Sunday, 9 June 2013

IAE 2013 & The Lakes

Returned from another trip to Britain last Friday. This time for a walking holiday in the Lake District and to take part in the International AutoEcosse (organised by the Caledonian Classic & Historic Motorsport Club).

The IAE 2013;

It was again a top event with some fabulous roads and driving, and the official report of the event can be found here, on the website of the CC&HMSC. For me the highlight of the first day was chasing a Porsche Boxter-S and a (at that stage badly smoking) Chrysler Sunbeam rally replica over the Trossachs. Turned out that the smoke was caused by a blocked engine breather, as a result of which the engines oil was blown onto the exhaust. Luckily the owner found this out just in time before he ran out of oil in the sump.
The first day finished in Fort William, and as the start of the second day was also there we booked a hotel there, which turned out to be a big mistake. There was nothing wrong with the hotel, but Fort William itself turned out to be a pretty sad place. At least we were well rested for the second day!

The second day started with a test on an old disused kart track on an industrial estate in Fort William ...

... after which we started on the second leg of our approximately 500 mile blast through Scotland. The second leg turned out to be even better then the first day, with the highlights being the 24 mile long single track  along the southern shore of Loch Awe. This stretch was also the scene of the Tractor Incident. We were in a three car convoy with one Mr. Ellis S driving in front in his Mk1 saloon. At a certain point he went round a left hand corner. But the moment he disappeared from view a huge tractor appeared  from the left, bouncing over the green shoulder of the road. Turned out that they just missed each other. Luckily Ellis' co-driver came well prepared, he had some spare underpants with him 😜.

From Loch Awe it was a short quick drive to the newly resurfaced Rest-And-Be-Thankful hillclimb. It was a brilliant drive up the hill, but sadly my navigator didn't quite manage to use the camera properly, or maybe I was just too quick ...

The fact that all of the crews had a huge smile on their face when they came over the finish line tells it all.

After the "Rest" we carried on with the route at a nice pace, heading towards the finish in Scone/Perth. Sadly enough we were often hampered by moving chicanes, mostly of the mouse grey euro-box/caravan/campervan variety). In Killin we caught up with the Sunbeam again, but this time without the smoke screen. And with this car as pacemaker we started on the last part of the route, at a brisk pace we headed along the Northern shore of Loch Tay towards Aberfeldy. And from there the traffic thinned out almost completely. And this turned out to be an even better drive than the Rest-And-Be-Thankful, with some very spirited driving. Resulting in two well trashed cars at the finish in Scone ...

How 't Kreng behaved
I had some doubts when setting of towards the ferry as I still could hear quite a lot of funny noises. But as everything was working as it should, I decided that it was better to ignore them and concentrate on the driving. But coming of the ferry and driving towards the Lake District all this was forgotten when I noticed that the volt meter in the dashboard didn't register anything (it is hidden behind the rim of the 13" steering wheel, so can be missed easily). At first all sorts of horror stories crossed my mind, but I decided to check underneath the bonnet first. Turned out the connector at the back of the alternator had come loose. So easy to rectify, but how did it come of ? Probably didn't fit it properly and then also must have forgotten to secure it with the locking clip. At least it cured the problem. But by the time we arrived at our B&B in Keswick it was clear to me that the car didn't like a fully laden boot. Luckily we liked the B&B there, and they had a room available for the week after the IAE, which meant we could leave most of the luggage there, nice.

During the first week I didn't use the car, but a routine check on the Friday before the IAE showed what at first glance looked like a leaking water pump. But it turned out that the coolant came from underneath the thermostat cover, and the leak stopped during the first day of the IAE. And while driving the IAE I soon forgot all the funny noises and gave the car a good trashing, which she took rather well. Nothing broke or fell off, there were no excessive oil leaks, and everything else (suspension/brakes/transmission) worked as it should. Although I had to add 0,5 litre of engine oil to keep it on level. But taking into account the sort of driving I did, that is not very worrying. In the end she covered another 2200 kilometres from door to door, again without any problems and with an average fuel consumption of slightly over 30 mpg. It almost feels like a betrayal to even think about dismantling her ...

(for the anoraks, the oil spill visible underneath the front of the car is from someone else's car 😌)

The Lakes

The week before and after the IAE 2013 were spent walking in the Lake District, a short pictorial review of some of the highlights;

The beautiful but slightly crowded Derwentwater:

The lovely Buttermere:

And Langdale:

So it's now about time to get the DHC from her winter hiding and finish the remaining few small jobs. And received a message that there is some progress on various fabrications, needed for 't Kreng V2.0.

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