Event Reports

Events from December 2016 Grin Factor

The £20 Car, Derek Smith's detective story

Our story starts when Derek Smith, a founder member of the Citroen Specials Club, and his wife Sue were browsing a Windsor book shop during December 1997 looking for an interesting book for one of their son's Christmas present. Sue noticed this brightly covered paperback that resembled an old hobbies annual and wondered if it would be suitable. Despite him being of an age where women and drink was his main preoccupation, he still liked to receive presents which showed how to make things. Leafing through the pages Derek noticed the £20 car, a single seat, three wheeler, to build at home by the average skilled craftsman. Presents were soon forgotten and he purchased the book for himself. Derek is very enthusiastic about three wheelers having scratch built two, together with a few other kit cars, hence his involvement with the club as this type of vehicle predominates. Those that know him only have to mention the aero Morgan's and his eyes glaze over.

However when he got the book home and started to read it he discovered it was about the life and work of Frederick James Camm, a Windsor resident from a large family and the younger brother to Sir Sydney Camm the designer of the World War 2, Hurricane fighter. The book covered the period when flight was in its infancy before the Great War when the Camm brothers formed a local "model" aeroplane club to test aerodynamics of heavier than air machines. They progressed to design and build a couple of man carrying gliders the third of which would have been fitted with an engine but the war curtailed that. Frederick excelled at mathematics and technical drawing and after a seven year apprenticeship with a coachbuilder in Windsor obtained work in London as an author. In 1919 he designed and built his first cycle car with his younger brother George called the Cambro, a 2 horsepower three wheeler that he used to visit elder brother Sydney and his wife in Byfleet, Surrey. One journey he recalls was a morning round trip of 28miles and home for lunch that was devoid of another car or horse and cart for the whole time. He soon became technical editor on aviation and science with a number of magazines and did work for Pitmans and then George Newnes the publishers where in 1932 the first of the "Practical" journals were produced. Practical Mechanics and five others were to follow together with 117 technical books that he either edited or wrote himself. Although some of his articles were deemed to be old fashioned in later years he had a knack of explaining in simple terms mechanics and methods of construction. He was a workaholic and unfortunately was taken ill at work and died in 1959.

The author of Derek's book was the late Gordon Cullingham who was the borough engineer for Windsor. He felt that FJ as he was known, had as an important influence on people's lives as his famous brother so gathered together information to publish, F.J. Camm, The Practical Man, in 1996.

This is now where our detective story really starts. After Derek read the article about the £20 car he noticed that the design and construction details were published as a series of articles in Practical Mechanics between March and August 1936. He also saw that a set of blueprints with construction details were available for 10s 6p to complement the articles and these could be obtained from the publishers. Derek was very keen to get hold of copies of the articles and a set of blueprints, so he went to see Gordon Cullingham to ask if he still had the information. Unfortunately he did not have it and could not remember the name and address of the person who had supplied the article that appeared in the book. At this point Derek came away from the meeting somewhat dejected but a few days later received a call from Gordon, who said that he had found the details and it was a chap called John who lived in Totland on the Isle of White. Derek made contact with him and after explaining how enthusiastic his intensions were, John supplied him with copies of the relevant pages of the old magazines and other items. After reading through them time and time again it made Derek even more determined to obtain a set of blueprints. Knowing they went out of print in the 1950's he began to believe that his chances of finding them were pretty slim. He tried every avenue open to him to find them but with no result and then one day he was listening to radio 2 and had an idea. He knew it was a long shot but he contacted Pam Ayres who was hosting the old Charlie Chester Show on Sunday afternoons. Apart from playing music she read out requests from listeners who either wanted unusual things or wanted to give items away. He wrote to Pam at the BBC for a request to be announced about obtaining the blueprints. A couple of weeks past and to his great surprise she broadcast his request and had a field day calling him Del Boy from Windsor. The next surprise came in the form of a letter from the BBC which said that one of their listeners a Mr Percy Collins from Wallsall had a set available and would he like to contact him. Derek did so with the feeling that these rare prints may be the only set still in existence, negotiated a price of £20 to obtain them. Derek did meet Pam Ayres at a later function and when he mentioned the blueprints she immediately said Ah Del Boy from Windsor and then apologised and hoped she did not offend him.

As part of the material supplied by John was a section from the Practical Mechanics of October 1936 called "Our Readers at Work" which showed a picture of a youthful Mr John Rosie who lived at St Margaret's Hope, on the Orkney Isles sitting in the first £20 car to be finished and on the road. Mr Rosie comments that the car is a great success and it only took him four months to build. Knowing that Island people don't tend to move around a lot Derek thought that Mr Rosie had past, but his descendant might have other photographs of the car that he could add to his collection. He contacted Directory Inquiries and managed to get all the telephone numbers of people with the surname Rosie on the Orkney's and set about tracking them down, hoping for the best. This action set the Scottish Islands alight with his search, as his telephone rang every night with various lovely island residents wishing him luck but unfortunately could not help in his quest. A breakthrough came when a Mr John MacKenzie the local postmaster phoned and said that Derek would not be able to find him on the island for two reasons. First of all, was that everybody who knew him called him Jackie and not John and secondly he was alive and well living in Redhill, Surrey with us Sassenach's. Oh and by the way here is his telephone number. Derek was delighted with this news and got to speak to Jackie who fondly remembered the car but didn't have any other photographs other than the one that appeared in the magazine. However Derek did receive a nice letter from him wishing him lots of luck with this project.

So at long last Derek felt satisfied that he had in his possession all this historic information he needed to build the car. However undertaking a project like this throws up some fundamental questions. Do you build an exact copy or a homage? As this car was designed for road use before the modern road regulations came into force Derek would only be able to use the vehicle today off the public highway so a loose copy that incorporated the requirements of the current regulations would be required. Over the ensuing years Derek had sat down many times to draw up a specification of the car he would build. One had a Morgan type front suspension similar to the suggested original with a Citroen 2CV engine and gearbox chain driving the rear motorcycle wheel. The body would be plywood like the original and resemble the original shape as close as possible. Sadly, time, age, health and family has precluded Derek from building the car but he hopes it may just get built.

After he had accumulated all this information he felt that it was valuable enough to be deposited with a motor museum for posterity. Derek contacted me as I, like him was a founder member of the Citroen Specials Club and he showed me the documents that he had assembled. Knowing that I was capable of building a scratch built car he wondered if I would be interested in undertaking a build. My first thoughts were yes and to build as designed would be preferred as it could be taken to shows to indicate what the first homebuilt cars were like. But even after the first tentative look at the design I came to the same conclusion as Derek where it was pretty obvious that it would be impossible to build a road legal car to today's standards. I didn't think this mattered that much as the car would be trailered to shows as a show piece and not a run-around but then you need to ask the question, is it worth doing? As a project it would be interesting to undertake as it is mainly built of wood including the chassis and very little metalworking would be involved. It was a pretty crude affair even at 1936 standards and the influences of F J Camm's coachbuilding apprenticeship between 1910 and 1917 was in evidence, but apparently quite a few cars were started but it is not known how many were finished. One of the problems I could foresee was the construction of the front suspension. This consisted of a couple of "Bed" angle irons, where the bottom one was supported on some tube spacers and bolted through the wooden chassis. The top iron was not supported to the chassis but was fixed by a couple of tie rods to stop any sideways movement and tramp when the breaks were applied. To connect them together was a king pin that the front hubs pivoted on and a couple of springs were used to ease the ride just like the Morgan arrangement. The direct steering consisted of a column supported through a hole in the wooden front chassis member and on the end was a drop link connecting to a track rod. There were no detailed drawings of these critical parts and just one sentence in the build instructions to say they could be purchased or cut from solid. Much hype was made in the magazines write-up about obtaining a set of scale blueprints but these only gave the same details as the line drawings within the articles, and I thought these were a bit of a disappointment as working documents. The trailing arm rear suspension was two lengths of wood pivoted either side of the rear wheel. Each arm had two tension springs to control the up and down movement with no shock absorbers on either front or rear. I would imagine that it gave a very "floaty" ride. None of these small drawbacks would stop the determined builder but unfortunately I will not be undertaking the project but I hope like Derek that someone will take it on as it would be nice to see F. J's design come to fruition. A short while later because readers demanded it F J designed a two seater along similar lines. Once I saw the drawings for this it brought back memories of when I was at junior school in the mid 1950s. I recognised it at once that my teacher, a Mr Clark had one of these cars where he would open the back and kick start it but as the school was on a steep hill he mainly did this with a rolling bump start. All the kids would cheer when he got it going. I do hope, like Derek, to see a completed car one day.

John N

Events from October 2016 Grin Factor

The second Kit to be displayed at the Dorset Steam Fair

Well! I am back from the Dorset Steam Fair. What a week - only one afternoon of rain (shuttle bus and motor bikes curtailed).

On the way down (and back) I stayed over at the family place in Newbury. I therefore had a leisurely drive down to Dorset - Grin Factor. Who ever thought up that title? Once I had set up, several mentioned that they had seen me travelling, speculating that I was going to The Dorset.

Great interest was shown in Snowdrop (Vincent Hurricane) but my first visit to the arena was a disaster as the commentator could not read my writing and he was out of his comfort zone as he was unable to adlib about a car he had not seen before. He did manage to read that it had done over 1/4million miles. Next time in the arena I was prepared and provided a copy of the blurb that I display on my car so the commentator had something to talk about. He even gave some publicity to the current body manufacturers.

When I got back to the veterans'' pen , a colleague of one of the designers of the moulds asked if he could take a photograph as, other than the cars driven by the Vincent brothers, he had never seen another Hurricane. The brothers get used to my car being seen in diverse locations.

It occurred to me when listening to the commentator speaking about the other cars, the majority had been purchased as a hobby, not like mine accidentally, in 1973 as a safer means of transport than the Hillman Imp. It was not until I jacked the car up to change a wheel and the passenger seat rose but the car did not that I looked around for a replacement body as I liked the accessibility of the running gear. Hence Snowdrop was born.

I likewise acquired the Ansfold as a move away from tenting and discovered its historic interest, hence becoming my second historic exhibit.

I am hopeful of my being sent an application form for next year, and it will have to be Snowdrop despite the sacrifice of the luggage space of the passenger seat for the 'frig'.

Anne D

Three "New to me" Events

Despite having lived I in the area for over 30 years I had never attended the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight or its previous version. This year there was to be a pen of 1960's classic vehicles. Well, my donor car was designed in the 1960s but in the event the only body part of the era, the windscreen and surround, was missing for a bit of welding. The issuing of the tickets was a bit shambolic (as has been the case for a lot of this year's shows) and the computer print outs were not scrutinised at the entry point, but I suppose arriving on mass (I arrived with my Triumph club but later sported my Forest Hill group's flag) gave credence to my attendance. My Hurricane was parked next to a Spitfire, appropriate for the venue.

We were treated to more than the usual vision of the Red Arrows; flying in from their flypast over Buckingham Palace, they did a similar for us, landed to refuel and took off for our display. If that was not enough excitement, there was another taking off at the end of the show. The commentary for this part of the show was by the supervisor of their practices and displays. I later heard that future displays may be curtailed where flying over developed areas is involved.

Other flypasts included a Hawke Hurricane, Fairy Swordfish Stringbag, the only flying Bristol Blenheim, Boeing B17, Sally B, Spitfires and wing walkers.

The next event was the Big O at the Priory Gardens in Orpington, an oasis of calm behind the busy High Street. A pleasant local event marred by the organisation. We were told to marshal at 10.30 am on the Spur Road, prior to a procession down the High Street and into the park. We eventually got through the gates at 12 noon, some of our party departing before entry in frus-tration at the wait. Little thought seems to have been given as to how the vehicles would negotiate themselves to the display area; our double decker had to be abandoned near the entrance as the trees had not been pruned back to per-mit further movement and the cars had to negotiate a hair pin bend, I could just get round but the longer vehicles had to perform a reversing procedure involving avoidance of a substantial tree.

It rained during the afternoon so on leaving I realised that I did not have working windscreen wipers. These had not been tested when the w/s surround had been refitted as there was no glass in it! The lack of wipers forced me to abandon the following day's visit to San-ta Pod.

Having had the electrics sorted, including tiding up under the dash board, by an owner of a Reliant van (so he knows about fiberglass cars and Lucas looms), the next outing was a new event at the Hop Farm which was billed as a Tractor and smallholdings show with the add on of a Pageant of Transport.

I met up with another section of my Triumph club, at a Co-Op petrol station whose post code was not recognised by my Sat Nav. We proceeded into the site by the long route over many sleeping policemen and the impression was, from the number of caravans, that it was a sizeable show.

There were plenty of tractors, including the square wheeled one, but very few cars or stalls. I gather that the number of cars was greater on the Sunday. As I said it was a brand new event so there is room for improvement.

Anne D

What Noise?

Kit cars can be so annoying and if one is not careful, very expensive.

I run a Quantum with a CVH engine and gearbox and had become somewhat complacent about the small oil leak from the near side drive shaft. Nothing much to worry about until it started to make noises but still I did everything to put off changing the box. The noise was not bad. Along came Stoneleigh show and I book in at a hotel for several nights. Quantum readied for trip and off we go but the noise is there. Is it louder than it has been or do I imagine it? Did I top up the box? Can't remember and yes the noise is worse. I get to within 100 yards of the hotel and 17 ban-shees let rip and I unintentionally stop suddenly. Oh boy! The box has seized but I get to the hotel car park - eventually.

Next day I get the RAC along and after hearing the noises it's confirmed. "The gearbox has broken. We'll get you towed home." They did and I grab the BMW and bolt back to Stoneleigh. I take less time to get there than any sane person as the average speed is ?4.4 MPH. That's when I realise why some of the 7 type manufacturers are turning to BMWs as donors!

Anyway I had my spare box rebuilt then wished I had done it myself as it cost me £240 plus gear box oil - close to £30 more. The box is changed and Aylesford Priory show calls and the Quantum gets there but it's making noises. I won't dwell on the show other than to say that I enjoyed it very much and we were able to get several new members I believe.

I was one of the last to leave - as usual I was nattering - and only got to the middle of the village when this "noise" started up and it sounded very expensive. "Hello Mr RAC Help!"

They arrived very quickly and I told him what I thought it was and he asked me to drive it slowly while he listened. "Hmm. That's the gearbox gone." "But I have only just had it rebuilt" says I.

Out with the jack and up with the nearside front. All sorts of push, pull and twist but nothing. "That's odd. I don't know what it is" from Mr RAC. "How about if I start it and run the engine so we can listen?" "Ok" he says. There was not a bit of noise. "Can we jack it the other side and do the same" I asked. Reluctantly "Ok", he said again. Up it goes and the wheel is about to fall off. The wheel bearing has totally collapsed.

It seems that the noise from the wheel bearing was travelling down the shaft, into the differential and making it sound as if the gearbox was the culprit. When the bearing was cold there was no noise - Strange. The moral - don't believe everything you hear, check it out then do it again, if necessary, get someone else to listen to the noises and trace it. - but not two RAC men!

Had I been a bit more careful I could have saved myself about £200. It's all sweet and quiet now though.


Events from August 2016 Grin Factor

KKCC Weekend Trip to France

Any trip be it plane, ferry or tunnel which starts with an unexpected delay can be a real problem especially if any onward connections are going to be missed. We certainly got the delay but nothing worse. A delay plus an apparently disorganised Eurotunnel was, after a couple of hours, followed by the relief of loading on to the train. The run through the tunnel was quick and problem free leaving aside the special attention the writer got when swabbed for explosives and found not guilty.

From then on the run down to Sois-sons gave a continued chance to get settled into the myriad of French road signs which can change priority, and maybe other things depending on the location therefore making the uninitiat-ed very attentive. Where the roads opened up came the chance to let the cars stretch their legs a little with per-haps a little more freedom than at home and the feeling these roads were meant to get you from A to B more quickly than those we had left behind. Some of the uphill and downhill corkscrews and the yellow car in front told you a lot about what you were driving.

Passing through wide and open rolling countryside, interspersed villages, in cars meant to be driven and the heavens not wanting to spoil things made the kilometres no problem except maybe the V eighters and their fuel gauges. All antianxiety facilities for fuelling both cars and drivers together with comfort stops were very adeptly catered for as detailed in the itinerary and in some cases very welcome. There was a planned stop for lunch and a meet up with the Ferry Folk. From then on the run in to Soissons and the hotel, a drink and dinner, were well within sight. John and Ann made it in time to join in with our first meal together to make the party complete and with a fully working example of a Westfield unlike its cousin.

As a base for the next couple of days Ian's choice of hotel and its location would be difficult to better and immediately set the scene for a really pleasant and enjoyable evening in the restaurant.

The Saturday run to the town of Provins took us to a Medieval World Heritage site which without exaggeration was awe-inspiring, think Dover Castle x 10! Even the weather was still playing the game leaving no disappoint for the entire day. Hopefully the pictures will live up to the thousand word adage and backed up by the memories of all us.

Back in Soissons that evening a walk down into the town and an invigorating evening in a local restaurant with a meal and a well-chosen wine, available in quantity, rounding off another day to remember.

After breakfast, Sunday's start to the day was morning coffee in close by Coucy-le-Chateau-Auffrique then moving on to Pierrefonds with its Chateau; again very imposing architecture, leav-ing an impression of a very opulent life style for those of a privileged birth right at that time in history.

Afternoon refreshment in Longpont and a short trip back to the hotel left the evening to be enjoyed with a meal and very good company. Monday, our last day included the return journey home with a stop at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme which is on the Somme estuary and full of French character with good food served alfresco in the sunny but protected from the wind quayside, restaurant. From Saint Valery our route home took us on a short hop to Montreuil-sur-Mer for a comfort stop and then on to Calais.

The Eurotunnel home was this time running pretty much on schedule and arrival back at Folkestone meant back to British "No Summer" Time. All the cars performed well with the exception of a certain red one but everyone making it home under their own steam.

I'm sure that everyone on this trip would want me to thank Ian and Miri for the time, effort and expertise which was given to us in the way of a really memorable long weekend in France and the company we all enjoyed so much under the banner of the Kent Kit Car Club.

Ross W

Gatwick Aviation Museum Classic Car Show

Having been contacted by some friends who were organising this one day show we thought we would give it a go. The show was held for the first time at the aviation museum which is based alongside the runway at Gatwick airport. Though not far from home we went down on the Saturday to assist with the setup, with the local fish and chip van making an appear-ance on the Saturday evening for dinner.

The rain came in on Saturday evening and was still with us for most of Sunday. This his didn't dampen the spirt of some of the exhibitors and traders who were turning up from 7am.

The rain did however keep some of the visitors away, which meant the day was relatively quiet. Assuming it runs next year we will support it as the muse-um displays will be improving as they fulfil their development plans and it is hoped that next year they can have the Shackleton running.

The museum is free entry although a suggested donation of £5 is requested. This is a show where you pay to exhibit, as a number are now doing, again the cost is £5. With a number of aircraft under cover and a few outside this is a very pleasant little museum that is worth a visit if you are ever in the area.

Ian G

Chateau Impney Hill Climb 2016

Chateau Impney is a French style Chateau just outside Droitwich and first ran as a hill climb in 1957. The course is in the extensive Chateau grounds and ran for a period of ten years with the annual event stopping in 1967.

The impressive heritage combined with the breathtaking setting overlooked by the truly magnificent Chateau lead the way to the return of the event in 2015. The course was lengthened and received MSA approval and the 2015 meeting was endorsed by the 200 entrants as a demanding course for even the most experienced competitors.

The success of last year's televised meeting with 10,000 spectators resulted in much effort and greater expense invested for this year's meeting and the facilities for spectators from car parking, track side viewing, spectator stands and facilities were superb. Above all else the paddocks for the competitors' cars were totally unrestricted to spectators.

Practising on Saturday allowed competitors to enjoy the required opportunity to get bedded in and give us a taste as to what was to come on Sunday. One unfortunate incident at the roundabout led to a beautiful Bugatti on its side with the driver trapped in the car. The response of the marshals and medical team was nearly instantaneous lifting and holding the car while the driver was extricated and as a result he was able to walk away. There was a Medivac helicopter on call very close by which was not needed. During the practice runs the paddocks remained open to spectators to get right up close to the cars. It would be difficult to get across the variation of car types other than to say that if it had a competition heritage in type or make it was represented with the opportunity to talk with drivers, mechanics and owners.

To leave the subject of car types without at least trying to give at least an idea of the range they covered would not be right. Aero engined leviathans to Austin sevens, all classes of formula open wheeled, saloons of every type and age and even a steam powered operational hill climb car called Whistling Billy.

The racing was stopped for a short while for the Red Devils Parachute Team to show their skill and accu-racy by precision landing from 13,000 feet onto not much more than a tennis court and that was all ten of them complete with red smoke trails. With a free funfair for the children dad could breathe easy and roam freely in the paddocks.

From a personal angle I was very pleased to find out that a customer of ours, Julian Wilton, who lives just around the corner from us was driving one of the four ERA's running on Sunday and has got a replica Jaguar D type to keep it company. Don't know how that one past me.

It's a fair distance to get up there but talking with my brother who said his day at Silverstone GP was a bit processional I think that the Chateau was well worth the visit and there is an option to look up some of the really beautiful stone built villages like Chipping Camden on the way home.

Ross W

Motorsport at the Palace 2016

A few members ventured in to London on the Saturday of this event to display our cars, promote the club and watch some great cars being put through their paces.

Broni and I again decided to make a weekend of it by camping up there even though this event is less than 30 minute drive from home.

Setting up on the Saturday allowed us to see the competitors and their cars arriving. Discussing these cars with their owners over a beer or 2 is great and everyone was relaxed and willing to talk.

This year the show was under new management which gave it a new layout that was not to everyone's liking. A few teething problems were also uncovered on the Saturday morning with exhibitors being given mixed directions on where to park up. The racing however was as good as ever with a good mix of vehicles competing. For those who have been before you will know that the track is not that long, so to see the lap record being beaten on the Sunday by 0.9 of a second was impressive. For the same driver to get within 0.1 of this on the next day proves it wasn't a one off.

Very quickly the weekend was over; a hint of Castrol R still lingered on the breeze as the last spectators made their way through the park gates and the sun began to set on the old foundations of the Crystal Palace.

The cars and motorcycles were quietly being loaded onto their trailers, their work done. With that we joined in packed up and also headed home. A great weekend with lots of interest in the cars, and £298 collected for Help for Heroes.

Ian G

Events from June 2016 Grin Factor

Heavy Horse show - Blindley Heath 21-22 May 2016

First show of the season for The Leng and Giles Family and I was feeling anxious as it was the first show with our 6-month old puppy "Poppy". This year we were accompanied by Ray and Joan too.

Arrived Friday evening and we were soon back into the swing of setting up the Pennine Pathfinder (our home for the weekend/second home for most of the summer). We like this show as it is quite a quiet small event and you can camp by your exhibit meaning you don't have to venture far if you don't want to.

The show is mainly based around Heavy Horses but has other attractions too including a Dog Show, Falconry Display, miniature horses, classic cars, tractors, ploughing competitions, Donkey rides and of course the inevitable stationary steam engines.

The weather on Saturday was a bit hit and miss although we are hardy campers now and can cope with most things. Despite the unsettled weather there were quite a few people interested in the cars and as usual the children's cars seemed the most popular. A lot of people found it hard to believe that Ray's car is made out of a plastic pedal bin.

Sunday saw much better weather and inevitably a larger number of cars. The show was very well attended. Even the dog was enjoying herself, so much so, that Ian had to buy her a camping chair as she insisted in sitting on ours in the sunshine.

Ellie, my eldest, took advantage of being so close to Gatwick and surprisingly took to plane watching with binoculars on the roof of Ian's campervan; laid out in the sun. The afternoon saw a long wait in a queue for the cars to enter the arena, although once in they were watched by many.

I would highly recommend this show as it is small, relaxed and enjoyable and if you are in to horses this is definitely one not to be missed.

Katie L

The British Motor Museum

Some time ago I offered to pull a trip together to the recently revamped British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire. The offer was met with "Burning Apathy" so I decided not to plan such an event for the moment.

More recently I received an invitation to attend the "CLUB EXPO 2016" meeting at the Museum, which was being staged by the Museum itself. So early on the morning of Saturday 19 March (yes, the morning after the Club AGM), Shirley and I left for Gaydon with the expectation of getting there in time for the 9.00 start.

A trouble free run saw us queuing up for a breakfast in the museums excellent restaurant just before 9.00 and we were joined by Paul and Diane Loveridge who had decided to join us for the visit and afterwards.

The purpose of the meeting was to relaunch the revamped Museum as well as give invited club officials the opportunity to hear about developments in the historic/classic car world and benefit from a number of workshops being delivered.

Simon Carr from the Museum welcomed those attending and outlined the improvements made to the Museum and their aspirations. The size and value of the classic car/vehicle industry was discussed and it was very interesting to learn that there are over one million vehicles (1,039,950) registered with DVLA as being of the Historic category.

The largest group by manufacturer is MG(6%) followed by Ford(5%),Triumph(5%) and Land Rover(4%); incidentally cars account for 49% of all registrations, motorcycles are 29%, vans, buses & coaches, etc. are 12% and agricultural tractors count for 10%.

The seminars available dealt with the launch of the FBHVC 2016 survey of the whole industry and owners of Historic vehicles, "Parts Supply", Safe driving of classic cars, & "What's your classic car worth?" The workshops addressed topics such as "The Motor Sport Association", Social Media" and "Concours Workshop".

Paul and I took advantage of a couple of the seminars/workshops, whilst Diane & Shirley went for a stroll around the museum in general. We found the seminar on "What's your classic car worth?" very interesting and confirmed what we already thought about the pricing & values of some classic cars.

Some are a very good investment indeed and there were useful pointers to trends and what cars to look out for as appreciating assets.

Points were also made about the pleasures of actually using your classic car and not just putting it into storage, waiting for its value to go up or not as sometimes happens.

The workshop on "Concours" was interesting and we had an almost one to one with the leader of this particular workshop. It proved to be a most illuminating insight to the mind/s and attitudes of "Concours" organisers and judges.

A combination of attention to detail combined with a heavy dose of "Anorakitis" is obviously needed, as well a thick skin to deal with "aggrieved" owners who have not won when they "know" they should have!

We sampled the wares on offer in the Cafe for lunch and then commenced our tour of the museum which is most impressive. It has been very well reorganised and has a host of interesting and historically significant exhibits on display.

It is so easy to lose track of time as you gaze and scrutinise the cars, etc. on show. We also took the opportunity to visit the adjacent "New Arrivals" building which at the time of our visit had about 100+ vehicles, including many development cars in storage, but available for viewing by visitors.

The Jaguar heritage collection was also on show there, but without any real effort to present them well. To be fair this part of the museum was still work in progress, but fascinating nevertheless to see and reminisce about.

Time flew and it was soon time to leave and find our way to a nearby hotel for the obligatory refreshment and evening meal.

During the evening and over a beer or two more memories of some of the cars we'd seen, and things we used to get up with some of them originally were recalled, and occasionally censored!!

A hearty "Full English" next morning set us up for the journey home which wasn't too difficult and over quite quickly. We all enjoyed our short weekend, focussed on the British Motor Museum and agreed that, with different timings, it could form the basis for an enjoyable and sociable weekend away.

As always it only needs someone to organise it and for the "Burning Apathy" to be overcome. Maybe next year we should try again?

Chris P

Events from April 2016 Grin Factor

Enigma buid Part 8

Unfortunately, things have conspired against me since the last update and very little has been done to the Enigma.

I have repositioned the rear subframe to allow better fitting of the fuel tank, which I have also repositioned with new brackets, but that is about it.

The trouble with this time of year is the number of shows and events that I attend with the Zero; couple that with a very busy workshop and a family bereavement and the Enigma has lost out.

There is no rush with this hobby of ours though as long as it doesn't stagnate.

I've also had some more trouble with the Zero which manifested itself at the CKC/Omex track day at Llandow.

Basically the engine seized solid after about 12 laps which was very frustrating but now that I wasn't driving a few beers cheered me up no end.

On returning home I stripped the Zetec down and found that No1 big end bearing had tried to escape (it had melted and squeezed out of the cap).

On further inspection I found the culprit to be a lack of oil caused by a blocked pick up filter. When I first purchased the Raceline sump it was already assembled and so I didn't realise that the tiny oil pickup filter was a serviceable item.

This filter was gummed up solid after 13'000 miles. I think that might be another lesson learnt! The engine was soon rebuilt though thanks to a fellow Kent Kit Car club member who donated a barely used Zetec (cheers Alan).

Although I didn't get much track time at Llandow I wasn't disappointed as the weekend as a whole was fantastic. The track is great, the people are great and the camping on Friday and Saturday night makes for a very enjoyable break. Role on May.

The Stoneleigh show still seems to be the best show of the year but it does seem to be stagnating. I know the weather plays a big part but I think the show needs more entertainment to attract partners and not just kit car nuts, not sure what though.

The London to Brighton run is also a yearly favourite but last year the organisation (and weather) left a little bit to be desired; so I'm not sure about doing it this year, which would be a shame.

I also attended Motorsport at the Palace for the third time (a hill climb at Crystal Palace) and although a fairly small event it is good fun. There are some very interesting vehicles attempting the climb including a good percentage of kit cars and each driver gives it their all.

I'm now looking forward to the Castle Combe show which will be interesting as the kit car show has combined with a classic/retro show. There is also track time, balloon rides, drifting and vintage bus rides around the local village. Is this the future of our shows....time will tell.

Andy G

What? Or Make Them Laugh

What do I write about for our es-teemed editor to help fill his / our magazine this month?

Oh! By the way, has anybody come across a well-cooked dinosaur since the last issue? You are now saying "What's that idiot going on about now?" Well you would know if you had read your last issue so go and find it and read it properly 'cause I aint going to tell you!

I recon we as a club should go for a Guinness Book of Records ..erm.. record. I think we could get in with the biggest "number of hip replacements in any Kit Car Club". Just a quick count gets me to 9 and I may well have missed one or more. Just a thought!

A friend and I decided we needed a break from the area where we both live so decided the West Country or Somerset, Devon and Cornwall needed our attention for a few days. We decided to go on 29th Feb but a few days before we were supposed to depart that from Friday to the Monday was too long to wait so we left on the Saturday.

The first port of call was Sparkford and the Haynes Motor Museum. It has the facade of a London office block now with electrically opening doors which don't until you walk into them. Apparently they don't work very quickly when it's very cold; we were told -after I had found out.

It's still and incredible place to go to and we could well have spent another couple of hours more in there but "Time and tide wait for no man" as someone once said but I don't know who, when or where.

In any case we all knew that all along and your ticket is reusable as many times as you like for 12 months.

The boat museum was also visited - I think that's at Falmouth - and in one section the lift goes down 2 floors and you are under the water level. Glass panels let you see fish swimming about (only small ones though) and there is a rope with oysters & mussels growing on it.

A little (about 4" 6') lady down there explained things to us and invited us to feel the weight around the diving suit that helped to hold a diver on the sea bed. I decided to pass that one when told it could be between 20 and 60 lbs.

Cheddar Gorge - of caves and cheese fame; weather brilliant. Off with the roof, on with the sun glasses, on with the radio and off we go up the gorge singing at the top of our voices (very badly I must add). Back down again, on with the roof, off with the sun glasses and into one of the many cafes for coffee. Fifteen minutes later we come out into a blizzard.

Yep! Snow, real white snow. We left and escaped the area, but it was fun.

The only other place of note that we visited was Babbacombe Model Village - Fantastic. If you have not been there make a note that you must go. It's one to "See before you die" but give yourself 3 to 4 hours to go around it all and you will probably miss something. I'm sure we did as it was so cold we had to give in after about two hours.

Regrettably we had to come home but we stayed at three excellent places for two nights each, we found some super eateries with terrific staff all ready to have a laugh with us. Well, put one finger in the air and yell "GARKON" who comes over laughing when he is asked if he would mind sending over the BAR STEWARD over.

From then on it was fits of laughter all the time and they said they had enjoyed our company so much we did not have to pay for the sweet after the meal (£13) which really finished our break superbly.


The Chatham Dockyard Show

To me this show was very "disappointing"? Very short on cars. Seven or eight kit cars and two of them were not from KKCC There was a nice Ultima well away from us and another "Old style American" kit that used to belong to the club, actually in with the American cars but I did not see the owners.

There were no busses or lorries and only a couple of GPO Morris Minor vans on display. It all seemed to be getting further away from cars, lorries, busses and coaches (I saw 3). I feel that it's losing its way as a "Transport" show. The Steam Punk village had the complete top floor above the lifeboats which I went to have a look at mainly to get out of the rain and the stage area with "look and sound alikes" of the Blues Brothers, Abba and Elvis together with a Country and Western group - by far the best of Sunday.

Five or six very heavy lots of rain took their toll and having to pay £5.00 to show your own car put off a lot of owners I am sure. The public entry fee of £15.50 must have certainly kept many away.

Now, about this rain;- Ocelot, the submarine, is in a "real dry dock" but they were pumping the water out to stop it escaping down the river and all the cars were noticeably cleaner when they left than when they arrived! What rain?

Monday was a better day weather-wise but it did try to blow most away. It had been successful at getting most of the gazeebos and tents down overnight so many of the stall holders and the dogs (the big black ones that are there every year) and the cake tent had left by Monday morning, besides several food & drink stalls.

Only four kit cars - all from the club - turned up on Monday and two of us braved both days. Motorcycles? Well there were only 12 on Sunday and 9 on Monday. Last year when I counted them on Sunday, I think there were 42 or 46.

To fill up the Museum Square on Monday they brought the traction engines and steam rollers down as there was such a space in the middle where cars had not turned up.

Speaking to several of the people that I have got to know from this and other shows the consensus of opinion was that they would have to think about whether they would be back next year.

The kit cars were supposed to be along "the mast house" or as it used to be called "wooden walls" but building work had not been finished - the builder went broke I was told - and the whole area was still shut off.

I also found that the Police Station museum has vanished. I asked someone that I know who works in the yard and was told that they were "not in keeping with the dockyard" and were therefore "requested to leave".

One more poke at the current setup. The Navy contingent were nowhere to be seen - not at the Royal Dockyard? Instead their place had been taken by a, how do I put this, local new car sales area! What on earth have they got to do with a dockyard?

Is this show going the same way as many of the (Ex)kit car shows did?


Events from February 2016 Grin Factor

Enigma build part 7

Well, so much for getting the engine running in the next couple of months. Don't ever set targets, you just get frustrated when you don't meet them.

I'd received the new doors and therefore set about fitting all the body-work on and lining it all up. This isn't a job you want to tackle alone so I enlisted the help of Alan again (fellow club member) and we got together one Sunday and gave it a go. However, it soon became apparent that this task was not going to be simple.

When we fitted the windscreen we'd decided to keep the top of the "a" post which has the top door hinge bracket and removed the bracket from the chassis. This would hopefully help with lining up the door to the wind-screen, however this wasn't to be. We said at the time that in hindsight we should have kept the whole "a" post and both hinge brackets.

The words hindsight and retro-spect were used quite a lot that day and at the end of the day, although every-thing was on and the doors opened and shut (sort of) neither of us were happy with the results.

The next day I decided that I would act on our hindsight and set about finding another cheap donor car which I promptly found for £300.

What I had decided to do was graft the cockpit section of the donor into the new chassis which would mean the doors would line up perfectly, the seats would be in the right place and the hood would fit first time (yeah right).

Anyway the donor was quickly stripped and then cut up to leave just the centre section; so far so good. I braced the donor with angle iron to prevent any twisting. We then set aside another Sunday for the "implant".

The cockpit was mounted on the 2 post lift and the new chassis was pushed underneath. We lowered the cockpit down onto the chassis and started to pare away all the material that wasn't needed and slowly but surely the two came together. This was a long process but by the end of the day the two sections were welded together. The doors were on, as were the sills and the soft top.

Amazingly everything fitted perfectly first time. At this stage everything was only tacked together so there was still a lot of welding and patching to be done but I was very happy with the result.

This process will obviously add quite a bit of weight to the car but with the V8 power, who cares. It was never going to be a track car.

The Enigma has now been to its first show. Our club always used the Detling show as its premier event, but as that show has now ceased we've adopted the Heritage Transport Show at the same place. I'm not sure if this is the right venue for kit cars as there were more buses there than cars but with shows disappearing, beggars can-not be choosers, perhaps we need to get together with classic, custom, hot rod and American clubs before we lose our shows altogether. However, the club had about 40 cars there and did attract a lot of interest.

Sometimes it is easy to become disillusioned when building a kit car, but if you can think of a way around the problem or ask for help from someone with more experience, then you can move on quickly, otherwise it can sit in the garage and very easily become a chore.

I am now happy with the body fitment, which means I can now remove it all and carry on with the mechanical tasks, however progress will now slow down as I've become very busy in the workshop and the show season has started. Also, when it's sunny I'd much rather go for a blat in my Zero than work on the Enigma in a dingy garage.

I always thought that this project would take 2-4 years so there's no rush..............yet.

Andy G

My theory about the Dye-No-Saws

On the odd occasion I think of odd things. This is not unusual as I am rather "odd". The other year I was wondering if all the boffins were really right about how, what we now term as dinosaurs, were actually wiped out.

We are never going to be absolutely sure as we were not around 165 million years ago so we can all speculate and for all we know we could all be right.

The scientists are saying that when the dinos were around the oxygen levels on earth were around 30% higher than they are today and that a day and night were around 36 hours.

OK, we give them that but I have a different theory about how the Earth changed when the asteroid, meteorite or whatev-er hit us, which perhaps they were also right about.

How's this though. The Earth is spinning clockwise and this big chunk of space debris comes tearing through space at about 1,000,000 plus miles an hour and hits us just about where is now the Northern coast of South America at an angle, which makes the Earth spin faster so the day goes from 36 hours to 24.

It does not hit it dead square so starts it wobbling a bit and causes a real upset everywhere. Most of the ferns, trees etc. start to die off as they cannot cope with the shorter days and oxygen levels become lower - not enough for the giants to live on - end of dinos but some do adapt very quickly - particularly the small ones.

When the big rock hit the Earth they worked out there was an explosion similar to "X" number of nuclear bombs going off and a heat wind raced around the Earth wiping out most of life but I have not heard of anybody finding a "cooked" dino or even a dino skeleton showing signs of being fried.

However had man been around when the dinos ruled the Earth they may not have had it all their own way because we could have been 15 feet tall, weighed about 50 stones and probably wore size 47 shoes (English size) We may well have killed them all off in very few years as we did with the Do-dos.

However we had to let the Earth settle down a bit so we gave it about 160,000,000 years before we came along and started to destroy it. Why did we take so long to make our presence known? Well I have this theory that .....


Events from December 2015 Grin Factor

A year abroad

Like most of you, I can't believe that the time goes so quickly. I have been retired officially now two and a half years and how I managed to fit in work I will never know!!

It's been a frustrating year in some ways, regarding the car, MVO Roadster. I have really tried, with a lot of help, to get the car registered here in France. I took it to the Test Station (Control Technique) and it passed.

I managed to get some basic Insurance in place so that I might get some use from it and I did. But still the powers that be will not register it. I have been dealing with an organization which is similar to the RAC, not the breakdown dept. the FFVE which deals with re-registering vehicles shipped over from the USA, military vehicles and old vehicles in general.

The trouble is there is no feedback from them and this is so frustrating. You've guessed it, the main problem I have is that I built the car and not a manufacturer. My only solution now is to wait till it gets to 40yrs old, which is only eighteen months away, and then have the V5 changed to say its Road Tax exempt in the UK.

Then it's classed as a Classic/Collectable here and I can then get Insurance and am able to keep it on UK plates. I Hope.

As I said, I have been able to use the car and when I get the chance I go to St Brieuc, Port Legue, for a gathering of cars which is organized by the ABVA (Association Bretonne Vehicles Anciens) and this is a meeting held on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Often I am accompanied by Roy in his TR 6 and Glenn on a 60's BMW. All types of vehicles attend this event, as well as cars there are motorbikes and small commercial vehicles. The oldest I have seen there is from 1906 through to modern classics.

When possible I visit local Fete's as there are always a few vehicles on show and if I just show up they let me into the event, no booking and no entry fee. As you might imagine the car always attracts a crowd and when it's explained to them that it is the "only one" of its kind they find it hard to believe.

It's impossible for the French to do something like this, I am only just starting to see some Kit Cars here and some of those have come in through the back door via Belgium.

Fete de Ble Noir (Buckwheat Bread) St Samson, this village is just a Km. down the road from me. This is a one day Fete and there are lots of stalls selling produce, bread is made and sold on site as well as catering for up to about 600 people for a sit down 4 course meal.

Apart from all this going on with the car I have some friends who are into motorbikes and I try to get out with them as often as I can. The advantage we have here is that the Spring/Summer starts earlier and finishes later so, weather permitting, which mode of transport to take for the Sunday run in December?

I hope you all there have enjoyed your summer, I still enjoy reading about the events that you all go to and I can assure you Ian, my mag gets read, cover to cover on the day it arrives whilst having a coffee.

One day I might just be in the UK when it's club night so might get to see you all. If any of you want to come over to Brittany to drive the lovely roads I have here you would be most welcome.

I can put you in touch with people who have Gites or B&B's.

Colin U

What a great day out

Malcolm Smith and I together with Brenda and Sue took to the roads on the 20th September. We drove in gentle Cobra way to Orpington.

The St Christopher's Hospice Classic Car Show was in full swing when we arrived; the guys on the gate directed us to our designated spot along side 9 other KENT KIT CAR CLUB cars, the weather was great warm and dry just right for open top motoring and wandering around some 500 Classics that include my favourites- American Muscle.

The displays were as good as they come, classic rollers lovely collection of Rovers, Austin specials, Military vehicles of all descriptions, Busses and many, many more happy owners showing off their pride and joy and of course, 11 lovely Kit Built cars which got a lot of attention from the hoards of visiting public.

One of the highlights of the show was the club's visit to the display ring and being interviewed about our cars; where, when and how etc. We all said our bit promoting our love of Hand Built cars and of course the KKCC.

As I said my love of American cars was really satisfied, there were several Mustangs one of which had been totally overhauled and is worth lots and lots of Dollars. Similarly the Corvettes from early 70's up to modern times made a wonderful display with the odd Chevy truck thrown in.

We did interrupt our tour, as you do, with a bacon roll and chips with the usual cup of tea. However the trade stands were very good with lots of food stands to satisfy your hunger and quite a few selling clothes, Model Toys, as well as car bits and lots more.

I wish to thank our Chairman Chris for the invite and I know that his hard work in organising the show to raise money for the hospice was well worth it I was told around £15,000 was collected as a donation to St Christopher's Hospice.

Next Year I would recommend that you attend this lovely show all info will be in the Grin Factor.


The first Kit to be displayed at the Dorset Steam Fair?

The first Kit to be displayed at the Dorset Steam Fair?

My idea to exhibit my Ansfold Caravan at the Great Dorset Steam Fair began some years ago at a meeting of the Portafold and Ansfold folding caravans. Fuelled by Broni's and Ian's success in not only getting in to exhibit their models but to walk off with the first prize at their first attempt, I had two day visits to approach the section leader as to how I could receive an invite to exhibit. In no uncertain terms it was made known that Kit cars were not approved of.

On my second visit I was some-what more exertive, pointing out that there were three Portafolds and no Ansfolds. I was advised to send in some photos and some interesting comments about my 'van. I duly did this, including the details I use for show purposes that mentioned that it was towed by a Vincent Hurricane. In 2014 I received an application for both the 'van and car.

Then disaster, I broke my hip putting up said 'van.

Ian, knowing that a no show would jeopardise any future invites, kindly offered to tow the 'van down if I could find someone to take me down. My sister obliged.

When 2015's forms arrived I asked my sister for her car registration number to be told that, as I had GG; Horse power, I could take that. I was happy with that as the previous year her Golf had skidded over the tops of the ruts of the approach roads and I had no wish to have the Hurricane's exhaust ripped off.

In the event a lot of work had been done on the roads to make them passable so only a few, including Ian, needed a tow. This did not prevent the vehicles becoming mud splattered and I experienced a little twitch from the unit as I turned into the Vintage display area. Having cleaned the vehicles every day, dust replacing the mud towards the end of the week, a spray of mud was delivered on the way out; was that the steamers lightening their weight by discharging their water?

We had travelled down on the Bank Holiday Monday to ease set up time and to acquaint ourselves with the whole set up. We had assistance with putting up the 'van but we managed the awning ourselves.

I was given an exhibitors' number for the 'van but not for GG, but was told to park it in with the exhibits. I became aware that three stewards were looking at GG and taking details; later on I was asked if I was the proud owner of the vehicle and on confirmation that I was I was provided with a number which stipulated that it was to be in the arena on the Thursday and the prestigious Saturday!

The commentator was complimentary saying that his brother had built one of these vehicles indicating that they were examples of the era. Great; I now have three vehicles to cherish for future generations.

I did hear some comments as to why that vehicle was there but mostly they were reminiscing about family ownerships.

The comments about the 'van were similar, recognising the curtain fabric, confirming that I have the original, but that the BBQ was not of the period. Next year I will be on my own so will lighten the 'van and take a two burner hob (I do not like to cook in the 'van, bedsit days) and take a gardening chair that I have from the time I moved into my house, being of the era, and use a gingham cloth to cover my modern table.

To the show itself; last year I was unable to explore but it is massive.

The steamers playing in their pen is a delight to see, there are all forms of historic vehicles, military and commercial, and an array of gipsy caravans on sale, an informative talk about varieties of sheep and their place in our world and falconry displays. Vast food and craft halls and of course Broni's and Ian's craft model tent where a one way system was in operation to accommodate the crowds. There was also a vast amount of stalls and auto jumble.

It was unfortunate that the show fell during schools' term time so numbers were down and there were not the enthusiastic youngsters helping with the steamers but I was aware of the cheaper evening entry boosting numbers after the day activities had closed.

The organisers are improving the site; as well as the hard core for the roads there has been earth moving to mitigate the effects of bad weather and more of the vacuum loos were installed. On the down side we had further to go for our water supply, requiring a walk along and across the muddy access road.

As indicated above, if invited, it is my intention to tow the caravan with the Hurricane, so who knows, there may be a second kit in the arena

Anne D

Jaguar XKSS part 2

This will be more of a general "padding" for the SS as really it was just a "D" type Jaguar with a few refinements to make it a race car for the road together with a badge on the front proclaiming "This is a Jaguar XKSS" but everybody knew what is was as soon as they saw it.

The fin and head-rest of the "D" had gone and instead of the Perspex wrap around screen it had a glass one with a real alloy surround and alloy framed side screens.

Two wiper blades helped to see and some vestige of silencing was added. However I read that the "silencing" of the "D" was 105dB and the SS was much quieter at 104dB! I think that was attributed to Norman Dewis who did much of the test driving of the D, SS, XK13, E and the XK220 and many of the saloons between about 1952 and whenever he retired.

He is now 92 but I gather is still a demon of a driver. He was at Goodwood this year and asked if he would care to drive a D in a demonstration drive. Little did they know just what he could do as after two laps of him heading the field away he had overtaken the last two cars to set off.

Can I please be like that when I am 92.

I mentioned the XK13. This was to be the "G" type and was a mid-engine car of 5 litre capacity; perhaps to be developed to win the Le Mans in the 60s but BMC were involved with Jaguar at the time and nothing was done to develop it at all and only one was built.

So if you see one on the road, you will probably be seeing one of the, I believe, two "look alikes" that were built by one of the kit manufacturers - sorry, I can't remember who it was.

If you get a chance to see the above mentioned cars in side view you will see the Sayer influence follows the line right through from the D to the XK8 even.

He went to jaguar in 1951 and as they wanted a quicker car for Le Mans he designed the D which when tested (with the same engine) was 20 mph quicker straight off. When they added the fin later it was reported that the car was much more stable down the Mulsanne straight as the back stopped lifting at about 160 mph.

In 1954, or was it 1955? Jaguars were supreme at Le Mans coming home 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 which I don't think has ever been, or will now ever be, beaten. That is of course unless you know better.

My last shot; I believe that it was 1966 or 67 that Honda went to the TT on the Isle of Man with six works 125cc bikes and they finished 1,2,3,4 & 6. I am sure that when Terry Sullivan reads this there will be an article putting me right in no uncertain terms if I'm wrong!

P.S. Please don't tell anyone where you heard it but there is a rumour circulating that Sam Harpa is thinking his next kit build could be a D type.


Events from October 2015 Grin Factor

Jaguar XKSS

Sam Harpa invited club members to see his new business set up a couple of weeks ago over at Faversham - so being my usual nosey self, I went to "Investigate."

Wow! That's all I can say. You have heard of spotlessly clean - so you think! You will have to see if for yourself to believe it as I cannot put into words how immaculate it is.

Sorry about the footprints on the floor Ian but I am practicing to float one inch above it in future.

One of the cars that was there was a kit to be built into a Jaguar XKSS. These are so rare that I have never seen a real one but I thought I would find out more about them as I realised that other than the fact that they were modified D types I really knew nothing about them.

It all started when Jaguar found they could not sell all the D types they had made as they were long distance race cars that started life in 1954 and were built to win Le Mans 24 hours - which they did - and in 1957 finished 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.

This was really the last time the "factory" cars ran these as the rules were changed so that only 3 litre cars were allowed to race and Jaguar has purpose built the 3.4 litre and could not get the 3.0 litre right it would seem.

Could not sell the Ds? Well Harold Ireland Ltd, a Manchester garage was trying to sell one in August 1958 for £2,995 and today if you can get a proper all alloy one you will pay around £750,000 to £1.3 million - according to its history.

Nobody seems to be really certain how many Ds were built but 67 crops up and of these the factory turned 16 into XKSSs before the fire at the factory stopped that going any further.

Of the 16 only one stayed in England while 12 went to the USA, 2 to Canada and one to Hong Kong.

Much later 2 D types were converted and one other - before the works did it - was modified by Duncan Hamilton for road use and looked very much like the "real" ones.

Three odd things about the SS were the fixed side screens - no room in the doors to lower the glass.

A luggage rack on the rear deck - the 37 gallon (168 litre) fuel tank took up most of the boot and the rest was filled with the spare wheel.

The last one was the filler cap which was within the fin on the D, but the fin was removed and a hood was fitted which if erected to keep the worst of bad weather at bay, had to be taken down to refuel the car.

One American car magazine tested the SS and gave the following figures: Top speed was 146 mph, 0 - 60 was 5.5 sec, 0 - 100 13.5 sec. Fuel consumption was approximately 12 mpg for road use.


Where did my volts go?

I've had one or two electrical issues on my car recently that have reminded me of lessons I learnt in physics at school and taught me the limitations of multi-meters.

The first was a simple problem with one of the tail lights - it didn't light up when I turned the lights on. Ok, "No Problem" I thought and proceeded to change the bulb. - still no light. I then checked both bulbs with a meter which showed continuity ie both were good.

Hmm - "It will be a bad earth - It always is" echoes in my ear as an often repeated mantra. So I checked the earth with the resistance setting on my meter which showed very low, if any resistance between the bulb holder and ground (more on the futility of this later) and besides, the earth is shared with the indicator bulb and brake lights which were both working well. "OK lets check the voltage" I thought. So I took the bulb out, and measured the voltage between the bulb contact and earth - 12V, or thereabouts. Now I'm confused (sadly easily done these days)

- Good bulb

- Good Earth

- 12 volt supply

- No illumination

What on earth could be going on? I then recalled a tale my Electrical Engineering Manager recounted rather sheepishly one day. This guy was an apprentice trained instrument engineer who was good at his job and for whom I had a lot of respect.

Anyway he was in France on holiday driving his camper van and one morning it wouldn't start - so he checked the battery, and checked the voltage supply to the ignition system with his very expensive professional meter - 12V. Believing that it must be a fault with the electronic ignition he called out a breakdown service.

The mechanic arrived, berry on head, Gauloise in one hand and a grubby collection of wire and a bulb in the other. He proceeds to quickly test the power supply to the ignition with the test lamp which does not light - despite the fact that my colleague had previously measured 12V at the same point.

The conclusion was that there was a fault (high resistance) in the supply wire to the ignition circuit when there was no load (=no current) the voltage still showed as 12V. However when the circuit was under load (trying to illuminate the bulb) there was a voltage drop due to the current and resistance so the bulb would not light (and the ignition would not work.)

In this case the mechanic simply ran in another length of cable and normal operation was restored.

Following this logic, I rigged up a test probe and bulb and checked the circuit from the bulb holder back towards the battery - It soon became apparent that the bulb would not work at the bulb holder, nor at the outlet of the bullet connector just inside the wing but would work at the incoming side of the bullet connector.

In other words there was poor continuity within the bullet connector. (I've never really liked them but they came with the car.) Once the problem was identified it was relatively simple to replace the bullet connector with a spade connector and receptacle and all was well.

When I say "simple" that is a relative term - there was of course the usual problem of trying to work in the small gap between the inner wing and the fuel tank. I could look at it or I could put one hand on it but not both at the same time. There simply was not any room for both my hands so trying to undo the old connection was impossible - I had to cut it out.

Then of course there was barely enough spare cable to make new connections to the spade terminal one handed. However I'm sure you've all suffered from similar problems with space and access.

The real aim of this article is to make the point that if you are trying to trouble shoot electrical circuits it is very often much more informative to do it whilst the circuit is under load.

Ian M

Events from August 2015 Grin Factor

What Magazine?

Speaking to several people at club nights I was surprised to hear that some of them do not actually read the club magazine.

Having heard the same several years ago I don't think they are "leg-pulling" after all.

Our esteemed Editor will, I am sure, wince when he reads this and start thinking "Is it all worth it?" (Too true - Ed)

He spends quite a bit of time getting it ready, collating the articles, correcting the spelling (especially mine), getting it printed, getting it out on time and eventually into our hands.

That's after he has pleaded with us time and again for articles to put in it. Of course, if you don't read it you won't give him an article to put in either.

It's just sunk in! - If you don't read the magazine you won't read this article and it has therefore been a total waste of time as you still will not read the mag.

However those who do, at the next meeting or wherever you and other members are about, please just ask them "do you read the club magazine?" and if they happen to say "No" try to explain that it costs the club money and the Editor time and trouble to send them what they are using to put their coffee mug on to stop the rings appearing on the work bench / table or whatever they do with it.


Ringmer Steam and Country Show

This is a small show on the outskirts of Eastbourne held at the end of July that we have attended for quite a few years now. This year the club was represented by Ray and Joan along with Broni and I so only 2 cars on show.

The weather did its best to dampen things with the journey down in the rain, set up though was dry. Saturday saw the best of the weather with a number of classic cars on display one of which was Robin Beaches Merlin powered Rolls Royce. This is an amazing car and John arranged for the club to go and view it at his house a few years ago.

This is one of the events at which I get a chance to play in the arena at the end of the day, as the safety officer and commentator have got to know me well over the years.

The commentator has tried to carry out his commentary from the passenger seat of the car whilst I have demonstrated its handling. It is safe to say that whilst he had fun he was unable to commentate.

This show has the normal stalls and side shows seen at many of these events, along with a full arena display of anything that moves.

As I type this report I am sat in the Motorhome on the Sunday of the show with the rain again falling. The cars are on display and I have arranged for a tow at the close of the show tonight if the ground conditions start to resemble a ploughed field.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I do this for fun and enjoyment, roll on next weekend and the next show.

Ian Giles

The Sunday Club Run (Second Sunday of the month)

I now go to this "outing" most months even though it may, at times, be in the Suzuki if the Quantum is "sick" or something but there is a "hard core" of about seven cars who come along. Change cars for drivers plus their passengers and often only four cars will turn up as per the May outing. But of course the exception was April when there were nine or ten cars but still the "hard core" and not all in our kit cars.

We don't race about the countryside but do try to get Ian, who usually leads, to have one blast for a few miles somewhere or other but so far we have not lost anyone.

Lunch, if you want it, at the end of the run - around 1:30 pm - is optional & is usually booked before the run starts so we know where we are ending up. It's up to you if you want lunch or just a drink or coffee or indeed, just head off home. There's no "you must do this or that".

By the time we have chatted and had a laugh and eaten it's usually between 3:00 and 3:30 when we break up and so far I have not heard any complaints. I don't think we would take any notice if you did anyway and you would not turn up again would you? However we have space for a couple more cars, why not have a try. You may even enjoy yourself but please don't all come on the next run as the pub can't handle 76 people all at once.

Have a chat on club night with Ian Macquarie or give him a ring early on the Sunday (not too early - Ed) of the run when the sun is shining and you fancy a "tootal" around the countryside for a couple of hours.

See you at the M20 Maidstone Services just after 11:00 maybe?


Motorsport at the palace

A number of members ventured in to London over the 2 days of this event to display our cars, promote the club and watch some great cars being put through their paces.

Broni and I decided to make a weekend of by camping up there even though this event is less than 1/2 hours' drive from home. Setting up on the Saturday allowed us to see the competitors and their cars arriving. Discussing these cars with their owners over a beer or 2 is great and everyone was relaxed and willing to talk.

6.30 Saturday morning we were woken by the sound of race engines being warmed up as more competitor's arrived and cars were moved to the paddock area. We decided to move our cars down to the display area and set up the club stand for the 2 days. The members who arrived on the Sunday had some stories to tell about their journey to the event which I am sure they will write about. Very quickly the weekend was over with a hint of Castrol R still lingered on the breeze as the last spectators made their way through the park gates and the sun began to set on the old foundations of the Crystal Palace.

The cars and motorcycles which had thrilled the fans a few hours earlier were quietly being loaded onto their trailers, their work done. With that we joined in packed up and also headed home, not that it was a long journey for us.

We had space for 10 cars over the 2 days, with only 8 cars turning up (3 on Sunday and 4 on Monday). If you like classic cars and motorsport this is a great event to take part in.

Watch out for this one next year.

Ian Giles

Weald of Kent Show Report 2015

Having been rudely awoken by my Mum and Dad and being told we had a long journey we headed off to the Weald of Kent Show. Problem A: we were in Devon. Problem B: The wonderful UK government had decided to commence "Operation Stack" on our planned route. This started a nor-mal family panic at the thought of Dad-Nav and another magical mystery tour of the south of England!

So... several hours later and a steady journey we arrived at the weald of Kent...and in typical fashion, Dad passed the entrance and we had to do a U-Turn. Simple In a normal car or kit but with the camper in the back a highly difficult manoeuvre that nobody even credited him for!

Having set up, we went to explore and wandered down towards the main arena and see who and what else was taking part in the show. As usual, the fairground was provided by the Harris Brothers' fairground, and surprisingly was powered by steam. With over 100 miniature steam engines and 50+ full size steamers it made it feel like a mini Dorset.

Dad and Amps sampled the quality of the beer, we wandered around and headed back for one of Nan's finest banquets! (For those who don't know what these are like - think Headcorn club BBQ and you won't go too far wrong.)

So we awoke on Saturday - some-what later than planned. We packed lunches unsure if we could get back to the camper at lunchtime due to the restriction possibly in place because of the flying that was taking place during the day. The show started at 10 with a good representation from the club in the form of John Nash, Derek and Darren, Dave Smith along with the Normal Giles/Leng contingent.

Throughout the day a variety of different exhibits were displayed with a large audience applauding and enjoying what was on show. At the close of the show the non-staying members departed home and we retired to the van for another feast. We did manage to get down to the beer tent to listen to the music and have a small go on the fairground.

Sunday was much of the same with more members turning up. We did a tour of the arena as a club with John doing a commentary for the club. Rob joined the members with his cobra.

The sun was glorious again with everyone having to use the essential sun lotions. There was a small opportunity for some of the younger club members to test one of the activities for the club's anniversary event along with some of the desserts being tested to make sure they were up to standard. (Thanks to John for the feedback, and for the entertainment for the day).

By far and away the highlight of both days was the flying display. The combined display by the Turbulent team was easy for even the older eyes to watch. There was some phenomenal aerobatic displays on both days by a highly skilled female pilot and culminating with the land owner demonstrating his skills in an exquisite example of a mustang that even at 20ft off the ground purred like a satisfied cat as it cruised by.

It has to be noted that my Mum, Minutes Secretary for the club, man-aged to drive 4 kit cars over the course of the weekend starting with John Nash's Vincent where John even made her do the commentary in the arena. Mum then drove Johns Red car and Nan's Jago finishing with a very slow drive in Amp's Z100.

All in all, as a first time visit - this rates extremely highly and is well recommended as a day or camping weekend! If anyone is interested then please talk to John, Ian, Derek, Darren or anyone else who attended - they will all rate it very highly!

pen ELLIE p Pitstop

Events from June 2015 Grin Factor

National Kit Car Show - Stoneleigh

I said to Ian that I would get pictures (lots) so he could choose a couple for the Grin Factor. But the best laid plans of spare batteries and heaps of room on the card (digital camera) do not help when the camera itself refused to turn on when I got there. On top of that let down, I am now told it's £60-65 to put it right.

I have not been to Stoneleigh for the last few years so it was good to see people I had missed at the shows.

There were some nice cars there and a few new ones but most seem to be a set of panels to go over a production car with most of its original "clothes" removed first.

Many said the show was not any-where near as good as it has been in the past and from what I could tell the attendance, compared to the last time I went, was well reduced on both days.

I went up on Saturday so joined in the evening meal with - I think - fourteen others. No way am I going to attempt to get through a "Mega Burger". When they come up they are held together with an eight inch wooden skewer! Two brave souls did have them but all of us said they failed to eat them completely having left a piece of tomato each.

The barbecue on Sunday night saw rain and wind having a try to put the Barbie out and blow the gazeebo over but we beat it and I think everyone there had an enjoyable evening.

As usual I was the last to leave - Poor little Quantum being stranded in the middle of our site but the trip home was fair enough though. Only two hold ups on the M40 and one dose of rain but the M25 had dry weather and not one hold up. Now, when was the last time you heard that?


Enigma Build - Part 6

I should have bought the chassis and body at the same time but I knew I wouldn't have enough space. If I had been building a standard Enigma this wouldn't have been a problem but a certain amount of guesswork was involved when fitting a different engine and I was hoping that the initial engine and gearbox fitment would be ok, but now that the bodywork has been collected and roughly fitted it became apparent that the engine was far too high and the bonnet would never shut. Lesson learnt. Don't guess. I had to redesign the front subframe, engine mounts and steering column but the bonnet now shuts. Martin Williamson was right a V8 will fit - Just.

My next job was to fit the wheels and tyres so that I could check the ride height and while I was at it I fitted the Hi Spec front brakes, which look fantastic. The ride height ended up being 120mm which is plenty but there definitely wasn't enough room for an exhaust. The only place I could think of is through the side sills, which should work although it will test my welding skills!

Another job that needed ticking off the list was brake and fuel lines and while the engine was out I decided to tackle these. I used the fuel lines from the MX5 which needed shortening and re-bending, but the brake pipes are new. The fuel lines are steel and had some corrosion on them, so they needed cleaning and treating and rather than paint I used heat shrink tubing. I then attached them to the car with some lovely little aluminium brackets from CBS. The end result looks neat.

Now that I was happy with the mechanical side of things it was time to tackle bodywork and wiring. I am outside my comfort zone with both of these tasks, so advice and help will be needed. I joined the Club several years ago and because it is a multi marque club I've found the wealth of knowledge is fantastic. You guys have built everything from 2CV specials to Lamborghinis and McLarens and if you don't know it then it's probably not worth knowing. I enlisted the help of fellow club member Alan to help with fitting the windscreen frame and with his help managed to trim and fix the frame in one day. Brilliant.

I'm still waiting for the re-skinned doors to arrive (they're being made in Latvia) so we've only tacked the frame in place for the moment as adjustment will probably be necessary.

Now that the windscreen was roughly in place I could position the dash and fit the seats. For some reason the seat mounting lugs weren't in the right place so they had to be cut off and re-welded. When fitting the seats it's important to have the dash and steering wheel in place (lesson learnt from engine).

Next on my "to do" list is wiring. The MX5 wiring loom is quite large for a small car and as I wasn't using any of the engine sensors I decided to thin it down as much as I could. I looked in my trusty Haynes manual for an engine wiring diagram but there isn't one so I then looked on Autodata which has got one for the 1.6l but not for the 1.8 and they are totally different. Time to Google it but after a couple of hours of searching I realised that there were no wiring diagrams or pin data for the ECU. I would have to go back to basics and do everything with a multi meter. Very tedious. It took a couple of days but I have now removed all the engine sensors, ECU and associated wiring. The loom is now half as thick. While I was at it I noted the pin data on the ECU for future reference. This should make it easier to splice in the Lexus loom. The engine loom on the Lexus is separate to the rest of the car and I have pin data for the ECU, so hopefully the hard bit is all done.

I know I shouldn't set targets but it would be fantastic to get the engine running in the next few months (I'm getting fed up with pushing it in and out of the workshop).

Andy Green

Supercar Siege - Leeds castle

Sunday morning 17th May: Got up early today, washed and polished my car ready to go to Supercar Siege at Leeds Castle. I arrived at about 8:30,

as I drove in the front entrance it was surprising to see so many marshals, in their pink hi viz. jackets, getting us into two little groups and then taking us to where we had to go.

I was told to go to the top of the hill; when I got to the top I could see the other kit cars - we were at the top of the hill overlooking the lake and the castle,

behind us there was a group of E type Jags and behind them was a Royal Navy helicopter - the biggest one I've ever seen - and to the right of us was the food area so as you can see we were in a good spot.

From the brow of the hill going down to the road was the Corvette club, it was nice to see so many old Corvettes.

There was a nice mixture of cars so I went to have a look at a lime green Lamborghini Huracan.

I was quite lucky to meet the guy who owned the car who let me sit in it and have a little drive when everyone else went home later in the afternoon.

I went for a walk through the gatehouse into the courtyard of the Castle and on the right hand side there were 3 cars roped off, these were the expensive ones,

there was white Koenigsegg, a lovely red Ferrari LaFerrari and my favourite a white Pagani Zonda and just past them there was another area roped off.

They were letting people in to sit in the cars, there was a Ferrari F40 a Ferrari 458, 2 electric cars and a nice Aston Martin convertible.

The weather was a bit cloudy and windy but it did not rain.

On the way back walking down the road by the lake I saw a low rider from California it was matt black and it was sitting on the grass all I could find out was that it had a Chevy V8 but when you stood back and looked at it, it looked like a spaceship out of Flash Gordon.

At the end of the day I parked my car near the lake, I have a DNA West coast that looks like a Ferrari California, to have some pictures taken and then I parked near the black beast and as you can see by the picture it is about 1 and a half times the length of my car, however I still couldn't find the owner and it was time to go home.

I'm looking forward to next year - I heard some Ferrari owners who said this is the third year they had been and each year is getting bigger so definitely going next year.

From your roving reporter JJ

Jim Clugston

Sunday run - 12th april

Firstly I have a confession to make, I have not been on that many Sunday Runs. Today started with me having nothing in mind to do other than to make an attempt at some essential es-tate maintenance (gardening) following several months of serious neglect. My wife spends too much time reading her Kindle! However I decided that the spring sunshine should be put to better use than grubbing about in the weeds.

Having checked the date, I realised that it was the second Sunday of the month. I got the Fury out of the garage, jump leads in hand, just in case it wouldn't start. There was just time to get to the Roadchef on the M20 by 11a.m. with a stop for fuel. Gardening was quickly put on the back burner and I was off.

Our cars began arriving shortly after 11a.m. and in approximately twenty minutes there were about eight cars, all of different makes. After a short chat it was decided that lunch would be at The Bull at Bethersden for those who were interested, a venue visited on a previous run with some degree of success.

We set off line astern in orderly fashion through light traffic that very soon melted away after the village of Leeds, thank goodness. I usually keep a mental note of attractive looking pubs and the George Inn in Leeds looked as if it deserved a mention. It is a shame about the beer (Shepherd Neame) not my favourite tipple.

After Sutton Vallence there was a quick sprint down to the attractive village of Headcorn. A short blast took us south eventually going through Sissinghurst and onto Tenterden down the quick, entertaining Cranbrook Road. From Tenterden we took the B2028 past Small Hythe Place (NT worth a visit if you have time) continuing through Wittisham and Peasmarsh to Rye,

returning via Military Road (great fun) to Apple-dore. I can recommend The Black Lion, it's a free house with a great selection of real ale if you're not driving. The Red Lion at Snargate, that has not changed ownership since WWll, is a must. With Ian and Miri still leading the group we returned via Woodchurch to Bethersden coming to rest at the Bull Inn, Shepherd Neame oh dear.

The car park was almost deserted, the reason as we found out was probably because they had sold out of beer! I think that Shep's is undrinkable anyway, so no great loss there then. That said, the staff were very pleasant and efficient, they had set out one huge table for us. Most of the group had opted to have lunch, which looked very appetising. I was returning home for lunch so this ended my Sunday run with a great bunch of like-minded en-thusiasts. Role on the next one. Many thanks to Ian for planning the route and taking in such a great selection of good, interesting and sometimes chal-lenging roads. For those who were in a position to take in the scenery there was some of the best in the area to admire.

Next time I go on a Sunday run I will make the decision to go well in advance and stay for lunch, as I am sure Ian had some more good driving roads up his sleeve to show everyone on this occasion. On returning home I discovered my wife still reading her Kindle and lunch was off!


Events from April 2015 Grin Factor

Enigma Build Part 5

I am now at the point that I was dreading, fitting the engine and gear-box. Up to now I wasn't able to use the engine crane whilst the car was on stands as the home garage is definitely not big enough, but now that I had a rolling chassis I was able to push the car outside and tidy up.

I haven't seen the garage floor for some time. This hobby of ours can quickly become tedious when the workshop is in a constant mess, when you open the door all you want to do is shut it again and walk away and when you do actually start work you can't find any tools or parts, very frustrating! An evening tidying up though makes all the difference.

I knew that the sump was going to interfere with the subframe, so for the first trial fit I removed it. I then lowered the engine into position and it quickly became apparent that this was not go-ing to be simple at all. The first prob-lem was the triangulation bars at the back of the engine bay fouled the cam covers. These bars apparently do the same job as a strut brace so it wasn't a problem to remove them (I'll make a strut brace later in the build).

The second problem was the steering column fouled the exhaust manifold, so I rede-signed the column with a third u/j in the middle, this was fairly straightforward as CBS do a lovely line in steering column parts.

The oil filter housing was also a prob-lem and will result in a remote filter and cooler. So far so good, but what about that sump. The Lexus uses a front oil pan which would be right above the subframe and steering rack. Initially I thought I'd make a new one and even bought a 6mm sump flange for £50.00 on Ebay. However, the bell housing uses 8 mounts to the engine, 4 of which are on the sump which makes it very complicated. I then heard that the Toyota Soarer uses the same engine but with a rear oil pan sump and I found a new one for sale in America for $399 from vivid racing but sadly after a week of emails they told me this part is now discontin-ued. I tried to find a second hand one, but no luck there either.

I finally decided to alter the subframe to allow fitment, this would mean sitting the engine low and rearwards. The only problem with this solution was the alternator would have to be fitted on the other side of the engine (where the air con pump was) and the catalysts would have to be relocated, as they nor-mally bolt straight to the manifolds.

The subframe alteration was quite radical but bolted to that substantial chassis it should be fine.

Now that there was enough room for the sump it was time to bolt the gearbox to the engine and move on to the next stage.

I've now taken the car to my work-shop which allows me to put it on the lift in the evenings. What a difference that makes.

I tacked the engine mounts to the subframe and made up the gearbox mounts which was fairly simple and then turned my attention to the cats. Oh dear, the gearbox is fairly large which means there is only enough room to fit the cats at the back of the gearbox. This wouldn't work as the cats would never get hot enough to pass an emissions test. This is now a big problem as I will have to either adapt the chassis or relocate the engine and make a new sump.

Before I go any further I've decided to collect the bodywork. I can then see how much room I will finally have in the engine bay and hopefully I will then know what ground clearance the car will have, which may make exhaust design simpler. Now where's that 9" disc cutter?!!!!!!


Events from February 2015 Grin Factor

Enigma Build Part 4

To Fettle:- 1.Trim or clean the rough edges of (a metal casting or a piece of pottery) before firing.

2. Make or repair (something).

3. Late Middle English (as a verb in the general sense 'get ready, prepare', specifically 'prepare oneself for battle, gird up)

Formula 1 drivers always say "for sure" and kit car builders always say "it needed fettling".

This word seems to be perfect for kit car builders and I especially like the third meaning (prepare oneself for battle). Now that I've started actually putting the car together I've had to fettle in earnest but this is part and parcel of putting a kit car together and can give you a better sense of achievement when finished.

It doesn't feel like I've done a great deal in the last couple of months but when I look back at the photo's I realise that I have. The suspension arms and subframes have now been galvanised and the result is better than I'd hoped. The only issue was recutting all the threads (the zinc coating is very thick). All the components could now be painted which took a couple of days and made a hell of a mess, but everything looked great at the end.

The basic preparation was now done and I could start in earnest putting things together to get a rolling chassis and hopefully make some room in the garage.

I decided to go with power flex suspension bushes even though they were the most expensive and I'm glad I did as they were a joy to fit and look fantastic. Next job was to replace the rear wheel studs for longer ones and use spacers to achieve the correct offset, once this was done I could fit the new wheel bearings and start bolting things together which should be really easy when everything is like new. However it's never that simple. Both subframes needed fettling and the steering column fouled the hole in the chassis and so that too needed fettling. The fuel tank sits immediately above the rear sub frame which it touched, so that too needed fettling (spacers).

Sadly, all this fettling took a heavy toll on my Dremel which failed. Luckily it was under guarantee and so went back to Bosch, who weren't able to repair it and so replaced it (very impressed). The next job on the list was to clean and service the engine. I didn't want to strip the engine completely as it had only done 65,000 miles (barely run in) but a new cam belt and water pump is a must.

I also intend to paint as many parts as possible which means taking them off. The exhaust headers were the first, and after grit blasting were painted with Tech Line high temperature coating (apparently 1000c). The rest of the engine will follow later.

When fitting the windscreen the doors are used as a guide and so I put them on temporarily. The door hinges lined up well but the check strap mount appears to have been welded on upside down. These will need to be removed and replaced (more fettling). Any modifications to the chassis would be a real problem if it was powder coated and I'm really glad I went for paint instead.

I'm still very much at the beginning of the build but a rolling chassis makes it much easier and things should progress quicker now.


Events from Novemeber 2014 Grin Factor

TKC Live at Brands

This was my first outing with the Club, it was in my tin top as my Locost is not finished. Alan Middleton had arranged the event and it all went extremely well.

The Beefeater, Malta Inn at Maidstone was the meeting place for breakfast for 7.30-7.45 am. The forecast the day before was for good weather, however it did not turn out that way.

Dave Aldridge had prepared a quiz for the day, to be filled in while we were at the show.

We left the Malta Inn and headed up the M20 in heavy showers in places, and up Wrotham Hill to Brands. The main focus of events was centred in the pits, with Kit car companies having their own pit.

Potential customers could view the cars and discuss matters, with passenger rides for the really keen.

There was also a good number of full blown race cars on display, with very good presentation. Cobras, GT40, GBS sports cars, Thruxton GT`s, Fury`s, three wheelers, 750 MC racing Locost, and an amazing mini conversion that uses a Hyabusa motorcycle engine in a tubular sub frame driving through a transfer box in alloy. A completed Mini was circulating pretty much all day, this had a wonderful sound.

In the pit area, they have a place to eat with toilet facilities now this is some what different from the days in the sixties when I went to Brands with my Father and you shared the tunnel with formula one cars to get to the pits.

In the BRM pits seeing Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill during practice with V12 engined cars has had a lasting memory on me.

Later they allowed all the Kit Car owners to go around the circuit for a couple of parade laps, and I was grateful that Charles took me around in his Westfield. (see photo of track from the cockpit).

A good day was had by all despite with weather.

Thanks again to Alan for organising things.

Glenn. Orange Locost. (eventually).

Stelvio Revisited 2014 (or the road test of a Citroen C1)

The holiday started with different preferences for crossing the Channel. Chris and Shirley, Paul and Diane, choosing the ferry, and Ian and Miri, myself and Anita on the Tunnel. Careful choice of boat and train meant that we all met up at the services at Aire de Rely at 11.30.

We set off for a brusque drive down the motorway covering about 114 miles to our lunch stop at Aire Le Mont de Nizy. After lunch and a fuel stop we headed towards our first night's stay at Vitry le Francois but a message came over the radio to say that Paul's Hawke had stopped. After the fault was diagnosed as alternator failure it was agreed that Chris would stay with Paul until he was recovered off the motorway and Ian and myself would go to the hotel to confirm our bookings with the possibility of a late arrival for the others.

We luckily all regrouped in time for dinner, with Paul and Diane travelling by taxi as no spare parts were available until Monday, and his recovery insurers requiring an independent appraisal.

Despite this setback an enjoyable evening was had. Paul and Diane booked the hotel for the Sunday night as they had to return to find out if the Hawke could be repaired.

Sunday the depleted convoy drove about 180 miles to Mulhouse in Germany for a 2 night stay.

Monday morning saw us lined up at the Tram Stop for the trip to the Schlumpf Musee de l'Auto. The collection of cars held our attention for most of the day and the engineering expertise of Mr Schlumpf was very impressive. (It was unfortunate that Paul missed this day as he had expressed a particular desire to visit this museum.)

During the day we heard from Paul that the French garage was unable to fit a new alternator as his had been "severely modified" to fit the car. Apparently turning the end plate of an alternator by 180 degrees in France is beyond their ability or as Paul cynically said "they get more cash to repatriate the vehicle". Not all bad news though, a hire car was made available and Paul and Diane would meet us at the hotel in Bregenz, in Austria on Tuesday evening.

We left Mulhouse and drove about 160 miles to Bregenz encountering, as Ian had predicted, heavy traffic around the edge of lake Constance, where a Zeppelin balloon kept a watchful eye on us as we drove to our hotel. Paul and Diane were waiting for us and the manageress directed us to some secure parking at the rear of the hotel. Paul proudly showed us his hire car - a brand new Citroen C1, 3 cylinder, turbo charged, 1000cc. Driving his super powered Citroen via motorways, he had reached the hotel in the afternoon and had already earmarked a restaurant for our dinner.

It was raining the next day and we took the local bus into Bregenz where we walked the old town and ended up at a pleasant cafe for beer and food for lunch. As it was still raining in the evening we frequented the same restaurant as the previous night.

Next morning the hotel manageress sent us on our way with a wave and a free bottle of water. Next stop was the Austrian town of Kaprun some 210 miles away, near to the Grossglockner mountain. What a different town Kaprun was. The hotel reception was only manned until 6pm as the employee had to catch a bus! There were instructions on the inside of our bedroom in German and Arabic. We could not read either so ignored them. Our excursion out for dinner revealed menus in Arabic and gents smoking hubble-bubble pipes. The next day was scheduled for a trip up the mountain but my car battery decided to give up. It was then that we discovered it was Assumption Day and therefore a national holiday. Nothing for it but to double up with Paul and Diane in the Citroen C1. Under Paul's direction we managed to keep most of the wheels on the road by transferring our weight in the rear as he ascended the mountain with the lively engine revving to 6000 rpm. An exciting stop halfway up the mountain to visit the "Wonderful World of Lichen" exhibition was too good to miss! By the time we reached the summit at 3,798 metres the temperature had dropped to 2.9 degrees centigrade and it had started to snow. Just time to make a snowball before the snowplough appeared, and we started a rapid descent before we got marooned at the top. In the evening we found a typical Austrian restaurant with staff in national costume which was very pleasing to the eye.

Next day when we went mob handed to pay the bill, the hotel receptionist introduced us to the local custom of taking the total bill from Ian's credit card before we had even arrived. This went down a treat with 6 members of the group but Ian was not impressed! The receptionist mumbled something about some of their clients book but do not turn up and she finds that they have cancelled their credit cards. (It must be something to do with the side affects of smoking hubble-bubble pipes.)

However, with the help of the internet and the receptionist, a battery was located for my car in Zell am See. This was purchased from "Bob" who luckily spoke English and we fitted it in minutes, many hands making the work light. We were soon on the road again travelling out of Austria, into Switzerland and then onto the Via d'Umbrail and over the Umbrail Pass to Bormio. What a drive this was for the uninitiated. Many of the corners had only the plastic chequered tape suspended from sticks to protect cars from plummeting down the mountain side. At 8000ft we stopped for a few minutes before starting our decent to Bormio. Being a Saturday every man and his dog were out on the mountain making some of the tunnels and corners very congested. I wished my car had power steering as many of the corners were extremely tight. What goes up, must come down and the resulting traffic jam met us as we approached our hotel at the foot of the mountain. We were guided to the hotel's private underground parking and gathered in the bar for a well deserved beer after a hard day's drive.

Sunday arrived sunny and clear and the rush of traffic past the hotel was noticeably heavier so we took a leisurely stroll around the back streets of Bormio. The others decided to try the Ofenpass in the afternoon but Anita was not keen despite Ian's assurances that the roadside plastic chequered tape was EU tested to 40 tons and guaranteed to stop any vehicle from plummeting to the repair shop in the sky. We opted for a 3 hour walk with a Panini and beer to replace the missing calories.

The weather was fine on Monday and the others decided that the challenge of more Alpine passes was too great to miss but we took the easy option of a walk coupled with an exciting rest on a bench at the crossroads where a whistle blowing policeman was causing havoc. When the others returned Ian had developed an oil leak from the rocker box. A couple of garages were recommended, the second of which turned out to be the Aladdin's cave of gaskets, but not the one for Ian's Ford engine. It was no problem for the proprietor who made one and even leant a tube of sealant. Half a roll of kitchen towel later, to mop up the oil around the cover, and Ian was back in business.

Tuesday started wet. The group split up with Ian and Miri, Paul and Diane, opting for more mountain passes, and Chris and Shirley keeping us company on the flatter route to Verbania next to Lake Maggiore. We had a pleasant drive, with lunch on the bank of Lake Como arriving after the others at about 6pm. We had an enjoyable 2 night stay in Verbania and eat very well at a restaurant on the waterfront of the lake. The second day was taken up with a pleasant walk admiring the homes on the edge of the lake. The memorable sensations at the hotel was the intoxicating aftershave of the proprietor, which nearly asphyxiated Anita, and the sound of stiletto heels on the stairs late at night!

Our next destination was Aosta which was about a 100 mile drive in bright sunshine. The evening meal for a change was at a Greek restaurant with a very attentive waitress who for some unknown reason got a large tip.

Friday 22 August was scheduled for the return to France via Col du Petit San Bernard to view Mont Blanc while sipping our morning coffee. The drive into Annecy along the banks of the lake was slow and the approach to the hotel was made interesting by the closure of the road leading to it. Our trusty leader circumnavigated the road works and brought us to our hotel by a narrow back street. The cars had a rest during our two day stop and some retail therapy was undertaken by the ladies.

To prove we were versatile we even did a trip around the lake on a pleasure boat but eating was the order of the day in Annecy and what classical meals we had - true French dining.

Sunday marked the start of the main part of the return trip to England although Ian had scheduled a coffee stop at a very pretty fishing lake at Lac Gemin which did not disappoint, nor was the next stop at the ruined abbey at Baume-les-Messieurs. I do not know how Ian finds these places but they are all little gems. A drive of 155 miles for the day took us to our final stop of the holiday at Beze. When you thought fine dining could not get any better the Hotel Le Bourguignon did. What a fantastic finale to our holiday.

The final day started cloudy and gradually deteriorated to rain.

Rain it did for the next 300 miles with it penetrating every gap in my car. We split in two groups as Paul had to return the Citroen to an onion salesman in Calais and walk to the ferry. The image of a Morgan replica on the motorway in the pouring rain with only fly screens haunts me still. At least it only took a week to dry my car out. I expect the passenger in the Morgan drowned.

All in all a very memorable trip of about 2000 miles which was expertly organised by Ian and Miri. I have to add that Chris' car behaved perfectly and performed the jump starts for my car when the battery failed. A big thank you for all the help.

I understand that Citroen have approached Paul to write a report on his experience of driving a C1. Perhaps we will see a copy in the next edition of the Grin Factor.

Duff and Anita

Enigma Build Part 3

In my last report I mentioned that my Zero had developed a nasty ticking noise after the Llandow track day. I carried out a compression test and found that number 3 cylinder was a bit down and so there was no choice but to take the head off and investigate. What I found was not good, three of the pistons had melted (No 3 was the worst), how it had stayed running was amazing, let alone do the London to Brighton run. Zetec engines really are bullet proof. Oh well, another engine rebuild.

After the rebuild I gave it a quick road test with seven other kit cars to the Le Mans Classic for five days. Fantastic fun and the only issue with the car was a broken clutch cable which was soon repaired. We had a professional photographer come along for the weekend and he took some amazing shots which can be seen along with some photo's of Stoneleigh 2014 at www. davepphotography.com, definitely worth a look.

The engine rebuild didn't actually take too long and so it was back to cutting up the mazda. I can't praise plasma cutters enough. What fun! Two evenings and it was done, the only trouble was fitting it in the Laguna! It's all gone now though, apart from the windscreen section which is now a modern art feature in the garden, much to my wife's disgust. I thought it would make a good window seat :-)

With regards to the subframes and suspension I couldn't decide between paint and powder coating, but I was given good advice by Martin from Healy Designs.

Powder coating can't be repaired if it gets chipped, or if you have to weld a bracket on. Some modern paints are just as tough and can be repaired. I trialed some paints called Epoxy mastic from Rustbuster (www.rust. co.uk). After some initial problems I found this product to be excellent, it mixes like two pack but without the harmful gases.

I will definitely be ordering more for the chassis. My first attempts at painting the subframes though were disastrous and so I shipped them off to a local Galvanising company to have them acid dipped and galvanised, I haven't got them back yet but can't wait to see the result. The gearbox and drive shafts have been cleaned with acid cleaner (head to toe protection is a must) and then painted with epoxy mastic, the result is fantastic.

The chassis has now been collected. What a beast! It's definitely built for comfort and not speed, I'm glad I'm putting a V8 in it. There's very little space left in my garage but hopefully it won't take too long to get it rolling. The AVO coil overs have been delivered, the Team Dynamics wheels are on there way and so are the HiSpec brakes.

The main thing left to refurbish is the engine and then the assembly can start in earnest. I just hope I don't break the Zero again.


Events from August 2014 Grin Factor


I left home on Friday 11th July. Put hood on the cobra as it was raining for the drive down to the show. Arriving at the show ground it stopped raining.

Put the trailer tent up. Friday evening Ray & Joan invited some of us for a bbq, burgers & sausages and salad, then we went into Ian & Broni's marquee for drinks.

Saturday morning arrived to sunshine and blue skies, we took the cars to the club display arena, went back to the trailer tent had breakfast, then went for a walk around the show a few more kit cars arrived, 9 kit cars.

The Norfolk pavilion food bar was closed. The Harris old thyme fair just had one steam engine. There were classic cars; motorbikes; military vehicles; commercials; tractors and autojumble trade stalls.

Saturday evening, put the tables & chairs outside to eat, about 24 people for the meal had plenty of food and drinks. John Nash washing up water on the table and soaked Roma, the people that were not camping went home, the campers went up to the funfair and the beer tent, there was not a lot of people about because you could see the bar. Went outside to see the street & custom van's displaying neon and led lights, paintwork and artwork and the interior.

Sunday arrived, clouded at first then the sunshine, took cars to display arena, 6 kit cars today. Walking around the show looking at the models & the classic cars and trade stalls. In the show arena commercial vehicles; then land rovers; range rover Dakar; range rover 6 wheel fire engine. Then walk up to see the day vans & street vans the Pirates of the Caribbean custom van and caravan with ships mast on the roof.

Then walking back it started to rain, got back to the camping field to sit down and relax. It stopped raining and got very hot. There was no Spitfire flying this year, at about 4.00 we started to pack up our things ready to go home.

A good camping weekend!

ps. thanks to Ian & Broni and family for the wonderful meal on Saturday evening.


Bromley Pageant of Motoring

Despite some doubtful forecasts we enjoyed very good weather at the Bromley Pageant, with the club presence being much larger than previous years. In previous times, the club has taken a 3 car stand only because of limited support; this year was very different. So many members at club nights had asked to go we ended up booking a stand for 14 vehicles, and very good it was too. Whilst we had some very eye catching cars like the Diablo's of Sam Harpa, Paul Coles and Bill Glazier entered, as well as the "Ferrari's" of Costa Stankovitch and Jim Clugston, we also had a good variety of other cars more readily recognised as Kit Cars.

However the star of our stand wasn't a kit car at all, it was the Leyland Olympian open topped hospitality bus of club member Bill Watson, which served as the centre piece of our stand. Bill also brought his GBS Zero along as well for good measure. Everyone took the time to "go upstairs on the bus" which provided a superb vantage point from which to see the show and take a few photos. Talking of photos, it was very difficult to get any good pictures of our club stand because for most of the day it was overrun by other show-goers who were so interested in our cars and wanted to talk to us.

We were invited by the show organisers to have an arena session during the afternoon, and we managed get a good cross section of our cars into the arena. Interviews in the arena were conducted by Fuzz Townshend (of tv's "Car SOS") and Gemma Scott, with every driver being given the opportunity to talk about their car. It was delightful to hear Sam Harpa's son Adonis being interviewed at length by Gemma Scott, his pride and affection for "his Dad" and his achievements came over so well! Fuzz Townshend was very interested and impressed in some of the technicalities and levels of workmanship of our cars, and recommended the audience to visit our club stand and see for themselves.

There were many attractions at the show including a motorbike stunt team, jazz band, Hot Rod review, Aston Martin club parade, and loads of food stands, autojumble stalls and nearly 3000 cars exhibiting.

In spite of an early start, for some, the day was enjoyed by all and most members said that they'd like to do it again next year. So look out for the info when it appears in a future edition of the "Grin Factor" or on the club's website.

Chris Pecover

Enigma build - part 2

As most of you know I own a small Mot and service centre in Maidstone which is very handy when building a Kit Car but at the moment the workshop is far too busy to work on my own car, and so it's Sundays only for private jobs. I put the LS400 on to my two post lift which makes life a lot easier and as a result managed to get the engine, gearbox and wiring loom out in one day. I wish the same could be said for the MX5.

Because this would take longer than a day I had to strip this car in my small garage at home. What a difference, my hat goes off to anyone who has had to do this at home. Things can become very difficult when the car is only a foot off the ground.

I haven't managed to do as much as I'd hoped over the last couple of months for various reasons. The vinyl that I'd spent hours applying to my Zero had started to peel off (serves me right for buying cheap imports from you know where) and so had to be replaced with a better quality one (bought from Star Vinyl in Chatham this time). I also had to take the engine out and replace the flywheel. The ring gear on the lightened one that I fitted a couple of years ago had been destroyed by a faulty starter motor!!!

But it's not all been doom and gloom, I've managed a few enjoyable days as well. The annual pilgrimage to Stoneleigh (always good fun) and back to Kent the next day at Lydden Hill circuit for the Bhp show. Another good day out was Motorsport at the Palace which is now in it's fifth year (long may it continue). I've also been trying to attend the CKC/Omex track day for the last few years but something always came up. But this year I finally managed it and I'm glad I did. I've been on various track days at various circuits but the trip to Llandow was the most laid back and the most enjoyable of them all. My thanks go to CKC and Omex for organising it. The only problem is the Zero has developed a nasty rattle after the track day. I will investigate, but hopefully it's nothing serious.

But enough of me enjoying myself. What about the Enigma. It's hard to get motivated when stripping cars, especially when you work on them all day, but it is nearly done. Thankfully the chassis isn't quite ready yet, which gives me a bit of breathing space.

One of the things I'd been dreading was finding out how corroded the MX5 suspension was after removing it from the body and the initial findings weren't good, but after a few minutes with a chipping hammer and a wire brush things looked more promising. I've also just purchased a product called Vactan (corrosion treatment) and thought I'd give it a try and I'm very impressed.

When assembling the Enigma I can either use the fibre glass windscreen frame or use the original from the MX5. I've decided to use the original, but this means removing it from the body. This would be very time consuming with a disc cutter or an air saw, so I decided to buy a new toy; my wife says I've got enough toys but there's always a need for one more! This time it's a plasma cutter from PlasmaPart, I've only had a quick practice so far but all I can say is...Wow. Not only will it be quick to remove the windscreen section but I can cut the whole car to bits for easy disposal....can't wait.

The next job is to clean and powder coat all the suspension parts. I can do the small parts myself with my trusty Electro Static Magic. It's only the older type but it's still brilliant. The main restriction is the size of your oven, I have tried curing with a heat lamp but the results haven't been that good. So for the subframes it's off to the professionals (no...not Bodie and Doyle). When this is done hopefully I'll have the chassis and the building can start in earnest. Should be fun.

Andy Green

KKCC Club weekend in France - 20-22 June 2014

This weekend away was billed as a taster for those club members who'd like to try something different in their cars, in France where the roads are more enjoyable to drive, and it doesn't take long to get there! Ian MacQuarrie did the groundwork, publicised it in the Grin Factor and on the website, and invited members to join in. For those members who didn't manage to join in, this is what you missed!

The weather looked promising for this Mid-Summer weekend and those of us who went on that Friday morning made our respective way to the Port of Dover or to the Channel Tunnel terminal. In the end only three cars made it, so there were a lot of people who missed out on a great weekend away. Shirley and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on board the Ferry, which kind of made up for our relatively early start. Meanwhile Ian and Miri in their Caterham & Paul and Diane in their GCS Hawke rattled around in the train through the Channel Tunnel. We all met up in a pleasant little town called Desvres for mid-morning coffee, which is only a short drive both the Eurotunnel terminal and Calais. We moved on to Montreuil Sur Mare for a light lunch and planned our afternoon drive to Saint Valery-Sur-Somme where we would be staying for the next 2 nights. A surprisingly short drive over some very pleasant "N" and "D" roads saw us arrive at our Hotel (Hotel Le Relais Guillaume De Normandy) which overlooks the estuary of the Somme and some of us could see the river from our hotel rooms/balcony's. As it was nice and sunny/hot we didn't need much of an excuse to find a cooling beer or two, before wandering around part of the town which is quite old and picturesque in parts. It is said that the Norman conquest of Britain started here with the sailing of the invasion fleet from the Estuary mouth. Dinner was taken in the restaurant of the hotel, again overlooking the river's edge and the folk promenading by.

Saturday morning dawned and a typical French breakfast was enjoyed by most, and there weren't too many hangover/ headaches in evidence. A leisurely start saw us driving down the Atlantic coast, and seeing the sights via some of the smaller and more interesting roads. Late morning coffee was taken in Eu, where we also had a wander around the town, local chateau, etc, before indulging in a Croque Monsieur & Frites for lunch. A half hour drive saw us arrive at the Chateau Fort de Rambures which is a fascinating old fort & chateau combined which by some miracle of history survived the French Revolution intact. Lots of steep staircases and narrow walkways had some us puffing and panting with the exertion; and we had our linguistic skills tested by the French tour guide who spoke a lot and at high speed.

A straightforward run back to hotel over some more delightful D roads became a bit of a challenge as we encountered numerous "Route Barree" signs as the locals had decided to dig up all of their roads at the same time!!! A well-deserved beer etc was found and another lovely meal followed with more than our fair share of wine !!

Sunday dawned to a beautiful sunny morning and after a short stroll along the promenade taking the sights and smells of the French Street market that had sprung up early in the morning, we set off to explore a bit more of the town - on foot!!! Quite a few cobbles and steps later we'd seen as much as we wanted to and set about driving out of the town. Getting out was a bit of a challenge as there was large road running race being staged that day and was starting in the town that we were trying to get out of. Thankfully we emerged from Saint Valery-Sur-Somme unscathed and were all very grateful that we weren't trying to get into the town, as the approach roads were jammed for miles !!

We found somewhere for coffee and then found our way to Montreuil for a light lunch, with everyone confessing to being not very hungry after our previous gastronomic delights. A short run towards the coast and we found a WW2 battery & museum which housed one of the huge guns that were installed to directly shell Britain - absolutely fascinating. The continuing brilliant weather saw us all making our way to the Eurotunnel Terminal or Port of Calais for our final part of the weekend and waving goodbye as we split up.

We all enjoyed the weekend, which didn't cover a huge mileage - less than a weekend away to Wales, and our ferry crossing only cost about £65 in total. So those folk who didn't manage to join us missed a brilliant weekend and a good opportunity drive on some lovely uncongested roads. Maybe you'll come along next time ???

Our thanks go to Ian for organising the weekend and his skilful use of the satnav as always.

Chris Pecover

Events from May 2014 Grin Factor

Help for Heroes

As a number of you are aware throughout the year Broni and I attend a number of shows with the kit cars and a number of her dolls houses and models. At these events we put out collection tins to raise money for our chosen charity Help for Heroes.

Last year we attended a short service of memorial at Capel le Ferne at the Battle of Britain Memorial as part of the heroes' bike ride and battlefield tour. We watched and welcomed injured ex servicemen and women as they cycled up the hill from Dover, having already cycled from Paris. A number of them were on hand cycles as they had missing limbs, and one guy was missing both legs and an arm and had cycled the distance one armed.

As they arrived they collected their legs from a van and walked to the memorial. The route to the memorial was lined by ex servicemen holding regimental standards, and as the riders moved through they applauded the respect the older generation, a true example of comradeship and a very humbling experience for Broni and I. With the service over the Spirit of Kent Spitfire treated them to an emotional display over the memorial, then with superb efficiency they returned to their machines and cycled off to London. With these memories locked in to our minds we decided that this year we would do more than just collect at shows, we would hold our own event, but what. As Broni loves to cook and bake we decided we would hold our first cake sale, as part of the colossal cake sale fortnight held by the charity. As word got round a number or cakes were preordered and Broni delivered them the weekend prior to the event. As the weekend arrived every surface in the house was covered in flour and ingredients as cakes were baked.

A day trip to Yorkshire for a family funeral slowed us down slightly, however family up there assisted by sending us back with a box full of cakes and biscuits. Friends also helped out, delivering more cakes on the Friday night, along with a cake for the raffle that one of them had decorated, another example of comradeship and pulling together. As Saturday arrived the final wrapping of cakes was completed and the house was decorated, tea, coffee, wine and beer out along with soft drink, all we needed now were people. At 2 pm the first started to arrive and the house was full of people round till about 6.30 when the event wound down. With the marquee down and the house tidied we were finally cleared up midday on Sunday. We would like to thank those from the club that were able to attend this event.

Over 90 eggs and 19 Lbs of butter used and we have a raised a total of just under £650.00 to help our Heroes. We hope to run this again next year and will let you all know in plenty of time, so you too can come and eat cake and raise funds for what we believe is a worthy charity.

Ian & Broni

Who am I

I most certainly did not attend the clubs' annual general meeting last month with the intent on leaving as a committee member, nether the less that is indeed what happened. I have been a club member for a relatively short time and have met some very interesting individuals on club nights and social events; it is these members that inspired me to take on the role of committee member.

My name is Dave Aldridge, I currently run Mark Webbers (Ex Formula One) supporters club worldwide, I have been privileged to have worked with Mark on many social events mostly in Australia and the UK for the past 19 years, thankfully now he has moved his driving expertise from Formula One to the World Endurance Championship which contains just eight rounds my duties have been massively reduced.

I sincerely hope to be a worthy replacement to Brian Dack who has served the Club for a number of years.

Dave Aldridge

Enigma Build

For my first kit car I wanted something light,quick and fairly easy to build. The car would have to be at home on the track and on the road and after much searching I decided on a GBS Zero. I didn't want to build a standard Zero though and so looked at ways to increase the horsepower. At the time Omex had just developed a Supercharger kit for the Ford Zetec engine and with engine modifications should produce about 300 bhp. This was roughly the power I was looking for, which should hopefully give me a power to weight ratio of 500 bhp per ton.

The car took about a year to build and passed its IVA test in August 2010.

However, over the next couple of years I encountered various problems with the car (all my own fault). But after some upgrades and one major refit I ended up with a reliable car and with the power that I wanted.

I've had great fun building and driving the Zero and the only downside is that my wife hates going in it. She says its too uncomfortable and too scary. This meant that if I was to share my kit car experiences with my wife I would have to build a new car although I would keep the Zero for track days and general fun. Hooray.

So the search began for a new car. I wanted something a bit different but it had to be a convertible capable of touring (luggage space) and the engine had to have a good soundtrack (V8). I initially looked at Cobra's but I thought they were too common, I then looked at the Sebring Exalt, but after seeing one at Stoneleigh in 2012 I decided against it (Sierra stalks have no place on a £40,000 car).

At the 2013 Stoneleigh show I spotted a car hiding in a dark corner which looked promising. Like the Exalt this was a modern interpretation of a Healey 3000 but based on a Mazda MX5 and should cost about £15,000 to build. The only drawback was the 1.8 four pot engine.

I decided to show my wife the Healy and see what she thought of it and so off we went to the Donington show. She absolutely loved it and after talking to Martin Williamson who owns Healy Designs I learnt that the car (it now had a name. The Healy Enigma) was originally designed around the rover V8. Sold!

The rover engine is getting a bit long in the tooth now but what was the alternative? I considered the GM LS and the Ford Coyote but when you add up the cost of the engine, gearbox, ecu, headers etc they become very expensive. I finally settled on the Toyota 1UZ-FE which is fitted in the lexus LS400.

I placed the order for the Enigma in January and on the way back to Kent from Norfolk I went to see a low mileage LS400 and after a bit of haggling managed to get it for £525.00. Bargain. Next on the list was the Mazda MX5 and ideally should be a mk1 with power steering, ABS and electric windows. Amazingly I found one within a couple of weeks although at £900.00 it was a bit more than I wanted to pay.

The Enigma kit comes in two parts, the chassis first and then the bodywork at a later date. The chassis was not expected until April which was perfect as it would give me time to strip the Mazda and Lexus. I also had some repairs to do to my Zero after an argument with the back of a lorry (apparently greasy roads, 300bhp and a heavy right foot don't mix). The Zero is now finished (hopefully for the last time) and I'm quite happy with the result.

The stripping of the cars is now well under way and everything should be ready for when the chassis arrives at the end of April.

Andy Green

Events from February 2014 Grin Factor

Donkey Power

Had I really agreed to this? Ian and I arrived at Michaelis' Donkey farm. Was I wearing the right outfit? My pink floppy sun hat matched my long sleeved blouse. The donkeys looked docile enough as they finished their breakfast of hay and oats. I remembered some advice my Grandfather once gave me about not standing behind any large creature with four legs.

Michaelis was a small man wearing battle fatigues an Arab headdress and a red bandana. His business partner was an English expat who wore gold jewellery and looked like Yootha Joyce. She had lived on Lesbos for twenty years and had missed the fall of the Berlin wall. They proceeded to have a wellmannered tiff after Yootha had mistakenly taken a Donkey to the other end of the field.

Our trek was Cosmopolitan with Czech, Polish, Italian, English and Russian people. Michaelis shrewdly allotted each donkey guessing our personalities and weight. My Donkey was reputed to be exceptionally well behaved and was called Pizza Ian's was called Isis. In Greece a donkey is always ridden sidesaddle the saddle is a wooden semicircle covered in leather. To control the animal a lead reign is pulled to the right, or the left. It is also useful to know the Greek for yes and no, which are nai and ochi. The donkey traverses a circular route arriving at food shelter and water regardless of its burden. We were all helped to scramble up onto our mounts and were all finding our balance by sitting well back on the saddle. We were all very wobbly and realised that we were there by the working of gravity as we lurched like a winter sailing on the cross channel ferry. Greek farmers passing in pickup trucks waved and smiled probably thinking that we were mad and looking forward to the winter when they would have their island back. Michaelis galloped up and down shouting the donkeys names and making a high pitched sound to keep them together, he looked so relaxed leaning back in a cloud of cigarette smoke, although his motto was the best Greek cigarette is the one you don't smoke. I hardly noticed that we had turned into open country and onto a dirt road passing a rubbish tip and were exhorted to restrain the donkeys from eating plants and foliage which would give them gas this which was ably demonstrated by Annabelle.

Oh God please let my donkey be sure footed if we are above any steep precipices and I will close my eyes. I was definitely one of the slower ones at the back, no high-speed donkeys for me, as I wordlessly communicated soothing thoughts to Pizza. Jacob the lead donkey was ridden by a large Czech man and was the most headstrong and badly behaved creature he was an eccentric pushing in amongst the other donkeys and pausing on every occasion to eat illegal snacks.

The path disappeared into a rocky precipice, why did I not feel scared at the back with terrified Olga a large Russian lady who had never found her seat and looked most uncomfortable wearing a short tight skirt, she decided to dismount. I was asked if I wished to but I decided that the donkey was bound to be more surefooted than I as it travelled this route almost every day. I swayed over rocks my legs hanging over a drop just above gorse bushes. Having climbed the steepest rocky part we were told to dismount. My partner who of course was miles ahead was astonished at my feat of bravery and I was quite elated.

We led our donkeys up a steep path about a foot wide, at first Pizza was behind me but it dawned on me that he should be in front. He then decided it was coffee time and stopped he needed to be gently prodded from behind and coaxed from the front he gathered speed after an illegal snack. Somehow we all arrived at the shady halfway spot in an olive grove where we all stopped for a rest. There was a secluded place for the ladies to take a call of nature if they wished to.

We all remounted and the donkeys began to speed up sensing the lure of the customary two-hour stop for lunch in a Taverna at a place called Vafios. Terrified Olga had remounted and was hanging on grimly while we chatted and laughed, this seemed a bit unkind but I was determined that I would not let my nerves get the better of me.

I couldn't say the lunar scenery here was very arresting but having the Donkey do the work was rather nice. We emerged onto the road and the steep incline leading down to the taverna. The donkeys trotted swiftly we were now fairly proficient on our mounts and were admiring the olive groves giving way to the sea in the distance and skilfully avoiding cars. The donkey park was a field surrounding the taverna, after we dismounted the donkeys sped away free from human burdens and saddles for two hours. The Czech people ordered 100 per cent proof ouzo without water and were soon rather relaxed. I'd decided not to be drunk in charge of a donkey and sadly stuck to water. We enjoyed a delicious mezean impromptu Greek lesson with the Taverna owner. Promptly at 1.55 the donkeys emerged from their respite. After a brief chat with Olga and her husband. Michaelis advised terrified Olga to go home as any donkey sensing fear will also become nervous, he arranged a lift home for her with relatives of the Taverna owner. On Lesbos Island nearly everyone is related and most weddings have a minimum of seven hundred guests. Olga's husband reassuringly described how donkeys slide on the steep winding road. I saw a vivid picture in 3d of Pizza splayed in front of a pick up truck 'am I putting you off' he grinned. 'I always tell it like it is.' What could go wrong I thought as we all stood in an untidy straggle? I wondered how I would recognise Pizza. The donkeys found us, nearly everyone had remounted apart from me, pizza was facing the opposite way and I was trying my best to figure out how to turn him round. How do you coax a donkey to do a three-point turn? Michaelis rescued me and assisted my clumsy remounting. Our journey home was rather brisker than I hoped and I clutched the lead reign and tried to admire the glimpses of sea in the distance as we cantered around sharp bends mercifully there were few cars as siesta time was officially until four o'clock. We were exhorted to let our boobies bounce, did this include the men I wondered? It was time to sing songs about donkeys what did I care that I only knew the first line of little donkey. We were back on a narrow dirt track with cars pushing past. We all arrived after our long tiring day and dismounted from our donkeys who were eager for food and a run in the field. Michaelis told us we had all passed our exam and asked me if I would like to take Pizza home and I began to feel rather sad that I would not see him again. In a few weeks Pizza and the other donkeys would retire to the paddock for the winter. We walked home feeling that the day had been an experience, and looked forward to a cold beer on the hotel terrace watching the sun go down over the Aegean sea and Turkey.

Miriam Carney

August in the Alps continued

Three or four Cols later which included the Col de Columbiere (1613m) and Col des Aravis (1486m) and about 150 miles in total, we were making our way back to Annecy along the south side of the lake for our last night in that particular town. Bright and not so early we checked out of our hotel and hit the road again. Whilst we were in considerably different cars with different sized fuel tanks and with some engines thirstier than others we'd settled into a routine of filling up at the end of the day, or if necessary all filling up together to avoid unnecessary stops during the day. This day saw us drive up through the world famous Val d'Isere ski resort on our way to the top of Col de L'Iseran (2764m) which is reported to be the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps !! Some of the ski resorts had their ski lifts operating, in spite of no snow, because a lot of people now take their mountain bikes up to the top and throw themselves off whilst attempting to stay in the saddle on the way down. Absolutely barmy !!!

The other cyclists we encountered, by the hundreds, or so it seemed, were the "Tour de France" wannabees. These folk could be found on any road leading to the mountain tops, on their own or more often in a small group, pedalling hard to get to the top. They also have a suicidal attitude problem in that they all believe that they have a God given right to be there first, and all other traffic should get out of their way. On the descents they will even try to overtake cars at 50 mph while relying on two tiny blocks of rubber as their brakes !!

Lanslebourg Mont-Cenis - another ski resort - was our next resting point where we were booked into a hotel for two nights, and our hotelkeeper was very accommodating in arranging for us to park the cars at the back of the hotel right by the kitchens. I think some of the kitchen staff were almost overcome by 97 Octane exhaust fumes as we arrived and unpacked. The usual beers took a little longer to arrive here but were still enjoyed nevertheless.

Next day was planned to be a loop day, where we would drive off into the mountains, enjoy ourselves and return in the afternoon. One of our couples decided not to join in because of a bit of a stomach upset so it was just three cars who headed off for a short 40 mile run to the top of Col du Mont Cenis (2100m) past the lake at the top and down into Italy. We didn't stray far into Italy before turning around; we couldn't find a place open for lunch/pizza and the roads were much worse than on the French side. No problem, back to the hotel and a beer.

Our next destination was Briancon which was not far, but we had a planned detour to take in the views of the Glacier de la Meije, which were supposed to be well worth seeing. We climbed up and down two or three more Cols staying on the "Route Des Grandes Alps" before detouring to see the Glacier. However after a while, with rain in the air and the Glacier shrouded in dense rainclouds, we turned around and made our way to our hotel in Briancon. All cars were behaving themselves and apart from Ian topping his engine coolant up by a small amount each day everything was fine. We found our hotel which didn't have its own restaurant and almost couldn't get us a beer, but they managed in the end. A steep walk uphill to the centre of town revealed an ancient walled town with lots of eating places and bars so we were all happy.

Another loop day followed and we explored some more of the local roads, attractions and antiquities. Mind you by the time some of us had walked/climbed up to one or two of the impressive forts commanding the valley, we felt like antiquities ourselves. Time for a beer!!

Our next destination was Barcelonnette which after going over the Col d'Izoard (2360m) we detoured towards Italy and the Col Agnel (2744m). Had an ice cream in Italy and retraced our steps stopping at the Fort in Chateau Queyras for another exercise in mountain goat simulation. The views were spectacular and the weather continued to be kind (hot & sunny) to us.

Once in Barcelonnette it was a bit difficult to find the entrance to the hotel amid the crowded narrow streets, and we had to drive down a pedestrian only street to get into the tight hotel garage, but again everyone was very accommodating with no "Jobsworths" saying "you can't come down 'ere mate!" Not impressive from the outside and a bit of a climb up some steep stairs to our rooms on the second floor, but brilliant food was to be had and enjoyed by all, and the wine wasn't bad either.

Day 10 of our holiday dawned and we had plans to pop up to the top of Cime de la Bonette (2860m) where the views on the way up and at the top are reputed to be spectacular. On the way up they were indeed spectacular, with high altitude WW2 defences in evidence, as well as commanding vistas everywhere. We were not alone on this road and at the top there were loads of motorcyclists as well as cyclists all looking for the views - through thick clouds!!! There were tempting momentary breaks in the cloud, but not enough to have a decent view or get a good photograph. Oh well, that's life and we enjoyed a pleasant coffee break on the way down.

The next day would see us arrive at the most southerly stopping point of our trip, namely Menton on the coast of the Mediterranean. But first we had to get there, and that involved some very spectacular roads & scenery that most people see (on TV) in the winter when the Rally du Monte Carlo is being run. Col St Martin and Col de Turini are infamous, and to see the "interesting" lines, written in black rubber by rallyists when practicing on these roads was inspiring. Our satnavs also started to play tricks on us because of the steep mountain sides and deep valley, with satellite reception not always clear, so sometimes we were on the road and sometimes we were in midair! Our Ibis hotel in Menton was right in the centre of town, quite close to the beachfront and parking was "tresdifficile". A very narrow & long entrance to the basement carpark was alright for the Caterham & Westfield, but those of us with somewhat wider cars like the Hawke & Sebring had to be very careful not to scrape the unforgiving concrete walls. Unfortunately our "Ibis Blue" did not have a bar, so we had to go in search of a beer elsewhere - "QuelleHorreur".

Menton is just along the coast a bit from Monte Carlo and there was a suggestion that some of us go there for a visit to see the sights. Shirley & I have already been there, and so had a couple of others, and we knew exactly what the traffic jams are like throughout the day. So it was decided that we'd give Monaco/ Monte Carlo a miss, particularly as we'd got a three day drive ahead to get home over the last weekend in August which is notoriously busy in France. We spent our last day wandering around Menton taking in the sights & sounds of that busy town which seemed to be full Italians on holiday as well, and of course we managed to find a bar or two for a beer. We also managed to book a beachside table at a nice restaurant for dinner in the evening, which turned out to be excellent.

Day 12 dawned, bright sunny & hot and we had the prospect of a 280 mile drive as the first leg of our journey home. Our group was also splitting up as John & Ann would be going west in their Westfield to spend some time in their home in Western France; meanwhile the rest of us would be aiming in a northerly direction. Having said our goodbyes we were all off, initially together along the busy motorway that weaves in and out of the hills above the coast past Monaco and Nice, and we eventually waved goodbye on the road. The traffic got worse but with the aid of trusty & collective satnavs we were able to find ways to avoid the worst of the jams and eventually got to our hotel for the night in Tournon Sur Rhone.

After a good night's sleep, helped by an excellent meal and the odd glass of wine, we were on the road again, heading north. Worryingly Paul & Diane's Hawke was starting to make slipping fan belt noises again and a peek under the bonnet confirmed that welding carried out in Annecy was giving way and the alternator was starting to wobble a bit again. Nothing to be done other than keep the bonnet closed, drive sympathetically and hope for the best on the journey home. About 280 or so miles later we were at our last hotel in Langres having used a bit of Motorway but mainly our preferred N and D roads which are so much more enjoyable to drive on. Our last night in France passed very much in the traditional way, of a beer or two, a good meal washed down with appropriate liquid (red or white) and sleeping in yet another different bed & hotel.

Our last day's journey was to be about 300 miles or so with more motorway used than normal in order to cover the distance and still get to Laon for a late lunch. Fortunately we all know Laon quite well and had no difficulty in finding our way into the town and up to the top where we found a familiar Brasserie for lunch, even if it was Sunday lunchtime. Off to Calais was the cry and we said our goodbyes again, this time to Ian & Miri in their Caterham as they would be going under the channel whilst Paul & Diane and Shirley & I would be sailing over it. So with the Hawke's fan belt squealing even more, we waved good bye on the road just outside Calais and found our way to the dockside and stopped with big grins on our faces amid all the "tin-tops" full of screaming kids and fraught parents.

Back on English soil and only a short drive home, our holiday was at an end!! From start to finish we driven about 2350 miles, my Sebring hadn't missed a beat (apart from getting a bit "lumpy" at anything 2500 metres above sea level) and returned about 18.5 mpg on 97 octane. Everyone enjoyed the trip, although once or twice someone got all "Col'ed out" and wanted to have a walkabout instead. The cars - with a bit of help - didn't let us down and we all got home safe and sound.

Our thanks to our travelling companions for the pleasure of their company and putting up with us, and particularly to Ian for all the planning work that he put into our "little jaunt" to where Hanniball is supposed to have led his elephants. Where to next ???

Chris Pecover

Events from December 2013 Grin Factor

Southern Model Show

Following the cancellation of the Model Air show last year, the Croydon Model Aircraft Club handed the show over to an events company. They in turn renamed the show and relocated it to Headcorn Aerodrome. As the club were previously involved with the event we were asked if we would like to attend, and if Broni and I would continue to act as the contact point for the club, which of course we did.

The Event weekend cropped up faster than we thought and began on the Tuesday before, with Broni spending Tuesday and Wednesday prepping and freezing food for Saturday night. Thursday evening was spent with Broni shopping for the last bits of salad and fresh food, whilst I dug out the marquee, Gazebos, BBQ etc from the shed and loaded into the motor home. At 6.30 Friday morning we were packing frozen food in to cool boxes and loading Broni's kit with as much as we could, next followed the loading of my car on to its trailer behind the motor home and the grandchildren's toylander on to its trailer behind Broni's kit. We set off just after 8am for the journey down to Headcorn in the rain praying it would be dry when we arrived. Our prayers worked and it stopped raining as we pulled in to the car park. A quick meeting with the show organisers and we were at our allocated pitch by 9.30, now for the set up. 26 cars booked for the weekend some on Saturday, some Sunday and a few both days. We needed to ensure we kept all our camping units and displays within the area allocated and displayed the cars in an aesthetic way . The next 3 hours were spent setting up the marquee, various gazebos and unloading trailers etc. As the afternoon passed club members and family started to arrive and set up their various camping units. John Nash managed to blag a bed in Ray's motor home as the weather forecast for the weekend was not looking too good. This proved correct on Friday night as we all went to bed with the sound of rain drumming on the roofs above us.

Saturday morning and another early start as we were again up at 6 am with Broni itching to finish off the prep for the BBQ and club members expected to arrive from 7.30 am. As expected members started to arrive and by 8.45 we had 16 cars lined up along our display line. The show opened and we had a steady number of visitors to our area. We were positioned back from the flightline, but with a perfect view of all the flying that was taking place. Some superb displays had been lined up for the weekend. We were treated to an aerobatic display by a full size and model Extra 300 flying side by side, a pair of model Red arrows displaying as the synchro pair with each model costing over £12,000. Along with the usual air battle with pyrotechnics, boats on the pool, and tanks running around, the show had plenty to see. As the show closed I lit the BBQ and we started to cook up a mountain of sausages and steak, as Broni finished the potatoes and salads. During this time the last club members turned up and set up their caravans and motor homes. A great evening meal was had by all with a total of 36 people sitting down to eat. As we were finishing our meals the show started up again at 8.30 with evening flying. Now this is something that I have never seen before, model aircraft covered in LED lights complete with fireworks from both the ground and from the wing tips. Helicopters again lit by LEDs and flying in the dark, absolutely stunning. This was followed by a balloon glow with both full size and model balloons taking part. Soon after this those staying could be found back at camp nursing full glasses and eating ginger cake soaked in whisky.

Sunday morning was a little slower and it was 7 before we stirred, with Peter and Ian arriving in their Cobras to wake up Ray and John. With 17 cars on display, Sunday's show followed the same format although the weather forecast had kept the crowds away, and the show was finished early, at about 2.30, due to the imminent high gusting winds that would have made flying dangerous. As midday approached the pack up started , and we managed to get most of it down and away before the rain started. We left soon after 4.30 and were home with it all unloaded and drying in the garage and conservatory by 700pm, just leaving us to finally pack way on Monday evening. We would both like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who turned up with their cars, despite the weather forecasts. Those who helped over the weekend, with washing up, taking down equipment and to Ray for supplying additional tables and cool boxes etc. Having supplied tables and sat 36 people down under canvas, it is fair to say that we now believe we have reached the limit of what we can do with the equipment that we own, and supply and transport. If we are to cater for more at a BBQ then we will need other club members to assist with the supply and transportation of equipment.

I have been in contact with the show organisers and we are hoping for an invite back next year, and will confirm dates etc once we have them.

Broni & Ian

August in the Alps

Early on a Sunday morning in August, three kit cars met at Dover Docks for another foray into the furthest parts of France, and it was called a holiday! The weather was good and we all enjoyed a good breakfast on board one of P & O latest ferries, with comments about not getting a decent "full English" until we were all home again.

We rendezvoused with the fourth car in our travelling group at a convenient French motorway services on the A26, as they chose to use the Channel tunnel instead. We were a variety of kit cars comprising a Caterham (Ian & Miri), a Westfield (John & Ann), a GCS Hawke (Paul & Diane) and a Sebring TMX (Chris & Shirley) who are all members of Kent Kit Car Club. Upon leaving the Services we soon settled down into a routine with Ian & Miri leading as Ian had planned the route in detail and is by far the most proficient satnav operator. Having done this sort of trip before we knew of the advantages in using walkie talkies, so in the main we were all able to talk to each other on the move. A definite bonus when encountering a car related problem, looking for a coffee stop or just wanting to stop for a pee.

We had just over 300 miles to do on the first day so there was no time to waste as with the time difference and channel crossing, we didn't' really get motoring until about midday. A couple of fuel/ etc halts and about 5 hours later we were pulling into Beze, not far from Dijon for our first night in France. A characterful "Logis" hotel that ticked all the boxes including garaging for the cars and a bar immediately to hand. A couple of beers/wines later we were looking at the menu, and a puddle under Ian's Ford crossflow engined Caterham!! It was decided to re-examine the puddle in the morning to see if it was oil or water, and have another beer in the meantime. Next morning the puddle had all but disappeared, so it was concluded that the leak was water, and pouring 1.5 Litres of water into the cooling system confirmed that Ian had a water leak!! One of the (three) water pump fixing bolts had sheared, which also meant that the alternator tensioning strap was no longer attached. Tensioning the fan belt wasn't a problem with a bit of improvisation but the leak was coming out of the sheared bolt hole and needed curing. Fortunately I had a bottle of "K Seal" which is similar to Radweld only better, which went into Ian's cooling system and the leak was stopped, almost.

So off we went on our way to our next night's hotel in Annecy, about 180 miles away, keeping a careful eye on the cured leak. We managed to find a couple of 5/16 UNC bolts, in case it was decided to try and replace the sheared bolt, in an Agricultural Engineering workshop when passing through a small village, much to our amazement. The scenery started to get more interesting and typically "French" as we kept in the main to the D roads, and as usual the cars attracted a lot of attention from the locals. We all kept a weather eye on our temperature gauges as we approached Annecy which is notorious for heavy traffic in the late afternoon. With only one "illegal left turn" that a lot of the locals were also taking, we found our way to our Ibis Hotel in the centre of Annecy and started to cool off a bit. A beer or two always helps!!

Paul & Diane's GCS Hawke had been making progressively more squealing noises throughout the day, due to a slipping fan belt, so a simple belt tightening that evening was envisaged. However, when looking carefully at the alternator mounting bracket - a large aluminium casting as fitted to the Rover V8 - a couple of cracks could be seen and mutterings of "Oh Bugger" etc., could be heard! We all enjoyed an excellent meal liberally washed down with some very quaffable vin rouge that evening and slept on the car problems.

Next morning Ian had decided to carry on with effectively one less bolt holding his water pump on, and see how things held up with the sealant in the engines cooling system. He only had to put about 200ml after the previous days driving The risks associated with trying to remove the water pump and possibly shearing another bolt off in the engine block and not being able to fix such a problem at the side of the road were deciding factors. Paul's Rover V8 alternator mounting bracket however was a different matter. With all bolts tight the alternator was still moving and the flexing of progressively cracking bracket was evident to see. It needed to be fixed! So where were we going to find an aluminium welder in August who wasn't on holiday near Annecy??? While our respective wives, and the others carried on with a touristy exploration of Annecy, which been planned all along, Paul and I disappeared to find the local tourist office, who had been very helpful to me on a previous visit. The lady who was "unlucky" to deal with us was very helpful and after about half an hour on the internet & phone found an Aluminium fabrication company about 20 minutes away who said that they could probably help out if we could get the bracket to them. Spanners out and the bracket was off in no time, and with the aid of satnav we found the Company in the middle of an industrial estate a few kilometres away. Come back at 4 o clock the welder said, and we did, to find him working on it after a late lunch!! He had some difficulties mainly because the casting was one Rovers finest - full of porosity and inclusions - but we left with the bracket weld repaired but not very pretty. Back at the hotel and the bracket was back on the car, and there were smiles all round; time for celebratory beer or two! Another very pleasant meal etc. that evening as well set us up for the next day we'd planned to go up to Lac Leman (or as many know it Lake Geneva) which where the "Route Des Grandes Alps" starts from.

The theme for our trip this year was to drive the "Route Des Grandes Alps" from one end to the other. Allegedly it is part of the route that Hannibal took with his Armies & Elephants when crossing the Alps long ago. We were going to do it with horsepower and exhaust noise echoing around the mountains, and complete the route a lot quicker than Hannibal did, but without the trumpeting of elephants. After a civilised coffee halt in Thonon les Baines on the shores of Lake Leman, we turned south in brilliant sunshine and began the signposted "Route Des Grandes Alps".

Almost immediately we were on smaller roads winding along the bottom of valleys, hugging the mountain sides as the roads climbed forever upwards with lots of sharp bends. The complaint from my wife Shirley was that the drop down the mountain side always seemed to be on her side of the car. I couldn't see what the problem was, as I had my eyes shut for most of the time !! We certainly went through some very small villages & hamlets where our cars drew lots of attention and pointed fingers, hands, etc. from small children through to little old ladies sitting on their porches.

To be continued..


Events from July 2013 Grin Factor


I will start my report this month with an account of our visit to the National Kit car Show at Stoneleigh.
As we had plenty of time, three of us Alan, Andy and I decided to break our journey and visit the Gaydon Motor Museum. It houses many of the models produced by BMC and other British manufacturers and I could recognise quite a few that I had owned over my motoring years. It started with my first car an Austin Seven Ruby saloon that I bought for £30 right through the MG, Morris and Standard Triumphs. They also had a collection of beautifully streamlined MG land speed record cars and old racers that had performed at Brooklands together with a massive collection of elegant Edwardian machinery that would have been enjoyed by the rich. At the other end of the spectrum was the Jaguar range that showed many examples from the SS right up to the beautiful lines of their latest preproduction sports car. We were only there a couple of hours but could have spent much more time scrutinising in detail the exhibits and reading all the information, especially the story of the industrial strife in the motor industry during the 1970s. If you have never been to this museum I can recommend it for a visit.

This year I decided to take a room in the'Village' just to have a warm room and soft bed and although it is not very luxurious compared to the onsite hotel it was adequate. Alan and Andy pitched their tents on the club stand and were soon joined by Ann and once they were ready we joined up with Diane and Paul together with Shirley and Chris and all went out to dinner at a local pub in Kenilworth. After the disappointment of the Detling Show it was heartening to see so many kits arriving on the Sunday morning and that was a good omen for the rest of the weekend.

I had a quick look around the halls during the morning and was surprised to see so many new projects on offer. One that did appeal to me was an Austin Healey 3000 styled car but brought up to date with clever restyling but still retaining the wonderful lines of the original. I understand that its creator was originally involved with the Sebring project. There were a number of really ugly machines that although must have taken a lot of development time lacked the fineness of a good shape. Why do these technical engineers who are obviously very skilled think that they are good at design as well? Quite often they produce a very well made machine that looks awful and has no chance of selling.

We had a nice turn out of members on our stand for the Sunday evening barbeque but not all stayed overnight and some went home after the food. A family arrived in a motor home towing a car that was for sale and as they did not belong to a club they asked if they could pitch on the end of our plot. Some wag said they could if they joined the club. However we had plenty of food over so invited them to join us, which they accepted. The door opened from the side of the motorhome and all these hungry looking kids came spilling out and I thought'Oh bugger' they are going to eat us out of house and home. We would not take any money for the food so they gave us a crate of beer to say thank you. The Monday was again very busy with crowds descending on the component halls where it was not easy to catch the eye of the stall holders to purchase items. I had a look around the outside show field where there were many individual club sites but although these were as full as in previous years there were a couple of exceptions where no cars were present at all. I wonder why that was.

Unfortunately it was soon time to pack up and wend our way home. Driving at speed on the motorway in my Vincent is not easy as it is nearing its maximum speed and working very hard. To keep up a high cruising speed the main screen is folded down and only one aero screen is used. It then becomes very uncomfortable and the wind noise is exhausting over a long journey. Not only that but when passing a large lorry the air pressure increases under the front wings and the whole front end lifts up causing the steering to become light. This is alright when expected but it can catch you out. However I think that this year at Stoneleigh was one of the better ones. For me I was able to meet old friends from all over the country and enjoyed as always the social side of our club.

Motorsport at the Palace.
No not driving around Buck House but attending a sprint at Crystal Palace. This was organised by the Sevenoaks and District Motor Club. Our club was allocated space for five cars per day over the two day event but luckily for us Ian Giles obtained another stand next to ours where extra cars could be accommodated. On the day I went, the Sunday, we had a full house. There was supposed to be a large Kit Car presence organised by the Kit Car magazine but this did not materialise and as I understand, there has been a restructuring of the magazine and new management is now in place. This was unfortunate as it could have been a good advertisement for the kit car industry. However once set up we had a look around the paddock and there was a lot of exciting machinery awaiting their turns to tackle the course. I was as usual interested in the prewar cars and there was an abundance of these old Brooklands racers and sports cars. Names like Riley, Alfa and Amalcar with their superchargers screaming left the line and rocketed up to the first corner. Their road holding was not as good as the modern machinery but they could match if not better the acceleration. The course is not very long and unfortunately it can't be seen in its entirety, but you can hear what's going on from the tyre squeals and engine notes in those unseen parts. It was a lovely hot day and relaxing with club members was most enjoyable. I think all the men had a good time although I sensed that the ladies were a little bored. There were not so many members out on the Monday but I understand that the racing was just as good and one car set the fastest time of the weekend.
Charity collections other than the, shaking the box, official ones were not allowed but after the dreadful incident a few days before, Ian who raises funds for Help the Hero's put up his flag and left the collection box in his car. During the course of the weekend children and adults were seen to put their loose change and notes into it and he raised nearly £100. Good old British public! This motor event is most enjoyable and a rumour has it that a couple of our members will be competing next year. Bring it on!

The following weekend I joined a gathering of 200 cyclists from all over the world, who were riding from Paris to London to raise money for Help the Hero's. Over a couple of days they had visited the battlefields and then crossed the channel after an overnight stop in Calais. They had gathered together at the Battle of Britain memorial in Capel-le-Ferne near Dover. If any of you have been to this memorial you will understand that it is a very atmospheric place and together with all these brave ladies and men who were undertaking this challenge, many of them without their lower limbs added to that. More than one cyclist had only one arm to propel them along on their specially adapted recumbent bikes. A lone Spitfire saluted the cyclists with a short display and when it did a victory roll all of them cheered and waved. I think this was the most humbling experience of my life and I have a lump in my throat just remembering it. After a short service the cyclists soon moved off to their rendezvous point at Hawkinge Aerodrome before making for Gillingham for an overnight stop. They were due to meet other cyclists who had come from all over Britain for a rally in London on the Sunday. Our editor visited both the Canterbury Cathedral gardens open day where he was the only club representative and the Custom Show on Romney Marsh. He reported that the marsh event was not very well attended with only a few hot Rods out but plenty of bikes.

This year Hamstreet was reduced to just a single day car show. This was because of the losses incurred over the last couple of years due to the poor weather. I managed to get a late entry and arrived to meet our members who were already parked up. As the morning progressed more and more members arrived and we had a reasonable showing of about 18 cars. The club flags were erected and I went off with a couple of others to find the tea tent. This show is renowned for its delicious strawberries and cream but they did not have any this year. I was mortified as my taste buds were so expectant so I had to make do with a second rate bit of sponge off the cake stall. The organisers tried to get a team competition going and our club was asked to enter one. However we did get one together but I missed the call as I was elsewhere in the showground. I am sorry about that. I hope the team were not too disappointed or was it relief. It was nice to meet a couple of new members who turned up in their Lomax and I hope once introduced to the club you enjoyed the day. Dave and Linda Spong who are back in England for the summer joined us and it was nice to see them again. Although this show was lacking some of its past exhibits it still provided a good day out so hopefully the new organisers can build on it for the future.

Future Events
I am going to arrange a visit to Pilkington Glass at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey. Pilkington's are specialists in automotive windscreens and have over 2,0000 patterns of nearly every classic car produced to date. They will give us a tour of the factory to show the production, test and dispatch departments. The club visited a number of years ago and members found it fascinating to see the method employed to produce a laminated curved screen from flat sheet glass. They have scaled down their operation from when we last visited but have re-equipped with new machinery. However the overall manufacturing process is the same. Unfortunately they can only accommodate a group of maximum 10 and the visit must be in normal working hours during the week. No date has been arranged yet but if you are interested in going can you please contact me and I will open a list.
President John Cooke is hosting a FREE Club Barbeque at his house on Sunday the 1st of September. It is intended to visit the Mill Toy and Pedal Car Museum at Northiam (by the light railway station) before going on to John's for the Barbeque and a swim or lesson in his heated indoor pool. As this is a club funded event it won't cost you a penny but we need to know the numbers attending. We do not want to be in the position of catering for a large number and only have a few people turn up. Therefore it is intended that you put your name down on a list. If you do not want to go on the visit first then it is quite acceptable for you to go directly to John's after 1400 hrs.

Visit Itinerary: - Meet at Junction 8 on M20, Maidstone Services at 1100 hrs and travel across to the A274 via Leeds on B2163. Follow A274 through Headcorn, join A28 through Tenterden and turn left onto A268 to arrive approximately at 1200hrs . Visit will take about one hour and a half and will cost £4 entry fee. Leave Museum at approximately 1330 hrs and retrace route on A274, through Biddenden. Turn right to Standen, Smarden, Pluckley and Charing. At A20 turn left towards Maidstone, at one mile turn left into Hook Lane. John's house, Sandacres, is on the right at the far end by the tee junction to arrive at approximately 1430hrs.
John is a pretty inventive cook so you will be offered something other than burgers. It would be nice on an occasion like this to meet some of our more elusive members, some who have been loyal members to the club for many years but we never see. You know who you are.
John has a very nice heated indoor swimming pool and if you can't swim or you need a bit of stroke correction you can have a one to one free lesson from a very experienced and fully qualified Swimming Teacher who will guarantee that you will swim by the end of it. Both Ladies and Gents are welcome. Age is no excuse.

I am putting together our talks programme for the coming winter indoor season and have received confirmation that the "Tank talk man" David Render will come to the club for the October club night and give us a talk about his involvement with Formula One with anecdotes from the likes of his friends Clarke, Hill and Chapman. He assures me this is a light amusing talk and one the ladies as well as the men will enjoy. Club member John Alford has agreed to give us an account of his exploits in the Far East and I have a possible manufacturer lined up. I need another three talks to complete the programme. Any ideas?


Spring Trip to France 20 / 21 April 2013

Dawn broke on Saturday morning with bright sunshine promising a pleasant journey to the Channel Tunnel to meet Ian and Miriam, Alan and Sandra, and Keith and Roma for the start of our expedition into France with our trusted kit cars. We arrived at the Tunnel parking area and found the group gathered around Alan's Cobra which had a worrying pool of water under the engine. It could go no further as the radiator had been holed, so the recovery vehicle was requested and Alan and Sandra promised to meet us in France at the hotel in Montreuil, in their Mini.

There was no sight of Ian and Mirian's Tiger. It had failed to start that morning and therefore they were forced to use their Ford Focus. This left just Keith and Roma in their Falcon and Anita and me in our Robin Hood. Not a good start but we boarded the train on time leaving Alan and Sandra waiting for the recovery truck.

We arrived in Calais at 11am (French time) and followed Ian via D roads to Desvres. What a pleasure it was driving on the empty French roads. We arrived in the car park in the centre of the village as our stomachs told us it must be lunchtime. A bar was selected as being suitable and with pigeon French, 6 baguette rolls with various fillings were selected. What a delight it was to see the proprietor run across the square to the Boulangarie to buy the bread for our lunch. You can't get it fresher than that! Several of the group were defeated in trying to eat half a baguette stuffed with pate, salad etc. but waste did not come into it as we wrapped up the uneaten parts for later.

We had a pleasant stroll around Desvres and visited the church. On our return to the car park a wedding ceremony was in progress at the Town Hall and we were witness to the usual French celebration of horn blowing while following the bride and groom from the car park. Ian's timing of our return to the car park was impeccable giving us all a chance to see the blushing bride and shiny suited groom while photographs were taken. We left the celebrations in Desvres and took a meandering route to the hotel at Montreuil. This did involve collecting a fair amount of French manure on the side of my car which had set nicely by the time we reached Montreuil. As we parked in the hotel car park we were met by Alan and Sandra in their mini. Perfect timing, having been picked up by RAC recovery, and taken back to Swanley fairly promptly and then jumping in the mini and driving back to the Tunnel and then onto Montreuil. We all agreed that a drink in the pretty square was required and we sat in the afternoon sunshine and enjoyed the ambiance with a very acceptable French wine and beer. This is a pastime that only the French know how to do so well, only equalled by good food, which brought us to choose a restaurant for the evening meal. What an excellent choice that was as well. A very enjoyable evening was had with good food and company. No mean feat!

After a quiet and comfortable night we headed towards Buire le Sec and after about 30 minutes arrived at Abbaye De Valloires (an Abbey built in the 12th century). The Cistercian abbey has a unique church and the main building is now used as a hotel with 20 rooms and the remainder as a home for neglected children. In true French style the guide only spoke French, but we had a pamphlet in English to explain the history of the building and church. The tour lasted an hour and after all that exercise, the subject again of food was raised. A gentle drive in the sunshine found us in Le Touquet just in time for lunch. A restaurant was chosen and in no time we were enjoying a meal of Moules et Frites or Jambon et Frites. After lunch we made our way independently back to the Channel Tunnel for our trip home.

All in all, a very enjoyable and well organised trip.

Duff Robinson

Spring trip to France 20th and 21st April 2013

On our weekend to France we met at the Eurotunnel terminal at 8.30 ready to board our 9.20 train to Calais, when we arrived we heard and saw frantic waving of hands and shouting from Alan who had parked up (in the wrong place) only to discover that his radiator had a hole in it so the RAC were sent for and Alan and Sandra had to be towed home on the back of a truck. Then Ian turned up from nowhere on foot no sign of his car, he and Mirri had turned up in a tin top--- his 7 wouldn't start. Duff and Anita arrived soon after in their Robin Hood, so only 2 out of the 4 Kits were able to go. Never mind!

We arrived in France and set off on our journey to Desvres we meandered along a lot of D roads also along some smelly tracks caked with fresh manure!! And we eventually arrived at our lunch time destination at 1ish, we found a nice little cafe in the square and ordered sandwiches which turned out to be the biggest baguettes ever, very scrummy tho' they were actually half a French loaf and only 3 euros each. We have now heard from Alan and Sandra, they picked up their tin top & were now boarding the train in Folkestone, and would join us at our hotel in Montreuil.

After more interesting meanderings along the country lanes, with next to no traffic what a pleasure! We eventually arrived at our Hotel in Montreuil, just behind Alan and Sandra. We drove under the hotel to the car park only to find it was the opposite side of a road at the rear of the hotel (looked a bit like a cow shed. There was a 3" step down to reach the road at the rear. Duff had to find some bricks to assist and ease his car down. After a very swift wash and brush up we hit the square, the weather was glorious so there was no alternative but to have a well deserved alcoholic beverage!! We then found a very nice looking restaurant where we enjoyed a fantastic meal (one of the best meals we have ever had) Sunday morning, we left Montreuil and made our way to L'Abbaye et les Jardins de Valloires where we joined a conducted tour of the Abbey....the down side was that it was all in French and so didn't mean much to most of us.

Then we made our way to Le Touquet sea front and parked and had a very good lunch with excellent service as we had limited time left, before making our way back to the Eurotunnel for our homeward journey.

We often travel to France by road and further afield but this was our first trip across the Channel in our kit car which was a very enjoyable experience. On behalf of the Ian Macquarie party I would just like to thank Ian and Miri for organising us all so well. Au revoir

Keith and Roma Frost

Events from May 2013 Grin Factor


I would like to start my report on a happy note where I want to send my and the clubs congratulations to Cyril Bunt and his new wife who tied the knot over the Bank holiday weekend. I hope you will both be very happy. As you can see from the events list in the centre fold there are plenty of events for you to attend this summer.


The show season started off with this show at the Chatham Dockyard. Because the year had begun with quite dreadful weather lots of people took advantage of the better conditions and came out in force.
I attended on the Monday but I understand it was busy on Sunday as well. There were twelve cars out in our section and we had lots of interest shown by the public Elsewhere in the dockyard there were lots of other exhibits and I even had a ride on a penny farthing bike. Although I had ridden a full sized ordinary in the past these little versions were great fun to ride.
There were some Morris Dancers with a twist as these dancers were "punks", one dancer made me smile. He was dressed in an old military hussar's uniform, wearing a paint sprayer's full face mask and banging a drum completely off beat. The rest were a motley crew wearing strange garb. The ladies were scantily clad and were obviously cold and I don't mean shivering. One was wearing a bit of old sack as a skirt and had bright red hair. They danced with a lot of vigour and were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
As there was a cold wind blowing up the river I spent a lot of the time indoors listening to a traditional skiffle group equipped with a wash board and tea chest bass.
Ray and Joan attended both days and went on a tour around the buildings where Call The Midwife was filmed but they told me it was quite difficult to recognise the individual sets. However the site is full of history with buildings from the earliest period of wooden war ships right up to the 21st Century.
The dockyard is such an interesting place to visit, with new permanent and temporary exhibitions together with ones put on just for the show. If you missed it this time make a note in your diary for next year.


Events from March 2013 Grin Factor

ONE FOR THE ROAD Feb-March 2013 -Ramblings from your Social Secretary

I am writing this report while listening to the Beeb on the day where 50 years ago in 1963 the Beatles recorded their first record, Please Please Me at the Abby Road studio. I can remember this period as it was a transition between the domination of American artist in the charts and the home grown refreshing sound culminating later in the Liverpool sound. Although the Beatles were a resounding success I preferred the rhythm and blues sound of the Rolling Stones.

This year there are plenty of events taking place but because of the current financial climate and the very poor weather over the last couple of years (causing massive losses due to cancellations) unfortunately some of the old established shows will not be taking place. I have received an entry form from one of my local shows and they have reduced the event to only one day and increased the entry fee by 400% . I know that they have had two poor years where the attendance was down due to the weather but this as an exhibitor seems quite a large increase. They will say that their overheads have increased so this is reflected in the entry fee and I can understand this argument as well. Considering without us they would not have a show and to charge this much to exhibit on their behalf seems wrong.

Our club night talks have been successful so far this year.

For the November one our speaker had to reschedule at reasonably short notice so I gave a talk on tracing your family tree. Genealogy is one of my other interests and I persue this through the winter periods. I was a little apprehensive about doing it as after I had offered to do this presentation I found out that other members were much more experienced in the subject than I, but luckily for me did not ask any awkward questions. Thank you for your attentiveness during the talk and I felt it was well received.

For the January club night we had one of the best talks ever. Our speaker was Captain David Render a surviving Lieutenant Troop Leader who commanded a troop of four Sherman Tanks in the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. He spoke about his exploits during the Second World War starting just before D day and fighting his way through France and into Germany. He told us about the horrors of war and the action he had seen. The allied tanks were no match for the German Panzers and our loss rate with machines and crews was very high. He used to let his crew listen to the evening news and Churchill was asked a question in the House of why we could not match the German superior armourment and his reply was that we did not have to as we had superior numbers. This was quite demoralising to his men and he had to stop them listening in the future. During the talk he illustrated it with slides and an accompanying sound track operated by his assistant. He had obviously revisited some of the areas after the war and could show us the actual places the fighting occurred. He produced a parcel and asked me to help him and I found myself handling a German flag/banner the type you see in war films hanging outside buildings. As we unfurled it the swastika came into view as a reminder of the Nazi regime. This was quite a long piece of material and stretched across the room. He then spoke about the way to knock out a Panzer by using its ventilation system to draw fire into its internals and in so doing ignite the oil and fuel residue that was always present in the bottom of the tanks. The pop guns that our tanks had could not penetrate the Panzers armour and to damage their tracks was the only way to stop them before finishing them off at close range. One thing that I found amusing was how David compared the immaculately turned out German Officers to Montgomery who was quite scruffy with his moth eaten jumper down to his knees and Churchill who looked like Benny Hill with his cap. I sensed a determined, rebellious streak in his character. After VE Day (Victory in Europe) he was on his way to fight in the Far East but the war ended before he got there so his regiment was deployed in North Africa and he commanded an armoured car squadron. David gives these talks to raise money for the widows of his fallen comrades and because he came all the way from North London the club made a donation from club funds to cover his expenses. A collection was made by members present and together with the donation it came to just over £171. I was very pleased with that and must thank you for your generosity. Please see the letter of thanks from David. Members said that it was a shame that we had a time limit on the talk as David had to restrict his story and I know that he would have gone on a lot longer if the time had permitted. One of his other talk's subjects is his involvement with Colin Chapman and the Lotus formula one team where he drove one of the JPS cars. I have been requested to ask David to return and give this presentation on the April cub night but unfortunately he is not available as he is away competing in a car rally. I will endeavour to get him booked in to our first indoor session in September.

For the February club night we had a presentation by Gerald Stringer, the sales director of Aaron Radiators who gave us an interesting talk about the same and brought along some samples to explain the different types of heat exchangers. Considering that this was the first time he had delivered a talk I thought it went very well and proves that a little preparation beforehand can make a massive difference.

The AGM is to be held on the March club night. This unfortunately falls on Good Friday but the committee felt that we should go ahead and as a bonus live light entertainment will be provided afterwards by Roy and John.

The club dinner and dance held in the Holiday Inn at Hothfield was a success where members and their guests enjoyed a good meal with live entertainment throughout the evening by Neil Foreman's "Granddad's". Our president John entertained us in the interval with a programme of songs where we could all stretch our vocal cords when required. Every year the club make a presentation to a worthy person who has worked hard for the membership. This is normally done at the AGM but this year the opportunity was taken to present it at this function. The club presented my wife Ve with a vase to thank her for all the barbeques she has hosted in our garden during the Hythe Festivals over the last twelve years. She wishes me to thank you all and says she withdraws everything she had said about the club in the past. Although the club have attended dinner and dances before this is the first time we have held an exclusive club function. The loud heavy rock music may not be to everybody's taste but most members had a dance and enjoyed it. I stayed over at the hotel and with the group discount felt it was very good value and our accommodation was better than expected. This event was run by our President John Cooke and I thank him for all the organisation and I hope went off without a hitch. I hope we can do it again next year.

About this time of year I have in the past produced a précis of events for the coming season giving an indication of the date, quality and value. Because so many have been cancelled and lack of feedback from members I have decided not to do it this year. Also whereas in the past I would have received all entry forms and notification of events from the shows, nowadays with the Web I do not get these and organisers expect people to enter individually on line. This obviously has drawbacks when new events are planned and our members do not know they are happening. It is not an ideal situation for me as social secretary but I will endeavour to let you know when I hear of a new event. Please look in the centre fold calendar for events and dates you are interested in and enter on line or request an entry form yourself.

However I still get some correspondence from show organisers and have booked the club stand at Stoneleigh. I have requested the same one as last year and they have confirmed that we have this. The organisers of Detling are running two events on the same weekend; one is a quilting and sewing show that will be held in the new hall where we were last year. This year the car show will be back in the old hall where we have been offered a huge area right in the centre of the new building, enough to accommodate twenty cars. I thought we may not be offered any space at all but now have a bigger problem of getting enough cars to fill it. There is talk of the visiting kit cars being accommodated under cover in the back hall but it will be interesting to see how they will accomplish this as there is only one access door. However that's their problem.

We have been invited to Motorsport at the Palace again at the end of May. As last year we are limited to five cars per day on the club stand. If you would like to attend please let me known and I can send you the relevant entry tickets. The entry is free for the driver and one passenger. I went last year for the first time and found that it was a most interesting event. Although the circuit they use is not very long, it is very demanding for the drivers. The pits are open to the public and I spent most of the time there spotting internationally renowned drivers and getting up close to their famous historical cars. This event is a bit like the Goodwood Festival of Speed but at club level. You have to be there by 08.30, but make the effort as it is well worth it.


A Strange Workshop -"Tail"

Approximately 18 months ago a 2005 VW Golf came into my workshop with some strange faults.

Sometimes the engine wouldn't start; sometimes the central locking wouldn't work and the engine management light go on and off for no apparent reason.

We plugged it in to our diagnostic machine to see what had been recorded on the ECU, but for some strange reason we couldn't communicate with it. We tried another diag and still no joy. We checked the obvious but everything seemed to be in order.

At this point we gave up and told the customer that it may have to go to VW as we suspected a faulty ECU.

The customer decided that this was going to cost a fortune and so was going to continue running it, and see what happens.

Two weeks later the Golf arrived back at the workshop courtesy of the AA. It was now completely dead.

We thought we'd have more of a chance of finding the fault now and so set about checking voltages across the wiring loom and fuse board.

After about an hour of looking one of the technicians saw something a bit odd where the main wiring loom goes through the bulkhead underneath the ABS pump. On closer inspection with a mirror and torch we found that something had eaten half the wiring loom presumably to gain access to the car. We suspected a mouse.

We informed the customer about the suspected mouse damage (I don't think she believed us) and said that she should contact her insurance company as it was likely to be expensive. Two months later the customer came back to the workshop to tell us what had happened.

Yes it was mouse damage and the car required a complete wiring harness. This involved removing the engine and gearbox and the complete interior!!!!!

The cost for this was approx £6000

In the past year we have done various jobs on the Golf inc servicing, mot's, tyres and a new alternator and when the customer rings up she always jokes that it's the Golf that the mouse ate.

However two weeks ago she informed us that the alarm had started going off about three or four times a night. We had the car back in and immediately we found a nibbled tangerine in the centre console. Oh dear.

We then opened the glove box and found a very nice mouse nest made up of chewed paper.

I was not looking forward to this phone call.

I explained to the customer that the reason the alarm was going off at night is because mice are mainly nocturnal and there was one living in the glove box. She definitely didn't believe me this time.

When she came to pick the car up I told her that if she opened up the glove box it would be obvious and that she ought to call some sort of pest controller.

About five minutes later she came back with a very stricken look on her face.

She did open the glove box and not only did she see the nest but there was the mouse as well.....She said it looked very healthy.

We tried to catch it but it kept disappearing behind the dash. The poor woman didn't look very happy about driving the car home.

Andy Green

My s2000 winter build part one

As a committee member for the past 3 years i thought I should eventually introduce myself I've been in the club for past 6 years.

I try to go to as many shows as possible but find it very hard to go to all due to work.

I am the one who owns the green escort pick up and the Locost Seven.

Currently I am rebuilding the seven for next season I am fitting a Honda s2000 engine and 6 speed gearbox and a set of jenveys, should be very lively as they rev to 9000 rpm and have around 240 bhp, should be fun.

I would like to get some track days in next season.

first I sold the original Zetec and auxiliaries and started to strip the car down

The s2000 engine and gearbox is a lot bigger than the Zetec so I test fitted it and found that I would have to modify the gearbox tunnel to get the, gearbox to fit as it is a lot bigger than a Ford type 9 it then also became apparent that the engine is a lot taller so I would need some kind of bulge in the bonnet so I modified the tunnel I then had to make a gearbox mounting so with that done I then looked at the bonnet problem, I thought that if I used the same bulge that Andy Green had used from a L200 pick up it may cover the engine unfortunately it wasn't big enough so I then came to the decision that I would have to make a new bonnet so I set about cutting the L200 bulged into four sections measured how big it needed to be then I rejoined it by riveting flat fibreglass sheet then I attached it to my old bonnet then proceeded to fill the bulge and bonnet to make a buck so I could take a mould from it, it took along time as once the filling was done I then had to paint it and sand it twice just as you would if you we're preparing your car for paint I then had to polish it with a mirror glaze which makes it easier to get a mould of the buck, once this was all done I then covered the buck with a pva solution which puts a thin film over the buck so the mould and buck can be separated and don't become stuck together.

I then put 4 layers of glass fibre on it to make the mould.You will see I have made the bulge over hang the front of the bonnet this was done so that I could put a bigger aluminium radiator upright directly in front of the engine instead of it being put at an angle in the nose cone it also freed up limited space for the oil cooler to fit.

I then turned my attention to the rear axle as I knew the old English axle wouldn't take the power. So I tracked down a narrow atlas axle which is a lot stronger, old Ford parts are getting very expensive I already had a LSD to go into the axle I then proceeded to weld all new brackets on for the 5 link set up I then started to work out what diff ratio I should use the original s2000 use a 4:1 ratio but the rear tyres are a lot bigger than the 15in wheels I am using.

I then decided it wasn't going to be practical with how much it was going to cost for new diffs around £300 each and the cost to have the diff set up as I wanted to use a couple of different diff ratios depending on what I was doing with car ie if I was going on a track day or I was going to be driving long distances I wanted to be able to bring the revs down to save fuel but with the price of the diffs and the fact that it is a specialist job to rebuild every time at a cost of around £250 I decided to look for an alternative so I looked around at different diffs and came up with a Subaru Impreza diff very cheap and plentiful and they have loads of different ratios available with Lsd's as standard, so I obtained one from eBay for a very reasonable £20 with LSD.

They range from about £50 to about £200 so quite cheap, I've had to modify the tunnel at the rear to take the diff and fabricate a mounting to take the diff ...I'm going to build a de dion rear axle and use Cosworth outer cv's Cosworth shafts and Impreza inner cv's and if I can't get splines machined in shafts I will have the two different shafts friction welded which from what I've found out will take 300bhp so should do the trick.

To be continued ...

Alan Middleton

Winter Rebuild - Part 2

Following on from the last issue.

All the parts I needed had now arrived, so I could continue the assembly process. This meant finalising the fuel, oil and coolant systems. The engine was trial fitted to see how well things went together, it was still very tight but a lot neater than before. There were a few niggles but nothing too serious.

It was now time to tidy the electrics. The engine loom that Omex supply is a universal one and definately not designed for a small kit car. This meant that all the cables were at least three times longer than they needed to be. On the first install I wrapped the cables up in a bundle to simplify the build. This isn't ideal and I now wanted to make it look a bit more bespoke. So out with the soldering iron, heat shrink and spiral wrap for a boring and time consuming job. The end result is much neater.

After taking the engine out again and refitting with the gearbox (with the help of fellow club member Dave), I could continue with all the plumbing and commissioning of all the radiators.

It was starting to look a bit more like a car. All I had to do do was start it. Cue the swearing and cursing!

There were a few minor leaks and wiring issues, but I was surprised that it started as easily as it did. Hooray !!!!!!

I used 20w50 multigrade oil to initially bed the the new bearings in and then changed it for 5w30 fully synthetic. I ran this for appproximately 100 miles and the changed it for 0w40 Millers nanotech. The Millers oil is supposed to reduce engine friction thereby increasing engine life and horsepower (We'll see).

The coolant I used was Evans powercool 180, this is supposed to reduce the risk of overheating and engine knock (detonation). Again we'll see.

Now that I was happy that there were no coolant or oil leaks, meant that an engine mapping session on the dyno was required . Previously I had taken it to Steve Greenald at Track n Road in Rainham Essex, but this time I thought I'd try someone nearer. HT Racing at Brands Hatch.

The big day arrived and off I went to Brands Hatch with high expectations.

Oh dear!!!!!!!

We got the car strapped in to the Dyno and after about an hour's mapping it was clear that something was wrong.

The last power run only showed 230 bhp. Not bad, but nowhere near what I was expecting. Everything seamed to be working ok, except for the supercharger which was only giving 6psi at 5500 rpm and virtually nothing below that.

The guys at HT Racing were very helpful, but there was no point in going any further untill the boost problem was sorted.

More investigation is needed.

I hope it dosn't cost too much!!!!!!!!!

Andy Green

Events from January 2013 Grin Factor

The power of Google

Sometimes in my workshop we have jobs come in that have us all stumped,which leaves us looking for help elsewhere and the easiest place to look is on the internet. Occasionally we get lucky and find the right answer without too much searching.

The following two problems are classic examples of this :-

A couple of months ago a Vauxhall Meriva 1.6 petrol came in with the customer complaining of a whining noise coming from the engine. My colleague Ricky went outside to have a listen and immediately suspected a worn bearing on either the auxilliary belt tensioner, timing belt tensioner or water pump. Easy to diagnose and fairly simple to fix. However when the engine was turned off the noise continued for about 1.5 seconds ! Ricky came back in and asked Simon and I to have a listen, there was now three mechanics standing around the Meriva scratching their heads.

This was obviously not going to be as simple as we first thought.

Out came the stethoscope and after much listening I decided that the noise was coming from the exhaust camshaft pully, which suggested a dry oil seal, but this didn't explain why the noise carried on after the engine stopped running. Very strange.

Time to google it.

Needless to say there was about 3 million pages related to this search, but I got lucky and after about 30 minutes of searching I found a Vauxhall mechanic that explained the problem.

The crankcase breather on the later Vauxhall engines is located in the camcover and instead of a pipe running to the air filter box it connects straight to the inlet manifold via a valve. When this valve fails it sticks open.This causes the vacuum in the inlet manifold to extend into the crankcase and at tickover this can be as low as -8 psi.

This vacuum was drawing air through the exhaust camshaft oil seal and causing the whine.

Once I knew what the problem was it was easy enough to prove.

If I pulled the dipstick out the noise stopped and the engine started running lumpy.

I replaced the cam cover and the problem was solved.

The second vehicle was a Peugeot 308 1.6 HDI with a flat battery.

The first thing to do was check the battery and the alternator, both of which where fine. On further investigation it was found that the radiator fan was staying on for too long after the engine was turned off and this was draining the battery.

I plugged the car into the diagnostic computer to see what was happening and found that the fan was coming on as soon as the engine was started and wouldn't go off even though the coolant temperature was reading normal. I suspected a faulty temperature sensor and so changed it, but that wasn't the problem. I then thought it could be the fan relay sticking but changing that didn't cure the problem either.

Time to google it.

Again the normal 3 million pages but this time I found the answer after about 10 minutes.

A loose oil filler cap !!

The problem was very similar to the Meriva.The crankcase breather is connected to the inlet manifold and a leak in the engine is the same as a leak in the inlet manifold. The ECU detects that the pressure in the inlet manifold is incorrect and puts the engine into safe mode and the cooling fan immediately comes on.

I refitted the oil filler cap and the problem was solved.

Where would us mechanics be without Google.

Andy Green

Driving to the "Pair of knees"

I'm not one of those folk who likes to be constantly cleaning & polishing my kitcar, I like to use it a bit. So having previously explored the Austrian & Italian Alps, including going over the Stelvio Pass a couple of times, played in the Swiss & French Alps last year, it was decided to go somewhere different this year. But where ? The Pyrenees was suggested, which as lots of people know is that mountain range between the south of France and the northern part of Spain. My wife, Shirley and I had been there before, when our sons were a lot younger than they are now, and it was they who renamed this mountain range as the "Pair of knees".

On this occasion our travelling companions were Ian &Miri Macquarie in their Caterham and Paul & Diane Loveridge in their GCS Hawke, all members of the Kent Kit Car Club. In our Sebring TMX we made our way to Dover on 23 August to meet with Paul & Diane on the car ferry, and we rendezvoused with Ian &Miri, who used the Eurotunnel, at a convenient French motorway service area. We were going to be away for nearly 2 weeks and most of the internet hotel hunting and initial route planning had been done beforehand by Ian and Diane. Our first night, after a 230 mile drive from Calais, was in Chartres where we soon found a couple of beers and a nice meal to start our holiday off.

Having travelled together before we soon settled into a practised routine which usually involved Ian & MIri leading with the aid of his satnav, and either Paul & Diane or Shirley & myself running as tail end Charlie. We also use walkie talkies when on the move as we find it helps a lot at dodgy junctions, or when someone wants to stop for a coffee or a pee! Our preference is not to use the toll motorways, but to drive on the less busy N and D roads which are much more interesting & enjoyable to drive on. Ian's satnav even has a "winding roads" options in addition to the usual options of "quickest route", "shortest route", etc; which found some very interesting and bumpy roads at times. It's also a lot easier to pop into a supermarket for fuel (cheaper) than pay through the nose for petrol on the motorways.

Our second day saw us down in the Dordogne, in an Ibis Hotel in Sarlat, which was to be home for the next three nights. In deference to our partners derrieres, we wandered around the picturesque town c/w market in the morning before having an afternoon run out to Chateau Castelnaud which has a battery of medieval war machines worthy of inspection. Another day saw us enjoying a touring loop (winding roads again) in the Dordogne area and we even managed to find an open air Motor/Tractor/ Agricultural museum in the afternoon where our cars became an instant attraction. As usual and regardless of how far we'd driven, when returning to the hotel we were all overcome by a raging thirst, that could only be cured by a couple of beers. On our fifth day we found another winding road route down to Tarascon and arrived safely in the foothills of the Pyrenees after a hot, bumpy & dusty 6 hour drive. Our hotel was described by one of group as "a quaint & characterful French hotel" which meant that it was small with smallish rooms that demanded careful & no sudden movements to avoid banging into a cupboard, door, toilet and each other. However the bar worked all right and the owner was very hospitable. We found a superb "Logis" restaurant that evening, overlooking the river and even managed to enjoy a good bottle or three of wine.

Next day was our first drive into the "Pair of knees" and we climbed up to the top of the 2406 metre pass before descending into the pandemonium that is Andorra. Relatively cheap fuel abounds in Andorra due to lower taxes but we spent so much time driving through it with roads works and other construction going on, we almost needed to fill up again when we left. Spanish customs officers were naturally very interested in our cars and couldn't work out where the luggage boots were on the Caterham & Hawke. Eventually the penny dropped and we were waved on with that look that only officials who don't understand kit cars can have on their bemused faces. We found some brilliant roads, cols, and hairpins to rival the Stelvio during the afternoon and had a whale of a time, with only the odd comment from respective partners about getting too near the edge of large drops at the side of the roads.

Whilst based in Tarascon we also managed to get into the ancient town of Carcasonne where some of the Kevin Costner "Robin Hood" film was shot. Various other historic towns/villages were experienced in between driving along more brilliant winding roads, some with grass growing up the middle, loads of hairpins etc. and the ever-present cyclists.

Too soon it was time to move on to the western end of the "Pair of knees" and on our drive this day we would encounter some rain, but not for long, so it was hoods down again as we went over the Col d'Aspin and several other passes on our way to ArgelesGazost, just south of Lourdes, where we would stay for 3 nights. Lovely hotel with a good restaurant, but a bit pricey; however there were lots of other good eating places to be found in the town and no shortage of bars !!

So far our cars were going well and apart from the usual checks, giving no cause for concern. They were as usual attracting all sorts of attention from the locals and tourists wherever we stopped. Even some brits on holiday could not believe that we'd driven them "all the way from England for pleasure".

The next couple of days saw us exploring more winding roads, picturesque valleys with fast flowing mountain rivers, more Colsand hairpins, and more pesky cyclists who seem to think they own the roads everywhere. We even managed to find a bar for a lunchtime Croque Monsieur and saw the first half of the Belgian GP on the telly.

Having enjoyed our time in the "Pair of knees" it was time to turn for home, and once again we packed the cars using every cubic centimetre of our respective storage spaces. A combination of winding, major roads and motorways were used because we needed to cover a good distance this day on our way up to Angouleme. The amount of commercial traffic using the N10 road up from Spain through this part of France has to be seen to be believed. We passed what seemed to be endless convoys of trucks of all nationalities rolling north, all nose to tail, heavily laden and emitting clouds of diesel smoke. Nevertheless we were able to find a very pleasant little cafe off the beaten track for a lunch break, where again ours cars were the centre of attraction and questions.

Angouleme is famous for its historic motor sport event that involves racing around the ramparts of this ancient town. We arrived at our hotel right in the centre of the town - aren't satnavs wonderful in a city or town - to find the final stages of preparations under way for the "Race of the Ramparts". Armco was going up everywhere, but there were plenty of bars, etc. for the weary traveller to find a much needed beer. The views from the ramparts were great and thoughts turned to coming back to Angouleme for a longer stay & look at the surrounding areas. We only planned to stay for one night in Angouleme, so after a very civilised breakfast in our Mercure Hotel, we packed the cars again and headed north.

We were aiming for Vendome, where we had stayed on a previous holiday, and found an absolutely brilliant restaurant which we all vowed to go back to again. After a short spell on the busy N10 again we turned off onto more winding D roads heading across country and stopped in a very picturesque village c/w ruined castle for lunch. Paul was having some difficulty with his clutch on the Hawke, making it more difficult to get some gears. Nevertheless it was decided to press on towards Vendome and we found ourselves later that afternoon in Loches looking for a coffee and some clutch fluid. Paul lost the clutch completely as we parked up in the central car park, and we had a good look underneath to see what the problem was. The hydraulic clutch slave cylinder had parted company from the bell housing because of two stripped threads and the clutch fluid had drained away. We spent an hour or so trying to get the slave cylinder back in place, got some more clutch fluid to replace that lost and bled the system. Unfortunately the retention bolts didn't have enough metal to hold onto and it all parted company again after a couple of pumps on the clutch pedal. After a few choice anglosaxon words and a couple of French swearwords thrown in for good measure, we decided to try and get to our hotel in Vendome for the night and then see what else we could think of to get the Hawke home.I towed Paul & Diane out of the town as it was quite hilly and congested and when we found a relatively quiet road stopped and slipped the tow rope. Paul was confident that he could drive clutchless to our hotel - about 80km away - using the starter motor to bump start the car, and the torque of the Rover V8 to keep going.

About an hour & half later we got to our hotel after a very interesting drive watching from behind as Paul dealt with traffic lights, roundabouts, and slow traffic in towns without too many grinding gear changes. As long as the starter motor (Mr Lucas's finest) kept going Paul was game to drive the next day's 300km to Calais clutchless, although Diane's face told a "not quite so confident story". Nevertheless we all enjoyed a wonderful meal and several bottles of wine that evening, and all retired to bed wondering what the next day would bring.

After a good breakfast and with the V8 in the Hawke warmed up, we set of for Calais by way of a route planned to minimise towns and use motorways as much as possible. Paul's gearbox let everyone know that it wasn't happy until it had also warmed up, but we made good progress although refuelling at a supermarket was a bit challenging. Later that afternoon after topping up our tanks in a motorway service area north of Rouen we approached Calais with a sense of relief. We waved goodbye to Ian & Miri as they peeled off to the Eurotunnel terminal and we carried on to the ferry terminal.

We decided to proceed as normal through the port and get on the ferry, as long as Paul's starter motor kept going and as long as he was able to get the Hawke rolling OK. Just in case I was right behind if a tow became necessary. We got on the ferry OK and breathed a sigh of relief; what ever happened now we could the cars off the ferry in Dover and tow home if necessary. Fortunately the Hawke got off the ferry under its own steam and through the Customs sheds alright without incident and we were on our way on the last leg of our trip. Shirley and I waved goodbye to Paul & Diane as they peeled off the M20, confident that they could get home, and we carried on to our home.

All together we were away for 13 days, covered 2450 miles, and had a great time. My car returned 19.7 mpg which wasn't bad at all considering some of the roads and cols we traversed and speeds on some roads!! Was it a good holiday ? - yes.

Was the company good ? - Undoubtedly yes.

Did the cars behave themselves ? - mostly, apart from the Hawke's clutch slave cylinders.

Did the drivers behave themselves ? - yes, well most of the time and Paul's clutchless drive of over 400km was brilliant - not everyone could do that !!! Would we go again ? - yes, but to another part of France or further !

With thanks to our travelling companions for putting up with us.

Chris & Shirley Pecover

Winter Rebuild - Part 1

I finished building my Gbs Zero in August 2011 and in the following year I had to deal with a few minor problems, as I suspect everyone has to do after their first build.

The first problem was a failed connection on the remote oil filter, this meant there was oil everywhere. It also meant a redesign in the oil system, which is not easy to do with everything fitted in the car. I also had problems with high inlet charge temperatures from the supercharger, so I replaced the intercooler with a water to air charge cooler, which meant another radiator with associated plumbing. Various other problems included a fuel leak from a failed connection, oil discharge from the crankcase breather and poor design of air filter. The engine was also overheating when pushed hard.

All these problems and re-thinks meant the engine bay looked like a disaster area with absolutely no room left, and so there was only one solution, take the engine and gearbox out and start again.

Winter has come upon us with a vengeance this year (not good for an open top car) and so now is the ideal time to start. Once I'd decided to take this drastic step I felt it would be a bit silly not to add a few more horses.......About 70 or so should do it.

After building the car my garage had become a bit of a mess, so the first job was to take everything out and paint the floor and walls, install more lights and power points and improve storage and shelving. It's now quite a pleasant working environment with plenty of room and heating (for the long, cold winter nights).

It's amazing how much quicker it is to strip something down than it is to build it in the first place and after two evenings everything was in bits. All the extra room I had made in the garage was now gone and I was trippng over everything and swearing a lot because I couldn't find the socket or spanner I'd just put down. Oh well.

Now that the engine bay was empty I could measure properly and make a shopping list of new parts required :-
1 Radtec Caterham extreme radiator and fan
2 Oil cooler kit from Speedflow
3 Fuel swirl pot from Viper Performance
4 Chargecooler header tank (VX220) from Alloy Racing Fabrications
5 Remote air filter from CBS
6 PTFE fuel hose, filter, shut off valve and connectors from Torques UK

And for the extra horses :-

1 Lightweight steel flywheel from Turbo Sport (saving 7 Kg)
2 12:1 compression ratio Wossner pistons from PEC
3 Uprated valve springs from Piper Cams
4 Mahle race bearings from Burton's

The new parts would take a couple of weeks to arrive, plenty of time for cleaning and polishing.

One of the ways to gain extra HP is to match ports on the head to the inlet manifold, this sounds easy but is very time consuming if you want a decent result. After a week of polishing I was happy with the finish (Shiney). I had to remove all the valves in the head which meant they had to be reground to the valve seats, a job I hate (and there was 16 of them). While I was working on the head I had inadvertantly mixed up the valve shims (Doh) and this meant starting from scratch. Shimming a Zetec is a right pain in the a**e and took two evenings to get right but eventually I was happy and the head was back together with the new valve springs.

By this time the pistons and bearings had arrived, so I could now re-assemble the engine. But first I had to gap the new piston rings. This done is done by pushing the ring into the bore by about an inch and measuring the gap with a feeler gauge, you then very carefully use a small file until you have the required measurement. You can easily go too far, so extreme care must be taken. Once the pistons were fitted it was a simple matter to refit the head, sump and timing belt. I then fitted the recently arrived flywheel and hey presto a complete engine again.

The next job was to fit the radiators for the cooling system, charge cooler, engine oil and supercharger oil. This job was simplified by the fact that the Caterham radiator was three times the thickness of the GBS one (Mk1 Escort) but a much smaller profile. This enabled all four radiators to be located in the nose cone. Perfect.

The new swirl pot was located in the same place as the old one, the reason I changed it was the connections. The old one had push on connectors with no barbs (dangerous for a high pressure fuel system) and the new one has JIC connectors for a compression fitting. Much safer.

I also fitted the fuel pump and filter with a 70mm solid connector. I had to do this twice as the first time the pump fouled the engine mount. The moral of that story is plan it properly first (measure twice, fit once).

The next job is to finish the fuel system and then trial fit the engine to make sure everything's in the right place.

Hopefully I'll have it finished by the end of January ready for the rolling road and then a nice warm Spring

Andy Green

Events from October 2012 Grin Factor

Ardingly 2012

The following report has input from 3 different club members until they went to bed on Saturday night.

Version 1

Ardingly is by far the biggest show we attend as a club with a vast array of cars, trucks, fire engines etc in fact every type of automotive engineering is represented some where, even down to rusty very old spark plugs, coils of wire, carbs, and engines.
However this year, the year of the drought we had something extra, water in the form of rainfall.

We set off from home (having got changed in to dry clothes as we got soaked loading the cars) and travelled down in lovely sunshine. Arriving at the show we set about grabbing a camping area for the club.
We had just finished setting up the awning and erecting the Marquee when the rain arrived.
As other members arrived, and the sun started to shine the rain stopped.
The evening was great, warm and sunny as we set about enjoying the BBQ. I must pass on my thanks to John Nash who proved he could cook, by insisting on cooking the burgers and sausages for us all.

As the sun went in we all moved into the marquee to carry on chatting and drinking till it was time for bed.
Saturday morning we transported the cars over to the club stand and off we went to rummage in the rusty bits on the auto jumble. Oh what a surprise the rain is back (is this summer over).
In the evening Ian and I fed 13 people a 3-course meal (although John and Alan managed to make this a 7 course meal by sampling all the puddings).
Off to the fair for a ride on the gallopers and a few beers in the beer tent before returning to camp for a tea and coffee.
As we retired to bed the rain started again.

Version 2

I arrived on Friday expecting a warm dry weekend, how wrong you can be.
It started raining on the way down, and I had to dive in to a garage to put the hood up.
Once I arrived at Ardingly the weather cleared and it was a very nice afternoon/ evening.
We enjoyed a BBQ in warm sunshine, but that was the last we saw of that as it rained all day Saturday.
Even the TV played up so we missed practice for the British GP.
However 13 of us sat down to a very enjoyable meal on Saturday evening with the booze flowing, rounded off with a visit to the fun fair.

Version 3

Alan and Myself arrived at Ardingly Friday night, having got lost as usual.
Having driven around most of the show we spotted Ian who has seen us and came to find us, then escorted us to the camping area.
Broni had saved us food from the BBQ and we certainly enjoyed that after our journey down.
We had not been here before and thought it was a good show regardless of the Bloody Rain.
We all had a wonderful meal on Saturday night, and then went to the fair, I am sure John Nash enjoyed it more than anyone else.
We then moved to the beer tent, where John was heard to say no to a beer as he was still topped up from dinner.
It has been good so far despite the rain

Saturday night and the rest of the show

Saturday night saw what we all agreed was the heaviest rainfall we could all remember camping in.
As we all surfaced on Sunday morning we were greeted by at least 1 inch of standing water and every one in a tent drying out.
John had got just over 1 hrs sleep and told us of rivers running through the tent during the night.
With this he packed away his stuff and headed for home for a warm dry bed.
The rest of us hung on and took our cars over to the club stand, and the sun started to come out and the ground started to dry out.
By 11 it was pouring down again, now we had 2 inches of standing water and the gateway to the camping field was a bog.
We decided to watch the GP and shelter from the conditions.
As it finished the sun was out and we had a superb display by the Kent Spitfire and then the big pack up started.
Down came the Marquee and awning all stored in the van damp for the journey home.
Trailer tents and caravans were also collapsed and as if by magic Gavin and Kim arrived to assist us all out of the camp area.
They had been at the show displaying in the Horticultural area and fortunately Gavin had bought his Caravan down on the back of his Land rover.
Having towed out the caravans and trailer tent he then proceeded to tow out my motor home along with 4 others that requested his help.
The only one that was not towed out was Ray who pulled his caravan out on the back of his Rickman with a little push through the last bit, he did spend the next hour cleaning the mud off the caravan before he departed for home.
The journey home was through, you guessed it RAIN. Despite the weather we all enjoyed our time and look forward to returning next year, without the drought.
Thanks to John, Penny and Broni for their contributions to this article.

Ian Giles

Classic Le Mans

Back in 2010, a crowd of us decided it was time to visit France and go and see the Le Mans 24hr race, having heard all the stories about the sheer size of the event, to witness the LM1 prototypes screaming past at three in the morning, headlights ablaze is a sight every petrol head should witness at least once in their life.

Over 250,000 people camp, the atmosphere is terrific, and the party doesn't stop from the minute they turn up on the Thursday afternoon, until they start packing up on the Monday morning. The parade in the town, which is accessed by a public tram,which luckily terminates at the track,(no worries about getting back once you sampled the local wines and beers.) Walking down the pits on the Friday and seeing all the cars, and the sound of 42 highly tuned motors roaring past you on the rolling start, can only be witnessed there.

Having seen all this we decided this year to go and see the Classic Le Mans, a race, or show as I now understand,which started back in 2002 and this year had 109,000 people attending. It runs every 2 years and is composed of 6 grids ranging from the 1920's to the turbo powered cars of the late 70's, each one running a 4 hour stint in the afternoon, night and following day, to make up the 24 hrs. There were 170 clubs from all over Europe, showing 8000 cars and nearly 450 cars used on the track, we were all looking forward to this.

The funny thing is, it is cheaper to go away for the 5 days, than going to Silverstone to watch the Grand prix and sit in the grandstand. Every year our crowd has grown, and every year the newcomers are shocked at the value of these events. Booking up takes place early in the year, the race entrance ticket this year was £49 (with a 25 euro upgrade to grandstand ticket, booked in advance and collectable at the track). The camping pass for the 4 nights being £59, add the cost of the train, £90 split between 2 people, and the total is around £173 per man, split the cost of the petrol and you are around £200 per man plus spending money.

We all met on the slip road to the tunnel at 8.30 on the Thursday, and after the introductions our adventure began, there was Sam's Diablo and Kev's Bike powered Fury coming with us this year to represent the kit cars. Sam's car having to go in with the vans and motor homes due to its width, but the rest of us ushered into the normal lanes, along with everyone else who seemed to be heading to Le Mans. There were beautiful cars everywhere, a row of TR4's and 5's, a brace of TVR's, Jaguars, Marcos's , the list was endless, and everyone in fine form, a very friendly crowd.

Once off the train we headed down to Le Mans stopping a couple of times for fuel, the Fisher only has a range of 120 miles, and after the first set of tolls Kevin, the Fury driver decided to stop in the Q, get out and have a cigarette whilst pushing the car forward until he reached the barrier, walking around and paying, before getting back in. He later pointed out that with the tolls on the wrong side of the car, and the harnesses it was such a pain, it was easier to push it, he was certainly shocked when one of the drivers pointed out it would have gone UNDER the barrier, but I'm not sure how the local police would have viewed that. A little tip, if you going to use the tolls, sort out the Tags which go in the car, so you can drive thru them without stopping. It would be so much easier in a right hand drive car, especially with no passengers. Every time we stopped at the services they were full of fantastic machinery with people milling about and chatting about the cars, as we headed into Rouen there is a long tunnel, and hearing all the cars having a sound off was music to the ears, especially as this is the only time you hit traffic.

On arrival to the Track, we were directed into Maison Blanc campsite which is based in the short circuit, the good thing about these campsites is the pitches are numbered, so the 5 pitches allocated to us gave us plenty of space to setup the 2 large Gazebos with the tents around them, and parking for the cars. A trip down to the local Carrefour supermarket, for supplies, and we were set for the weekend. Sitting with a beer and commending ourselves on the drive down, and the camp we had setup, we looked out over the adjoining pitches. A row of Panteras, a brace of GT40's (one of which came from Ashford, and another Maidstone), a row of Morgans, the list went on and on. After a couple of beers and a BBQ, we headed off for a walk to marvel and meet the owners of all these fantastic cars, everything from a Mini to a 1934 Rolls Royce, from a Lotus 7 to a Cobra, a Spitfire to an Ultima, motoring heaven.

It soon became apparent that this was not the Le Mans that we were used to, there was no loud music, very few fireworks, and only a couple of Chinese lanterns, to get up at 4.00am in the morning to use the toilet, and the campsite be quiet, proves it's definitely a different crowd.

Friday came along, and after the usual hearty breakfast (you have to love camping), a walk around the track where Practice was going on, and up into the Race Village, where there are stalls, shops, bars and restaurants. Then down into the club stands, its then you realize that that the likes of Porsche, Lamborghini, Lotus have 3 or 4 clubs from different parts of Europe meeting, so the array of cars is stunning. This year they had 23 of the 38 Ferrari 250 GTO's ever produced, who did 3 parade laps after the Friday testing was complete. Friday evening was Chilli night, and after a few drinks, and watching the cars testing at night, everything went quiet around 1.30 so it was time for bed.

Saturday is race day, and after a lie in and Breakfast we headed up to the track, and around the paddock, checking out cars that we can only ever dream of driving, some of the bigger clubs did there parade laps. These guys do not mess about, there clubs book up track time, and each car pays £300 to get 30 minutes on the track, one lap behind the safety car, then the rest on their own, I will take my hat off to the Nissan GTR's, the front 3 were certainly up for a play, with the 20 or so behind them. Then the Little Mans'Le Mans Classic', 67 3rd size replicas of all the classics, petrol driven by kids who do a full Le Mans start, running across the track and speeding off, absolute mayhem.

This was followed by the tribute to Carrol Shelby, something I really enjoyed, being my youngest daughter is named Shelby after the great man himself. Then what we had all been waiting for, 60 cars all lined up along the side of the track, pointing in the direction they want to be going, drivers standing by the opposite fence anticipating the countdown, then GO. A sight to be seen, GT40's, Ferrari GTO's, Cobra's (including Daytona's), Jaguars, MGs, Porsche's all starting at the same time, the engine noise is deafening, and the chaos that follows has to be seen to be believed, a track probably 4 cars wide with 60 cars all pulling away at the same time, how none of these nearly priceless machines doesn't get smashed up is beyond me, they come round behind the safety car on the first lap , and on the 2nd lap we are racing, a full blown rolling start, 5 GT40's flat out down the main straight with the rest of the pack behind them, made my weekend.

The place is heaped in nostalgia, and you can just imagine you are back in the 1960's when the GT40's were racing, we sat and lapped up the atmosphere for a couple of hours and then went off to eat and drink. The one thing I like about Le Mans is there is something always going on, so you can watch for a while then head off to do something else, move around the track and watch from a different area, and all fairly relaxed. As the cars raced into the evening, we took a drink and sat up on the bank watching the cars race by in the night, weekends don't get any better than this. Saturday night was the busiest for the racing and the socializing, but as the racing came to a conclusion on the Sunday afternoon, all you could smell was the aroma of BBQs as everyone cooked what they had left and chilled out.

Monday morning arrived and after eating breakfast we dismantled the camp, and set the kit out on the road, we then managed to complete the biggest game of Jenga ever (how it all went into a Mondeo is still beyond me). The journey back to Calais stayed dry, much to the liking of the open top boys, a little raid on the Carrefour supermarket for Wine and back in Kent for early evening.

Everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and the odd downpour did nothing to detract from its enjoyment. We all agreed that we would be returning, and that the fact it runs every two years probably assists in its success.

Bill Glazier

Events from August 2012 Grin Factor

Meccano Front page

There is a rumour that one of our members might

be building something on the lines of the cover

picture, I wait with baited breath to see it.

The builder is 80, all the 'Meccano' parts are seven

times larger - sheet parts from steel and strip parts

etc from glass fibre as are the nuts and bolts

If anyone wants to see more pictures go here

The Car With The Dragon Tattoo

For a variety of reasons we postponed our Baltic Tour, but we thought you might like to read about what we did instead.......

Another of our long-standing ambitions has been to take part in a Scally Rally, and this year the timing and conditions seemed right. For those not in the know in previous years a Scally Rally involved buying a very cheap car (under £100) and then driving it a very long way. Previous destinations have included Italy, Ireland and Norwegian Arctic Circle. This year however the Rally took part in UK and the categories of eligible cars were extended to:

Touring Class: any car purchased for less than £250 GT Class: any 2.0 litre/2-3 door car purchased for less than £500 Classic Class: any car registered in the 60's, 70's or 80's no matter of purchase price So 2 of our Quantums were eligible for the Classic Class and we were in business. As the 2+2 has been our adventure car (e.g. North Cape, Switzerland, End-to-End, Silverstone) then that was the obvious one to take. We paid our registration fee and received our confirmation and more information. We were asked to come up with a team name and theme, and to decorate our car (and possibly ourselves) to match the theme. Sonia has collected Pocket Dragons for many years and suggested a dragon theme. A bit of research on the internet and we found dragon transfers, personalised baseball caps, rally numbers and a soft-toy dragon mascot

Applying the transfers was a bit of a challenge, but after a couple of hours of persevering we got the result we were hoping for.

Still a little unsure as to what we had let ourselves in for we drove to a Travelodge in Porthmadog so we were close to the rally start point. On the first morning of the rally we drove to Caernarfon Castle to meet up with the other participants and sign-on. The variety of vehicles and the lengths some people had gone to with the themes was amazing. Around 60 cars finally arrived, including an XJS, a Range Rover, several Volvos and a Rover P4. We also had a complete set of Trumpton firemen with their fireengine themed Shogun. We were one of just two convertibles, and the only Quantum (in fact the only kit car).

Just before 09:00 am we were given our route to the first night's stop at Lytham and our challenges for the day. Did we mention that each day involved a series of challenges, and that points would be awarded? The rally takes place on normal roads, and is in no way a speed event. Prizes would be awarded for those scoring the highest points totals. The first day challenges included taking photos of places en-route, answering questions about some of the places we travelled through, recreating a post-card photograph from the 1950's and videoing a team member performing a Tom Jones classic. After driving some fabulous roads in the Welsh valleys and then being stuck for nearly an hour in Liverpool we arrived at Lytham and handed our sheet in to be marked. Amazingly we got almost full marks - just losing out on Sonia not having a hairy chest for her Tom Jones impression.

The second day was around the Lake District, then up to Dumfries. The challenges involved taking photos of a team member planking in some pretty obscure places, including in a gift shop, on a boat, at a castle, on a bridge, with 2 or more backpackers, plus about a dozen more. Despite feeling very foolish we achieved every one of these and scored full marks for the day.

Less successful however were our attempts at the 3-day challenge. For this we had to take pictures of a team member with a series of animals from a supplied list. We got all the easy ones (e.g. cow, horse, duck, dog) but failed miserably to get the more exotic ones (including elephant, zebra, snake, octopus, monkey). Yes we could have visited a zoo but we didn't feel like paying the entrance fees just to get a few photos. We found out later that some groups had managed to blag their way into various animal establishments on the way.

Day three was from Dumfries to Oban, with the challenge of 'car bingo' We were given a sheet with the numbers of 16 rally cars on it and we had to take a picture of each car on our list - along with our instruction sheet to prove the photos had been taken on the day. There were also bonus points if you weren't spotted by anyone else with your number on their list. Having studied the route we realised we could take a short-cut which would save us about 40 miles. However the down-side of this was that we didn't see many of the cars on our list. At the end of day 3 we had slipped from being joint second to midfield, but still considerably better than quite a few other competitors.

The last day was from Oban to Fort William, but this being a Scally Rally it wasn't that straightforward. Instead of the direct route of about 45 miles the challenge, for some serious points, required a visit to the southerly point of the Sound of Mull - adding about 220 miles to the route! As we were not in contention for a prize, and it was a pretty miserable day weatherwise we decided to take the short route and stopped off at Glencoe and the base of Ben Nevis for some sightseeing.

On the final evening everyone who had made it (all but about 2 cars!) piled into a pub in Fort William - much to the surprise of the locals - and wound down with discussions of the highlights of the trip. Prizes were awarded for the highest point scorers. Amazingly two teams had got every single point and the final result was decided on a tie-breaker. The overall winners were the Trumpton Firemen, with the Ex-Presidents as runners up. For the record we came third in the Classic class.

For those that didn't want to keep their cars there was provision for scrapping them in Fort William. Most people we talked to though had grown to love their cars and intended to try and drive them home. We had finished the rally, but were nearly 600 miles from home. So what do you do? We carried on touring Scotland for another week as holiday. Arriving home we had covered just under 2,000 miles at around 41 mpg. The only casualty we had was the car radio which packed up on the last day coming down the A1.

Would we do it again? Probably yes. We know a lot more about how it works now. But, there is still the Baltic Tour to fit in sometime...…

Sonia and Pete Wright

Events from May 2012 Grin Factor

Detling Kit Car Show

At the AGM Ian suggested we stayed at Detling for the weekend and assisted with the provision of Tea and Coffee for the outside club stand. For some unknown reason I also thought the idea of camping at the top of Detling hill was a good idea. Come the Friday before the show this idea was still appealing. With the sun shining we loaded the Camper and dug the cars out of hibernation (it is amazing what gets stored around the cars when they are not in use). Arriving at Detling after a pleasant drive we found the inside stand set up and the outside area marked out with bunting etc. Along with Chairman Chris we set up the club Gazebos and club flags. As Chris left we finished the set up of the camper and started to clean the cars and make them presentable. As we were finishing this off Alan and Penny turned up to set up their little caravan and awning. By now the sun was going down and as we all know it starts to get cold up there with no sun. Penny came to say hello and as we sat in the camper having a chat and enjoying the warmth of the fire, Alan and Ian were setting up the awing on their caravan and checking on the last arrival for the indoor club stand. Eventually they arrived back and the 4 of us sat in the van chatting away. The subject of dinner finally cropped up and we pooled our resources to come up with a meal that we cooked and enjoyed in warmth. About 10.30 Alan and penny headed of to the their accommodation for some sleep and we turned in, as we did so we were lulled in to sleep by the gentle pitter patter of rain on the roof. Saturday morning and the cars start arriving, I am up baking biscuits and cakes for the 2 club stands (because the heat of the oven keeps the van warm). During the day various club members wife's pop in for a chat (and to keep warm) whilst their Husbands stand out in the cold and rain showers talking cars. As the show closes one of the organizers pops by to remind us that there is evening entertainment lined up. Following another pooling of resources meal and a few drinks the 4 of us head of to see the 'Entertainment'. With a mobile bar set up in the relative warmth but dry hall we found Neil Foreman and his band (The Fabulous Grandad's) performing to a small bur appreciative audience. The music was superb even if I did ask him to turn the volume down during the interval; I am sure he turned it up but as the drinks flowed it didn't matter. As the evening ended Penny and I purchased their latest CD and hounded them to sign them for us. We returned to the van for a nightcap, and eventually turned in for a very good nights sleep. Sunday morning was a bit of a blur, and we came too as the day wore on. The format of the day followed Saturday, with less cars and more rain. Finally it was time to pack up and head home. Great weekend with great company.


First Track Day In the New Kit Car

I've just finished doing some alterations to my GBS Zero and thought it was about time to give it a shake down at brands hatch .I had already done a couple of track days in other cars but this was the first time in a car that I had built myself (scary).The track was booked for Tuesday 24th April and the weather forcast for the day was sunshine and showers (not ideal).

When you do a track day at Brands you have to be there at about 7.00 am so I got up at 6.00 (couldn't sleep anyway) and looked out the window to find the rain coming down in buckets (damn). I got to the track just before 7.00, unhitched the car from the trailer and put it in the garage, getting very wet in the process. This didn't look like it was going to be an enjoyable day!!!!!!

I had half an hour to kill before I could sign in and get the noise test done and I spent the time looking at the weather forcast and trying to decide if I should go home or not! However the rain did ease slightly so I signed in and did the noise test which the car passed easily (phew).

The next chore was the driver briefing which takes about half an hour and goes through driver etiquette,safety aspects,flag rules and where to overtake and on what side. At 9.00 we all had to do two parade laps so we could be shown the racing line and also to find out how slippery it was.

On the first parade lap I found out just how slippery it was, coming out of the druids hairpin the car wanted to go straight on, and we were only doing about 25mph. What was it going to be like when we got up to speed!

On returning to the pits I found out that brands hatch has just been resurfaced and when it gets wet, something in the new tarmac makes it greasy.Also that weekend the big trucks had been racing and the rubber off those tyres makes it slippery in the wet too. I would have to be very careful!

At first I did a couple of slow laps trying to find where the grip was and then started to get faster but only on the straights (the corners were horrendous). However even this was treacherous, every time the engine got up to 4000rpm the tyres would spin and the back of the car would step out. Back to the pits!

After an hour of being miserable the weather started to clear and although the track was still wet it was warmer and brighter and a less wet line was starting to appear on the track. Time for another go.

Again I did a couple of slow laps and then sped up gradually, until, coming around clearways I accelerated as normal but this time the rear of the car broke away and I did a 360 spin and slid along the grass sideways for about 50 yards! Straight back to the pits! As I entered the pits an instructor stopped me and said "did we have a little spin". I actually managed to stay polite.

I spent the next half an hour clearing grass and mud from the car but I didn't miss any track time because of the amount of red flags there were! At least half a dozen cars in the gravel.

By the time I got back out on the track it had dried to the point where there was a distinct dry line. Time to go a bit faster. However the next time I went around Surtees corner I hit a damp patch and slid along the curb sideways for 30 yards. Back to the pits again.

Once I had checked everything over for any damage I ventured out again and this time on lap 3 I was going along the main straight in 3rd doing about 80mph, changed into 4th and put my foot down, but the wheels started spinning and the back of the car stepped out quite dramatically!!!! I managed to straighten it up and get back to the pits so that I could stop shaking (a very scary moment as the pit wall was only 2 feet away).

Time for lunch (thank god for that).

At 2.00 the track opened again and this time it was fairly dry. Great. I went out on the road tyres again (yokohama parada's) they were much better in the dry but after a couple of laps it was clear that I should change to the semi slicks (toyo r888's). At this time I was joined by fellow kent kit car club members Dave and Colin. Dave agreed to do a bit of sneaky timing.

While I was waiting in the pit lane to go out again a fellow driver approached and started talking about the car at which point he noticed that I'd left my iphone on the back of the car. Well done mate. He then asked me if he could come out as a passenger, no problem I said and off we went. As the track was now dry and I had decent tyres on, it was immediately obvious how much grip I had and how well the car handled (what a difference to the morning).

I came back to the pits after 12 laps at which point my passenger said "wow", which was nice to hear. Dave, my sneaky time keeper said I'd done a 1.01 minute lap (not bad with a passenger). I had a quick refuel and went out again, this time putting in about 20 laps. Back to the pits to find out that my lap times were consistently 57 seconds (very happy with that).

Although the morning was atrocious and actually quite dangerous,the afternoon more than made up for it, and I ended up having a very enjoyable day. Time to book the next one. This time 55 seconds. Andy Green

Hi Guys...

On behalf of Team-Phoenix may I take this opportunity of thanking you for the kind reception you gave Paul at the monthly meeting in April.

Paul tells me that he spoke for around two-and-a-half hours giving details - and classified information - regarding our proposed adventure in July, and I have no reason to question him. I'm sorry not to have been able to see you personally, but I'm afraid that a very wet Hereford - and a strenuous Surviving Adventure Course - took precedent. On a more positive note, only one of my patients actually died - a young lad of thirteen - and I came away confident in the knowledge of how a Kendrick Traction Device works. For those interested, the Kendrick is a medical device used mainly by paramedics to straighten broken long-bones and very definitely not a device to assist traction in hill climbs and sprints!

On a serious note, the kind donation from the Kent Kit Car Club was unexpected and will be put to good use, either in topping up our charitable contributions or for assisting with essential work on the vehicle.

Please feel free to follow our progress towards Ulaanbaatar on www.team-phoenix.co.uk, or follow sb05kpe on Twitter!

Andrew [Ex TR7\V8 Owner and former Kent Kit Car Club member]


Frank Cossell was a sculptor of some note and was commissioned in the 1970s to produce large sculptures which were placed outside certain mainline railway stations. He lived with his wife Sue in Herne Bay, Kent, less than 100yds from the sea, but whilst working away in clay, his dream was to build a Citroen 2CV special. He'd seen 2CV racing and dreamt of an open wheel formula series based on the 2CV and resembling the front-engined 1950s racers. In 2000 he unexpectedly died but by that time, the car had been well on the way to completion. Bucks had been made of the main bodyshell, the nose and the Vanwalllike rear of the car, and professional moulds had been made for the proposed production run. One single bodyshell had been completed in green gellcoat.

Sue contacted John Nash, the Social Secretary of the local Kent Kit Car Club, and we were invited along one summer's evening to see the car. Neither of us had any idea of what to expect as we'd seen no photographs of it. We were both amazed and delighted with what we found. With a thin layer of dust, the special lay unloved at the end of an L-shaped lock-up. Alongside the car was a 2ft scale model of the project painted silver, really nicely done. The actual car, we were unable to bring it out into the open, was a surprising little green car with exceptionally well made GRP bodyshell with proper returned edges, an open single seater cockpit and the framework of a windscreen which resembled those found on WWII fighter planes. It seemed that the bodyshell is mounted on an unmodified 2CV chassis and engine/gearbox.

Sue mentioned to us what she'd like. Firstly it was her husband's aim to have the car produced in numbers but John and I both feel this is unlikely to happen in this day and age. Based on a 2CV, these cars are become more scarce as well as more restorable in their original form. Secondly she'd like the car to go to an enthusiast, to complete. We didn't mention money as we feel that is up to Sue and the enthusiast to discuss between themselves but she is keen for the special to go to a good home and needs the garage space for a boat.

Pictures here

Paul Narramore


We had come to the decision that it was time to sell our beloved Tiger Super 6 (affectionately known as the Nana due to it being bright yellow) but wanted to replace it with something. The something needed to have more room for luggage, be more comfortable on a long run, and be able to allow both of us to drive with the hood up.

Having looked around we decided on a Jago Jeep, now this fits the bill and is totally different from the Tiger. The hunt was now on for a Project Jago, correctly registered. Now this seemed a simple task, however this turned out to be harder than we first thought. We had to first find one that was not still registered as a Ford Escort, then one that was not a complete basket case and finally one fairly local and not in Scotland. A small delay was built in as Ian was forced in to Hospital for a few days, however sitting in hospital with nothing to do and having Internet access turned out to our advantage. Lots of web searching turned up a possible vehicle. Following a phone call we were on our way to reading in our camper with the trailer to purchase the vehicle. A 1979 1.3 crossflow powered example, no MOT but in reasonable mechanical condition with a worn and torn hood and poor paintwork. Having forked out a few hundred pounds it was on the trailer and on its way home.

The following few weeks saw a number or purchases via Ebay and as the parcels started to arrive work commenced. I cleaned and painted the underside while Ian serviced the oily parts, I think I got the raw deal here. Then followed the arrival of waterproof fabric long with window plastic and I started to make a hood. Now this is not an easy task bur what we have now is a functional hood that keeps us dry and looks better than the worn and torn hood the car came with. The Detling Show arrived and we put a For Sale sign in the Nana and it sold within 2 hours. The pressure was now on to get the Jago back in to a usable condition and on the road. This was completed over the next 2 weeks with it passing its MOT first time. As we backed it out of the MOT station it started to rain and has not stopped since, we are really glad I made the hood, but don't blame us for the weather.

I have named this one Justin as over the weeks I have owned it I have heard Ian on several occasions saying I am Just going to or Just be in the garage / Kit car.


Events from March 2012 Grin Factor

Southern Model Air show Hopfarm

For the last few months we had been collecting the entry forms and liasing with the organisers of the show. With a few weeks to go all the entry passes were sent out and food was ordered for the BBQ.

6.30 Friday morning saw us start to load the various equipment, models and cars ready for the run down to the hop farm. Due to various logistical issues with our family, we had dropped of Broni's car and the trailer for the little land rover at Alex's house on Thursday evening, so he could fetch it down on Friday night after work, along with the Ellie our eldest granddaughter. By 9.00 we were on the road, looking to meet Katie and Holly (our youngest Grand daughter) on route. Eventually pulling in to the Hop farm just after 10am we checked with the organisers that we were in our usual location and went to set up. Trying to work out the space for up to 22 Kit cars and the various tents and caravans is a bit daunting, but I think I got it about right. The rest of the day was taken up with setting up, the marquee, BBQ, various tents, awning and then Broni's model display. Our Daughter Rachel and her husband arrived around lunchtime, and assisted in the set up. Friday evening soon arrived along with Alex in Broni's car. Whilst dinner was being cooked I unloaded the little car and the kids were off driving around enjoying themselves. Following a number of drinks (to aid sleep) it was time for bed.

Saturday morning and for those coming for the day started to arrive and park up. The little land rover was getting lots of use with the girls getting as much use out of it before the gates opened. As the show opened so did the sky's, and much of Saturday morning was stood sheltered in the marquee and Gazebos. The weather improved in the afternoon and Holly was seen taking Sandra for a drive around our area, I'm not sure who was more worried Sandra as a passenger or me that Holly was driving. As the show closed to the public Broni was busy setting out the food for the evening, I soon had the BBQ fired up and set about cooking the pile of sausages and steak. With full bellies those not staying soon started to drift off home, those staying carried on relaxing with a drink or two. I started to set up for the following morning, the Rugby world cup was on and England were playing.

Sunday morning another early start, only this one was after a late night. Bleary-eyed 2 of us started to watch the game. One by one others joined us, until the game was over and the show was about to open, better weather today, with a lot more flying. The left over food and puddings came out at lunchtime for members to finish off. Then came the time to start the pack up. Gazebos came down along with tents and awnings. The marquee came down mid afternoon but was still damp. It was carefully packed away along with the BBQ and other equipment. Just as the show was finishing we had a small shower and members stood under our awning keeping dry. Soon everyone was off home we loaded the models, and had a final check round. By 6pm we were on the road home. It took just over a week to get everything cleaned, dried and packed away.

A good weekend had by all, and a great way to end the season . We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all those who have helped us at the various events this year.

Broni and Ian

News from France

I hope all is well with the club and have survived the recent move of venue, I go on to the club page now and again to see what's happening. I think my mag is delivered to my unit so don't get to see that very often. It seems that when I am back it never seems to correspond with club nights, again in March, I will be back in early in the month.

I have been to some car shows here, a lot of them are in with other events, some with farm machinery, Breton bands and dancing and always food and a bar.

I have seen a Michelin X tyre on the front wheel of a tractor, can you believe it, it's France and normal !! Other shows have incorporated Artic tractor units and have been sprayed up with murals and the trailers as well sometimes, see pic. I wish you and all the club members a good season,


Events from December 2011 Grin Factor

Events not in our diary

Just arrived back from a most enjoyable show. Venue, Coolings, an up market garden centre near Sevenoaks. A well laid out establishment; grounds around the refreshment areas being used as displays for the extensive selection of plants for sale.

A plant I have spent years nurturing, Gingko, was there, and with several varieties.

The petrol heads will have heard enough of the horticultural part; on to the cars, but not before I mention Coolings' contribution to maintaining our heritage. They went to purchase a modern pick up for their business but came away with a Morris 1000 to restore instead. I also saw a Green Goddess which is in their stable. What a variety of vehicles! And the site was overflowing, with background music from a vintage organ adding to the ambience. I know I should have made a note of them; the friend who told me about the show snapped a Sabre Six thinking it was mine.

The Forest Hill historic club was out in force; open to cars of + 25 years. Even in its remodelled state mine qualifies.

John will be interested to know that there was a three wheeled Morgan, in an excellent state of preservation.

As for the rest of entrants, you will have to turn up on August 4th next year to savour the comradeship of this meeting.

One week on.
This time the caravan was the exhibit, as it was the National Forum for the Portafolds, with a couple of Ansfolds thrown in. The place, White Waltham Airfield, for the Retrofestival of Wings & Wheel, Speed & Steam, Music & Dance.

The atmosphere reminded me of the Revival meeting, for the period dress worn by many of the exhibitors and visitors, and also for sale on various stalls.

There were flying trips available, an aerobatic display by a Spitfire and a flying circus.

The range of cars was immense; a large American contingent, a different three wheeled Morgan, a Bugatti raised from its grave. Our cars remained on our pitch, to show the variety of vehicles that pull the'vans, from a Reliant van A35 car and a van, Ford Anglia, American cars to a Bristol. As the title of the show indicates, exhibits included the variety of transport that we are used to seeing; steam, commercial, motor cycles, military and buses.

There were two areas for music/dance, one in the beer tent and the other in a hangar, with displays of rock n roll and jive and free classes /tuition and the show remained open until 11pm on the Saturday.

A restful weekend; I tried the fish therapy for feet, allowing fish to nibble at the skin; a different form of chiropody. Those in skinny jeans were giggling, trying to bare legs for dipping into to the tanks of water.

No doubt I will be there next year, hopefully with the caravan roof lifter modified.

Anne Dyson

Hellingly Festival of Transport

A few members came and joined Broni and myself at this show over the Aug bank Holiday weekend. We have been attending for a number of years and has become the start of our annual Holidays. It is run along the same lines as many other shows with a number of trade stands, auto-jumble and the normal mix of exhibits. Unlike previous years we only took Broni's models this time as we were going to Dorset on the Tuesday morning following the show.

Friday we travelled down in torrential rain, wondering what the ground conditions would be like. We turned in to the camping field to be pleasantly surprised. Although it was wet it wasn't the muddy bog we had expected. There were already lots of exhibitors there and space was becoming a bit tight. We set up camp for the following few days with only the kids and grandchildren joining us we were able to squeeze in ok. The models had been taken down in our tin top and in the afternoon we ventured over to the show ground to set up. The ground conditions here were different with lorry loads of wood chippings being laid on the roadways to make them passable in.

Saturday morning dawned and the show was underway. A number of club members arrived through out the weekend and visited us in the model tent. The evenings saw us in the beer tent and around the funfair. Sunday followed the same sort of pattern as Saturday.

Monday soon arrived, and it was time to pack up, most of the models were packed into the Tin top and this was parked up at a friend's house nearby, for collection on our return from Dorset. Tuesday was going to be a long day but that's another story.


Exeter Show 2011

This year's Exeter show was different. It was held at the same venue, namely "Westpoint Exhibition Centre" on the outskirts of Exeter over the weekend of 22/23 October. It was as usual the last show of the season and hence attracted the last showgoers of the season, who needed to get those essential items to carry on building or modifying over the winter. It was reasonably well supported by the paying public, and the industry was there in their usual numbers vying for business.

So what was different this year ? This year's show at Exeter was different in that it was the last one to be organised & promoted by John Cooke, our club President. John has promoted the show for the last 17 years and now feels that it's time to move on. So as was announced at the show, John has passed the show onto Roger Cooling, an experienced promoter who runs the Stoneleigh Kitcar Show. Hopefully the new management will continue to run this particular show in the friendly & successful way that John has over the years.

A feature of John's shows is his ongoing positive contact with his exhibitors and his hospitality on the Saturday evening when he invites all exhibitors/stallholders etc., for a glass or two of wine in the bar.

This time though the tables were turned on him and without his knowledge the industry including one of the magazines organised a farewell retirement celebration complete with champagne and nibbles. Gerry Hawkridge of Hawk Cars said many pleasant things about John's contribution to the industry over the years, the quality of his shows and one or two amusing/embarrassing stories. Susie was not forgotten in the accolades, being mentioned by Gerry as the other and equally important half of the show team. "Complete KitCar" magazine produced a special one off framed front page cover featuring John, which was presented to him by Ian Stent, the editor. There were over a 100 people present, and everyone that Shirley and I (representing KKCC) spoke to only had good words to say about John & Susie, as people and show organisers.

The show itself featured many of the usual manufacturers, with some new models appearing such as the BMW based JBA Falcon making a welcome reappearance. The awesome 550+bhp twin turbo Subaru based Murtaya was on display, as well as the latest offering from Fury Sportscars, who are one of our locally Kent based manufacturers. Neil & Matt Foreman's Car Builder Solutions were there, selling everything that the discerning builder needs or thinks he needs! And there were a host of other traders there, all of whom seemed to be doing a good trade during the busy times of the show. Hopefully John & Susie will take away many pleasant memories of the show, and it remains to be seen what the show will look like next year under different management.

Chris Pecover

Playing in the Mountains

In recent years Shirley and I have sometimes popped over to France with a few friends in kit cars for a short motoring break, enjoying our cars and the relatively empty French roads. This year we decided to do the same but go a little further afield and extend the short break into a longer break. So in early August, we jumped into our Sebring and headed for the port of Dover to join three other cars in a trip to the Vosges mountains in north east France, and then down to Annecy in the French Alps.

We rendezvoused with Paul & Diane Loveridge in their GCS Hawke at Dover where we were booked on a Seafrance ferry to Calais. An hour and a half after sailing we were driving off the boat to hopefully meet with Ian & Miri McQuarrie in their Caterham, who chose to use the Eurotunnel train to cross under the water. The fourth car in our group was John & Anne Alford's Westfield, and they had chosen to cross by ferry to Dunkirk in order to use the toll free motorways of Belgium to get to our destination in the Vosges. Unfortunately there were delays to the Eurotunnel service, so Ian & Miri had some catching up to do as Paul & Diane and Shirley & I drove uncharacteristically slowly along the A26 and waited at our agreed rendezvous point, the inevitable motorway services point.

With just over 300 miles to do we cracked on past Arras, Laon and Reims before getting off the motorways for some more interesting driving on some N roads, etc. We had some showers during the afternoon, but hoods weren't up for too long. We arrived at our hotel in St Die about six o'clock, to see Anne & John checking into the hotel after their uneventful journey by the "northern route". Naturally after such a long day, we all felt the need for a refreshing beer or two, which soon quenched our thirsts, before venturing out to find a reasonable restaurant for dinner.

Next morning, and without too many hangovers or headaches we set off for a shortish run through the Vosges mountains towards Obernai, travelling over some brilliant twisty mountain roads that were a joy to drive. In deference to our well-travelled passengers, it was decided to keep this days run relatively short , with p l e n t y o f oppor tunit ies to get out and stretch our legs and take a few photos, e t c . T h e weather was reasonably kind, so we didn't get wet, as can often happen in the Vosges. Coffee & lunch breaks enabled the locals and some other tourists to get a good look at our cars, as usually happens, whilst we enjoyed the coffee, which always seems to taste better when at the top of mountain!

A different restaurant in the evening, was enjoyed by all, having taken the opportunity have the beer or two upon our return to our hotel. The weather wasn't quite so kind this evening, and some of us got a bit wet walking back to our hotel, but some of us were "wetter" inside than out so it didn't matter that much !

The next 3 days were spent enjoying the mountain roads, coffee & lunch stops and the inevitable beer or two before dining out in the evening. We went to Saverne for a lunchtime stroll or as some would describe, the dreaded "W" (walk) word. We drove over the top of "Cols" and went by various ski runs which look, unsurprisingly, totally different when denuded of the white stuff. Encountered plenty of other folk "enjoying the roads", particularly at the weekend when lots of bikers, headlamps ablaze, would be going in the same direction as us or blasting towards us. The dreaded "cyclists" who seem to have an inbuilt desire for suicide on the roads, at the same time possessing an arrogance that makes them believe that no one else should be on the road. The weekend also brought out some interesting classic cars of French, Belgian and German ownership that we saw from time to time. Interestingly the French round of the WRC Rally championship was held this year for the first time in the area (based in Colmar) that we were visiting, and some of the roads were awesome.

We found time to stroll through a mountain village's equivalent of a boot sale, and someone just had to buy something for a Euro and then find room in their car to carry it home. We found a supermarket with a covered area to protect customers from the sun ! - Very handy as the heavens had just opened up and we were all caught with our hoods down and nowhere else to stop to put them up. As usual, even in the supermarket car park, our cars were the source of much comment and occasional amusement to the passers-by. We were also reminded on a different occasion one afternoon, that it is difficult to see clearly when the rain is coming down in stair rods, and you need wipers on the inside of your windscreen as well as wipers on the inside and outside of one's glasses.

Too soon it was time to leave our home for 5 nights in St Die, and go our separate ways. With Ian & Miri and John & Anne heading back to dear old Blighty, and Paul & Diane and Shirley & I heading south to Annecy in the French Alps for some more playing in some different and somewhat higher mountains. We said our goodbyes, and headed for Switzerland as the most direct way to our base for the next 5 nights was via Zurich & Geneva and the Swiss motorways. As we approached Annecy the Alps were clearly visible, in between the dark rain clouds which fortunately didn't bother us that day. We found our hotel in the centre of Annecy with aid of our trusty Satnavs, and found our way to the bar OK for a well-earned beer or two.

The next day was one of those days when we left the cars in the car park and wandered around the historic town absorbing its ambience, architecture and culture: we also managed to absorb some "local refreshment" as well!! Having found a very good restaurant the night before, we started the next morning bright and not so early for our first foray into the Alps.

Shirley and I had been to the area before, although a long time ago, but we soon found some of the roads that we'd enjoyed before when we were there in an earlier kitcar - another GCS Hawke. On one of our early stops Mont Blanc could be clearly seen in the distance, covered in snow, even in August. More cyclists were to be found puffing up the mountain roads and haring down them, often trying to take up the entire road especially around the many hairpin bends. Astonishingly we even saw a couple of fitness fanatics "skiing" on roller blades c/w ski sticks on the roads - absolute nutters !!!

One of the characteristics of roads in the Alps is that the main roads are inevitably busy, with not much choice of alternatives when moving between the larger towns. However as soon as you turn off the main roads the side roads that go into and over the mountains are quiet and a joy to drive. But even the main roads were often quite picturesque and went through some beautiful scenery. At the end of each day the last couple of miles into central Annecy were usually a bit of a drag because of traffic, at least we had a large choice of good eating & drinking places to find each evening. The weather was also being very kind to us and the biggest challenge was not to run out of sunscreen - hoods stayed firmly down.

On one of our days out we found a very interesting museum and war cemetery just outside Thones where many French resistance and British SOE personnel were buried following an uprising in 1944. We also found our way up to the adjacent high mountain Thoren-Glieres plateau where there was an extended pitched battle between the local resistance, SOE personnel and the German occupying forces as military supplies were being dropped by the RAF. A very modern "designer" memorial attracted many visitors and it was a sobering experience to see how young some of the casualties were.

The day before we left the area we made our way over more fabulous roads to the foothills of Mont Blanc and found a beautiful church at the end of the road, where the only way forward was to walk up a well-trodden footpath next to a mountain river. Not wanting to emulate mountain goats, we chose to take in the views, etc. from the ever present café/bar next to the church, and watch the more hardy types trek off into the d i s t a n c e .

Dinner that evening was as good as ever, but tinged with a little regret as we would be making our way towards home via a two night stay in Troyes. I was also suffering a bit with a sharp edged broken tooth which I wanted to get fixed, if I could.

Next day - a Saturday - I contacted my dental service in the UK, hoping to be given a local contact where could get some emergency dental work done. Oh no, silly me for harbouring such thoughts !! "Ask the hotel for their recommendation of a dentist and send us the bill when you get home" I was told. The hotel receptionist was helpful to a point, and so was the Tourist Information Office, who made a lot of calls on my behalf. However it seems that all the dentists in France go on holiday in August, and emergency cover is only available Monday to Friday. We were driving north that day so I bought some chewing gum and fashioned an impromptu gum shield and we set off for Troyes.

The drive to Troyes was slow to start with, as we sat in a traffic jam on the autoroute, slowly melting in the glorious sunshine, and exchanging pleasantries with other folk who liked to see our cars close up. Once we'd got to Dijon, we turned off the motorway system and enjoyed ourselves a bit on some of the fast and flowing N roads of the Region, before arriving in Troyes later that afternoon. Thankfully the satnav alerted us to most of the fixed speed cameras, but we still had to be on our guard for those radar guns wielded by the gendarmes, who seem to take great delight in hiding behind trees etc.

A few beers and an unremarkable dinner that evening saw us stagger off to bed with some loose plans for the Sunday that we were going to spend in Troyes. Next day we strolled around the city centre, and made a booking in what looked to be an excellent restaurant for the evening - it was! The ladies took the lead and we were then acquainted with many of the nine churches and one cathedral, as well as numerous other "cultural attractions"; fortunately we were able to include a pleasant little bar in the "attractions". The evening meal & wine were excellent, and time passed far too quickly that evening.

The last day's run to Calais was uneventful and too soon we were at the port waiting for our Seafrance ferry to carry us all home to Blighty. Was it a good holiday ? - yes. Was the company good ? - Undoubtedly yes. Did the cars behave themselves ? - yes. Did the drivers behave themselves ? - yes, well most of the time! Would we go again ? - yes, but to another part of France or further !

With thanks to our travelling companions for putting up with us.

Chris & Shirley Pecover

Dear Editor

A couple of topics I'd like to chat about. Colin Underdown's motorcycle (I don't like the term 'biker') trip around New Zealand reminded why I prefer to ride alone. In 2002 I took my 19yr old niece Penny to Vancouver, with our Pan European stored in the hold of the plane. We rode south into the US following Route 101 and 1 to Tucson and the Mexican border before swinging across the country to the Blue Ridge Parkway and New England. After six weeks we arrived in Toronto and flew home. A terrific journey and a smashing young lady to share the trip with, although there were slight reservations. I treated her like a daughter and there were always slight worries about safety both out on the road and in big cities.

In 2006 I returned to the US, this time alone, and for three whole months. With just myself to think about, I could go where I wanted, start and stop when I wanted as there was no one else to negotiate with. I wanted to visit all those places I missed the first time - Little Big Horn, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore. I had a list of cyberpals from a motorcycle forum who had offered me accommodation but intended to stay in cheap motels such as Motel 6. With petrol a third the price of petrol here, travelling was cheap. I crossed the country visiting memorable places such as the Empire State Building in New York, Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Deal's Gap, Wounded Knee, Sturgis, Cody, Yellowstone, Mount Evans (North America's highest road at 14,260ft) and Pikes Peak, Zion and Bryce Canyons, Las Vegas, Tombstone, San Diego (a welcome relief after weeks over 100f), and then returning back across the US. Three months and 17,000 miles, and the best trip I've ever taken.

But getting back to my point, riding alone gave me the freedom that riding with others wouldn't have allowed me.

On a different matter, I was chatting to a friend the other day about the age of his club members. He'd been to a Vintage Motor Cycle Club gathering at Scarborough and was surprised to find that he was just about the youngest member there.....and he is 69! And the same ages seem to be reflected in Citroen Specials Club and to a certain extent our club. Where are all the young members? The CSC seems to have a large number of members in their 80s so either no longer drive their cars because their interest has waned or they can no longer comfortably fit into them. I wonder if the real reason is that because of our backgrounds, we always worked on our cars? Todays cars are far too complicated to bother with. The younger generation seem to expect cars which are both modern and require attention at a garage, with little interest in DIY. Oh well, something to think about. Regards

Paul Narramore

Events from October 2011 Grin Factor

Redhill Report

If I may begin with a little history of how I became to be where I am today. Around 4 years ago I was invited, along with my then girlfriend and her daughter to visit my mum at a show at Rudgwick. I was persuaded to bring along a small tent (6 berth) for the three of us to camp in overnight and after dinner we sampled some of KKCC's finest entertainment and laughs into the night.

Well as I said, that was some 4 years ago now and although my now wife said we'd never camp again (among other expletives) we now own a Conway tardis folding camper and have attended some 12 or so more shows - and all this after my wife said never again!!

Moving to the present day, I felt I needed to tell everyone about the shows and the laughs, particularly a new show which we attended this past weekend. Having visited the Cuckoo Fair and Laughton showground earlier in the year we picked up a flyer for the Historic Wheels show running in Redhill. Having read the info, looked at the webpage the brief was quite simple,'if it's got wheels - they wanted it there.' Some of the more sceptical amongst us would have thought the worst (and for those who were at Rudgwick a few years ago in the 8" deep mud it doesn't get much worse). However, to say we were surprised is somewhat of an understatement.

On arrival at the show - and following one of my now legendary, lengthy detours, after missing the extremely well sign-posted entrance - we were greeted by the organiser who told us to pretty much camp wherever we fancied along the line of other people or create a new line. We chose the new line and after the third attempt decided on a spot some 150yd from the arena and stalls. Having set up we went for a wander only to be told we needed to be by the beer tent with the cars at 6pm for the opening event - a run to the local pub.

Now having never been on one of these I was caught wondering whether it would resemble something from a scene in the films - a long procession of various car cruising through waving to the crowd filled streets before arriving to sample the finest beverage on offer. In truth it was a 10mph journey through the lanes with the occasional spectator waving. It was also rather uncomfortable for both drivers - Ian Giles in his Z100 because keeping his 2 engines running in first gear for a couple of miles was more than hard work and as the journey ran its length, one that got warmer and warmer as the exhausts and engines heated up. For me, driving Broni's Tiger 6, due to my slightly longer leg length than broni's I resembled something like an adult riding a Childs bicycle - knees by my ears. My daughter Ellie suffered none of these problems and had all the leg room she required as passenger. However, it was a fantastic way to start the show and with 2 police outrider escorts stopping traffic at each junction and roundabout I think we all felt like royalty on the slow journey to the pub. Once there we are able to sample some of the local brew - once you got through the 5 deep bar, and listen to other enthusiast asking questions of one another's machines. After about ½ hour people started to drift away, notably a supercharged V8 American hearse who on passing the pub gave it everything it could, leaving much lighter having emptied the fuel tank in a press of the accelerator. The return journey was a slightly faster trip with the Z100 leading the way and me attempting abysmally to keep up. Even round the lanes Ian felt no reason to slow down and what has taken 20 minutes to get to the pub took about 3 to get back from!

The show resumed on the Saturday morning about 10.30am with a piper (of the Scottish variety) belting out a few tunes before the usual arena schedules of Public Service Vehicles, Hot rods, custom cars, military and other sights began. For those of you who have been away to these shows before, it was what I would call a smaller show. It spanned 3 fields, one being taken up by the steam powered, buses, fire engines, tractors and military. The middle field was occupied by Lifestyle Ford who had brought the entire forecourt and the beer/food tents. The third field housed the arena, auto jumble and other stalls plus the camping area. The arena timetable was kept reasonably loose all day long with no real desire to keep to time which actually meant it made for a very relaxed atmosphere. At around 3.30 the cars were on show and this was the first chance for the world to see the'little star attraction' do its turn. For those of you who don't know, during the early part of the year Ian (affectionately known as 'Amps by my children) has been creating from a set of plans, a replica Landover series II. Now before you wonder what is under the bonnet or which motorcycle manufacturer had been raided for this latest project you'd be wiser to look more at the local OAP's struggling to get their mobility cars and scooter going as its powered by an electric motor and the power comes from mobility batteries. It is of course driven, very carefully, by my girls and caused quite a stir when it had a solo run in the arena. We had planned a convoy of Kent Kit Cars but whilst waiting by the arena for the 2 bigger cars, the announcer approached us asking if we wanted a solo piece. Not wanting to turn the spot light down, Ellie screamed off at top speed (4mph) into the arena. Ellie had prepared her speech the night before which she read out beautifully over the tannoy and following a full journey out of the arena they left to claps and cheers. The 2 larger cars followed and after Broni and Ian had explained all, Ian gave a short display of what the Z100 can do, completing a few high speed laps and a number of doughnuts for the watching crowds whilst my wife screamed and hung on for dear life. The show closed around 5pm and with the evening rolling in and dinner completed we ventured down to the entertainment area. The band, a rock and roll 3 piece didn't disappoint and certainly gave Holly, my youngest daughter, a repeat opportunity to hit the dance floor on her own, as she had done a week earlier at Lingfield. As the evening went on various different vehicles arrived showing off lights and sounds, the mainstay of which were the UK van club, one of which had 42" plasma with X-Box 360 elite attached for good measure. It's not difficult to see that all of the exhibitors put a lot of time, effort and money into their vehicles but these guys go every inch of the way to making them look and sound amazing.

The Sunday followed a similar pattern to the Saturday with the same looseness as the day before in the arena. As with many shows the Sunday was busier than the Saturday with more cars and vehicles on show meaning there was much more to see. The Steam engines had an extended playtime outside of the arena showing how they were able to scale to hill in the field. This was something of a spectacle but wasn't too helpful for keeping clean in as the harder they worked, the more soot they chucked out onto spectators and caravans!

Once again the girls were able to show off the Toylander, giving another perfect speech and announcing the safety marshals birthday by way of banner on the windscreen, much to his embarrassment. The larger cars were also able to play their part only this time I was the passenger in the Z100 and Ian gave it a little bit more of a kick which I am sure the crowd appreciated, unlike my trousers - I am not sure about his saying,'2 engines are better than one!?'

Show over and we packed up and took the steady run around the M25 back home. In conclusion, this I one of the best shows I have attended for the fact it was all about the cars and there wasn't any other distractions from fairgrounds or food halls. This is of course one of many shows that people take part in throughout the season and they all have their own special features. For those of you who haven't braved a show yet, this is almost certainly a must do event. Even if you only came on the Friday night, taking in the run to the pub and then the show on the Saturday you would really enjoy it!

Alex Leng


As requested in your April Magazine, I thought that you would like to know how l got my Lomax Hurtle Hating grocery shopping with the wife and mother in law, I usually let them get on with it, and spend my time reading the notice board on items for sale until I have to chauffer them home. On a cold Saturday morning, there I am reading the for sale board in Tesco's and what do I find, but a card for a three wheeler kit car. I have always wanted something to replace my motorbike but you know what wives are like with two wheels, well how would she feel about three, took the number and the rest as they say is history, I'm hooked.

We purchased Hurtle a white Lomax three wheeler, and have both enjoyed taking her out around our seaside town weather permitting. Regards!

Ray Moore

Events from July 2011 Grin Factor

ONE FOR THE ROAD JUNE-JULY Ramblings from your Social Secretary

As I write this piece for the current issue we are almost half way through the show season. I have not attended many events because we have had a wedding in the family and this has taken so much time. Roy and Caroline supplied the Beauford wedding car and it looked stupendous decked out with its red ribbons and very smart chauffer. (My son married a Chinese lady) I can recommend this very good service from enthusiastic club members. Thanks very much. However we are getting back to normal now after having a house full of Chinese for a couple of weeks.

Another successful show for the club as we picked up a few more new members. Our two display areas were very busy on both days but Saturday more so than Sunday. The weather forecast was a bit grim but it turned out OK with only a couple of showers. The areas were set up on the Friday afternoon but as Alan could not get there until Saturday we had to allow spaceon the inside stand and manoeuvre him in before the show opened. People showed a lot of interest in his little egg shaped caravan and the other cars. Outside we had a busy club area and the separate tent for the regalia and membership worked very successfully. I must thank Kim and Gavin for looking after it throughout Saturday. The goody packs were handed out and I am sure members enjoyed receiving them. President John had arranged a Dragster demonstration and this was quite entertaining with tyre burning starts although they only went a short distance down the service road. It looked like the show this year lacked the numbers of spectators compared to previous shows, and John confirmed this. Next year the show will move back to the Easter holiday period as it is early in April. The club had arranged a free barbeque for members after the show on Saturday. I was expecting a large turnout as members had put their names on a list and promised to support it. Food was procured and Broni Giles spent a lot of time during the week leading up to this on making puddings and baking and all day Saturday getting the food ready. I know she was extremely disappointed at the final turn out where just over half the people turned up. I was embarrassed by the low numbers, although some did give their apologies prior to the event most did not. The club has apologised to Bronibut that does not excuse members for behaving in this way. The Club funds that you contribute to have taken a severe hit and in future any event that we will arrange will require money up front or it won't go ahead. You the members know who I am talking about so I suggest when you see Broni you have a quiet word with her.

Canterbury Cathedral Garden Open Weekend
I went on the Saturday and had a good time although there were just two kits out there were other classic sports cars in attendance on the Kings School Quadrangle. We had lots of visitors and a couple who had just got married in the Cathedral came over for their official photographs and got into Ray's little Lomax which caused a few smiles. It was a bit of a mixed weather day but time went by very quickly. Other members went on the Sunday and said that they had a very nice time and were especially thankful to the organisers for providing free tea and cakes. I did not think the gardens were as vibrant this year because of the drought but they were still very beautiful. The organisers were delighted by our attendance and we will receive an invitation next year if they run a similar format event.

Hamstreet Festival of Transport
After all that lovely hot weather what a contrast for this show. It was quite the opposite. However we had a good turnout of club cars. Although the exhibitors were there and the lawn mower championships went on during the rain there was a lack of spectators. The only place doing a steady trade was the refreshment tent where people dodged into to avoid the showers. Pete Stannett won the best kit car award for his immaculate Cobra.Most traders started to pack up by mid-afternoon so it was an early day finish for all of us.

Lympne Aero Classic
I have been exhibiting my cars at various shows for the past twenty years but this is the only one that the spectators were discouraged from attending. It must have cost a lot of money to put this event on as there were lots of exhibits both inside the hall and outside on the field. There was a RAF enactment group with a full sized replica of a Spitfire and Hurricane. A good showing of kits and other classic cars together with military vehicles and some commercials. Inside the hall there were representatives of the old Silver City and other flying organisations that used to use the airfield but the exhibitors outnumbered the spectators. There was no advertising in the local paper and just a hand written scrap of paper was pinned up on the entrance fence post. I spoke to the event organiser who obviously was good at organising but he told me that he was advised as this was his first event to start small. (I think this adviser was putting on a local show on the same day down the road) The organiser had only invited people from the village to attend and this was a free show for them. I did point out that if he intended to do it next year exhibitors may not turn up if he can't guarantee a busy show but he did not seem to be worried by this. It was lucky that the weather was good as I would not have stayed for more than an hour if it had been poor. I hope it is different next year as it has all the makings of a good show. I received a phone call from Margret Stannett the other week to say that Peter had had a spell in hospital but he is now making a full recovery. I will take this opportunity to wish all those members (there are a lot of them) who have had health problems during this year a full recovery and hope to see you all soon. Future Events By the time you read this quite a few events would have passed so I will try and give you a report on these in the next issue. I do have entry forms for the Southern Model Air Showon the 17th and18th of September at the Hop Farm and don't forget the Aldington Soap Box Derby on the 29th August BH Monday.


The Tour de Arras

The Tour de Arras started with a kiss! The gentle kiss of soft drops of rain falling from the skies. After much discussion (hair and other important things) Cookie erected the hood on the Hawk, we exchanged our winter jackets for cardies. All was calm, well for a minute or two, all the discussion and changes had made us late and we scrapped into Dover with a few minutes to spare, only to have a grinning customs man pull us over ` what do you think I can hide in here mate` said an anxious Cookie, `nothing I guess, just wanted to see the car!` No worries though, we were loaded on the Sea France ferry and joined in with the excitement of the other Club members in the lounge for a lovely relax and our first taste of France, a croissant and a cup of coffee and lots more discussion, `hoods up or down? `Will it or wont it rain? `

Off the ferry things were getting serious, walkie-talkies appeared, convoy formation order was agreed and the stunning line- up of beautiful motors hit the French road ways. We sped, meandered and squeaked (Cookies new brake pads) our way down to Arras, as the good old French boys, tooted, waved and gawped their approval. John and I had admired the lovely red rounded bum of Allan and Sandra for over 100 miles. The bravest bared all to the elements and wimps (me) sheltered under the double duck as the sat-nav guided us to the heart of the spectacular Arras and our hotel.

Whoever chose the restaurant for both the first and second evening meals needs a hearty pat on the back as John and I returned home with added elephant proportions and fond memories of delicious food.

I know all of us would agree that the next two days were subterranean, enlightening, moving and mostly thoroughly enjoyable.

Saturday saw us in formation mode again to visit the caves of Naours. A remarkable underground network of caves covering more than 2kms, build and used by villagers as a refuge against invaders in the 3rd, 4th and 9th century. These smart people even organised the smoke from their fires to ascend up and exit out through the chimneys of houses above ground.

Sunday morning and the memories of this visit still bring a tear to my eye, Wellington Caves under Arras and their significance in the First World War.

The Battle of Arras was a British offensive from 9th April to 16th May 1917, a plan for a surprise attack on the German lines that went wrong, heroic back breaking work by the New Zealand tunnelers and the Bantams (miners from our North) provided 20 km of caves to support 20,000 troops The tunnel system were outfitted with running water, electric lights, kitchens, latrines, a light rail system and a fully equipped hospital.The month of fighting around Arras cost the British 84,000 casualties and the Germans 75,000. This strange eyrie place makes you feel the fear and trepidation of those brave men, for what was coming next.

A lighter note now from us adventurers on our way back to Calais, a pit stop at Montreuil-Sur-Mer but without much Mer and yet more rain! A lovely quaint French town and well worth another visit for Cookie and me later in the year. The occupants of the lovely red rear and ourselves decided to try for an earlier ferry only to sit in the terminal car park for three hours waiting for the arrival of our sauntering motoring mates and Sea France

Overall a tremendous weekend, I for one have not stopped talking about it and give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who organised, put up with our squeaking and gave us such enjoyment. Thank you all.

Susan Cooke

From the ex-new boy

I don't know about you but I hate being the'new boy,' so as a way of an introducing myself, I thought I would write a few lines on the kit car scene from the beginner's perspective. This effort was inspired by meeting Ian Giles recently at Merton Village Show, having marvelled at his fantastic twin bike engine Tiger Z100. He suggested I "have a go" after I told him that I used to contribute on a regular basis to another club magazine.

This is in no way intended to be a technical exercise as many of you I am sure have a far greater knowledge than I, but I just want to achieve a general overview.

I must point out that I have been a KKCC member since April 2009, but only on the'fringe', mainly due to my ever changing shift patterns at work. However the Pembleton Super Sport is now on the road after two years of construction.

The Choice:
Easy for me having already acquired a donor car for the purpose, however, for others the choice of kit and/or donor could be difficult to make. What type of vehicle would you like to create? You may wish to make an individual or quirky type of automotive marvel, what about a high performance car - there again a great technical exercise such as Ian's (my names sake) example. Would you prefer the route of a classic car replica, these can even be made to out perform the original examples. For me however, the decision to build gave me the ideal opportunity to create something combining two of my favourite cars - the Morgan Super Sport three wheeler from the 1930's, and the good old Citroen 2cv a much underrated piece of splendid'outside the box' engineering thinking. The other aspect of this, I must confess, is that it is also a jolly good excuse to dress up in flying helmet and goggles!!. I think you will agree that it is the creative aspect along with the possibility to make something unique - just as you like it - that is so appealing about the kit car building scene.

"Look at the price of that kit, I could afford that" - That's all very well until you take into account that the basic kit price probably only accounts for about a third to one quarter of the total expenditure. The cost of replacement or refurbishment of the donor component parts being difficult to calculate before actually getting started. This you only become aware of once you have got well and truly'stuck in' and have reached the point where it would be plain foolish not to complete the blooming thing.

Instruction Booklet:
"Fit body to chassis" - Wait a minute - there are no body fixing holes pre-drilled! Not quite applicable to my own build, but representative of the rather ambiguous and glossed over type of generalised guide that we as amateur builders are expected to follow. Then of course there are certain sections of construction where no instructions at all are offered and it's all down to you. I was informed at one point by the very nice bloke responsible for the kit's production, that I just needed to push the car out in to an open space, step back, and make my own decision about" what looked right" when forming the rear panel - oh great !.

Get some help:
I must confess that the end result was not all of my own doing - Gasp - I did have the assistance of a couple of mates, one of which has had his kit car for about twenty five years. He has been to on every European mountain pass you could think of at least twice, and even traveled the Artic Circle, all in an open top three wheeler no less! The help I received was not only technical if required, but also valuable morale support around the midway point. This is where you feel as thought you have thrown quite a bit of money at the darn thing, done a lot of work, but the end seems a long way off - how and when will it all end !?

The Test:
Now let's be honest here and say that due to some of the build rules and regulations that we have to comply with, it is not easy comprehend the rather nit picking approach of the pass requirements. The 2.5mm radius requirement on ALL edges being just one factor to wrestle with, as I understand it, just in case a pedestrian comes in to contact with it. That being the case I am sure that the last thing the unfortunate person would worry about is an edge profile. A good thing for me was being a three wheeler, I only had the less stringent MSVA test to contend with - cheaper too! I still ended up presenting the car with half a bird cage affixed to the front in an attempt to cover the Morgan style exposed engine. At least we are still allowed to make kit cars in the UK, many other European countries just do not allow this to happen - period.

The Legal bit plus "I'm not going out in that":
Having achieved my technical test pass with VOSA, the next step is to take on the might of the DVLA in all it's completely uncoordinated splendour. Having handed in all the documents including the V5C'log book' relating to the 2cv donor car to the office at Maidstone, I then receive a threatening letter with regard to the sames lack of a tax disc from Swansea. Three letters from me later, and a second attempt from South Wales to get the Pembleton's spelling and details correct, we've finally street legal!!

Having now proudly presented the finished article to my family with an over excited offer from me of "anyone for a spin" I am deflated by comments such as " I'm not going out in that thing" and "I'll fall out" and the classic "what happens when it rains?" Okay it's a fair cop - I have no hood or tonneau cover or….err….any weather protection of any kind; but that's not the point damn it, it's all about fun…..Isn't it? Eventually my very patient wife did accompany me on a trip to Brighton and said that she finally understood this whole kit car thing. Anyone can jump in a modern car and just point and go to their destination, but in a car such as the Pembleton the whole thing is an adventure accompanied with smiles a plenty. Very best wishes,

Ian Cheswright (new boy)
P.S. Thanks to Paul Narramore for the splendid photo of the completed trike.

Cuckoo Spring Fayre 28-30 May

This was the 4th time that Broni and I had attended this show. In previous years we have been towed in and out and left early due to the amount of rain and mud. This year however it was 3rd time lucky as we had dry weather for the weekend, although the constant wind did have a chilling effect. A few other members joined us for a couple of days and it was nice to catch up with them.

The show itself was filled with the normal types of exhibits including classic cars, motorbikes, steam engines etc. however there were a few additional exhibits not normally seen at these fairs/ shows such as 2 pairs of ploughing engines ploughing along side vintage tractors and shire horses in the working field, and of course the noisy Tractor pulling on the opposite side of the showground.

For those who don't know much about this kind of motor sport, it basically consists of machines that can pull a sled 90 meters. During the pull the weight and force exerted by the sled increases to 20 tons on the draw bar. These machines are powered by a range of engines from Rover V8 to Rolls Royce Merlin aero engine and even included a turbine engine from a Wessex Helicopter with 1400 HP.

This is a great show if the weather is on your side and we will be back next year to try our luck again this time with the cars.

Ian & Broni


'There is one factor, nevertheless, that has always been inseparably associated with road locomotion in France and that is the unique excellence of its road system. And by system I do not mean the method by which its highways are controlled or repaired, but the comprehensive plan upon which they were designed over a hundred years ago by Napoleon the Great. No country enjoys in like measure to France the luxury of possessing a vast series of trunk roads'.

From France for the Motorist by Charles L. Freeton FRGS published by the AA in 1927.

We joined Ian, Miri, Paul and Diane on Monday evening 28th June at the Ibis hotel in the centre of Auxerre for the Club French trip. This was an excellent location as it was within walking distance of several restaurants and the tourist sites. We met in the bar for a drink, which turned out to be our routine on return from our trips each day.

Things started well in that the Belgian couple that had our garage accommodation had not returned the keys. Once this was sorted out we then met some English bikers who wanted a garage for two nights, however the hotel had none left. So as the Westfield is such a compact car we were able to garage their bikes in the rear of the garage.

Over dinner it was decided that Ian in his Caterham who had chosen the routes would lead with Paul in his Hawk (or as he calls it a Morgan copy) second and we would bring up the rear. It was also decided to do Wednesday's run on Tuesday and Tuesday's run on Wednesday. So we would arrive back before we had left! On the first run it became obvious that we could not see Ian in the Caterham due to the size of Paul obstructing the view, due to the size of his car. Driving through the countryside and through towns and villages never exceeding the speed limit. However, at the maximum speed allowable. In France the French love our type of cars and will stop to view them or let all of us out at junctions and some even join our convoy to see the cars excellent and catch up at the next village.

The temperature for the week was in the high 30's ºC even 37ºC at 8.00pm.

On Tuesday we took off and after about an hour had a stop for coffee at a cafe in the countryside and then to the hills with windy roads and clear of any traffic and through forest mainly in third gear.

Wednesday we took off for Chablis with a walk around the town and then back in the cars heading for Chateau de Tanlay arriving just at closing time for lunch. Over a drink in a cafe adjoining the Chateau entrance we decided to take the cars in although the sign clearly stated no cars for a photo opportunity (see photo). We then continued through the countryside and eventually found a village for with a cafe for lunch. Due to the bad planning by Ian they had finished lunch and we had a drink and visited the local shop for some food. In hindsight this worked out best as it decided to rain for about quarter of an hour the only rain we had the whole week.

On return to the hotel a disaster they had run out of pression beer. On Thursday Paul decided to wear his school shorts and what a sight and also to burn rubber, grandprix starts at all junctions. We visited Guedelon castle which is a new project to construct a it using 13th century methods and construction.

They have been 12 years todate on the construction and have another 12 before finishing. When we arrived about 10.30am there were about 7 coaches with school children's and others entering the car park. So a executive decision was taken not to visit and we set off again to Saint Fargeau were the Tour de France will go through this year. That's a push bike race. We continued onto Avallon for a drink and then a culture visit to a art exhibition in La Abbortior before heading back to the hotel.

Friday being our last day we decided to take a boat trip however the minimum number was 8 and we were only 6 and they suggested we return in three quarters of an hour to see if other people turned up. We did our environmentally friendly trip walking around Auxerre. On returning to the river nobody extra had turned up and Paul suggested paying for 7, however they still would not do the trip. So what we then did was an easy ride through the countryside to visit Briare where the canal goes over the river La Loire and again taking the cars up to the canal for a photo opportunity see photo. Finally we visited Fontenay Abbey a private property and a World Heritage Historical Monument and well worth the visit.

Saturday we said or call byes to Ian, Miri, Paul and Diana who were heading back to England and us back to La Palmyre on the south west coast, a 330 mile trip.

If you like driving your kit car along clear roads through forests and small villages also enjoying a good meal and company in a restaurant. this is for you. We found it quite boring but will go again for the weather so look out for our report next year.
From your roving Westfield with attitude.

John Alford

Events from May 2011 Grin Factor

ONE FOR THE ROAD APRIL-MAY 2011 Ramblings from your Social Secretary

First off let me thank you for supporting the winter talk's programme, where on average we had about 30 members each evening. This was the most successful programme that I have run for many years as not one of our speakers let us down. I arranged the content from requirements that you said you wanted in last year's questionnaire. The programme had technical and non-technical subjects and I would especially like to thank both our president John and member Roy for a wonderful evening of musical entertainment after the formal AGM. It would be nice if we could do it again sometime. The April club night was the last indoor one and from now on until September we will be outside weather permitting.

The show season is well underway now and the first one that I attended was Chatham Dockyard. The organisers had given the kit cars more space than we previously had but unfortunately the numbers were down. This was just not only our club but others were conspicuous by their absence. I always enjoy the dockyard as there is so much to see with new exhibits opening each year and this made up for the reduced numbers in all classes displaying.

My next big show was Stoneleigh. I have attended this one for the last 20 years but because of the night time noise problems in the last few I decided at the very last moment to go up in my tin top just for the day. Leaving home at 6.30am, I was having breakfast in the showground by 9am after a fast traffic free journey. I was a little embarrassed to not be in the kit but enjoyed myself none the less. I was able to meet many old friends from all over the country who I only ever meet at this show. The club was allocated a much larger area this year but we had reduced numbers staying for the weekend and this looked rather odd with so much naked grass between the tents. It was obvious that we were not the only club with reduced numbers as some clubs only had one car on their pitch. There seems to be a trend developing in the kit car world and perhaps it's the price of fuel that accounts for this. However I had a very enjoyable brief visit. Afterwards I did hear that the showground was very quiet this year so in retrospect I could have stayed up for the weekend. Never mind, there is always next year.

On the same weekend as Stoneleigh there were a couple of smaller local shows held in Kent. I tried to get a last minute entry into one of these at Canterbury and was told that they were full up and to try again next year. I understand that they had plenty of room on the showground over the two days. It seems that the organisers set a figure but do not account for non-attendance (as there always is) so they missed out this time. I have finally got the Vincent taxed and on the road. When I went to the Post Office for the tax disc I was most surprised to find that it cost over twice as much to tax the 1600cc Vincent as it did to tax both my 2000cc turbo diesel tin top and my 1400 cc Special. Perhaps a future article on road fund tax could explain the reasons for this.

In past years show organisers have always sent out at the beginning of the year notification of the date and entry forms. Because of the Internet I now only get the date information so if you want to go to any of these and do not have access to Broadband please phone me and if possible I can download an entry form for you.

European Kit Car Show at Detling
I will displaying the Vincent on the club indoor display together with Hilary's Quantum and Alan's newly refurbished Pick Up with its little homemade caravan, hand painted by the lovely Penny. I am quite looking forward to this show as the club are hosting a barbeque in the evening for members who have registered that they are coming. To date we have 50 plus names. I only hope this glorious spring weather holds for a couple more weeks. Visitors to the club area will notice a specific tent allocated to collection of club subs and displaying club merchandise. This has been introduced to speed up the registering of new members and to pass out the "goody packs". Being later in the year John is expecting a good turnout and camping is available if you are staying over.

There are a couple of new shows shown in the centre calendar they are:-

Canterbury Cathedral Gardens Open Days. on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of May.
If you enjoy visiting picturesque gardens then this annual event is not to be missed. They get hundreds of visitors and all the money raised goes towards local Kent charities. These large private walled gardens are set around the Cathedral and are magnificent. (I go every year) This year I have negotiated with the organisers that we will receive two free tickets, one for the driver and one for the passenger, in return for displaying our cars. The opening times are 11am to 5.30pm on Saturday and 2pm to 5.30pm on Sunday. You need to be there a minimum of half an hour before the opening time and will not be able to move your car until the end of the open day. The area you will be displaying in is the main lawn of the Kings School and this can be found by entering North Gate, The Borough and Mint Yard Gate (opposite the wonky house). Just turn up at the gate barrier and say you are displaying to get entry and your tickets will be issued to you once you are parked up inside.

The other event is the Lympne Aero Classic celebrating the life of Lympne airfield from 1916 to the 1980s.
It takes place over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd of July on the village green and we have been invited to attend. I do have some entry forms. There seems to be plenty going on and sounds like a nice little show for those living in the east of the county.

If you know of a local show that members could be interested in then please let me have the details ASAP.


Merton Vintage Show May Bank Holiday

Broni and I attended this show over the bank holiday weekend, taking the advantage of the extra day for the royal wedding we arrived on the Friday at 10.30. We were able to get the telly up and running so Broni could see the dress. And were set up in time for the flypast. Although not the biggest show it was well attended by exhibitors in all classes despite the windy weather conditions.
A few club members turned up each day giving a small club presence throughout the weekend. Broni took a selection of her models as an awning display which meant we were camping on the show ground and able to shelter out of the wind most of the time.
Sideshows were in place which includes Kite flying all weekend and 2 bouts of wrestling each day (reminded me of the days watching it on the telly with my Nan). The normal numbers of traders were in place with plenty of food outlets along with the Bar.

Again not the biggest show on the calendar but could fill a day nicely in early May next year

Ian Giles

Events from March 2011 Grin Factor

Folding caravan at the BBC

I was'phoned by Anne on a Wednesday evening to confirm that she would be at Newbury on the Friday night, but would not be staying for the weekend as the BBC wished to film some folding caravans down in the New Forest.

Had I anything booked for the weekend? If not would I like to spend a night in the'van?

It was made clear to me that if I required breakfast it was up to me to provide it.

We duly arrived at the rendezvous (no post codes for car parks), to meet five other'vans and their towing vehicles. Anne's did not seem the eccentric one that I had previously considered it to be.

The filming began.

We were directed in convoy, with cameras at the roadside and on the lead vehicle.

There was an unscheduled stop; one caravan had suffered a puncture, causing continuity problems for the producers, but giving them the unexpected bonus of an additional activity to film.

On to the campsite, we looked a motley lot in the up market Hoburne Bashley Caravan Park. There were warning signs about our presence and the filming.

After positioning the vehicles and'vans came the action of erecting them.

Anne's was first, with the customary help from the group organiser and, to Anne's horror, the detailed filming of the interior in chaotic travel mode. This was an unscheduled weekend, and I had occupied the overflow storage area, by being a passenger in the car.

Next was a'van of the same design as Anne's, towed by a spacious Citroen H van.

After this a Scandinavian ChateauMobile, with lovely wooden sides with a canvas roof, followed by two Porafolds. Dave attempted to emulate the brochure's boast of erecting it in one minute. The first started as unhooked from the tow vehicle, and took 1minute 14 seconds, whilst for the second attempt Dave pre set the steadies and undid the roof catches, so achieving a time in the forty seconds.

The last'van was a Rapido, the two owners struggling to provide the ballast for the initial pivot movement.

Children stopped cycling to watch and cars slowed in wonderment; this was more fun that the amenities on the site. (It was a superior caravan park, not permitting tents or trailer tents, with three swimming pools, shops and bars.) Something was happening!

During the afternoon the whole concept of the BBC South programme, Inside Out, became clear.

Pathe News had released 50 year old films, one of which was of a family going on holiday with a Lambretta, side-car, dingy and folding caravan. This had been spotted by the BBC, who wondered if they could contact any of the "family" and were there similar folding caravans around.

Ken, the "moron mechanic", having heard the BBC's initial airing of the thoughts for the programme, contacted them and was able to supply the back ground to the "family". He worked for the scooter garage that adapted the Lambretta to take the tow bar and the wife and daughter were related to the caravan builder. Could Ken talk! He held court, his every word being recorded, along with the prompts from his wife. Ken had never seen the film, so before we went for our meal at a local carvery, a projector was aligned to show the Pathe News clipping onto the side of the Rapido.

Our journeys to and from the restaurant were memorable in their own right, out in the H van (no seat belts) and back in a turquoise Cadillac; the same model that Elvis had, but he had his painted pink.

The moonlit playing of the News clip brought more "locals" to join the party being filmed watching the film; Ken was a little emotional on seeing a production that he had had such a large part in 51 years' ago.

With the departure of the film crew, we had to locate the'vans in their allotted parking areas. A weird sight. Erected'vans being hauled, either by vehicle or manhandled, in the twilight, around such a well maintained site.

Written by Anne's sister, Airlie, who considered that she did all the map reading, cooking and washing up.

Goodwood Revival 2010

I and my better half were fortunate this year in being able to go to the Goodwood Revival, on the Saturday, and experience this widely reported and much lauded event. Whilst it is not cheap to get in or to put your bum on a grandstand seat, having paid for the experience much earlier in the year we'd almost forgotten the cost when we walked in early on that Saturday morning. To have a P51 Mustang fighter aircraft doing a aerobatic display overhead at 8.30 in the morning was wonderful to see and really set us up for the day ahead.

The event was held over 3 days (Friday-Sunday 17-19 Sept 10), with a full and varied programme on each day. On the Saturday there were 8 races and 5 air displays, one of which featured the complete Battle of Britain memorial flight including the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Fabulous to see and hear overhead.

As you probably know, a feature of the Revival is that most folk dress in period clothes, and I can report that almost everyone makes the effort to dress up. Indeed there were costumes from the Thirties, Forties, Fifties and Sixties all present, all being worn with varying degrees of success. We saw an Al Capone chatting with Churchill whilst a couple of Mary Quant look-alikes were posing nearby. The most common costume for blokes was the white racing overall, commonly worn by drivers in the Thirties and late Forties - I suppose that a white boiler suit is easily come by and can be made to look quite convincing.

It was a bit of eye opener for Shirley and I to see all the trade stalls selling various period clothes and paraphernalia at far from original prices; some people really take this dressing up lark seriously. We shared a few laughs at some of the things we saw, and made a mental note to explore our loft for similar junk/ valuable items !!

We were constantly seeing famous faces from the past and present in the crowds, and it was particularly nice to see Sir Stirling Moss up and about after his horrible broken leg.& feet injuries sustained earlier in the year. He did a 3 lap "demonstration run" just before the first race as well as sharing some of his thoughts during an interview. We also saw him later on in the day sharing an OSCA FS372 with Ian Nuthall in a 45 minute shared driver race, it wasn't the fastest car on the track but he still managed to enjoy himself, at 83 years old.!!!

I particularly enjoyed seeing some of the old touring cars and saloons racing. Cars such as the Austin A35 on track with A40's, A95's, Jaguar Mk 1 & VII's, Ford Zephyrs, Standard Vanguards, Sunbeam Rapiers to name but a few; with drivers like Martin Brundle, Tom Kristenson, Desire Wilson, Tiff Needell, Tony Jardine, Jochen Mass, David Hobbs, Jackie Oliver, Brian Redman, and Rauno Aaltononen behind the wheel.

Martin Brundle put in a giant killing performance driving the diminutive A35, starting 5th on the grid and vying for the lead with Tom Kristenson in the A95 after about 5 laps. An unfortunate coming together which the A35 was never going to win resulted in a front wheel puncture for Martin Brundle, which despite some pretty slick pit work effectively put him out of the race. Nevertheless he got a stand ovation from the startline/pitlane grandstand for his exhilarating drive.

Other races featured 1950's Grand Prix and Formula One equivalent cars, sports cars, endurance racing cars and many other types. To see Ferrari 250MM and 166 Barchetta's racing with Aston Martin DB2 & 3's, Maseratis, Lagonda Le Mans, Jaguar C types, etc was a joy to behold and hear. The drivers were also enjoying racing the cars despite some of the cars being well into seven figures in terms of cost. Door handles and bodywork are not cheap for such classics of the track.

This years Revival featured a tribute to John Surtees OBE who needs no introduction to most motor sport enthusiasts. He was interviewed on the startline, and came across as a very modest but immensely capable racer and automotive engineer. Since the tragic death of his son , whilst racing at Brands Hatch, he has devoted much of his time in encouraging young people to get safely into motor sport and facilitate their technical development as well. He is well known as the only person to be a World Champion on Motor Cycles as well F1 Cars. A feat that many people nowadays think will never be repeated. What is sometimes forgotten is that he went on to be a successful manufacturer / team entrant in the 70's. During the tribute there was a parade lap of many of the machines that he'd ridden/ driven in his long career, led by the man himself in a Ferrari, very impressive.

We had driven down to Goodwood in our Sebring, but were obviously not eligible to park with "tax free classics & historic" cars in their dedicated parking areas. No matter as it was only a short walk from the "tin top" car park into the circuit and we walked by what must have been one of the biggest collections of classic cars parked together in one place !! You could easily spent many hours wandering round the fields of classic cars parked up by attendees of the Revival, before even going into the event itself.

This years Revival was also celebrating the BRM Grand Prix racing project and a number of the famous cars were present and demonstrated on track. Even now the stupendous V16 supercharged 1.5 engined car sounds tremendous. Unfortunately as we know, the cars proved occasionally quick but often fragile. The company in various forms started in the late forties and finally folded in 1977. Along the way drivers such Mike Hawthorn & Tony Brooks raced in the Fifties as did the French ace Jean Behra; Graham Hill & Jackie Stewart drove for BRM in the Sixties, as did Pedro Rodriguez & Jean-Pierre Beltoise in the early Seventies. BRM are often remembered for their complicated engines the last most memorable being the infamous H16, which proved to be too heavy, slow and thirsty to be competitive. Nevertheless it was good to see some of the classic BRM's on track again, most of which were in the old BRM livery of dark racing green.

The Revival is a very large show, with many things happening simultaneously. We didn't get to some of the pits and race car holding areas, neither did we get to the static & flying aircraft ground display areas. Maybe next time ?? Would we go again ? Yes, unquestionably as it is such a unique experience. The weather was very kind, with brilliant skies for the pilots to show off their aircraft to best effect. On the ground it was good that it didn't rain heavily as so much of the event is outdoors, and parking/leaving the show would have been a nightmare. Notwithstanding that reservation, if you get the opportunity to experience a Goodwood Revival in the future, our advice is to go for it, it was absolutely brilliant.

Chris Pecover

Hellingly Festival of Transport

A Few members came and joined Broni and myself at this show over the Aug bank Holiday weekend. We have been attending for a number of years and has become the start of our annual Holidays. It is run along the same lines as may other shows with a number of trade stands, auto-jumble and the normal mix of exhibits. Unlike previous years we only took Broni's models this time as we were going to Dorset on the Tuesday morning following the show. This year was particularly difficult for us having had to have Jake (our Springer Spaniel) put down the night before.

Friday we arrived and set up camp for the following few days. The models had been taken down in our tin top and were set up in the afternoon. Alan and Sandra, Keith and |Roma and Rob all arrived during the afternoon and set up around us.

Saturday morning dawned and the cars maid there way over to the showground. Spike was already there with his caravan there all set up. We all went our separate ways through out the day but we still all managed to sit down to a nice 3-course meal on the Saturday night, prepared as usual by Broni

Sunday dawned and we noticed that the motor homes hot water system had sprung a leak, so I spent a fair amount of the day finding pts and fixing the problem. The other members were slowly packing up to go home so they could support John Nash at his down hill race the following day.

Monday was a slower start, but soon the time to pack up arrived, Most of the models were packed into the Tin top and this was parked up at a friend's house nearby, for collection on our return from Dorset. Off to the pub for dinner that night, then back to the camp for a nightcap or 2, Tuesday was going to be a long day but that's another story.


Events from January 2011 Grin Factor

The Dairies of four camping virgins continued

That evening Joan and Ray laid on a BBQ which was cooked to perfection and so much of it. I've no idea how they cook so well, for so many in a relatively small caravan but hats off to them, it was great! Following the wonderful meal the obligatory washing up took place, for those of you that have never been camping before two bowls of hot water are normally produced from Broni's campervan and then two people start to wash up while all the others grab a tea towel, now picture the scene, there are two washer uppers and probably 10-15 driers; the abuse given to the two washer-uppers is normally quite rife. Also at this point much wine and beer has been drunk so everyone (well the women), start a sing song. One thinks they sing, only to stop themselves laughing at watching the men washing and wiping up.
Fed, wined and dined we all sat around the table drinking more falling down liquid when someone pipes up that there is an old fashioned fun fair up at the top of the showground. Off we trot and have a look around.
It's now 10ish and the fresh air, wine and beer has got to most of us so we decide to call it a night. Staggering back to the tents we all head off for bed, there is mush noise at this point and we all thought that we where not going to get much sleep because of other revellers on the camp site, but come 12 O'clock almost on the dot it became quiet and the only thing that could be heard was the occasional snoring from a tent or caravan somewhere. (Not to mention Ian's flatulence, but we won't mention that .... much! (I had to get that one in ...Old indeed!) (NB Mandy)

10h July @ Ardingly
The following morning after a wonderful nights sleep we must say the four of us awoke at the crack of dawn and got washed and showered ready for the day. The cars where moved early into the arena which woke up any of those campers that where trying to have a lay in (Sorry Peter F).
With the cars parked in the arena ready for the public's arrival we all returned to the camp site for some hearty breakfast. The girls got the bread rolls ready, Ian fired up the camping stoves and put on the bacon and sausages and yes you guessed it, Pete supervised.
In his defence Tony could not get his car started on Saturday morning to move it into the arena so was hindering him (Sorry helping). To Pete's and everyone else's surprise Tony pulled out three sets of points and brand new coil and a spare inner tube from the back of his car (Halfords on wheels one thinks) anyway he got it fired up moved his car into the arena and was then seen heading for the restaurant for a megger gut buster of a breakfast in the Ardingly restaurant.
The morning was spent looking around the showground at various items until lunch time, when all the men returned to Ian G's camper van and on suite marquee to watch the British GP practice. Following that all the men meet back up with the women to look around other parts of the showground, it is massive and can take up to two days to get around the whole show.
That evening Broni and Ian G helped by the other women from the KKCC laid on another wonderful three course dinner of All Day Breakfast starter, lamb with potatoes, carrots and veggies followed by loads of scrumptious desserts. Again, I have no idea how they can cook such wonderful food for so many from a small oven in a campervan. Bearing in mind Broni was also showing her models at the show herself. She must have more hours in her day than the rest of us! The obligatory wine and beer was drunk and everyone had I am sure, a wonderful time. Washing up finished, same routine as the night before, the fun fair was visited again. Much joy and laughter was had by all.
As with the previous night come 10-10:30 most people headed back to their tent for some well earned kip.

11h July @ Ardingly
The following Sunday morning started much as the Saturday morning except Tony's car started first time, the cars were moved into the arena and people then heading back for hearty breakfasts. Camping and fresh air certainly does something for your appetite.
The Sunday show run without any major events and everyone one had a great time, it was a bit drizzly to start with but soon passed over to become a wonderful hot day just like the Saturday.
Come show closure time the four vestal camping virgins broke down their tents, packed away and waited for the show traffic to dissipate before leaving. It was at this point Peter and Mags where seen looking at a 6 berth campervan up for sale, what a transformation!
Good-byes were said and we headed off for home after a wonderful weekend. For any of you that are thinking about camping we four have just one thing to say. Don't think about it, just do it! Because you will have the time of your life, but be quick because we will be back next year.
Can we also say a BIG THANK YOU for everyone at Ardingly this year, for making us so welcome and for us, the friendship shown is the reason the Kent Kit Car Club is so popular with its members. Thank you for a great experience. Over and out from four camping experts (We aren't kidding anyone but ourselves).
Pete has his reservations about camping, but to their surprise they both slept well feeling very comfortable, warm and cosy. Pete even said he slept better there than he does at home (that doesn't say much for Mags does it!!)
We all enjoyed a brilliant weekend, the company was great and the hottest week-end of the year certainly made it a wonderful experience.
Many years ago Pete and Mags had a caravan with all mod cons and they always enjoyed their caravan holidays and weekends away. The feeling of freedom and relaxation is second to none, so they think they may be looking to invest in something along the lines of a motor home or caravan maybe. We'll see,
We all thoroughly enjoyed our camping experience in such wonderful company, fantastic weather, so once again, thanks to all of you from all of us. It is great being members of the Kent Kit Car Club, and I am sure we shall continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

Ian, Mandy, Peter & Mags

Presidents prattle December 2010

I must confess to being absolutely frozen. I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime-visiting my daughter who lives close to rain forests in Cairns Australia. Sue and I have been saving hard for this trip and to make it very special, we broke the journey and spent two nights in Hong Kong. I have never seen in my lifetime a place of such vast contrasts. From a beautiful river front/harbour backed up by mega tall skyscrapers many of which are local apartments. Just imagine living in a two room flat on the fiftieth floor-higher than the Eifel Tower.
In Hong Kong if you wanted a car it would cost you double the price as to keep car ownership to a bare minimum, the government impose 100% purchase tax on all new cars the reason- just imagine 5 million people all driving cars on the Isle of Wight a slight traffic jam may occur. I would return to Hong Kong as there is so much to see and do well worth a visit. From Hong Kong we spent 5 days in Noosa, a seaside town just North of Brisbane the Australians were getting worked up about the forthcoming Test with England so a bit of banter was often in the air. We had a shark scare whilst swimming in the sea off of Noosa I was the first out of the sea by a mile. This coast is stunning and I could live there quite easily but not a sight of one Kit car.
Cairns some 1500 miles up the coast was a different ball game Stingers and Crocodiles in the sea meant that swimming was confined to netted areas but the sea was 30 Degrees C like swimming in a bath. Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef was a brilliant experience, just spoilt a bit by a full day of monsoon rain and the need to wear a stinger suit, as Jelly fish can kill. It made me look quite slim and fit for 68 year old. The reef fish were big and lots of them a really grand sight.
Wow! I followed a Kit Car Up the road in Cairns, try as I might I couldn't catch up with it but it looked like a refined Seven and was a quality car, no idea what it was but I was pleased that Australia allows Kits on the road and this was the proof.
12 days in Cairns was followed by the long haul home, we stopped at Darwin for a couple of hours then flew on to Singapore. This is another breathtaking place different to Hong Kong in that it was very modern and focused on shopping Orchard road has 10,000, yes 10,000 shop on its 5 mile length Sue had a ball with the clothes shops and the food was great, cheap as chips or I should say Noodles, down in the Basement ethnic cafes then ascend to the roof tops and a stunning array of class restaurants that served everything from marinated sea slug to boiled pigs ears, Shark Stomach Sausages to Octopus Steaks. Loved them all!!! Don't forget the rice!
Anyway I am now sitting on the radiator trying to get used to this cold snowy English weather wishing I was back in Noosa. I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and very prosperous 2011 and of course please enjoy the Kent Kit Car Club.

John'Cookie' Cooke

Great Dorset Steam Fair
This was our first visit to this show and what a visit. After 3 years of applying Broni had managed to become an exhibitor this year with her model Caravans. Leaving the Hellingly show on Tuesday morning our first stop was Tesco to fill up the camper with food, drink and Fuel. Then off to Tarrent Hinton near Blanford in Dorset. After a number of hours we were approaching the show site, all the road signs were warning of queuing traffic. As we came over the top of the hill the sight that met our eyes astounded us. The show site was massive and all you could see were caravans, tents and motor homes for what seemed like miles. This was the first indicator that this show was on a scale that we had not seen before. We turned on to the show site and where most entrances have perhaps 1 or 2 lines for traffic to follow this had 8 and they were still queuing to get in. Temporary roads and traffic lights, along with its own radio station etc again just confirmed the size. Eventually we located the Model Marquee and unloaded Broni's exhibits. Whilst she set up I went off to our camp sight to set up camp for the next few nights. We were exhibiting for 5 days and needed all this time to get around the show. For those who have never been here are a few facts about this show.
· At over 600 acres, the showground is one of Europe's largest outdoor event locations.
· With 1,000 trade stands, 2,000 exhibitors and their families, together with our campers on the public campsites (5,000 caravans and tents) it is estimated that the population living on site amounts to 25,000 people at any one time.
· Total number of people expected to see the show is in excess of 200,000. To cope with the large crowds the show brings in around 600 portable toilet
· Due to planning regulations, actual site preparations do not begin until only 2 weeks before the event commences and we have just 10 days to clear the site afterwards and put it back to a working farm.
· Over 2 miles of water piping is laid and over 3,100,000 litres of water is used during the show each year! 2,100,000 litres are used by the engines alone, along with 1,000,000 litres used for domestic and drinking purposes. 750,000 litres of all the water is brought onto site by tankers with a full time team of 6 workers during the show and for a week before.
· Over 10 miles of electric cable are used with over 100 floodlights erected and 200 socket outlets placed. 30 large generators have to be hired each year and just one generator is powerful enough to supply electricity to a small village. Electricity has to be provided to 6 entertainment pavilions, 4 shower blocks and other marquees and to our administration and emergency services centre. We have 3 full time and one part time electricians on site.
· Each year over 200 tonnes of coal are used.
· Over 560 barrels of beer were drunk at last year's show.
· 80 tonnes of wood will be cut in this year's woodsawing section.
· 16 acres of corn is cut before the show starts by an old time binder with 10 large ricks erected in readiness for the threshing demonstrations.
One of the highlights of this show for us happened on the Saturday night. We had been told Saturday night was the best and it did live up to expectations. The showground had approx 50 showman's steam engines under steam; some powering rides others powering sideshows and fairground rides. As midnight approached a lot of people were gathering around the main line up of 40 or so engines. As midnight struck the all let their whistles blow, the noise was wonderful, but deafening.
We thought that nothing could top this, that was until Sunday morning. We were in the model tent with Broni's exhibit when the organisers and other exhibitors started to gather by her stand. They then presented Broni with a silver cup for best exhibit in the model section; it is safe to say it is one of the few times that she had nothing to say. It later transpired that this was the first time that this award had been given to a first time exhibitor in the history of the show.
We will be back next year, if you enjoy steam and want to see these engines work then this is a show to visit.

Ian and Broni