Sunday, 31 August 2008

One in the oven.

After nearly a year in the building, the end is in sight. Young Teddy and I did the final (easy) bit of sanding of various bits as the masked figure of Matt’s number one helper appeared with a spray gun full of primer. Half an hour later the whole thing was dull grey and we sat out in warm sunshine, gazing at the Ryber Valley waiting for it to dry. It’s a lovely view from the doors of the workshop. Most conducive to sitting in with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Next, on went several layers of top coat and as Capt. Sprayer coughed up a lungful of paint and thinners we wheeled the Jeep out into the Matt Savage Spray Booth Oven (sunshine) to dry off properly. All that remains is to fasten all the bits back on and it should be ready for an MOT.

Monday, 11 August 2008

One small step.

With great excitement I took my first faltering drive in the Jeep on Friday. I spent the day up at Matt’s place near Matlock - mainly getting in the way, but I did manage to sort out the hand brake and rear lights, then made a battery securing clamp. That done we connected a few wires together and hit the starter button. Matt had already driven the Jeep last week, so we knew it was okay, but for me it was a very nervous first drive. The throttle pedal was a bit jerky, but I think we can adjust that a bit. The four tyres John Carroll has lent me feel a tad too big at 235-16. I think 215-16 would be plenty big enough. Maybe even 205-16. They do seem to raise the gearing too much. Anyway it was a great way to end the day and next time there will be less bare wires and tools lying about and I am sure I shall feel more relaxed.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

One Wheel Drive.

Before an interest in 4x4’s took a grip, my sole passion was 3x1’s. I had a few, Messerschmitt, Isetta and finally this Hienkel built under license in the U.K. and badged as a Trojan. Myself and the Mk 1 wife, on a budget of nothing, went camping in Wales. Our tent was the simple affair amongst the big frame tents that dominated the camp site. I had a lot of use out of the Trojan, commuting up and down to Salisbury, where I was at Art College, from Leicestershire and averaging 80 mpg! This particular jaunt to Wales went pretty smoothly until 5 miles from home on the return journey. I was thrashing it at a heady 50 mph and the exhaust valve burnt out. With only one cylinder, that was that and Dad came to tow us in.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Carefree biking days.

Bikes seem to be pretty prominent amongst the collective, so I thought I’d pitch these in. I was looking up some old photos from my own Pentax era to illustrate an article on the resurgence of camping and found these gems. This is my brother, the renowned yachtsman, Captain Haddock, fiddling with two bikes he abused in the early seventies. First was the Matchless 500 single. No doubt worth a fortune now, but picked up for less than a fiver then. The front mudguard soon went, to be followed by the fitting of a ‘peanut’ fuel tank from an NSU Quickly and some Ape Hangers. Essential kit back then. It looks SO dangerous. Marvellous! The workshop picture is the one we had at Appletreewick Farm and I was astonished to find that I have that workbench her e, now, in my garage complete with the very same vice and buffer (on the extreme right). The bike was a Bultaco Sherpa trials bike. 250, two stroke, bags of torque. he competed at club level with mixed success. I’m confident Fred Fibonacci will take up the story.