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Robert, slow driving in Scotland is either due to two reasons:
1. Tourists pootling along looking at the view rather than driving to get somewhere, or more likely,
2. Scottish locals being too tight to drive fast and do less mpg :-)

Although speaking as a cyclist, I wish people did drive more slowly along country roads because there's precious little space if a car comes round a blind bend too quickly and there's a cyclist. Things have improved a lot in the UK since Brad Wiggins won the Tour de France and a load more people got on their bikes - there's had to be a greater  awareness of cyclists by drivers since there are so many more on the road these days.

I've cycled many many miles for many many years so I'm always on the lookout for them and always give plenty of room. I've even squeezed cars in the other lane to make room for the cyclists.

I must be on the odd side of folks because after I got out of the parking lot at Edinburgh Airport and down the road about two miles I was already comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road. I never felt uneasy or concerned, even driving in the larger cities like Glasgow and Inverness. I would absolutely rent another car when we go again. The independence of doing what we wanted when we wanted was refreshing.

Wiggins had/has an awesome pair of legs.  Mucho respect, there.

My wife always got quite a kick out of Phil Ligget’s infatuation with Fabian Cancellara, whom he called “Thunder Thighs”.  🤔

We’re both wondering what the heck happened at the 2020 Tour.  Kind of brought back the Armstrong years and kept us thinking “What is he on?”

But then, I have to slug down some Advil after a 40 mile ride just to get back to “human” these days.  It sucks, getting old.......

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

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The British are not about to put up with American lethargy behind the wheel, and have taken some serious steps to deal with it.

They have worked out that we are most likely to arrive via Heathrow, so that’s where they’ve constructed their strongest defenses.

The airport is ringed with complex layers of triple-lane roundabouts designed to filter out the timid and inept. It’s a kind of real-time driving test. The 15 per cent or so who pass, end up at their desired destinations. The rest are routed to places like Slough or Swindon and are forced to begin all over again.

The main defense uses diversion in a sly and crafty way. While you are learning the whole drive on the left, sit on the right, and shift with your left hand thing, they blast you with an overwhelming barrage of useless information on banks of complicated signage:

OptionsMany

You may be looking for the A32, but that information will be nowhere on any of the signs which must be sorted as you decide on which of the three lanes to choose, while lorries cross in front of and behind you.

If you can keep a cool head while all about you are losing theirs, you won’t end up in Slough.

Eventually, whether you intended to or not, you will end up on one of the many motorways that ring London and Heathrow. This is the second level of defense. Speeds go up and the signs become more complex - with changing, lighted information. And there are now fewer driver options to correct mistakes:

FirstGreatSign

After a half mile or so you are lured into a false sense of security, and then they throw this at you:

SecondGreatSign

Similar to the previous sign, but now there is a Great Divide in the road. You must choose the tiger or the lady. Once the choice is made, there is no going back and your fate is sealed. This is how most people end up in Slough. This brilliant device lures you into thinking you can use the information on the sign to decide which path to take. But the sign is placed, of course, after  you must make the crucial decision. It is there only to taunt you. If you weren’t quick enough to spot and decode the first sign, a mile back, you will be going to Slough.

The system is a stern schoolmaster, but effective. After a few days of this, you shape up or return the rental car and seek out a bus…, uh, I mean a coach  tour for the rest of your stay. The sceptered isle set in a silver sea has fought off yet another foreign invasion.

And one final thing. Did you notice that funny little icon at the far right of the last two signs? Those little momsers seem to be everywhere and are crucial to your survival.

WhenULeastSuspectIt



No, they don’t mean there’s a museum of antique photography equipment up ahead.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

If you think English roads are bad, try the Italian lakes! The roads there are so narrow the locals all buy tiny cars, like Fiat Panda 4x4s and Subaru Sambar as their 'people carrier'.

But you're right, Mitch, speed cameras (or GATSOs) are the bane of our lives here in UK. We even have average speed cameras and changeable speed limits on some motorways, depending on the amount of traffic.

The A406 is the old fashioned London ring road, before the M25 was built, named North Circular and South Circular for obvious reasons. My main claim to fame is that I was knocked off my '86 Yamaha Tenere by none other than Sir Jack Brabham on the M4/A406 Chiswick roundabout back around 2000. I managed to stay upright because I'd anticipated him cutting across me on the 3 lane roundabout. Mashed his front left wing completely. Parked up, and a guy in a tux got out and said (in an Aussie accent) "Sorry mate, didn't see ya, and I'm a biker meself". Luckily neither my tough bike or my ankle (which mashed the car wing) were damaged. Managed to get an autographed photo from him. :-)

Anyway, back to my Speedster. I had the carbs tuned at a local specialist who put it on a rolling road. Without pushing the motor too hard (he's too much of a gent, and also wouldn't want the expense of a blown engine on his conscience!) he said the engine was making an easy 90+hp and he said the main problem was the timing was well out of kilter, plus fuel/air mix, and both main and idle jets being too small. I've just ordered a new timing light with adjustable advance (my current old one has no advance facility)

So jets were changed and I picked it up yesterday for a test drive home. The bogging down at steady throttle is still there but instead of at 3000rpm it's now at 4200rpm. So I've just ordered some larger 55 idle jets (currently they're 48) on his advice. That should cure the stuttering/bogging down at steady throttle, which is something he couldn't really replicate on the rolling road. As you guys always say - it's ALL about the idle jets!

The car now goes like a rocket to 80mph - don't forget my tyres are 195/55x15 which give a rolling diameter of 73.7", so combined with an AH gearbox gives only 60mph at 3000rpm. However, at 80mph I am seriously dicing with death - the light front end, 50yr old steering box (albeit adjusted as good as it can get) plus, I'm guessing, the need for more steering caster means it got a little floaty on an English country lane, lined with trees either side. Squeeky bum time..

I'll get the new jets in, check everything is running smoothly then may well revisit the caster shims - looks like I will have to drill some holes in the bottom of the frunk to access the bolts after all. Of course, I could always do what my brother did with his Beetle back in the 80s - stick a 40lb concrete block in the frunk forward of the front axle line..

I also received a nice compliment - the carb specialist, who gets all sorts of classic cars to work on (he had an Aston and couple of Ferraris there the other day), said he really liked my car and that it looked well sorted. Praise indeed, coming from someone like him! :-)

Hi guys, a quick update on more trivial but still useful stuff. I finally got around to taking photos of the third brake light I'd fitted a while back. It cost £10 from Ebay and is a 24 LED light. The key selling point for me was that it was the right width (22cm total width, 18.5cm of which is the light) and that it was adjustable/ rotatable. I figured (correctly) that I could mount it against the vertical wall of the inside of the air intake with the supplied sticky pads then screw/ziptie it more securely. I wired it into the right hand side rear brake light feed and it works just fine. Much safer than those two reasonably dim brake lights barely 18" from the ground!

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I also wired in a replacement air horn today - the old pancake horn had given up the ghost. I also managed to improve the earthing connection between horn push and the steering wheel. Looking at the whole frontend of the Chesil, I thought the best way to mount the horn was to place everything inside the car except the two horns which would be inside the front left wing. The hose is then fed through the body via a hole alongside the electrical feed for the headlught/indicator.

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Given the way the existing wiring was laid out, I didn't want to strip the cable wrap all the way from the front of the frunk to the fuse box, so utilised the two existing horn wires to drive the relay, then placed the new relay next to the compressor. I ran out of black tape so temporarily wrapped it in red (horrible, I know, but it'll be sorted in short order) until I buy some more black. The horn is severely LOUD so when it is needed it will definitely wake the dead (i.e. White Van Man and oblivious mums in Chelsea Tractors).

Looks like it's now time to move onto the 'pretty' side of things and get the torn seat fixed and new carpet.

Funny how these cars generate such an impact with other drivers, compared to modern M3s, AMGs, 911s etc. Yesterday I pulled up to a roundabout and, whilst waiting for a gap, I actually had a guy stop ON the roundabout to wind down his window, give me a thumbs up and let me out in front of him!

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@Outlawrep just a mile or two outside Portsmouth. Will DM you.

I’ve got the new 65 idle jets in but now I have to get the fuel/air mix readjusted for the larger jets. I think there’s a problem with the fuel pressure coming from the pump. The pump is fine but the Malpassi fuel pressure regulator needs testing to see it’s set properly and not too restrictive.

I’ve got to say I love driving the car now. Beforehand I was always on edge in case something went wrong. Now, although it’s not a ‘modern daily driver’ it’s certainly a lot more reliable, handles better and, as most of you will know, once you’ve gone through your own car from top to bottom you gain a zen-like understanding of what’s going on as you drive. I’m looking forward to a few months of driving this one then will probably sell it on so someone else can enjoy it for the rest of the summer and I’ll look for another project for next winter!

So, if you’ve been following this thread from the beginning, you’ll have seen I had problems with the headlights flashing on/off multiple times a second, with the relay going like a Facet fuel pump. I thought I’d cured the problem only for it to resurface yesterday. I’ve finally found out what the actual problem is - the pull to flash headlight switch on the column had a dodgy connection between the two copper pieces - they were too close together and were shorting with vibration or if I jiggled the steering wheel. So I bent one of the contacts to give a slightly greater space between the two and Bob’s your uncle. Properly sorted and no chance of the problem recurring.

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I’m currently wiring in a Bluetooth radio with speakers under the dash. Nothing grand, just enough to give some music in the background rather than having to hum to oneself. The original Blaupunkt that came with the car looks the part but is MW and LW only which is pointless these days, not to mention having dreadful sound quality, and I’m not paying hundreds of pounds to get that converted. I’ll sell the Blaupunkt with the car in case the new owner wants to do that. I’ll post pics once I’ve got it all sorted.

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Martin, I think many of us have gone through the early ownership fears of not driving too far from the house, just in case something fails or falls off or dies along the roadside.  After a while you get a little more confidence and might go a couple of towns away and, later still you throw caution to the winds and (Gasp!) might make a day of it.  Of course, all that depends on how much stuff falls off or dies on the side of the road in the meantime, but you get the idea.

I've gotten to the point, these days, of just getting in and going and not giving it another thought.  If something happens (it seldom does) you deal with it and figure out a way to get home regardless.  Many of us have all sorts of stories of driving home without a working clutch (me), broken throttle cables (MUSBJIM) or no headlights or something.  Just remember that classic road rally here in America, the "Press On Regardless".

In 1972 and in the face of very stiff competition from Europe, Gene Henderson won in a Jeep Wagoneer against a raft of European professional crews.  The Lancia crew chief was overheard calling back to the offices and shouting "We were beat by a "Station Wagon"!

https://www.scca.com/articles/...youve-never-heard-of

Hi y'all, a quick update here from (currently) sunny England.

The torn/shabby seats have now been fixed:

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and I took the Speedster out with the Long Haired General (aka wifey) to a local monthly car meet and had plenty of positive comments about the semi-outlaw look of the chrome wheels, black and red interior, which was nice to hear. One guy was/is very interested in buying it, even though I'm not selling it (yet).

There has been a persistent clonking around the rear suspension when driving since I bought the car and, using the guy's car hoist, we worked out it was coming from the rear torsion bars. So the car went back on the axle stands yesterday and I removed the left hand side spring plate and torsion bar. The bar itself was fine but it became immediately apparent that the problem was the inner spring plate bush - it was 20 year old urethane hardened to a shrunken, solid plastic lump..

The outer bush, being rubber, was slightly perished but nowhere near as bad as the urethane (another reason to avoid urethane despite their seeming enduring popularity?). So, new rubber bushes ordered and I'll fit when they arrive later this week.

The number plate transfer went through and the car looks better with an 'ageless' plate. I took a few photos out on the hill overlooking Portsmouth Harbour (you can just see the Spinnaker Tower in the backgound of the first photo below - for those that are interested).

SUI633_PortsdownHill3

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I've have regained my love of driving I lost after selling my Miata Mk1 around 10 years ago. It's totally impractical yet so engaging! And puts a smile on everyone who sees the car. :-)

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@Gordon Nichols, you mentioned yanks looking in the wrong direction.  My daughter did that and got hit.

I just about got hit by a bus doing the same in the IoM. As for UK speed limits, there are none in the IoM. You haven’t lived until you’re riding your bike on The Mountain Course feeling all Guy Martin doing 90-100 mph and someone who can actually ride flies past you doing 160 on a Plant Honda.

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dlearl476

Don't be shy, who did you send your Dells to?

Sadly, gone away. I first sent them to Art at ACE, he rebuilt them initially. Then, after I got the Spyder out here to the mountains, his protege Dave re-jetted and bench-flowed them after Justin bought ACE when Art retired.

Dave has since moved on from Blackline Racing, although I hear a Justin still does Weber/Dellorto work.

Art Thraen taught Dave Hogarth everything he knows, but Art also taught Justin McAllister as well and Justin bought the shop 7 or 8 years ago.

Last year, Justin moved Blackline to Idaho - built an enormous shop and moved his family up. Dave landed on his feet, and while he's got the skills to do Dellorto work, I doubt he's got the tools or the desire anymore.

Justin does them all now. Jake Raby uses him, and they're still doing the same great work they always have.

@Stan Galat posted:

Art Thraen taught Dave Hogarth everything he knows, but Art also taught Justin McAllister as well and Justin bought the shop 7 or 8 years ago.

Last year, Justin moved Blackline to Idaho - built an enormous shop and moved his family up. Dave landed on his feet, and while he's got the skills to do Dellorto work, I doubt he's got the tools or the desire anymore.

Justin does them all now. Jake Raby uses him, and they're still doing the same great work they always have.

Sadly, not a 45 minute drive for me anymore.

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...I've have regained my love of driving I lost after selling my Miata Mk1 around 10 years ago. It's totally impractical yet so engaging! And puts a smile on everyone who sees the car...

I think that's it, Martin.

As impractical and uncomfortable as these cars may be, as poor a return on investment, they connect in ways no modern wundercar can.

Modern cars are ruthlessly efficient - the very best that market research and computers can produce.

For some of us, that's exactly what's wrong with them.

@Sacto Mitch posted:

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I think that's it, Martin.

As impractical and uncomfortable as these cars may be, as poor a return on investment, they connect in ways no modern wundercar can.

Modern cars are ruthlessly efficient - the very best that market research and computers can produce.

For some of us, that's exactly what's wrong with them.

I might add that while a newer sports car of your flavour might tickle your fancy for speed and click click click your at 100mph, properly appointed a Roadster/speedster can be quite a reasonable cost altenative to a new 911so long and if you are looking for a more 50's handling and visceral ride akin to a 1968-1974 911.

My suggestion to do this is full subie with the seats of your choice for comfort and a maintenance cost that is probably the most reasonable going forward.

I remember is 1975-76 going for a fuel pump for my real 356 coupe and the pump was $60 when a Chev was $6, every part to repair seemed to be in the statosphere then and continues now.  So there is a cost but it can be more reasonable and while the market has left us with this pandemic wondering how can a used car be priced this way sanity will one day return to us when supply will overtake demand.

Mitch is right though all other cars pale to the shape and allure of the 356 silhouette . ..

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