans Jowett

Learned Counsel is pressing ahead on the Le Mans Jowett (the new sand blasting cabinet has set a cracking pace). The chassis in matt black with the contrasting silver-grey fittings looks really good.

Nearside front hub

Like the Hillman and my Austin, Nyloc’s (or Stiffnut’s) will be used throughout. Talking of which reminds me of that on the Hillman, there’s a machine screw which, however hard you tighten – even with Threadloc applied – it always comes undone. It’s not critical as it holds one of the rear body trim panels in place but it’s indicative of a resonance or harmonic problem that’s not being dissipated to the rest of the chassis. I notice also that one of the – again, non-critical – fuel tank brackets has become de-soldered on that side so there’s something not quite right somewhere. I wonder if, when I get round to it this winter, the altering of the road springs will make a difference; with a softer ride it may do something to help.

Pedal box detail

The two Jowetts differ in some details and on this Le Mans car the brake pedal is adjustable so that it can line up with the slot in the scuttle. A spring on the shaft allows the lever to be set exactly in line so filing the scuttle is avoided. As most of the front of the scuttle was in poor condition, Learned Counsel has fabricated a new one to let in to the original outer panel.  That seems to be a weak spot on the Jupiter as he had to do the same for the road car. The silver bit with the nut shape on the end is part of the torsion bar assembly.

Southwold Harbour Cafe

The Southwold harbour cafe, a popular Special Builders Breakfast Club venue, kicked off the weekend’s entertainments and on the way home, a classic car show in Stradbroke broke the journey. The Hillman is running very sweetly and I’m pleased to report, is starting on the button, hot or cold. What a blinkin’ relief that is!


The half-round black shrouds in the headlamps are not the most elegant looking addition to the Marchal’s but I’ve found that they’re essential to stop dazzling on-coming drivers at night. Because the single filament bulb faces backwards in the body of the lamp, the lower half of the bowl projects the light upwards – not much use in any case. By covering the lower half, only the road is lit by the light projecting downwards from the top of the bowl. I don’t drive a lot at night but I don’t avoid it either so it was essential to do something about it.

Anyway, it’s Rognan in Norway this week where I might get to see a different but equally dazzling light show if I wangle the night shift.


10 comments on “The Road To Le Mans III

  1. “Because the single filament bulb faces backwards in the body of the lamp, the lower half of the bowl projects the light upwards”
    I realise that I have the same, or nearly, Marchals on my 3W but with double filaments. A good solution I believe, anyway the only one legal here!

  2. Does that mean that you have dipping headlamps?

  3. Mandatory to be road legal. In fact I’m surprised you don’t!

  4. I was in my mid 20’s once…

    Dipped beam headlamps are not a legal requirement in the UK for vehicles first used before 1st January 1931.

  5. “I was in my mid 20’s once…”
    Ha ha! Just understood that one! So was I, far away!

  6. Simon says:

    Was at my favourite pub last night with friends and I realised we’ve been going there for nearly 20 years now (since our mid 20s) and that some of the bar staff probably weren’t even born then!

  7. It is said that one is young till he realises that policemen are younger than him.

  8. Simon says:

    I much prefer dealings with barmaids than policemen!

  9. Paul Needham says:


    Is there a Forum for ‘ Special Builders ‘ or are you just going to knock out an E-Book based on the Austin 7 & Hillman stories ?

    regards ‘ Wanting the knowledge’ Paul

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