March 2000

9th March 2000

I spent the day at John's workshop today. There were a few jobs I wanted to get done and John was going to make my wing vents. I started off the morning by changing the oil for its 500 mile filter and oil change. I had real difficulties getting the old filter off the car, even with a chain wrench. I managed to get it off eventually but not before totally destroying the outer casing of the filter.

Got over to John's in the early afternoon. I made my self busy fabricating an aluminium channel to house the heater pipes. This runs above the rocker box cover and helps to tidy up the hoses in the engine bay.

John made me some wing vents from stainless steel. I didn't get time to fit them so that's a little job for the future. I also swapped my leaking header tank for a new one. I fitted and tested it before I left and thankfully there were no leaks this time. Finally, John also had the side frames for the hood which I planned to fit and cover myself. The actual fitting of the hood itself I plan to leave to the professionals. A poorly fitting hood really spoils a great looking car, even if I only plan to use it when it's lashing down with rain.

11th March 2000

Took the car out for a bit of a run today. The weather was great all weekend and it almost felt like spring. I managed to put about 60 miles on the car so we're now up to 640 miles since its build.

I upped the rebound dampers on the front and rear shocks by two clicks today. The car was taught but was bottoming out on fast dips and drops in the road. It is certainly firmer and you notice it around town at low speeds. But when you need it on faster twisty roads it feels a lot more stable and taught.

12th March 2000

Spent all day fitting the carpets with help from my sister Helen. We decided not to use the brown paper templates I'd lovingly sculptured because the carpet was easy to fold and bend, plus we could mark the back of the carpet and see where we needed to cut. John from Crendon had given me a plan of how the carpets should lie and where the cuts and binding need to go. Helen and I started with the boot area as we figured this would get us started and it was the smallest area, so if we made any blunders we would not waste too much carpet. Well all went well and the carpet fitted very well and easily. I'd purchased some fasteners which you can hardly see once they are fitted.

We didn't complete the whole car in the day but we got the boot and rear bulkhead done plus the transmission tunnel and passenger side up to the footwell. Thankfully most of the difficult areas are now done. Where possible I've used fasteners so I can remove the carpet to dry it out when the car gets wet.

18th March 2000

Our car was featured in this Month's edition of Kit Car magazine. Iain Ayre, who wrote the article and took the pictures, was the person who wrote a book about Cobra Replicas which I read when I was researching the market for a Cobra replica, so it was nice to come full circle and have Iain take photos of the car and write the article. The article covers two pages and really shows the car off very nicely. But I would say that wouldn't I?

In the afternoon I fixed the wing vents in place with some Sikaflex - boy is that messy stuff, but it certainly is the business for jobs like this one. The wing vents really finish the side view of the car off. I can quite happily say that now the car is almost finished. Just the hood and tonneau to go and it's all done!

19th March 2000

Completed the carpets today and they do look very nice even if I do say so myself. I used a combination of press fittings to anchor the carpets in areas that I wanted to take the carpets out. Areas like the boot and bulkhead behind the seats. I thought that this would be useful if the carpets get wet and I need to take them out to dry them. I used some aerosol carpet glue to stick other areas like the transmission tunnel, because I did not want this area to move and start bulging or creasing as it would look very unsightly.

Jill and I went to visit some friends in the car this afternoon and it's surprising what a difference to the interior noise a set of carpets makes. I didn't think it would make too much difference but it is surprisingly smoother and quieter. Well I don't know about the smoother bit which is properly just an illusion. 700 miles on the clock now.