Thursday, October 22, 2009
What We Did on Our Holidays. Part 3: NW Classic Rally -Final Preparations
Friendly old cat ready to leave California, July 2009
At noon on Wednesday 29th July the E type was delivered to my humble abode by a nice man with a huge truck. And if you hadn't guessed, it turned out splendidly. Mel and Gary and Tina down in sunny Southern California had done a terrific job and the car looked and sounded fabulous. A quick drive around the neighbourhood put a huge grin on my face. The new suspension had improved the handling immeasurably and I felt that I could throw the car into corners with abandon. Gone was the awful understeer, woolly steering and poor braking. It also sounded magnificent. Fantastic! Now I had one week to prepare for the rally.
It turned out splendidly after its re-restoration
It had come along way from this condition when I first acquired it in 1992: believe it or not the previous owner was driving it around in this state!
At a local automotive accessories store I loaded up on some basic tools, engine and hydraulic fluids and repair items. I then thrashed the car around for a few days looking for any post-restoration problems to emerge. The only problem was a clutch slave cylinder that appeared to be on the way out but this was quickly rectified by a visit to Seattle area independent-Jaguar mechanic and E type racer, Rick Korn. Rick also provided a set of essential spare parts. I pulled out my navigator's bag from the basement. This rally would be very different from the Monte Carlo Historique but demanding nevertheless. At least I wouldn't be needing maps of France, pace notes or road book thus co-driver clutter could be greatly reduced. I did need an additional set of speed tables, however as the ones I had were in Km and didn't cover the range of speeds we would be likely to encounter on the NW Classic (generally faster on open straight roads) -a quick call Don Barrow in the UK and the engagement of FEDEX remedied this situation.
Finally I picked up daughter, Olivia, from the airport.
Now Mad Dog rallying was ready for another adventure.
There's nothing like a well-sorted E type to put a smile on your face!