Marcos Diary - Trials and tribulations of living with a 25 year old car!
Subj: 1989 - Getting to know 'The Beast'
The Beast took us to East Anglia and back at the weekend (round
trip over 300 miles) and didn't miss a beat all the time (grins!).
The speedo was still not working, but it took us 2 and a quarter hours
to get there (150 miles) which works out at a pretty good average
round the M25 and with a few slow bits to work out where we were!
Handling was fine and the fuel consumption was surprisingly good
(I thought) using about £15 worth of fuel. The car felt quite happy
except when we crossed a bridge on the A45 which was experiencing
very high cross winds! You can imagine what a light fibreglass car
feels like in a wind which had Audis slowing down!
In fact the car actually seemed to get better as we went along and
it certainly seems as if the car needed a good long blast to clear
out the cobwebs. The noise was unbelievable though, with our ears
feeling like we'd been in the front row at a Motorhead concert!
Definitely time to invest in some earplugs, but a decent air filter
may cut a lot of noise down, the current one only has wire mesh
in it and so basically just stops stones being swallowed by the
carb, it doesn't filter out dust and the like. The door trims were
also rattling and they need some attention along with the roof lining
and the rest of the trim.
The car gets a rest next week as I didn't fancy risking it on a
trip to Le Mans (although it went further this weekend) but after
that I will make a concerted effort to get the speedo sorted out.
Later in the year, I spent a Saturday on the Club Marcos International stand at the Wembley
Classic car show and had a thoroughly good time.
On the stand were two very nice 60's cars. One was a 1966 1500 model
with a wooden chassis. The other was an H-reg steel chassised 3
litre V6 like mine, except that it had been completely restored
and looked like a new car.
The wooden chassised 1500 was an interesting car as the current
owner is only the second and the first owner had given him the receipts
for the car. You could actually see the varnished wood in the engine
bay when you lifted the bonnet and the whole car was nicely restored.
The V6 was probably a bit over-restored for the purist as it had
an all leather interior and a modified engine bay, but it did look
very good and the standard of the work was excellent.
The sight of these cars left me in a state of confusion, partly
inspired to get working on my car and partly depressed at the amount
of work mine will need to reach the standard of them. Still, I found
out that you can get a bit more adjustment from the pedals by adjusting
the pedal-master cylinder linkage and this now means I can comfortably
reach the pedals (in fact they're slightly TOO close now), and I've
decided to have the wheels off and too strip them of all the corrosion
and paint and re-paint them, which should be a fairly easy job once
I find somewhere that will take off and refit the tyres for me.
A colleague, Billy Mulqueen, turned up for a look and
spent a little time chatting about the cars and squeezing his fairly
lofty frame into the car. Many people came to the stand and it was
suprising (to me) how many people spoke of the cars as their 'all
time favourites' or 'dream' cars. Obviously in the 60's the cars
caused quite a stir.
We did have one smart-a** who came and told us that in 1969 we could
have bought an Elan for less money, but he went away with his tail
between his legs when we all (honestly) told him we wouldn't want
to swap even now.
The show itself was pretty good with many classic cars (with a distinct
leaning towards sports cars) represented through the owners clubs
and also a healthy number of stands of both the autojumble style
and the more professional trade stands. I didn't pay to get in,
but I don't think the £5 entrance fee would have been wasted for
anyone really interested in cars. One thing I sadly didn't get time
to go and see was the free film show of classic races and rallies.