Marcos Diary - Trials and tribulations of living with a 25 year old car!
Subj: 1990 Mixed Experiences.
The early months of 1990 were, like most with the Marcos, mixed.
The retrim went well, but I think the trimmers managed to gouge
one of the countless layers of paint on the bonnet while it was done.
Although the retrim isn't perfect, it is a vast improvement on the
interior and was very reasonable (the only real problem is that the
suroof wouldn't come out without drilling out the screws - and
not being able to get it back in - and so the lining overlaps the
fitting rather than going under it).
The car seemed fine until I tried to get it MOTed in May. It failed
with a worn upper balljoint on one side and 'excess play in the
wheelbearings' on the other. The first problem was easily fixed, but
the second proved to be badly diagnosed and entailed a new steering
rack! Now fitting a rack shouldn't be too difficult, but as the
isn't built the same as a Herald there are 1 inch spacers in the rack
which restrict the look and prevent the wheels rubbing on the
So I had to take apart the old rack to get the spacers out and then
disasemble the new one to fit them in, before reassembling it and
fitting it to the car. Well that was eventually done and the car was
returned to the MOT test centre (this some weeks after the initial
The old problems were successfully cured, but the steering column
(which is actually lots of rods held together by UJs) was fouling the
chassis, and the horn wasn't working. So, after spending the rest of
that day at a wedding, the next morning I took the steering linkage
apart and cleaned up the connections on the horn. SUCCESS! The car
The afternoon saw the Marcos take its first off road excursion in
my ownership. We decided to go to a hillclimb near Alton, and the
car park was about ½ mile up a dirt track, only negotiable by
the wheels on the high bits either side of the ruts!
On the way home we were doing a steady speed (caution prevents me
saying what!), when water started spraying over the passenger side of
the windscreen! Obviously we hastily stopped and opened the bonnet.
Everything was covered in water, but there was no sign of a hose
coming adrift or the radiator having burst.
Revving the engine soon identified the culprit as a small split in
top of the radiator (where the filler joins the body) which has
been there, but obviously had suddenly worsened. I drove home fairly
cautiously and the car never showed any sign of overheating. Some
Plastic Padding Fix-leak (or something like that) seemed to have
effected a suitable repair and the car was fine on a longish run the following
Meanwhile, I had also addressed the problem of the bonnet hinges.
Basically the hinges consist of two metal tubes passing through two
pieces of plywood, and after 20 years the plywood has ovaled out
badly, so I cut out a larger hole in the wood and made up two spacers
from softwood with an outer diameter to fit the new hole and an inner
one to fit the tube. It worked really well as the bonnet didn't float
around at speed and there was much less of a banging and crashing on
bumpy roads, which a fellow Marcos owner had said was probably due to
The next duty which the Beast had to perform was to be our getaway
at our wedding...