Lovely day for a test drive…

Sunday was a lovely sunny day and was a perfect opportunity to take Mario out and check that the ‘operation‘ had been successful. It was also the Victory Wheelers, 10th anniversary Hayling Reunion at the Funland Amusement Park.HR2015-1We had been to this fun show, located right on the beach before and with some friends intending to go too, it seemed an ideal test run for Mario. We set off on a lovely cross country route via Harting – the route out of Harting over the downs used to be used for a hillclimb competition from 1905 till 1924, it’s pretty steep but Mario seemed to make quite easy work of it. We carried on past Stanstead Park into Havant and on to Hayling Island and Mario was performing well, you didn’t feel you had your foot pushed to the floor with nothing happening as it had been before the head gasket was sorted.IMG_6105 IMG_6107 Just as we reach the Island though, Mario seemed to be reving as I was braking, initially I thought I’d caught my foot on the accelerator but then I lifted all my feet off the pedals and we were still moving forward at speed – interesting in traffic! The accelerator was obviously sticking and it was at the engine end, rather than the pedal. We had to stop for a little fettling and it seemed ok, hopefully it had just been disturbed during the recent work but James will have a further look once we are back in the workshop. We carried on and arrived at the Beach which was heaving with hot rods and customs, we couldn’t get into the main display area or the reserve carpark, so we had to park further along the beach.

In the main show area there was a great display of cars, mainly Hot Rods and American, they looked great against the backdrop of the fairground rides. It might be the last time for this sight, as apparently, the fair is going to close and the land used for flats.DSC01059 DSC01060 DSC01063 DSC01064 DSC01068 DSC01069 DSC01070 DSC01071 We took the opportunity to promote our car show putting fliers on the cars.DSC01075 The ‘humans’ then decided it was lunchtime so we all piled into Mario and went to the western end of the beach for fish and chips in the Coastguard Cafe, followed up by ice creams from Pipperellis. Our friends Nikki and Keith had never been for a ride in Mario and they loved it, although Keith, sitting in the front said he had never sat so close to the road in a car before!DSC01080 DSC01082 DSC01083 DSC01084 DSC01085After lunch we set off for a slightly different cross country route back along picturesque lanes where there were masses of bluebells and wild garlic growing. We stopped off to take some pictures, obviously Mario wanted to join in…DSC01089 DSC01137 DSC01140 DSC01151 DSC01161



Best laid plans…

…Last weekend we had planned to take Mario to Goodwood breakfast Club and a small car show but it wasn’t to be.

Mario has been poorly since his overexertions at the last Revival. After his last run at Easter ‘Doctor’ James had diagnosed the problem, and after some research we ordered the new parts – a water pump and Head Gasket from a company in Holland. The delivery was expected before the weekend so Mario was taken apart last Thursday and with due efficiency the package arrived on Friday lunchtime. The plan was to fit the new parts on Saturday so we could take Mario to Breakfast Club at Goodwood on Sunday and a small car show on Bank Holiday Monday…DSC06406 IMG_0857James worked on Mario, all day on Saturday, the water pump fitted just fine but once the head and block was cleaned it revealed that when Mario had got hot, the head had distorted slightly and left an area that water would still seep from and so the head would need skimming. Not a major disaster but a set back, as James’ mill wasn’t large enough to do the job and being a bank holiday weekend we wouldn’t be able to get it done elsewhere until after the weekend, hence the change of plans.

The head before cleaningIMG_0860 Block before cleaningIMG_0861 Cleaned head, you can see the damage bottom rightIMG_0862 New gasketIMG_0863

Breakfast Club was ‘Supercar Sunday’ not a favourite of ours by any means as modern ‘supercars’ really don’t do much for us, Mario hadn’t got a entry pass anyway (can’t understand why as he’s a super little car!) so our main reason for attending was to promote the Haslemere Classic Car Show which we organise. However the forecast was terrible and for once accurate, and Sunday morning was very wet and grey. The posters and fliers, we were hoping to hand out would have got very soggy, so we decided not to go! From Goodwoods pictures it looked like quite a lot of people and cars did brave the horrible conditions and cars such as La Ferrari and the Lamborghini Miura were among the exotica on display. (photo’s from Goodwood forum). From social media after the event it certainly looked as though one Supercar driver didn’t enjoy his day, with pictures posted of a new McLaren in the undergrowth! The drivers over enthusiasm or is there an issue with the McLaren – there have been several reported incidents of them leaving the road without any other vehicles being involved?Goodwood-1 Goodwood-2 Goodwood-3 Goodwood-4Oops

Rather than wasting the day, we took the opportunity of some extra time to continue plotting the route for the Haslemere Show’s tour. 90 pre-75 vehicles are signed up to do a drive of around 55 miles through the beautiful local countryside in the morning before the show. It is difficult to chose the route as we try to find roads we haven’t used before and this is the sixth tour we’ve organised! We also have to find a route that is; interesting; safe – we often find lovely roads but they are too narrow, plus we avoid difficult junctions etc; have a place of interest/refreshments for a halfway stop; the correct distance in a circular route to finish back at the show. We generally go out two or three times trying variations and then have a final run through to make sure all the instructions are clear. The route is written using ‘tulips’ – first used by Dutch rallies in the 1950’s – which are pictorial diagrams showing directions plus written instructions and distances.

tulip-120884_Copy20890 tulip-220890 tulip-320893 tulip-420896



1.Straight on  2.Turn right  3.Second junction at roundabout 4.Turn left at T-juction, pub on left, take next right turn

Example below
1 You have travelled 1.5 miles from previous instruction, 2.5 miles travelled from the start, tulip – straight on past hotel on right
2 Travel another 0.8miles (total 3.3) take a right turn, signposted to Lurgashall Winery, Take Care.
3 Travel another 0.6 miles (total 3.9) Keep left on same road, ignoring a turning on the right.

Route 201120900_Copy20928

The sun came out and the route looked very pretty with lots of wild garlic in bloom and fields of little lambs, hopefully it will be sunny when when run the tour for real in a couple of weeks.

DSC00918 DSC00924 DSC00986

Monday was a small car show at the Frog and Wicket pub in Eversley near to where our friends live. As we didn’t have Mario to take we just popped over inn the afternoon to see what was going on. The pub was very busy with lots of people enjoying the sunshine and quite a good showing of cars. Our friends had taken their whole collection along to the show – a Daimler, Mini, Jaguar D-type replica and ‘Kato’ the other Subaru 360 which we imported with ‘Nippy’ our 360 and did the Microcar rallies with.DSC01046 DSC01047 DSC01048 DSC01049 DSC01050 DSC01051 DSC01054 DSC01056 DSC01057 DSC01058

On Tuesday morning James was back in the workshop and took Mario’s head to the engineering shop to have it skimmed, 6 thousands of an inch being removed. It’s been previously welded up in a couple of the waterways and the passages need opening out again with a mini grinder to increase the water flow. In the evening he put the engine back together again and so far so good it looks like it’s working, although there now seems to be an issue with the electric fuel pump which seems a bit intermittent, so we are going to try using the original mechanical pump which is still in position and just needs plumbing in to see how that works.IMG_6038

A test drive will now be required to see how everything is working. At least it looks like Mario will make it onto Lion Green for the car show on the 24th, it wouldn’t be the same without him being there…