Posts

Seat base adjustment

Image
My car has very comfortable leather seats, ones with vertical fluting and a nicer material than the standard items. However, the base of the seat has a lot of foam padding at the front which gives a high angle where your legs rest (the top seat in the picture above). This results in a knees-raised driving position which is very different from the Tillets and other race seats. You have to move the seat forward in order to extend your leg to press the clutch and accelerator without having to force down on the cushioning, which can lead to cramp. It also gives less space between the seat edge and the bottom of the steering wheel. So, I decided to change the driver's side seat and lower the angle of the leading edge by removing the cushioning from the front section. The leather is just glued in place, so it's easy to undo and get access to the foam. You can see how thick it is at the front there. I removed all of that and then re-glued the leather into place. Now we have a much low

WightBlat 2024

Image
Last weekend was the first major drive of the season, the WightBlat 2024. This is an annual event organised by Alex and Simon on the Isle of Wight. This year it was based at the excellent Luccombe Hall hotel in Shanklin. I was in France for the week before, but keeping a close eye on the Met Office forecasts for the weekend! With a high pressure system moving in I booked the last remaining room at the hotel and the ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne. Having got back home from Lyon at 10pm the night before, it was an early start on the Friday to prep the car and meet up with Essex legend Debbie at the M25 Brentwood junction. It was pretty cold at 9am so I had the half hood on and heater going. Debbie turns up with no roof and leather hat, fair play! Her Xflow only has a 4-speed box, but we're heading round the M25 and then down to Gatwick before A-roads to Portsmouth, managing to avoid the rain. Despite being booked on the 2pm ferry we both managed to get on the one before

Battery Isolator Switch

Image
One little upgrade I've wanted to do for a while is fit a battery isolator switch. The immobiliser system can drain the small Banner battery over a number of weeks, so previously I've been removing the negative lead when the car isn't used for a week or so. An isolator switch is a much more convenient solution. I didn't want the full FIA isolator that sits on the outside of the car, so I decided to get this one from Jack Webb Motorsports . It is a simple break switch that sits on the negative side of the battery. This was originally designed for cars which don't have a heater, and when I initially received the unit it was clear that there wasn't space around the heater hoses to fit it to the earth point on the scuttle. Thankfully Jack was able to produce a new version with the orientation of the earth connecting bolt eye and jump lead reversed, and this fitted fine. Now I can isolate the battery by just turning the red switch by 90 degrees..

Easter Eco Run

Image
With the weather finally improving we did the first main run of the season, the Easter Eco Run. This event is hosted by the West London group and started at HWM Aston Martin in Walton-on-Thames. It was an early start to get round the M25, stopping off for breakfast at Cobham services. The blat is a short trip down to the Surry Hills for coffee, then back to HWM for a tour of the showroom. There's a prize for the car that uses the least amount of fuel, hence the 'Eco' run, but really it's just a little drive through the countryside. Back at HWM they have some nice cars. A DB12 in the same colour as my car ! Thanks to the club AR Geoff for organising this !

Cars on the Green

Image
A beautiful sunny winter day, and what better to do than a car meet at Eel Brook Common in Fulham. This was organised by Tom at Supercars Europe, check out his channel here . Definitely an interesting mix of vehicles from the London classic car scene, including this 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB. Dino still looking great.. Thanks to Nick at the London group for the invite.

JWM front suspension top joints

Image
After 7,000 miles one of the rubber boots on the front suspension top joints has split. Whilst it's not a serious problem, it can be an MOT issue in the future. So, I decided to get replacement top joints from Jack Webb Motorsports. These are a better quality item, they don't use boots, and are very easy to remove from the upright to adjust the camber. I decided to try and fit them myself, as follows. The main issue is getting the original top joint out. This is difficult as the taper on the joint is well lodged into the upright. Having got the front of the car on 2 axles stands, this is what we're faced with. First thing is to remove the rubber boot, which I did with a chisel, and remove the lower nut. Then we need to use a ball joint splitter tool to force the unit out of the upright. I got this from Halfords. One problem was that the black bolt was too long for the space in the upright, so required shortening by 10mm with an angle grinder. Having done that you can wedge

London Super Sevens

Image
Despite it being 2 degrees I did breakfast at St James's Square with London AR David and my Super Seven 1600 twin, Nick. Nick's car is a 2021 in Saxony Grey with ginger leather interior, including the seats. Looks great!

Caterham 1997 Brochure

Image
I love the old brochures from the 1990s. I used to order them every year and spend ages going through the specification lists, deciding what to get when I could actually afford one. Here's the early 1997 edition. It features the original Superlight, as well as Ford classics, K-series and Vauxhall De Dions, the JPE and Anniversary model. The prices are quite different from today!