The Parkinson Line............. on The Winter Rebuild
February has just commenced and the forthcoming race season gets ever closer. I was going to say that we’re getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel but I understand that’s been switched off to save energy. Most drivers will be in their garages hopefully finalising their cars over the next month or so.
I’ve had nothing to do.
It’s a couple of years or more since my engine was last stripped and I determined to have it rebuilt this winter. Neil Bold does my engine and from past experience I know he gets busy after the Walter Hayes meeting. He specialises in Kent and Pinto engines. So, the weekend after the last meeting at Snetterton, I removed the engine. It was with Neil the Saturday after. As it was the first of the winter rebuilds he got straight on to it. Unfortunately all four exhaust valves were bent and the bores and rings were cream crackered. But soon fixed and engine ready for collection. The engine was refitted the following weekend.
What else to do. The car has had the odd rose joint on this year and other work as required so there was really nothing much else to do other then a look over and a spanner check. But some of the fibre glass bits, nose cones, body etc were aging and have had a few repairs and wanted more. I also have an ongoing weight problem which is added to every time another chunk of glass repair is completed. A bit of a problem. A problem that weighs some twenty odd kilos.
But who was this riding to the rescue. The sun glinting off his carbon fibre armour. Of course. It’s Sir Gison. Alright then. It’s Ewen. We’d discussed some time ago removing the old radiators and replacing them with aluminium ones. The fibre glass housings are also very heavy and have been patched up many times but Ewen has various moulds which he thought he might utilise to replace the damaged units and also make the car look a bit more modern. No doubt with a bit of modification and deft mechanical engineering hammering. To someone who is a bit short of cash this farming out of work to professionals might not seem to be in the true spirit of Monoposto. But if you don’t really know what you’re doing then I find it cheaper and quicker to get someone else to do the work.When I go racing that’s exactly what I want to do. Many times in the past I’ve wasted test days messing about with brakes and clutches trying to get them to work. And bothering other drivers for advice. I’ve also broken down in races from such stupid causes that I’m too embarrassed to say what they were.
Another problem I find which tends to compound every year is the old B & K. After I’d taken the engine out and also after refitting it my back killed me for several days. This was accompanied by my right knee which came out in sympathy. This was caused by the kneeling and bending to bolt the unit back in and connect up the fuel lines, oil pressure, brake lines etc.The other thing. And I’ve said it before is that certainly with my car Ewen has always done a good job for a fair price. And no. I’m not on commission for any work that goes to him. The trouble with motor racing is that there are hundreds of experts who are willing to work on your car and charge you a fortune. Unfortunately many are not as good as they think they are. So if I find someone I get a good deal from I’ll let people know. I will not recommend anyone unless I’m happy with the work I’ve had done and the money that I’ve had to pay. If Ewen’s costs go up and the standard of work goes down then I’ll withdraw my recommendation.
This commercial was on behalf of Avit Motorsport. Just jesting.
So the car is at Doncaster and I’ve got nothing to do. I’ve cleaned the garage/workshop out and I suppose I could paint the trailer. Never mind. It’ll soon be spring. The trouble with wishing time away like I’m doing is that I’ll be thirty eight before you know it. (In your dreams.-Ed)
I look forward to seeing you all at the annual Dinner.
David in the (in)famous Reynard
David goes side-by-side with Ewen Sergison. In July they should fight it out side-by-side through Eau Rouge
Ewen Sergison (aka McStig) - perhaps having one's favourite TV prog tattooed on one's teeth is a bit excessive
Neil Bold is one of the country's best known Kent/Pinto engine builders. Neil Bold is also the name of a font, and to prove it that's it above.