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All posts for the year 2011

Last years Retro Show was killer so Saturday lunchtime we pointed the MX5 at Santa Pod and hit the road. An afternoon and evening of heavy ale consumption didn’t serve to make an MX5 suitable accommodation for sleep as hoped (next time…a tent methinks!), but despite feeling pretty rough come Sunday morning, it was all worth it. The turnout was spectacular just like last year, with everything from stock obscure classics (Fiat Strada FTW!!) to full on drag cars like the mental Torment Racing Alky burning Chevette, which despite getting well out of shape still netted an 8.8 run. We parked up with the Retro Rides crew who put in a top display as usual with loads of variety. It’s too hard to pick a favourite from the hoards but high on my list of winners was Mick Wilkes’ gorgeous little Bedford HA van. Virtually stock looking on the outside but packing turbo XE power. A leisurely looking launch down the quarter saw it in the low 13’s but it’ll easily lay down low 12’s. What a machine! I gotta build something like that!

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R. J. W.Wilkinson was a curious kind of scrapyard. It was a proper old school vehicle dismantler and repair shop. A place where old cars went to be broken down into their component parts, which would subsequently be labeled and stored away to give life to other old cars in need. Engine re-bores and rebuilds were also offered along with numerous other services. But what makes the place special is it’s period of operation. It’s hard to say for sure when it started but as about a third of the stock seems to have been from pre-war, it must have been pretty early. Right through until the seventies, parts were meticulously stashed away with the business ceasing full time operation the following decade. Since then not much has changed but finally, having apparently reached his 90’s the old man passed on and so an era came to end, which brings me to the purpose of this post.

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Sunday was our local classic car show. To be honest, I don’t often go, even though it’s the nearest event. Much as I love old cars, I find most classic car shows terminally dull. Still, I figured I should support local shows and to be fair, there was some nice machinery there. Sadly, my camera battery died before I’d been right round the show so I missed a few things but if you click through, you can peruse the shots I did take.

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Okay, pre war car buffs… I need your help! I got these at a car boot sale yesterday, purely because they are nice looking and if nothing else, they’d look good hanging on my garage wall! But I’d be interested to know what they are from. They are made by C. M, Hall Lamp Company of Detroit and some preliminary online investigations suggest they date from around 1929. The lenses are flat and are marked 8 3/4 x 7 63/64 with a part number 12941. These kind of lenses were used in quite a number of cars… Ford Model A, Packards and even Rolls Royce but what I can’t figure is what are these particular ones are from as the ornate chrome surrounds don’t seem to match anything I’ve looked at online. More pics after the jump…

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As I drove home from a recent trip into town, I spied this Nissan Vanette parked up by the roadside with a for sale sign in it. I figured it might come in handy so it followed me home. It’s a pretty sedate 2.0L diesel but drives great. Amazingly the seats aren’t ripped to shreds which seems to be the norm for these old vans. Bit of rust here and there but solid where it counts. It won’t take much to get this thing into decent shape but for now I just want it as a parts hauler. However, before it could be used, one important change was needed…

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I picked this nice exhaust manifold at a recent autojumble. It was cheap enough to take a chance on it being close enough to adapt to fit something else… but what is it from? It’s clearly from a non-crossflow six cylinder of some sort and sits to the left side of the engine. The square end ports and round centre ports are quite distinctive but so far I’ve not been able to figure what it’s for. Any ideas? Click through for more pictures…

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