Hampton Downs weekend.

March 22nd, 2015

The last few weeks were busy ones. Nothing on the special unfortunately though. First I had to fix my MG after driving it into a rock in the middle of a carpark! A woman had stopped her massive 4WD right in the middle of a driveway (where they people they can’t stop) for a chat to someone so I thought I would be able to get past on the left forgetting (and not seeing since I was driving into the sun) the massive rocks they decided to put right there. I drove straight into it. Bah!

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One rally light cover was smashed (but the light itself is fine) and the front surround and the fibreglass got all bashed up as well as the under bonnet panel. There was no structural damage though. I pulled it all apart and straightened the body work and touched up the paint. I took apart the grille and straightened that out as well. The fibreglass still needs repairing but it is back on the car for now because all this happened on a Tuesday night going to sewing class and I needed the car ready to drive to the Roycroft meeting on the Saturday. So it was a busy week of evenings spent fixing.

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The other rally light cover broke when I was removing it. The plastic had gone all brittle over time. So now the lights have no covers but it does mean I can use them if I need to use high beams as they are wired to come on with them. I’ll redo the front fibreglass soon too and repaint that.

The sewing is going well. I am making cushions for my train table chairs!


On Saturday was the annual Roycroft trophy meeting. I drove down early for that. This year was meant to be a French theme. I don’t quite see why apart from it meant people could wear berets and they had some French pastries (which I can’t eat) for sale I think. There were a couple of French cars there. The club website mentioned Terry’s Bugatti but at the moment that has a Jaguar engine in it so I am not sure that really counts! It seemed quieter than previous years too, the event, not the Bugatti!

And this year the WW2 German army reenactors weren’t there. I’ve never really understood why they were there in previous years to be honest. This year given the French vintage theme I would have thought they would have been most appropriate!

I didn’t even watch a lot of the racing this year to be honest.  Most of the time was spent wandering about and chatting to people. All the Richards were there. The Dieppe is looking more and more correct as time goes on and it was racing there.


Another Richard turned up an odd little car on a trailer (not vintage and not racing though).

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Apparently it’s a Hudson Kindred Spirit. I am not sure what it is kindred with? Perhaps a Sinclair C5? Later on he was driving it around in the pit area but I totally failed to get a good picture of it! I did get some pictures of the engine in the RA Vanguard because it has a tubular style inlet manifold with a flat blow off valve on one end. Something I will need to do when I make the manifold for my special.

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As I said I didn’t watch a lot of the actual racing. There seemed less cars there this year and they are all cars I have seen countless times before. The big V12 Lagonda wasn’t racing on Saturday unfortunately. He has an issue with a wheel (broken spokes I think) and so went off to get a replacement wheel and then got stuck in some sort of traffic hold up all day so he unfortunately missed most of Saturday. Hopefully he got to race on Sunday (I only went for Saturday).

We did get to look under the bonnet of it though with it’s four nice downdraft carbs!


Inside they had the usual little stalls. New books, old books and some clothing and felt hats. There was a display of the restored McLaren garage Austin 7 and a (non vintage) McLaren race car.


I bought a few old books, Around the world in a baby Austin (with it’s dust jacket) and Martin Eyre’s Austin Seven competition cars 1922-1982. I also found a great old 1989 Bathurst magazine which I got for $1 and gave to my brother in law who likes that kind of thing.

I had an interesting chat with a guy who had a Norton racing bike there. I did watch some of the bikes racing. Well, not actual racing, they just do what they call ‘demonstration’ laps. Someone managed to fall off at one point but they weren’t hurt luckily.

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I spent a lot of the day hanging about with Russell who was visiting with his wife Vanda from Australia. Russell posts on the Austin 7 Friends site so he knew a lot of us over here already. It was very good to meet up in person. Later, during the week, he and his wife came to visit me here and they also popped down to see Joss. They’d bought a little Ruby to tour about in and that is now going back to Australia with them. They came here again on their last day to give the car a good clean so it could be transported over to Australia.


I have a new job now and so work from home which is good since it means I can do things like that. Soon I will start building the special engine which means trips to visit an engineer one of the Richard’s recommends. He only works during the week so working from home means I can take a few hours in the middle of the day to go off and see him. Probably wait till after I get my first pay before doing that though.

One amusing thing working from home is watching all the weird stuff that happens in the neighbourhood. People are constantly parking across my driveway even when there is plenty of room in front of them they could happily park in.


That car was sitting there for over half an hour. I just don’t understand why when all they need to do is roll forwards a few metres (and I am on a hill so all that requires is taking their foot off the brake). Are people stupid? Or just lazy? I like to give people the benefit of the doubt so I always assume they are both lazy AND stupid! The odd thing is this happens quite regularly. I think it’s because I am the first house after the one on the corner so it’s the first place people can stop.

The other odd thing is people stopping in front of my place to have a smoke (what I am not entirely certain). There are a few regulars. A blond woman in a green car and a guy in a red 4WD things who is always playing the exact same jiggy jiggy music when he pulls up. They stop, have a few smokes then go down the road to the drug and alcohol rehabilition place and go into there. I can’t work out if they are inmates or staff!

Progress on my cars has been slow. Been too distracted with sewing and ENIGMA machine watches and so on. I did go for a drive in the Chummy yesterday though and have been going out to the shops in it from time to time. Yesterday I decided to drive to Galbraiths pub to get some beer to bring home (they do take out flagons, very good value!).


I don’t know why people think the Galbraiths car parking spaces are too tight. I had no problems! On the way home I stopped to fill up the tank as there was only about a quarter of a stick left in it. When I pulled up a guy in a massive 4WD was there already filling up. I got out, filled the Chummy tank, filled my spare petrol container I keep behind the seats, went in and paid and was driving off while the guy was still filling the tank on his car. The Chummy was driving very well but it is definitely starting to have issues with popping out of second gear. Need to look into that at some point.

The ENIGMA watch came out great. I made a steel case and painted it crackle black. I also etched a little name plate for it.


Will write that one up on my other blog. I still need the strap buckle to finish it off completely.

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