Tuesday, 24 March 2009

They start them young these days.

Teddy, my oldest Grandson turned 12 earlier this month and was, at last, able to get a competition license to race with the Pennine Auto Grass Club in the 12 to 16 class. Much time had been spent preparing the blue Mini over the last few weeks building up to the BIG DAY last Sunday. I was delighted to be able to be stood shivering at the side of an oval of packed mud in a biting wind just south of Ashbourne to watch Ted in his first ever race. Nerves were soon swept to one side as young Ted, on only his second lap, overtook the Citroen AX of Shaun Nelson on the outside to leave him choking on blue smoke. Four races, four finishes, no mishaps. A great start.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Hors de combat.

The new rims I bought for the Jeep are called ‘Combat Rims’, presumably because splitting into two parts should make it easier to change tyres. Well. I’m jolly glad I wasn’t in the field of combat when I changed all five from the big 235-16’s to the recently purchased 205-16’s. Despite attempting this job in a state of tranquil calm, (cup of tea at the ready, good play on Radio 4), after half an hour sweating over the first one I was ready to surrender and wave the white flag. A second attempt the following evening with far more washing up liquid to lubricate the tyre/rim interface I got it down to about 20 minutes a wheel. just under two hours for the whole job. About the time it took Jerry to take a small village in Normandy! The end result was a far better ride and handling, if that is the correct term for hurling a Jeep around a bend. A run to Northamptonshire on Sunday, with son Will following in his car confirmed that the Jeep was cruising happily at about 55-60 and generally keeping up with the flow of traffic. The ‘new’ Hotchkiss engine purring sweetly under the bonnet, or ‘hood’ as the Yanks called it.

Monday, 2 March 2009

A colourful career in show business.

After buying a set of second hand tyres for my Land Rover some years ago, with disastrous consequences, I swore I’d never buy second hand tyres again. These are they! Ten quid from ‘Wet Paint’ Tony, they will replace the oversize tyres currently fitted to the Jeep. I was over in the land where time stands still (Swadlincote) last week removing these tyres form some Land Rover rims and chatting to Tony and a pal of his, Mick, who owns three tanks. Clank, clank, I’m a tank. They were discussing a Range Rover project Tony is working on for Mick and the fitting of a winch. The conversation went like this:
Tony: ‘You still got that winch?’
Mick: ‘No I lent it to Dave.... you know? Dave who’s in the porno films’
Tony: ‘Oh. Can’t you get it back off him?’
Mick: ‘No. He says it’s on his motor now and he can’t be arsed to remove it and I owed him one anyway.’
Tony: ‘Uh’
Mick: ‘ His missus is pregnant again. It’ll be the fifth.... Bit of a cock up at work’

All fall about laughing.

It was the delivery of the porno film line that amazed me. It was as if discussing someone who was an electrician, or worked in the green grocers. Dave, whoever he is, was in porno films! The tyres seem okay. I’ll fit them tomorrow.