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Baarn 2006, 04-02-2006
Another successful season of the Club's technical days has ended. Family circumstances prevented me from attending many Saturdays, and what a pity: Ren? was in full swing explaining secrets of the ignition, Bernard and Anton made good use of a battered and unrecoverable Traveller, and Gr? did a great catering job as usual.
Time again to thank everyone who made this series of meetings possible, especially Mr. and Mrs. van den Brink. He was the first to receive a "sculpture" of a Morris Minor. I use parenthesis, because it's quite difficult to describe these blocks of plexiglass: a wire model of a car has been "etched" into the material using a laser treatment. You've got to see them to believe it.
At the end of the day the demonstration car was towed onto Bernard's trailer. After a stay of several months in Baarn, the Blue course material now finds shelter in Vorchten, ready for the next season.
Wolseley Six Eighty model, 09-02-2006
Fairly regularly I scan on-line marketplaces looking for items related to the Wolseley 6/80. Recently, a scale model turned up and I was the lucky buyer. But what is the background of this car? Another search on the Internet brought me to Paul Sanderson's Wolseley pages, in particular to the part devoted to models.
Obviously, the model is executed at a larger scale than Dinky Toys are. My estimate is that we're dealing with approximately 1/40. Next, there is no mention of a manufacturer anywhere on the model. These parameters, combined with the information on the website mentioned above, lead me to believe that this is an early Morestone/Budgie model.
One of these days I'm going to try and determine the exact scale. Furthermore, I intend to contact Paul Sanderson because his site only mentions Police versions of the car. I'll keep you informed…
MO Water Pump, 25-03-2006
With the help of some members of the 6/80 & MO Club, I could provide myself with a replacement water pump. Two actually, one for free, but in a somewhat derelict state, the other almost NOS, and at a very reasonable price. Not that I had no confidence in the repair work carried out by Frits on the original one, but I prefer the machinery to be most closely to the manufacturers standards.
For the replacement, I waited until I could spend a whole weekend on the job: Working on a classic car is like software development: the total time needed is at least twice the estimate. Finally I found such a weekend and Henk kindly offered his help. Everything went rather smooth, except for the drain plug on the radiator that refused to turn. So we kept some buckets ready and waited for the big splash.
In no time we removed the grill, the radiator and the old pump. Transferring some peripherals to the new pump and putting it in place went faster than planned. So earlier than expected, we could start rebuilding all parts. Now that the radiator was still outside the car, I decided to have a last go at the stuck tap. It did turn, but only because it fell off the radiator leaving a depressing hole. I will not repeat the words uttered and muttered.
I found a firm specializing in radiator repairs in the neighbourhood and on the next Tuesday took the damaged part in. The radiator would be cleaned and flushed, and a new tap would be installed. The next day the radiator was ready to pick up, and now I am in possession of the smartest looking MO radiator in the known world.
On Saturday, I reinstalled all the parts removed, topped the system up with fresh cooling fluid, and thoroughly enjoyed a test run. KiNKy mastered next day's 180 miles (a joint activity of the MMCN and the Vauxhall Owners Club Holland) flawlessly. The only thing that needs a bit of attention is the tension of the belt. There sometimes is a slight squeak indicating an amount of slip. Nice job for the next weekend.
For the third time the Vauxhall Owners Club Holland and the Morris Minor Club Nederland held a combined meeting. It was the first, however, we could attend. In pouring rain the Oxford (driven by Carina and me) and the Convertible (with Henk at the wheel) left for the 60 miles up North. One thing became obvious: both cars provide ample contact with the Elements. In other words: we all arrived with wet feet.
Fortunately, later on the day the weather turned for the good and Henk even dropped the hood. The directions were clear, the countryside pleasant, Crestas, Veloxes and Victors made pleasant company and thus the meeting ended in a relaxed atmosphere. A problem free drive back home concluded a good start of the club season.
The Wols, 14-05-2006
I've always been fascinated by the Wolseley 6/80, both mechanically and in styling. Apparently this was known in the Club and one evening I received an e-mail informing me that one of the best examples would come up for sale very soon. I called Dave, the owner, on the spot and we came to an agreement within minutes.
So Carina and I booked a flight to Edinburgh and decided to start the Saturday with a comprehensive bus tour of the city. Quite in style, by the way: the bus turned out to be a venerable Routemaster. I even managed to catch a glimpse of the Forth railway bridge. After the tour we had about an hour until the time Dave would pick us up at the hotel. Blood pressure rose: would the car be as glamorous as on the photo's I collected?
EJN848 is indeed a splendid car. A Moonstone Grey 1951 Series 1, recently restored and with thoroughly overhauled mechanics. Dave started the engine and it was a pleasure to hear the quiet, reassuring sound of the six-cylinder. Next, he took us for a spin and the ride was impressive. Carole and Dave did everything to make us feel at home. After a pleasant hour in the garden with tea and sweets we left for the hotel, armed with a folder full of history of the car. It will be a long wait until July, when I plan to collect this wonderful 6/80.
In May of this year Peter-Josef Ridderman (MO1123) sent me a postcard of a hotel in Noordwijk in the Netherlands, prominently showing an MO in the foreground. The photo was published in the 6/80 & MO Club's Newsletter 113. After spending a lot of time in Google, I found out that the hotel still existed though under a different name.
Today, Carina and I took the Oxford for a spin. Of course, in recent weeks the Wolseley has taken up most of my time, and it was good to drive the old side-valve again. What a flexible engine it is, and what a comfortable car the MO is to drive! We took the motorway to the West, and returned by secondary roads. In both situations the old girl behaved extremely well, kept up with today's traffic perfectly (though not burning rubber at traffic lights) and proved to be amazingly comfortable for a 57 years old vehicle. A joy to drive!
In Noordwijk we found the situation exactly as on the postcard. To be honest, this was no surprise since I checked on Gool Earth a few days ago. One minor obstruction: there is one-way traffic nowadays, but, in the interest of Historic Reconstruction, I decided to take the risk. My trespassing resulted in the photos attached, and I think KiNKy goes better with the hotel than the (extremely reliable, safe and environment-friendly, but characterless) Japanese car in the background.
Twenterit 2006, 29-10-2006
As per tradition, Marcel's Twenterit surprised us with parts of the region that hadn't been visited before. A good many MMCN-members, and of course several Singer-enthusiasts, took part in the event that ended in Marcel's recently opened Gallery in Almelo.
Somehow The Oxford doesn't like to go East. After immobilization caused by a faulty distributor on our way to the Montferlandrit in 2005, and serious problems with the water pump when returning from last year's Twenterit, KiNKy now invented something new. Our friend Henk, who was driving the car (I took the Wols), noticed an intermitting loss of compression and a loud ticking on the way home. Next year, we'll choose a different car for any eastward trip.
Straight Sixes, 10-12-2006
I couldn't resist the temptation of staging a confrontation between the Mercedes and the Wolseley. Although light-years apart (well, 1951 and 1993 actually) they have a lot in common: a straight-six engine, rear wheel drive, and a very recognizable grille. And, of course, they are both cars of stylish distinction. Arrogant? Oh, yes, but it feels great…
Barneveld 2006, 16-12-2006
Somehow the planning of this season's technical meetings coincided with other pressing engagements. This December day was the first chance I had to visit the new meeting location in Barneveld, at least for a few hours. The club is very fortunate to have members, prepared to put such a splendid location at our disposal.