Page 1

PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

PHOENIX NEWSLETTER OF THE WAITEMATA BRANCH VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF NEW ZEALAND NUMBER 272

CHAIRMAN: CLUB CAPTAIN: 1st OFFICER: SECRETARY: TREASURER: BRANCH DELEGATE: EDITOR: COMMITTEE:

FEBRUARY 2018

chicksmart73@gmail.com DI HUMPHREYS 021 025 75624 HAMISH ANDREW 027 296 9665 h.andrew@orcon.net.nz STAN SMITH 0274 775 475 vintageaircraft@xtra.co.nz VIV SCOTT 021 837 402 robandviv06@yahoo.co.nz JOHN GAIRDNER 09 480 4414 GRAEME BANKS 027 500 3806 graban@ihug.co.nz KEVIN BEESLEY 021 765 860 kandmbeesley@outlook.com MIKE HOPE-CROSS, MAX JAMIESON, BRENDAN LAMAIN and MIKE GREIG.

Page |1


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

COMING EVENTS Looking Forward………

Month

Waitemata

FERUARY

Te Awamutu Shed Raid 11

MARCH

Drive & Dine – Red Cherry Café Cambridge 18

APRIL

Hope-Cross Paddock Plug - 15

MAY JUNE

Other Events

Swap Meets

Auckland Veteran Rally. 10 Art Deco Weekend Napier 16-18 Western Springs Galaxy of Cars 18 Ellerslie Intermarque Concours – 11 Hooters Legends of Speed Puke. 25 Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car Show 4 North Island Easter Rally. Waikato Branch. 30 - 2 April. Maunga Moana Taranaki 21-22

Hooters ‘Roycroft Trophy Meet’ 6 AGM 7

UP NEXT…

Club Night Thursday 1ST FEBRUARY Be aware! It is one of those months when the first Thursday is the 1st (get it?). As a matter of fact, it is the same for March. Also be aware that over the next four months the Northern Motorway between Constellation Drive and Oteha Valley Road will be closed on Thursdays from 9pm to 5am for resealing works. Other than that, see you at the usual place - the RSA Room, King George Coronation Hall, Library Lane, Albany, at the usual time, 8.00 pm.

Page |2


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Then… February 2018 is a busy month, what with: The Ellerslie Intermarque Concours d’Elegance Sunday 11th Feb. which the Branch is not participating in this year as we will be motoring rather than showing. See below. And various of our members likely to be attending the Art Deco Weekend in Napier. HOWEVER: on the same date as the Ellerslie Concours we have…

The Te Awamutu Shed Raid Sunday Feb 11th which will take in Chris & Helen Empson’s classic collection of British cars, mostly ‘50’s & ‘60’s and then David Nordell’s restoration shop, specialising in Bugatti. Meet at the Bombay Caltex Station (exit 471) at midday. It is anticipated that we will be back at the Rangariri Pub around 6:00pm for a meal before attacking the Southern Motorway. If you wish to visit the Ellerslie Concours, it will be feasible to spend a couple of hours there, say 10:00-11:30 and then get to the start of the Shed Raid in plenty of time. (Quite a day!) If you desire to go straight to the venues, we expect to be at the Empsons at around 2:00-2:30. Their address is 445 Pokuru Road Te Awamutu PH. 07 871 7367 We will then proceed to David Nordell’s Vintage & Veteran Restorations at approx. 4:00-4:30. His address is 157 Flat Road, Te Awamutu, PH. 07 871 3334 It is, as always, highly desirable but not essential to arrive in an appropriate car!

Bring a plate for afternoon tea. See you there? Keith H. 09 446 0915 modelaspeedster@gmail.com

Page |3


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

And… The Hooters Vintage Race Series – 2018 Season Calendar Coming up faster than Nigel in your rear vision mirror ….

The Hooters ‘Legends of Speed’ event, Pukekohe 25 February Entry forms herewith. Get yours completed and returned – now would be a good time. Date

Event

Location

24th February 2018 25th February 2018 17th March 6th May 2018

Classic Trial Hooters Race – Tasman Revival Classic Trial Hooters Race (Roycroft Revival)

Pukekohe Pukekohe Hampton Downs Hampton Downs

Organising Club HRC HRC/VCC HRC HRC/VCC

There is also the option of having a further VCC Race at Taupo on 7/8 April 2018 if competitors wish…. Please let me know your thoughts and I look forward to seeing you all soon. Best regards, Tim Hill. Series Co-ordinator tim@hrcevents.co.nz 021 614600

Further Out…. Note from the events calendar on page 2 that the Hooters Roycroft Trophy Meet is now scheduled for Sunday 6 May (as opposed to 18 March as previously advised) and may extend to include part of Saturday 5 May as well. This is a signature Waitemata Branch event and we are looking forward to a bumper crop of entries from far and wide. More on this next month, but plenty of time to get your machine competition ready. We have a drive and dine scheduled for 18 March, our destination being the Red Cherry Café in Cambridge, so the ‘drive’ element is well covered. This café comes highly recommended. Full details to come but don’t wait for these - mark your calendars now. Page |4


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Plus… AUCKLAND BRANCH MID-WEEK RUN Wednesday 21 February. Starts from The Drury Service Centre, Southern Motorway. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. Neil and Jan Bieleski are taking us on a run to Miranda. BYO everything, including your togs.

The Dewdrops tel. 09 232 0245 email dewdrops@xtra.co.nz

Not to be overlooked… Auckland Brit & Euro Classic Car Show - 4th March 2018, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga. This year's event is set to be the biggest to date, with close to 50 classic car clubs and 750 vehicles expected to join in the free fun. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

PAST EVENTS Looking Back…. Club Night – 7 December. As is our tradition, the last Club Night of the year includes a barbeque in addition to the usual conviviality. This year was no exception and a good crowd turned out for the jollies - a jolly good crowd, a jolly good feed and a jolly good time. Tall stories were told, tyres were kicked there was nary a vegan to be seen. Even the car park looked good, with a sprinkling of proper cars. A very pleasant surprise to see the ex Barry Gay 12/4 Riley Special out and about again captained by Ryan McDonald who has done sterling work refurbishing it back to going condition. Megan and Stephen Cranch were also looking very elegant in the Buick which has been in Megan’s family forever. Thanks to Brendan and Keith for the BBQ’s and Keith for the photos. KB. Page |5


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Gerald’s skills with the tongs were much admired…

Also much admired – Ryan McDonald arrives in the ex Barry Gay 12/4 Riley Special

Page |6


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Elegant. Stephen and Megan Cranch arriving in the family Buick

Respectable car park.

“Don’t look at me, I didn’t eat all the chocolates!”

Pontificating

Page |7


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

More pontificating

New Year’s Eve Bash - 31December. We arrived at the Hope-Cross ranch late, like near 5-ish anticipating that any gymkhana-type activity would be over and drinks and nibbles on their way. In fact, members were just clearing away the watering system necessary to ensure the paddock was slippery enough and the cones yet to be installed. There were a good number in attendance and a variety of cars ranging from the moderns of Keith Elliot and Mike Courtney (although Mike did start out in a superbly patinated (read rat rod) Ford V8 pick-up, but a competitive streak in him saw him leave and return in a very smart 1275 Mini). Stan Smith must have been in a very laid-back state, as he let three others drive the stately Sunbeam around the cones, which it did with remarkable aplomb considering its size and wheelbase. It was all great fun and only mildly competitive except for those with the best times, with Peter Benbrook in the Buckler at Page |8


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

41.86secs just edging out Mike Courtney in the Mini at 42.45 secs and with Keith Elliot in the Alfa not far behind at 43.23 secs. As usual, once we sat down to relax, the excellent food issued from Kris Hope-cross's kitchen and BBQ and all were more than well fed. Some stayed overnight, but many left around 10:30-11:00-ish and once again, we struggled with the heavy traffic that was going into Devonport to watch the fireworks, but got home in adequate time to wander to the end of our road to watch the midnight fireworks (bring back Dot Com!) KSH

Ian Goldingham in the Smith Sunbeam Richard Gray in go-fast Renault

Our host, Mike Hope-Cross, in Singer (or should that be ‘on song’?)

Page |9


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

John King in the Smith Sunbeam - twice

Keith Elliot in Alfa Romeo

Kevin Andrew in the Fiat

Di Humphreys in Daimler SP250 1

P a g e | 10


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Mike Courtney in Mini (left) and superbly patinated Ford V8 pick-up

Scott Hunter & family in the Stan Smith Sunbeam

Rob Chapman Riley 9

Peter Benbrook in Buckler

P a g e | 11


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Lochinver A combination of circumstances dictated that the expedition through Lochinver planned for 2021 January had to be called off at the last minute. Interest in the event remains keen, however, so it is intended to set it up again for next year.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FROM THE THRONE A belated Happy New Year Waitemata’ites and already one month of 2018 has almost disappeared. I hope you have been enjoying the somewhat unsettled crazy weather patterned summer months so far. We’ve been almost blown of the road, have almost killed a cyclist, had a window in our house suddenly explode and cause damage in the entry hall, eaten far too much Christmas pudding and still not been to visit my Mother. The Humps have just fully retired. The office is now a study, although the drawing board is still visible, there has been mumblings of storing it away but that hasn’t happened yet! We now hope to do quite a bit of travelling over the next couple or so years, while we still have the where with all to do so. With that in mind I have decided that it is time for me to step aside and allow another to take over the role of Waitemata’s Leader. Being the Scribe for the Branch Idle Torque Notes in Beaded Wheels will also have to be filled by a Waitemata member and in reality, this needs to be a job for a Waitemata’ite who does partake of a big percentage of Branch events. This is so you can give an accurate picture of the “doings” of the Branch. I have always enjoyed being a member of the Waitemata Branch and want to thank you all for your support, help, constructive criticism, fun and general camaraderie throughout the years of my benevolent despotic leadership! Keith and I have no intention of selling up and moving to some other town. The romanticism of living in the country has well left us. We enjoy Devonport, the free ferry, train and bus (thank you Winnie) and as we work our way around the disaster that Lake Road is we will happily remain amongst those of our friends who also wish to stay in this Auckland suburb. That of course means you will not be getting rid of me completely, both of us will continue to enjoy and support the Branch but right now we feel we need the freedom to pack a bag and disappear by car, boat or plane whenever the whim arises. Open motoring is still my passion and while we both still can, the Model A and the Daimler SP250 will continue to be our motoring enjoyment. We use both cars a lot and not just for club motoring activities. We often turn up for dinner at friends in one or other of the cars and will often use the cars just for the hell of it. I have suggested many times to older Waitemata’ites that they should look at offering their vintage machine to younger members, give them the opportunity to learn to drive them and that way the owner could still get to enjoy the open road being a passenger in his own vehicle. In the future I know we will get to the point of needing to make that decision, but we’d have the dilemma of only having one spare seat in each of our cars, so hell, we’ll just have to train up two new drivers, and be taken about in separate cars!! I have P a g e | 12


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

been witness to couples getting cranky with each other and less tolerant of each other as the years pass and for us, being driven separately in two different cars might just be a good thing!! HaHaHa. Happy Vintage Motoring

Di H. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FROM THE ED. Greetings, Flock! Welcome to 2018 and compliments of the season to you all! Remember, though, there are only 335 days until Christmas. No doubt you all made many promises to yourselves and reset your moral compasses in worthwhile new directions. Me? Well, to avoid the disappointments of years past I’ve gone win-win on the New Years’ resolution thing this year. In no particular order I’ve resolved to: -

Reduce the fruit and vege intake Increase chocolate consumption Cut down on exercise Binge watch TV Triple the red wine ration Cease flossing Give up on sunscreen.

The way I figure it, failures to meet these exacting new standards will be victories and there may be the occasional guilty pleasure of achievement. I will not be keeping you posted as to my progress. There is a more serious side to this light-hearted banter. You have read above that Diane is stepping down from the role of Chairman this year. So, amongst the other directions and goals you may have recently set for yourselves, how about considering putting yourself forward for Branch office? You have abilities, ideas and knowledge that would serve the Branch well, indeed, that the Branch needs, to continue and develop the provision of its services. The duties and input required of our various official roles are not particularly onerous; committee meetings and other official gatherings are light hearted affairs usually conducted with an unseemly amount of good humour, not to mention a pub meal and a glass or two and there is satisfaction in being a contributor to the cause. Think about it. The next A.G.M. is not all that far away. Other than that, here’s looking forward to a year of truly ‘vintage’ motoring. The more you get out and about in your club eligible vehicle the more enjoyable it is for all of us. Another win-win situation.

Kevin Beesley.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 13


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

JUST SO WE KNOW WHO WE ARE... In the previous edition (Number 271, December), mention was made of Lionel Rogers having acquired a 1913 Peugeot Bébé. Well, Rhys Nolan has gone and done something similar. Read on about…

My acquisition….

Hugo the Peugeot.

Hugo was named by the previous “custodian” or was it the one before? Since it’s deemed unlucky to change a ship’s name, I will extend that to cars, so Hugo he shall remain. Yes, I know it’s a bit odd to have male names for such a delicate little thing, but there you go. Hugo is a 1923 Peugeot Quadrilette, type 172. A very brief back story! Of course, the Peugeot Bébé must not be ignored, the first version was produced as the type 69 and was presented at the 1904 Paris Motor Show. It was only produced for the 1905 model year, however 400 were sold in that year. Following an eight year gap the BP1 Bébé, designed by Ettore Bugatti, was introduced at the 1912 Paris Motor Show. This again was under 350 kg, a tiny four-cylinder, water cooled engine gave out a blinding ten horsepower (not tax hp). Three thousand of them were produced before cessation of production in 1916. They found their way into all sorts of uses, including racing, doctors transport and stretcher bearers! After the war ended Peugeot needed something to get back onto their financial feet and the emerging cyclecar market was deemed to be the answer. Drawing on previous experience they developed the Type 161. This was introduced at the 1920 Brussels Motor Show. It was cheap, very small and very economical and first went on sale in 1921. Again, they had their own diminutive four-cylinder (667 cc) power plant. P a g e | 14


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Similarly, it was under 350 kg to meet a taxation class, and was so narrow that the two seats were in tandem. Later in 1921 they introduced the Type 161E with side by side seating, although the passenger’s seat was set back, to allow elbow room. Fuel economy was 56 miles per imperial gallon! Top speed was 37 mph. Following from the 161 came the Type 172. Both were known as “Quadrilette”. The track was widened to allow for the side by side seating, the wheelbase was shortened a little and there is even room for some luggage. In 1924 there were upgraded versions introduced, the Type 172 BC and the Type 172 BS (or Grande Sport). There were 8705 of the 172 produced. So, to Hugo. He is a 1923 172 Quadrilette, but a little unusual in that he is not of the heavier (slightly more clumsy?) ones that followed. That makes him much more desirable, to me at least. By reputation he is one of the “peppier” versions, other than the “Torpedo Sport” which were very rare. The previous custodian purchased him from an artist in France who lived in Masserac, near to Redon. Here is Hugo on his way to the artist’s workshop.

In the 1930s he lived at Number 21 Rue Laraignon, 11000 Here is Hugo undergoing restoration Carcassonne in France. Sadly, the old French documents had to be surrendered to the UK government agency when registration was completed here in the UK. So, a few technical things for those interested.

P a g e | 15


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

The motor type is a NE2, 4 cylinders, bore of 50 mm, stroke of 85 mm. Maximum revs is quoted as 2000, or perhaps 2200 depending on the particular version, with a twobearing crank. As would be expected, side valve. The transmission is a transaxle, with alloy casing, built into the rear axle assembly. There are three ratios, plus reverse. As might be expected with Peugeot, this is a worm drive system. The ratio is 5.25. Steering is sector and pinion, with a turning circle of 4.50 metres. Brakes are rear wheel only rod operated by foot pedal, or handbrake. Front track is 944 mm, rear is 946. Wheelbase is 2270 mm. Overall length is 3100 mm. Weight, somewhere around 325 kg. The tyre size is 26” by 3”, currently on Dunlop motorcycle tyres.

The massive powerplant!

Now here is something for the “interesting facts” file. While the Peugeots of the ‘50s and ‘60s, full size family cars, have three wheel studs, Hugo has six! Performance figures! Top speed, maybe 60 km /hr. Acceleration, 0 to 60, eventually. So, what are we going to do with him? He will be used on the “sunny Sunday” trips locally; he will be a part of Club Peugeot UK displays, we intend to take him to the “Festival of Slowth” in France, Castle of Mongazon (dep.58 – Saint Franchy), in June 2018. He may even be my transport to work on occasion. After all, he was built to be used, not a show queen, so rain and mud will not be avoided.

Rhys Nolan

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

P a g e | 16


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

FOR SALE…. Embroidered Branch Badges…………………………………………. $10 each. Great quality and feel the width! Contact our worthy Secretary, Viv Scott for yours.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

P a g e | 17


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

OTHER NEWS…… Letter to Beaded Wheels - 50-year badges Worthy as the recognition of 50 years' continuous VCC membership is, I hope I may be excused a slight grumpiness whenever the subject comes up. In 1965 I joined the Canterbury Branch as soon as I bought my 1931 Riley Nine tourer, which I still own as my one and only VCC-eligible vehicle (part ownership of a 1947 Auster J/5 didn't count). Migrations northwards saw me transfer to Wellington and subsequently North Shore Branches, with a move across to the renegade Waitemata when it was formed. Alas, through no fault of my own, my membership has not been continuous as it fell through the cracks when records were computerised decades ago. In a fit of pique I muttered that if They didn't want me then I didn't need Them, but I relented after a while and re-joined Waitemata. Presumably other potential 50-year members are in the same administration-generated situation, and they might also recall the days when the VCC actively discouraged members from dressing up in period costume ... Which leads to the front cover of Issue no 349 and David Russell's splendid photograph of a gimlet-eyed Tracy Stenhouse on Stuart Francis' L24 BSA. I sincerely hope her coat didn't lead to an Isadora Duncan episode in the rear mechanism. Nitpicker that I am (editors have their own occupational hazards), I gently suggest that the Daimler on page 14 of the same issue of Beaded Wheels has lost an argument with the local flora, the fauna being conspicuous by its absence, presumably as a result of the noise and bad language. Small children are not normally counted as fauna and cause such accidents on only rare occasions.

John King Member no 37/14961 Waitemata

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

DESPATCHES…. If you aren’t mentioned in despatches it means you aren’t telling the Editor what you are up to.

Sent in by Keith Humphreys who comments: The riding mechanic’s expression says it all, “This is going to hurt”. Apparently, he died.

P a g e | 18


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Here’s a random thought. Instead of Tesla giving their vehicles meaningless alphabetical designations, shouldn’t their next model be called the ‘Musk-Stang’? Remember, you saw it in ‘Phoenix’ first.

True story or ‘fake news’ to fill column space? You decide….

➢ Following an article featured in the previous ‘Phoenix’ a message from Ian Goldingham… “Dear Chaps, just thought you may enjoy the following photographic images of young Jim Francis's Delage, back in the day, (1947) when it still served as a furniture removal van! Cheers Ian.”

P a g e | 19


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

An atmospheric period piece courtesy of Keith Humphreys. Look like anybody you know?

➢ Advertised recently on ‘Trade Me’ this 1924 Delage DI Tourer which local Delage enthusiasts will quickly tell you is car built up by the late Geoffrey Mehrtens. The ad explains that Geoff bought the bones of the vehicle back in 1987 and spent the next seven or so years rebuilding it. For the officiously minded it is Engine number 6833, chassis number 16347 and, as a DI it is of 2121cc capacity. Not sure if it still available but, having motored together with it in the South Island I can vouch for it as being a worthy automobile. The ad rather ominously finishes with the advice that “The car is in Dunedin, New Zealand and is available for export to any country.” We shouldn’t let this one get away….

P a g e | 20


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

➢ I have a few of these to drip feed over the coming months…. A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” "That depends, Sir, " said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

➢ Little boxes… as we speak Stan Smith is busy making a box in which to store the Branch’s glass sign and Mike Hope-Cross is on the hunt for a box in which to keep the Branch TV. Updates on their progress will follow on the hour.

➢ Famous people in our midst. Congratulations to Graeme Banks who was recently honoured by the LVVTA (Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association) for having made a significant contribution to that association on behalf of the Sports Car Club of N.Z.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

THE SQUEAKY WHEEL… The Strange Tale of Two Heads Not Being Better Than One, or Wot I did on My Holidays…. Based on the premise that my vintage motoring related exploits aren’t of great interest to anyone but myself I’m inclined to the philophesy that what goes on in my garage stays in my garage. I endeavour to avoid boring others silly with tales of my modest triumphs and tribulations. However, let me telI you that my vintage motoring year has had a somewhat challenging start … or is it more correct to say that my previous vintage motoring year came to a rather sad end? My tale goes like this. Back in October last year a random check on the Talbot spark plugs showed clear signs of rust in combustion chambers four and five. Head gasket! But wait a minute. There had been no symptoms of this malady. No strange gurgling in the radiator, no steam out the exhaust, no signs of emulsified oil, the engine was running as sweet as a nut. Hmm, perhaps it was condensation. I have had previous experience (not with the Talbot) of the damage this can do to idle motors and the car had been sitting unused for some weeks through a particularly damp winter and humidity levels in my garage had been very high. Circumstances dictated that it was another month or so before I could really turn my attention to this. No more signs of rust after my having cleaned things up previously and a compression test showed nothing untoward – just as it should be and comfortably even across all cylinders.I took a blat up the motorway to Silverdale, running superbly, returned home, switched off, left the engine overnight then whipped out the plugs. Moisture on four and five! So, off with its head and yes, water escaping from one of the water jacket ports into cylinders four and five, with signs this may have also been happening with cylinder two, although to a far lesser degree.

P a g e | 21


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

Pitting to the combustion chambers, head and block faces indicated this was not a new problem. The head was easily attended to – off to Engine Specialties for a light dress up of the face and reseating of the valves as necessary. But what to do with the block, bearing in mind I’m fitting a solid copper gasket that does not take kindly to intolerance? Not bad enough to warrant entire engine removal and dismantling (with a Talbot, perish the thought!) so nothing for it Dashing away with the smoothing iron… lapping the Talbot block face. That is not a smile, it’s a grimace. but elbow grease. I armed myself with a weighty, flat steel block (being an iron used for ironing the felt onto billiard tables), emery cloth, 400 grit wet and dry, plenty of kerosene and set about lapping the block face to remove the pitting and ensure it was flat. This took some time. I found that up to about four hours per day was all I could comfortably manage before abject boredom, not to mention cramp, set in and, slowly but surely, I enventually got to where I wanted to be – bluing indicated the piting was reduced to next to nothing and the face was flat, side to side and front to back. It’s all done but, at time of writing I haven’t got it back together yet, because….. Over the past few months our Riley had developed an intemittent whistling sound, very hard to pin down where it was coming from, sometimes clearly audible, but most of the time not there at all. Induction leak. Obviously! No apparent effect on performance – car running really well – but better attend to this as we are going away on holiday in the Riley come late February. Well, I attended to everything I could reasonably get at and I couldn’t find an induction leak. Hmm, head gasket? No signs of internal rust anywhere, no moisture out the exhaust or signs of emulsified oil, but was that a whiff of exhaust in the radiator? After Christmas, off with the head. Strange. It required some effort to extract the push rods, which should just lift out through the head and there didn’t appear to be a lot of torque on the head studs. Surely the head had been bolted down tighter than that! Well, yes,it no doubt had been, but torque had been lost, resulting in water leaking into the cylinders, particularly number four, and blow-by between the bores. Why? Inspection of the head gasket – a copper faced sandwich type of, I’m told, local manufacture, showed that the sandwich layer, a rubbery type of material I’ve not seen before, had been extruded out of where it should be into spaces where it shouldn’t. Over time, assumably the pressure exerted on it had caused the inner layer to ooze out across oil ways and water jacket holes, correspondingly reducing the thickness of the gasket as it did so. This explained the difficulty experienced in removing the push rods – the extruded material had P a g e | 22


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

partially blocked their holes – and the lack of tension on the head studs. Other owners of locally made sandwich type head gaskets be warned! Anyway, after the seemingly endless cleaning up of parts and attention to other lesser issues facilitated by the head removal, the Riley engine is back together and running sweetly, although I have yet to give it a really good blast on the road. Hopefully later this week.

Some of the original gasket holes outlined in white to indicate the problem. The dark inside the white outline is material extrusion.

Then I can turn my attention to replacing the Talbot head.

A sad end to the old year or a challenging start to the new one? I’ll take the glass as half full – any day now I’ll have two cars going better than either were before. Kevin Beesley ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 23


PHOENIX Number 272

FEBRUARY 2018

PHOENIX The OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER of THE WAITEMATA BRANCH of the VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF N.Z. INC. 200A Greenhithe Road, Greenhithe, Auckland 0632

CLUB NIGHT THURSDAY 1st February 8.00 p.m. at the RSA Room, King George Coronation Hall, Library Lane, Albany. Take Exit 410 Oteha Valley Road. Travel west along Oteha Valley Road, ahead through 2 roundabouts and straight ahead at Traffic Lights into Albany Highway then almost immediately RIGHT into Library Lane then very soon go right again into the parking area. The RSA Room is at the rear.

Puhoi Domain 1976 says Keith Humphreys. Brian Johnstone facing away from 30/98. Is that Keith in the flowery shirt? Nice…

P a g e | 24

Waitemata VCC February 2018  
Waitemata VCC February 2018  
Advertisement