Grace, the Healey from Heaven

Posted on March 31st, 2014 by Dave under Austin Healey, auto restoration.

As many of you know or should, Grace is a now famous old ’53 Austin Healey which travels the US visiting children with a generally terminal cancer and their families. Grace and her care taker (John Nikas,  Drive Away Cancer on Face Book) have been dropping in at my shop for all the years that John has undertaken this truly marvelous project.

Grace has had some health problems of her own over the past 17 months. The past months have been used to slowly collect the necessary parts, some by donation and some from John’s own pocket to get Grace back on the road again. Seems that the past 150,000 miles she logged eventually holed all four pistons, wiped the cam lobes, and cracked the crankshaft to name a few.

The car was towed in from Iowa last week by Jim and Judy, an Arkansas family, who have taken up the slack with a Triumph Spitfire while Grace was on the mend. No, they didn’t tow it with the Spitfire.. Syn is the owner of Ginger, another DAC car who accompanied them on the cross country trek.

Here are a few shots of Grace as she sits today:

Looking a little forlorn

Due to the modern rear main seal and fitting the back plate it is easier to not use an engine stand at this point though my knees would argue..IMG_4751_1

 

The deck has been milled so many times that the pistons now protrude 0.042″ above the deck height. The steel head gasket measures ~ 0.060″ Pretty close to the head, but modern engine building dictates that zero tolerance is OK. This creates a “quench” zone, which keeps carbon build up to a minimum. The rod “stretch” is in the 10 thousandths range, so no worries on this build. Room to spare here. Modern piston design nearly eliminates any piston slap. The crank design has two additional counterweight throws and no offset, so this engine should easily rev well beyond the original 4800RPM red line. Sweet.

Misc. parts awaiting re-installation.

We are waiting for some parts from England that have been lost somewhere between Iowa and here. We hope to have Grace off life support before the end of the week. I’m going to eBay a bunch of misc. items to help cover some of my out of pocket expenses. Keep your fingers crossed if you are following the Drive Away Cancer thread on Face Book.

As it sits today. new wiring harness and LED lamps installed.

As it sits today. new wiring harness and LED lamps installed.

Just bought a new Windows 8 computer and switching computers has created the usual mess. I’ll try to get it sorted out. Suffice it to say that Grace is up and running and sounding healthier than ever.. more to come.

Installing the rebuilt engine

Installing the rebuilt engine

Starboard side

Starboard side

From a purely seat of the pants calculation I reckon that Grace is now making a bit over 130HP. It started with 110 in it’s 100M form, the small quench zone added 16HP according to the machine shop, the lightened reciprocating mass and the increase in bore and the lightened flywheel and sundry other items should get it there. A dyno test would be nice, but that isn’t up to me.. The best part is that it should be much more durable. On the busy freeway it was showing 105MPH in 4th gear at 5200RPM and still pulling like the  proverbial locomotive. With the Overdrive engaged I would guess 130 plus is possible. I’d like to drive it at sea level! We’re a mile high here.

Well that about wraps up this saga of Grace’s travels from my perspective. She and John are heading for NC in the next week, so we’ll see how it goes and what effect the rebuild has on gas mileage, which wasn’t especially good before.  Watch the DAC link above for the next reports from John.

 

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French autos of interest

Posted on March 1st, 2014 by Dave under Austin Healey, auto restoration.

1955 Talbot Lago Grand Sport

Click on pics to enlarge-arrow back to text

 

Ou la la..  This is a nice vehicle, despite it’s French origins. A big 4.5Liter straight 6, with twin cams and triple Solex carbs. The other neat feature is the Wilson or E.N.V pre-selective transmission. Move the column mounted lever to the gear you want before you want it. Push the “clutch” pedal and it’s in that gear. Takes a few minutes to acclimate to thinking ahead, but it’s really pretty clever. It’s originally a British design, but Lago bought the patent rights in the early 50′s and made some minor changes..

Unfortunately the reason it’s here is because the reverse selector is on the blink. The engine and gear box must come out to rectify the problem. It’s a very expensive bit of sheet metal to have to work on. Only 19 of these cars were produced!

Here’s a shot of the engine..

BIG Six Cylinder 4.5L

Here’s the drivers seat view.. By enlarging this shot the gear selector is clearly visible on the right side of the steering column.

Interior picture

And here’s the offending gearbox innards. Each of the block like structures on the left side are the selectors for the respective band operated planetary gear sets. Reverse is the bottom left most..

E.N.V. gearbox in neutral

And here’s a couple more shots of the car.

Rear quarter-my favorite

Front view

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Gabe’s MAX frame

Posted on May 27th, 2013 by Dave under Bikes, custom bicycles, For Sale, Tandem bicycles, velodrome.

Just a quick notation on my “restoration” services. This frame from 1991 was one I’d made for one of the shop’s team riders.  Gabe was/is very hard on his equipment. I don’t recall seeing as many dents in any one frame or fork before.  Of course he explained it away as being this crash or that incident…. here’s a look at it when it arrived a couple days ago..

Well used MAX Porter click on to enlarge-arrow back

The frame was at the bike store hanging in the repair area. I asked about it and the guys said that he wanted to build it up again and ride it as his last “lightweight” (steel-bamboo) had broken in half..  Anyway, not wanting him “out there” on one of my frames that was as beat up as this old race bike, I offered a Bro deal to make it at least presentable again and the “deal” allowed me some discretion in how it would look..  His fork was the worst as it had been laying in the dirt in his back yard for years…

really rusted steerer tube

The fork had been in one of the previously mentioned crashes.. a crit where he’d got off line and sucked a marker cone between the blade and wheel..  I always liked the look of the MAX crown and the fat aero blades though they never fit worth a damn and required excess filler to look half way right. Nevertheless I spent some extra time to make this one safe and functional again..  Here’s a couple after the repair shots.. even still I missed a big ding in the top tube.. maybe a decal will cover it, just like the old PowerBar decal in the first picture..

AH! Signal Green.. like FM pumps..

seat lug

a real pump peg

Well, it is what it is.. probably good for a couple more years hammering from an old guy, but former National jersey winner..

As usual send me your comments and critiques…

 

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Valve job.. ’57 Maserati 3500GT

Posted on April 7th, 2013 by Dave under Austin Healey, auto restoration.

You’ve probably already seen some pictures of this car herein previously. According to Maserati build records only two of these cars were built in 1957, so it’s VERY rare!. Here’s another look.. click on photo to enlarge-arrow back to text.

1957 Maserati 3500GT Paris show car-really!

Well, as good as it looks, I became concerned that the car simply was making too much induction noise at highway speeds to make it a comfortable “touring” car. I let it go for awhile until the owner and his wife both agreed to let me at least check the cam timing to see if it was off to the degree that valve overlap would allow poor filling and emptying of the cylinders yielding a lot of  Ross Perot like sucking noise. Well to my surprise the timing was a few degrees advanced on the exhaust cam, but probably not enough to cause the symptom we were experiencing.

Most manufacturers have very clear and well defined marking showing where the engine should be timed for optimum daily usage. There are many variants to this setting for specific racing needs. Maserati, and now this is my wild ass guess, ran in  the engines before delivering to the end user, and this one being the “Factory” show car that year probably had Guido or some engineer do a little extra tuning. I say this because the marks on the cams that should coincide with the marks on the retaining caps were hand scribed with an electric pencil and labeled “PM” with an arrow.  See photo:  followup note: no, I’m told by all the experts that this was the way they all were..

Factory markings?

I felt that the engine “ran” pretty well as it was and rather than spend many hours to set the exhaust cam to where one would think it belonged I decided to check some other parameters for the issue. First was to check the compression reading, note to self: (ALWAYS DO THIS FIRST YOU HARD HEAD) well, the reading were horrible, 5 cylinders were at 60PSI or less and only one cylinder managed to get to 100PSI.  The compression ratio for this beautiful engine is only 8.2 to 1, nevertheless, even at Albuquerque’s altitude I would expect no less than 150PSI on all 6 cylinders.  The carbs were “chuffing” out air at various RPM’s, not unlike many 911 Porches tend to do. I’d recently had a friends TR4 with a similar presentation and that was severely receded valve seats. The seats are generally pressed in and are the seat upon which the face of the valves rest to allow the pressure of compression to occur as the piston moves. Warnings of seat recession was widely spread with the demise of leaded fuels, but that never really materialized except in a few racing engines that weren’t properly built with hardened seats and valves to handle the new unleaded fuels. Remember that “valve jobs” were the most common repair and bread and butter of shops before unleaded fuels. Now I see maybe one or two a year.. sigh..

OK, so the owner gave me the go ahead to pull the head off as see what exactly was causing the lack of compression. First the valve clearances were all over the map. The Factory called for 0.1 mm (0.004″) intake and 0.2 mm (0.008″) exhaust. The readings were as wide as 0.013 to 0.0, only 2 or 3 of the 12 were close.. The valve clearances are set by means of hardened discs of different thicknesses between the valve stem and an upside down “bucket” that is opened as the cam lobe rotates.  Well, the good news is that the seats don’t appear to have much recession, but they will have to be reground and the valve faces will need to be re-cut. I have not pulled the valves out of the head yet so I can’t report on the condition of the valve guides, springs etc. Here’s a shot or two of the removed head, block, and all the miserable silicon that some previous mechanic used to keep the coolant from leaking out.  Tedious job to remove it..

wet liner cylinders, tiny brass(?) combustion seals, Silicon mess...

Head and Carbs on the bench..

top side with cams still in place- note dual spark plug design

note difference in operating temp of these valves.

Next, I’ll disassemble the remaining removable bits from the head and deliver it to the machine shop…  The head is at the machine shop for their part of the job. Parts are ordered and I spent several tedious hours today cleaning up the block deck and liners of all the silicon schmutz and gasket remnants.

cleaned and ready to re-seal and add coolant gasket

The starter has been sent to the re-builder to check for condition. All the new compression may be more than a tired starter can handle and it’s a PITA to remove when the carbs are installed.. ditto the oil filter..

While the head is at the machine shop I’ve started to do some general clean up and repairs to other under the hood items. First on my list was to blast the 2 exhaust headers and then coat them with a graphite product I’ve used for many years with nice results. One of the headers was wrapped with heat cloth tape the other none. Turns out there was a reason. The rear wrapped one was nearly cracked in half on the underside (luckily). Being of cast iron construction they are problematic to repair without special  mostly Nickel alloy rods or high silver content brazing wire, which I happen to use for the bicycle department. Here are some pictures of this process.

Badly cracked rear header-click on this

Raw repair prior to surfacing

Double click on this one above. There must be about 3 troy oz. of silver in that repair..

finished and coated front side

finished and coated backside with repair

Then I spent the rest of the day removing the old paint and cleaning up the cam covers of casting flash and other imperfections. I polished the raised lettering and outlines and finished with a new coat of black “wrinkle” paint as was original. The owner wants the letters painted red as was done previously, but I may try to talk him out of that, as I think the black and polished aluminum looks classy enough. We’ll see.

restored to like new--well, almost..

So I’ve been pondering this next picture. It is a straight edge laid across the tops of the wet liners with the copper “fire ring” sitting in it’s normal position. The gap you see back to the deck is nominally 0.087″ which is huge in my thinking of what the outside perimeter gasket to seal the coolant jacket, is capable of. Perhaps this is why there was so much silicon used by the previous builder. I haven’t received the new gasket set yet, so I’m in the dark until they arrive. The old one is visible in the earlier picture of the underside of the head and I think we can all agree that it isn’t that thick.. a conundrum..

wow..tiny text.. click on twice?

The most simple (cost effective) solution is to have a shim or spacer, whatever one cares to call it, water jet cut and surface ground out of sheet aluminum to the correct thickness. This will return the deck height to the same as the wet liner height.  I can use the rubber perimeter coolant seal as a template as the spacer is not terribly dimensionally critical except for the thickness. This will also correct the overall height of the cams which will bring the valve timing back to original. Pretty sure that I can have it done locally, another plus.

Yesterday I cleaned up and painted the cam cover end plates, oil filler and tach drive plate.

More assembly prep work..

In the process of changing the oil filter cartridge..

old oil filter cartridge

I found this along with a fair quantity of silicon

collapsed internally

sealant remnants that had migrated into the lubrication pathways.. The filter had imploded and was not filtering much of anything. God only knows how much of the filter material has migrated and is possibly blocking the oil passages or bearing feeders… what next?

Yesterday I bought a sheet of 3031 Aluminum sheet at 20 Ga or 0.032″. I was hoping for 19 Ga (0.036″) but couldn’t find it locally. Nevertheless, it’s in the hands of the water jet operator along with the template for the spacer. I’m confident that with a light coating of sealant on both sides plus the OEM gasket the height will be within the allowable factory variation spec. (+/- 0.1mm [0.004"]) Regardless, it will be FAR better than what I started with..

Here’s a couple more shots of the cleaned up engine bay, the water pump and the very unique leather wrapped oil line.

Driver's side

passenger side

Water pump

Leather wrapped oil line for dash gauge

The owner dropped by with a couple hardback Maserati books and I found a picture of the early 3500 engine and in my meager attempts to bring the car back to it’s  original appearance I noticed that the water pump was also black wrinkle paint finished, like it is now..

Factory finish for the water pump

still waiting for the machine shop to finish…

Here’s  today’s new issue. The old tach drive cable had broken at the engine end. The female screw cap that mated to the male cam cover plate had broken at some point and the cap was replaced with workable bracket that kept the cable inserted into the back of the cam. The new cable and housing look to be just the ticket, but the overall length of the square cable is too long. Ask any instrument repair shop and they will tell you that the maximum insertion into the back of a mechanical tach or speedometer is 3/8″.  This new one is ~ 7/8″ too long and would instantly ruin the tach. Plus it has no retaining collar to keep the cable from migrating into the tach. Luckily we have a nationally respected instrument repair shop (MoMa) about a mile from me. I’ll run them both over this morning and confer with Margaret and Joey and see what the best fix is. Here’s some comparative photos.

top=old / bottom= new

top=correct insertion length, bottom too long! Note collar on top cable

engine drive ends. Note missing retaining flange on top cable.

Finally got back to work on the Maserati this last week. I got two versions of the water jet cut spacer. One was 0.032″ the other was 0.40″. Here’s what it looks like..

Head spacer and gasket

And while that was being cut I managed to get a factory fan. It has 6 blades, the car has some Japanese single blade, no doubt why an electric fan had been added. The new fan was taller than the radiator shroud which was dead flat. I un-soldered it and and beat it into submission on a sandbag and then English wheeled it into a fairly pleasing radius that cleared the blades. Hmm, the “program” won’t upload the shroud picture I want, so here’s how it used to look instead..note that the blade it pushing up on thee shroud.

A bit of a clearance problem...

The machine shop finally called and informed me that they would need 6 new intakes, 6 new exhausts and 12 new guides.. apparently the seats were acceptable. It was decided beforehand that they would disassemble the moving parts of the head so they could measure stem lengths and insertions etc., should they ultimately set the valve lash at their establishment. I ended up doing it since I’ve done many similar heads before and they hadn’t. The two numbers they provided for each bank were useless.. It took nearly 14 hours to get them to plus 0.002″ of the factory spec. An extra 0.001″ was to allow for the seating in of the pads and valve seats. This was the machine shops idea and sounded like a reasonable idea. It took this long because my assortment of shim pads was mostly from Jaguar heads and their pads tend to be much thinner that these Italian ones. So I had to spend many extra hours using my old Sioux valve grinder to grind thick pads to the correct thickness..  After a good nights sleep and with some help from my pal Bruce (HVAC expert) we installed the head perimeter shim atop a coat of Yamabond (a product for sealing the crank case halves of a motorcycle). It goes on evenly and it cures slowly giving us plenty of time to install the rubber perimeter seal (~0.075″) and the 13  (0.050″) ball bearings that nest in precut holes in the rubber seal. These are to keep the rubber seal from squishing out under the 100 ft lb torque applied to the head (I stopped at 95 ft lb) So, after hooking up fuel lines, oil lines, power lines,water lines, linkage, Ex manifolds and the cam covers, cap, tach drive and sundry other time consuming tasks I got the old oil and coolant drained out. Almost ready but, I forgot that I had to reposition the cam timing so the opening and closing was at factory spec. Remember I’d thought this was the issue causing the loud induction noise.

Splined keeper and pin for cam adjustments.

Here’s a look at the new valves..

The green thing is just holding the head for it's picture.

So now for the “bad” news…. I checked the compression before starting the engine and to my disbelief it was nearly as bad as when this project was started. A second confirmation with a leak by tester showed that even with new valves there was up to 75% leakage. Mostly it turns out through cracks throughout the head it self. I pressurized the cooling system and had coolant coming out the exhaust ports. Couldn’t see it on the intake side due to the big Weber’s, but I could hear the air escaping…. Well, what the f… do you do now? Just the previous day I’d informed the owner I expected to see another 100HP.. We weren’t able to “pressure check” the head when it was off because there were just too many holes to start with. I’m thinking that that cracked exhaust manifold may have been caused by the coolant leaking into it. Maybe? Anyway, I put some sealant (Alumiseal) in the radiator and fired it up. Started on the 2nd rotation. Ran it through a couple heat cycles while I picked up and put away nearly every tool in my tool boxes. Then I took it for a short test drive…. Unbelievable is all I can say. This thing flat ass runs. About 90KPH in one block and only half throttle. This engine doesn’t need any stinking compression… I can only imagine if it was at 100%. Yikes! OK I digress. I had the owners come drive it and before it ran out of gas on them they confirmed that it was mega better and quieter too. ;~)

Note: Now that all the dust has settled..I went back today (after it’s been driven 50 miles, head re-torqued, etc.) I got out the compression gauge and checked it with the engine at just off idle and the readings were 150PSI, so that confirms my thinking that the valve overlap was just too much to overcome at cranking speed. I feel better and it will certainly ease any fears of near future problems for the owner..Happy days.

Here’s the new look, well here’s the before pic..

Engine compartment ~Oct. 2012

After the valve job/clean up May 2013

Dolled up 1

Dolled up 2

don't mix up the ignition leads!

Dolled up 3

So what are we going to do about the engine..? Nothing for a while. There are some 3500 heads out there at reasonable prices, my choice is to find a complete engine to rebuild, but the Paris Car show provenance may negate my wishes.. Let’s play it by ear.

I need to install some seat belts (5 point harnesses if I had my way ;~)) and fix some steering wheel cracks… otherwise this story is a wrap. Feel free to email me ( About on the home page or leave comments below)

This was a fun one… dave

PS Let me add a few comments about driving this car. First I can only start to imagine the visceral thoughts that Moss and Fangio and other top Formula I and sports racers must have experienced using this power plant in a race car chassis. Did I mention this is a completely tubular frame? Boosted giant Alfin drums on all 4 corners and a gear box that begs to be shifted just for the sheer joy of it. The torque is prodigious for an Italian car and the engine noises are priceless. It will rev to 8000 RPM… happily (note to owner No, I didn’t push it that far). Did I mention it is an all aluminum body? Absolutely no body roll in fast corners and a nice steering ratio once under way. The Maserati brothers did well with this design. Hope some of you get an opportunity to get a drive or ride in one of these drop dead gorgeous cars..

dp

And as an added bonus, here’s a U Tube clip a friend sent me of this very car a year or two before the current owner bought it at auction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgD4kRL45H4

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Repairing the Beast

Posted on March 17th, 2013 by Dave under Austin Healey, auto restoration.

I’ll start with a picture of a beautiful 1966 Aston Martin DB6.  One of Newport Pagnell’s most beautiful cars. This one is a Supperleggero or in other words “mostly aluminum bodywork” . The car spent most of it’s life in or near Monterrey , Mexico.

Click on pic to enlarge, arrow back to text….

The beautiful beast

The new owner bought the car from a reputable outfit near Scottsdale, AZ.

While driving here in Albuquerque, upon applying the brakes at a stop sign the right rear wheel fell off and caused some ugly damage to the rear quarter panel. Apparently some nitwit had installed the splined knockoff hubs on the wrong sides. So rather than self tightening, they were self loosening.. Exchanging the (presumably) removable hubs in the end required swapping the entire axles since the tapered and keyed axle spines would not let go of the directional hubs. This was a fiasco in and of itself as the brake caliper brackets were trapped between the hub and the axle bearing casting and when reversed to the opposite side the also trapped fastening bolts were no longer matching in correct lengths to reattach. A hack saw took care of that but in the process of doing this job I noted to the owner that the rubber bushings in the solid rear axles 4 link attachment to the chassis were all badly worn and that one of the lower links attachment “tube” was completely adrift from the chassis.  No doubt the loud clunk we heard from the rear of the car. See picture.

floating pivot carrier tube

Both of the lower tubes had been (poorly) welded with brass. I have to assume that the car was hit in the rear or spun backwards into an immovable object and necessitated the re-welds. Brass being typical of a poor Mexican repair.

This repair required removing all traces of the brass from the tube and the chassis box. Difficult as the tube was half in the chassis and access was limited. I used ~ 3/16″ thick hardened steel kingpin shims to reattach the tube on the right side. The left side was still sound so I decided to leave well enough alone, but the previous repair left that carrier at a less than perfectly horizontal angle.

MIG'ed repair with steel reinforcements

With that accomplished I moved on to the 3 remaining pivot bolts that were rusted solid in their receivers that carried the other bushings.

Grunt labor

Each of the three required a full day of drilling and removing the bolts with rotary burrs and all the while not disturbing the carrier tube they passed through!

I had my favorite machine shop make new pins and we also made the lower links adjustable to account for the non horizontal position of the one remaining lower pick up and to allow for a little pre-load on the pinion angle to reduce rear end squat and squaring the rear axle with the front wheels.

Now adjustable lower link

Another angle..

The original factory rubber bushings were replaced with black Delrin, a permanently self lubricated plastic product that can be machined. We also made Delrin washers to limit thrust movement of the bushings.

While this was happening I had shipped the Aston Martin’s “selectimatic” Armstrong lever shocks to my friend Peter Caldwell’s World Wide Automotive in WI  for overhaul, as they were leaking badly and would no longer operate from the dash control knob.

All in all a pretty intensive project, but one that had to be done to keep the car on the road and once you’ve experienced one of James, …. James Bond’s  cars there is no other conclusion.

Next project is to renew the Watt’s linkage bushings with Delrin… Hope it’s easier than the last!

dp

 

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More Turquoise

Posted on December 11th, 2012 by Dave under For Sale, Uncategorized.

I had a few hours yesterday to make a ring for my wife’s collection.

Nevada turquoise on Sterling silver ring

the next one is for me...

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Porter porteur

Posted on November 28th, 2012 by Dave under Bikes, custom bicycles, For Sale, Tandem bicycles, velodrome.

I got this oldish tube set from Omar at Oasis Bikes in AZ, he’d had it kicking around his shop for nearly ten years I think he said. At any rate his price was fair and I wanted a project and thought it would be well suited to long day rides, commuting and even touring, though I’ll admit I didn’t design it for fenders as originally it was going to be a cross bike… As Dale (CR list serve) alluded to, it has some NM turquoise and some NV Buffalo turquoise and some silver, chrome and polished steel bits to make it stand apart.If anyone wants custom racks, that’s possible too. My dog and a neighbors dog got into a bit of a well, dog fight and now I have some pending expenses I hadn’t planned on and that explains the low pricing. It’s a 1″ steerer if that makes or breaks the deal. The tubes are from Columbus and are the over sized FOCO kit with the unicrown fork and pre-mitered straight blades. It’s sized 58 x 56cm.

FOCO is made from an alloy called “Thermachrome”. It has the interesting and specific characteristic of having the same tensile strength after brazing or welding as before. There are no “hard” spots on the frame. This brings the frame closer to the builder’s ideal of taking the 8 tubes of the frame and uniting them into a single cohesive unit.

Here’s some pictures of the finished bike dolled up with paint and decals. I didn’t get the original Columbus decal from Omar so I just used an old Columbus “special tubes” decal for the job. Enjoy. Click on pics to enlarge..

Pumpkin patch Fondo

Buffalo Turquoise on the stays treatment

Chromed dropouts

Sterling silver and Turquoise head badge

silver wedding bands at the ends of the head tube too..

email me  frogeye@porterscustom.com  Well, I got through the City’s extortion proceedings without this frame, now built up and hanging in a local bike store (Bike Coop) being sold, so the killer deal is gone and it is priced accordingly.

 

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Healey Joyride 2012

Posted on November 11th, 2012 by Dave under Austin Healey, auto restoration.

We had an enthusiastic group of, well.. enthusiasts participate in a rallye though the mostly North valley of the metro area.  Going as far as the Santa Anna Pueblo in that direction and just South of Central Ave in the other. This is part of my yearly drive to raise some money to purchase gloves, tires/tubes, and similar stuff for our wheelchair bound Vets. The cars ranged from a 40′s Chrysler Airflow to a new Porsche Boxster. We collected $275 and would have done better had the local weather forecasters not deemed the weekends weather to be “wild”. As it was there was 2-3 minutes of light rain at the start line, some wind gusts and on and off periods of cloudiness. There was a lighthearted attempt to impeach me as the rallye master as I missed the correct name of one street, nevertheless all found the finishing point where we enjoyed burgers and mostly coffee.

Typical blustery fall day

Click on pic to enlarge-arrow back to text..

Rolling along in a TR4

At one point a rallyist asked a Santa Anna Pueblo resident for directions at which point the gentleman offered an unsolicited  donation from his pocket after being told what the rallye was for. How cool is that. Good Morning America, I’m a native son. Thanks all! Dave.

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Cars I like

Posted on November 9th, 2012 by Dave under Austin Healey, auto restoration.

I’ll start with a picture..

Hot blooded Italian

3.5 liter straight 6 twin cam with 3 Webers and dual plugs. Everyone should have one of these. My only complaint is that in Italian fashion it is a short stroke and requires a lot of RPM’s to make its 220 HP

This car was the 1957 Paris show car and has a few extra pieces of chrome and at first blush is perhaps more of a ladies favorite, that is until one drives this car. It has a tube frame and for it’s era rides and handles about as good as they got. Stays dead flat through hard corners. The gearbox is a delight and the pedals work so well I’m amazed it’s Italian. The vacuum assisted brakes are at times over-boosted, but when the tempo is pushed they too are a joy. Hope you all like it.. dp

Cockpit view-obligatory Nardi steeringwheel

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Headed for Pagosa Springs

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Dave under Bikes, custom bicycles, Tandem bicycles, velodrome.

The title is misleading. I just saw a post on the frame builders forum asking the members what they were taking to this years Philly Expo, well I’m not going simply because it’s a long way from here. I did however just finish another Spirit tubed racer for an old friend whose Eisentraut was totaled by an automobile. It was at least 30 years old and overdue for replacement anyway. So here’s a couple shots before it gets delivered to Colorado next week.

click on pics to enlarge.double click for huge. arrow back to text.

Santa Fe Style racer 52x51.5cm

BB shot-SRAM newRed group-nice stuff!

Turquoise on turquoise Imron

Already have the tires dirty..couldn't resist a 1st ride

So was my old friend happy? Yeah, I’d say he was..

Rick after his 1st 20 miler.

We did 19.8 miles at a 16.9 average into and back with a 10-15 mph quartering wind and no drafting except when passing other riders on the busy Bosque trail, all while BS’ing about the new bike and components and what not. I reckon Rick is over 50 and I’m over 60 so all in all not a bad shake down ride. We never even had to stop for adjustments.

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