Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Originally uploaded by wjwmorrow.
Despite completing numerous tasks in preparation for the Monte Carlo Historique Rallye next week (Oh God, is it really that close?!) new ones seem to pop up all the time. Preparing for this event is like battling an enormous organizational Hydra. Anyway I can report the following:

• Bill Richards has now put 400 miles on the rebuilt engine and reports the car to be in great shape and "right horny". In the UK motorsport patois this can be interpreted as "looking good and seriously competition ready".

• The Dunlop D93J tyres have arrived (phew, what a relief). Bill also describes these as "horny".

• I've finished plotting the route and have made a route book which I doubt could be described as "horny". However as an aid to high speed navigation I think it will do the job. In all the rallys I've done, the route plotting has never been done in this detail.

• I've bought a digital device for measuring distance on maps. When I've received the 1:25,000 large scale maps from Willy Cave next week (he's sending them to Bill's house) I'll make a detailed assessment of each regularity stage (ZR) and transfer distances to the tulip diagrams in the road book. My aim is to minimize the amount of navigation I do on the ZRs and focus on reading the times form the speed tables.

• The insurance is done. Norton Insurance, Birmingham, UK still offer easily the best deal for rally cover and breakdown service is included.

• MiniWorld magazine appears set for a photoshoot next Tuesday. I'm hoping this will not only raise the profile of the car but increase its value. I'll write the article on the flight out to the UK on Saturday.

• I've written to Road & Track magazine to ask if they'd like a rally report. I'm hoping that if they agree they'll contribute an honorarium to defray expenses.

• I've baked a fruit cake (the best rally rations/survival food imaginable) and purchased an assortment of Power Bars (Atkins of course) and various high energy sugar gloopy things that allegedly will perk us up no end when the going gets rough (I have a suspicions they'll just give us an attack of the jitters). I've also bought some iron oxide hand warmers in case we break down on a Col and end up freezing our behinds off. A lightweight collapsible shovel rounded off my purchases last weekend. I really don't want to be digging my way out of snowdrifts but this item is a necessity.

• Jim Wirtz, the hapless leader of our service crew, has booked all the hotels and has taken care of logistics, tools, spare parts etc.

So it seems that apart from a few last minute items, all the major components are in place. I still have to pick up my (hopefully repaired suitcase), organize babysitting for the cats, do some last minute shopping, bill paying etc. Oh, and did I mention that the transmission in my daily driver failed catastrophically yesterday? And the basement flooded. So for now I'm getting around by cadging rides and I'll deal with the house when I get back on February 8.


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