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Paul L 19th November 2017 15:38

A Triumph Swordfish 1500 - On The Road
[Mark Evans] Hello my car building chums and welcome to A Triumph Swordfish 1500 - On The Road. [/Pete Mate]

Well, I figured I might as well start this new thread off with the same old joke that started my original build thread. :icon_wink:

Technically, my car first became road legal on 31st August 2016, but it was still in primer at this stage.

This certainly didn't stop me enjoying over 8 months of driving the car around and racking up 1,000+ shakedown miles before paint.

Traditionally, painting the car is part of the build, so I didn't want to start an 'On The Road' thread until the car was painted.

On the 18th November 2017, the car passed its second MOT (the first MOT expired during the painting process).

But it then proceeded to rain for the rest of the day. :rolleyes:

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Sunday Morning
I've decided to leave the paint finish as it is for now, but I may try to polish it properly at some point in the future.

It was pretty cold on my driveway this morning as I was experimenting with layout options for my 'sponsor' stickers.

The good news is that I quickly realised that 'less was more' and only used the TAG & Shell ones.

Unfortunately, putting on the racing numbers turned into a complete nightmare of a job.

My first attempts on the passenger side just would not lay flat along the bottom edge.

Thankfully, I ordered four roundels, but no longer plan to fit any front & back, so I had a spare.

The spare went on much better when I moved it up the side of the cockpit a little and I thought it looked great. :cool:

But whatever I tried on the driver's side failed miserably and I ended up ruining all the remaining roundels. :rant:

At least you will now be able to judge for yourself if you think the car looks better with, or without, the numbers.

End of Part 1…

Paul L 19th November 2017 15:40

Sunday Afternoon
I then went for my first proper drive and ended up in the local industrial estate to take some photos.

I keep saying this, but one day I will remember to straighten up the suspension after I climb out. :doh:

First up, the racing number comparison:

I would need to order some new numbers and I think they would need to be slightly smaller to cope with the curved cockpit sides.
( Plus I would ask the guy who makes them to fit them for me after the mess I made this morning. )

And here are a few more photos. :cool:

I then took the car for a quick a blast along the A40/M40 to help clean out the engine/exhaust pipes a bit more.

The clear blue skies looked a lot warmer than they actually were at 70mph and the exposed parts of my face got very cold.

But given how long I've had to wait for this drive I wasn't going to complain and, as usual, the car is still spreading joy wherever it goes. :D

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

molleur 19th November 2017 16:42

Looks fantastic with or without the roundels.

JG 19th November 2017 18:34

With roundels......and paint it blue whilst your at it.

Only jokin :horn:


deggsy 20th November 2017 12:47

Super Paul absolutely Super you're making me very jealous but I'll get there one day! Time for you to enjoy all your hard work

scimjim 20th November 2017 20:30

Love roundels but I wouldn’t have that colour or font (but it’s not my car :kiss: )

Paul L 21st November 2017 14:12

Moulleur, JG, Deggsy & scimjim - Cheers chaps. :cool:

I always knew that using Barry Sheene's old number might be a bit marmite.

But it is something that reminds me of my mis-spent youth on two wheels.

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Lighting Up A Dull Day:
The roads were damp, the sky was grey, but it wasn't raining, so out I went...

First stop was to the sign shop that did my racing numbers before.

They loved the car and offered to print up some replacements while I waited. :cool:

Not easy to see in the photos, but the original ones had a black layer on top of the yellow.

Whereas, the new ones have been printed as yellow and black in one go.

Reducing the diameter by about an inch and a half should make them easier to fit.
( Plus this allowed three roundels to be printed in a row across the width of the material to save time & money. )

Note: The new ones are 'toned down' a bit and actually match the yellow and black road signs they were working on when I arrived.

Unfortunately, the guy had to dash, so I will have to apply them myself one of these days.

Next stop was the petrol station, before I finally ended up in Sainsburys.

But I took another photo from the passenger side when I got home.

I know it is a matter of personal choice, but I do prefer the side with the number on it.

To be honest, I get the same positive reaction from people on either side of the car as I go along.

Best quote over the last two days of driving came from a small boy "Wow! That's a Lamborghini." :D

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

I think Mister Towed started the tradition of photographing your car in a super market car park.

But now everyone is doing it. :rolleyes:


molleur 21st November 2017 15:35

Well done Paul. I do like the new roundels better!
Barry Sheene would be proud!

DaveP 22nd November 2017 07:13

Hi Paul,

My initial thought was don't do the roundels but now seeing both sides I prefer it with them. It's your car though so my opinion is merely that.

You need something to key against the yellow nose and the numbers do just that!

Well done that man.


PS I expect you to say at a later date "yes Dave a metallic purple Kobra is exactly the right colour"

Mick O'Malley 23rd November 2017 08:44

Can't say I'm a fan of the whole continental seven thing, I much prefer our English ones, and I'm a remainer! Roundels do set off the racing car look very well though, a nice addition, as are the understated stickers. I think the icing on the cake would be black and white plates to complete the retro look. I remember flicking my main beams on just to see the reflection back in '68 (?) each time I saw a parked car bearing them. Little things................

Regards, Mick

Paul L 23rd November 2017 14:39

Moulleur - Thanks. :cool:

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Dave - Well I have seen some very nice metallic purple Cobras.

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Mick - The good news is that it is easy to switch to traditional white roundels at a later date.

Unfortunately, my donor car is 1980 and is still too young for class black and white plates. :icon_sad:

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The sun has got his hat on…
but the wind has blown his hat right off! :eek:

Put the new driver's side roundel on and it was pretty straight forward this time around.

Then peeled off the old passenger side roundel and out a new one on that side too.

This leaves me with a 'spare' and as they are smaller, it might work on the bonnet.

But that is definitely a decision for another day.

Instead, I took the car out for a quick spin to take a few more photos.

Finally, a quick stop at Sainsburys on the way home.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

molleur 23rd November 2017 15:05

Awesome Paul!

micky1mo 23rd November 2017 18:44

PaulLYour car's looking good as usual :eusa_dance:
How are you getting on with the bonnet lifting at speed??

With the bonnet straps in place my Alpha's bonnet tended to "pant" at speed but I sorted it with a pair of bonnet pins.

They hold the bonnet very well and cut down on the road rattle of fiberglass on fiberglass. :smokin:

softfeet 25th November 2017 12:04

Lights and Horn

I have really enjoyed your build thread. Your car looks amazing, and seeing all the work and tenacity that went into building it was fascinating and, frankly, inspirational.

Now that you are using the Swordfish 'in anger', I would like to offer what I hope will be seen as helpful advice.

As an ex-biker, you probably already drive with dipped headlights on all the time. The Swordfish is absolutely tiny by modern standards and is a dark colour. With so many cars now having daylight running lights, there is a danger of your car being visibly lost and not seen. The highest point of it is probably below the window line of many SUVs. So please consider using dipped headlights all the time.

Also, make sure it has a very loud horn - I seem to remember from your build thread that it does. There was an amusing anecdote on Locostbuilders a while back about a Locost nearly being reversed into by a BMW X5 in a petrol station when the X5 driver decided to use the pump behind him and was not aware the tiny Locost was there. The X5 stopped just in time when the Locost driver sounded his loud horn.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling post and I look forward to more tales of the Swordfish 'in the wild' and its continuous development.



Paul L 26th November 2017 13:06

Molleur – Cheers. :)

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Micky1Mo – I did have a problem with the bonnet ‘flapping’ at speed when it was in primer.

But I fitted two ‘cabinet’ locks during the painting process.

These ‘hook’ under the bonnet lip in the bodyshell, which itself hangs over the Spitfire bulkhead.

I’ve only taken the car for one quick blast at motorway speed and this seems to have fixed the problem.

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softfeet – Thanks for your kind words David. :cool:

The car has a pair of ‘high’ & ‘low’ tone horns that combine to wake the dead when used. :eek:

It may sound odd, but, unless there is poor light, I am not actually a big fan of daytime running lights.

Almost 20 years of motorcycle riding taught me to assume that I wasn’t seen and drive accordingly.

I certainly take account of how small/exposed the car is when I am driving around.

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Coughing & Spluttering:
In this case, I am not talking about an engine misfire, but my own hacking cough & head cold. :rolleyes:

So, despite some clear blue skies recently, I can’t take the car out for a spin as it will only make me worse. :icon_sad:

Hopefully I will be fully recovered by next week, cheers, Paul. :)

molleur 26th November 2017 14:02

Rapid recovery Paul, too much fun to be had!

Paul L 1st December 2017 17:39

Molleur - Thanks.

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December?! :eek:

Unfortunately, I am still feeling rubbish, so no 'open air' driving for me. :icon_sad:

Although I did put my hat and gloves on to start the engine this afternoon.

The engine turns over very slowly when it is trying to start when the temperature outside is this cold, but, thankfully, it still fired up. :cool:

I now need to start getting my act together for Christmas, which is about to sneak up on me if I don't watch out.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

retro200 1st December 2017 21:15

!proper job "
nice job paul , you got there in the end after all your hard work :eusa_dance:,it looks to have just the right finish/patina to me for the style/era of car, now time to enjoy when it warms up a bit !!! regards, mick .

Paul L 8th December 2017 18:59

Retro200 - Cheers. :cool:

Whilst the final 'aged' paint finish owes more to luck, rather than judgement, I'll take it for now.

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Wind Chill:
In the end, I had to go to my GP for some antibotics, as my cought just would not go away.

So, with a slim chance of some snow arriving soon, I figured it was now, or never, for a quick blast.

Unfortunately, whilst the forecast said it was around 3 degree, they did mention the wind chill.

In fact, it was often colder sitting at traffic lights that it was driving along, although that was pretty fresh!

Don't let the sunshine fool you, it was not a Summer's day.

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Shake, Rattle & Buzz
In other news, I have been trying to cut down on the noise my bag of tools in the boot was making.

So, I've bought a couple of tool rolls…

And a slightly smaller bag which I can cram everything tightly into.

Then I bungied it into place in the boot with what is left of the yoga mat.

That takes care of any side to side movement and I just need to sort out a way of preventing it jumping up & down.

I was so cold when I got home, I forgot to take a photo of the area causing a 'buzz' in the cockpit, so I'll cover that next time.
( But it was a big relief to work out what was causing it. )

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And Finally…
A big thank you to Micky1mo who send me a pair of old Lucas reflectors.

I have to use my LED reflectors to double up as my fog lights.

But with a bit of luck, they will be the same size as these and I can use the rubber and chrome surrounds. :cool:

Unfortunately, the covers were back on the car before the post arrived, so I will check them another day.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

micky1mo 8th December 2017 19:17

I can't think of a better home for them. :yo:

Paul L 9th December 2017 15:40

Mike - Thanks again. :cool:

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Quick Test:
In between Christmas shopping, I compared the Lucas reflectors to my LED ones.

There are very close in size.

And the chrome ring fits around the LED, which has to be a good sign.

So it is definitely worth removing them to see if I can get the 'edge' profiles to match.

Which would allow the Lucas rubber to hold both the LED reflector and chrome ring in place. :cool:

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When I first fitted the seats, I forgot to tape the seat belts out of the way first. :rolleyes:

This meant the back of the seats 'trapped' the top fixing hooks in a 'pointing downward' position. :icon_sad:

They still did the job, but it was something I was never 100% happy with.

So before the 2nd MOT, I managed to use a long lever, plus some brute force and ignorance to fix this.
( Resulting in just a minor loss of skin from my knuckles. :rolleyes: )

So now, both the fixing hooks point upwards. :cool:

The problem is that the two separate plates on the passenger size buzz like crazy when I am driving around by myself. :rant:

So at some point I will add some tape/rubber in between the plates to see if that helps.

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Cordite Count:
I was thinking about this the other day and I only know of four of the original ‘Sammio Cordite’ cars that were completed and on the road.

Obviously, if anyone knows of any others, I'd love to know.




Paul L

Swifty, Viatron & Micky1Mo used the revised Cordite MkII / Navigator kits.

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Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

Paul L 10th December 2017 15:17

Let it snow…
Well, we got our first small dump of snow today.

I had to drive in it to pick up a parcel and then had to clear a path in the driveway for a sofa delivery. :eek:
( I think the delivery guys appreciated the effort I put in to make their job easier/safer. )

I'll leave you with this photo from the bottom of my garden. :cool:

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

retro200 10th December 2017 19:45

how on earth did you get that back from "easter island" lol

casamolino 11th December 2017 12:19

Morning Paul nice try with the "snow" but everybody knows that if you get more than 2 snowflakes down south the Government/BBC call a national emergency:peep: Geoff .

Paul L 12th December 2017 07:02

Retro200 - Moving it wasn't too bad, but digging the hole for the bit you can't see was hard work.


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Geoff - Unfortunately, just a few flakes of snow around here does cause an emergency. :rolleyes:

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Cheers, Paul. :)

retro200 12th December 2017 07:34

hole for statue
crikey that must have taken a couple of weekends graft with a pick + shovel !!!!

Mister Towed 12th December 2017 17:28


Originally Posted by retro200 (Post 92396)
crikey that must have taken a couple of weekends graft with a pick + shovel !!!!

Paul actually started with a ready-made, perfectly square hole, but then went at it with angle grinder, chicken wire, fibreglass and filler to achieve the rather fetching not at all square hole you now see pictured. Only took him five years to finish too. ;)

retro200 12th December 2017 21:11

"pauls hole"
nice one towed "lmao"

Paul L 13th December 2017 07:20

Mister Towed – In an attempt to avoid posting a rude reply, I’ll just say this…

Haven’t you got a new build thread to start?

”I have an RX8 five speed box sitting on a '67 spitfire chassis in my garage at the moment ready to take the engine from the 1.7 Puma sat next to it.”


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Meanwhile, back in Gotham City…
Last night there was still snow left on my car cover, so still no driving for me at the moment.

However, there is one bit of car related news, as yesterday I wrote to those nice people at Petrolicious. :cool:

I’ve been slowly working my way through their video back catalogue picking up ideas for The Harrow Job – Part 2.

As the big lesson I learned from my first video attempt was you need a way of joining different clips together.

But the simple fact is that professional film makers will always do a much better job that me and my little GoPro.

So I figured there was nothing to lose by asking nicely, as the worst that can happen is they say no.

Thankfully, Roadster and his son have already kindly offered to help with filming again.

So there will definitely be a sequel ‘sometime’ in 2018 when the warm weather returns.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 14th December 2017 17:48

Taking a leaf from Scottie22's book, I saved some sections of black leather from our old sofa.

Our new one is already in place, but I had to dismantle the old one into smaller sections...

So I could fit it all into the back of my car and take it down the dump.

At some point I will try to make gaiters for both the gear lear and hand brake from this leather.

I may also use it for the aero hump head rests, when I get the tonneau cover made.
( So they have that 'lived in' look. )

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Spotting the Wembley Henge starting to line up this morning.

Which means there isn't long to wait before the days start getting brighter again. :cool:

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Pay It Forward:
Micky1mo was kind enough to donate the Lucas rear lights and reflectors to my build. :cool:

So I now have the chance to continue the good work by donating my old plastic lights to another build.

They will be used as a temporary arrangement on Medusa over on 'Rods 'n' Sods'.

As they will be good enough for the first MOT, while the hunt continues for some more appropriate 'Steam Punk' versions.

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With a bit of luck, I will get a chance to go out for a spin in the next few days.

Until then, take care, Paul. :)

Paul L 17th December 2017 13:43

Soggy Sunday:
Our new sofa is in, the old sofa has gone, which just left the new sofa packaging in the Summerhouse to take care of.

Which was a good excuse to have a proper tidy up and rearrange the numerous boxes in there.

Believe it, or not, but there is actually a big improvement on the inside at this point, after I've made another trip to the dump.

However, I still had to work in all this mess today, so I will finish the tidying up another time.

Instead, I peeled back the covers…

So I could undo the work I had done to tidy up and tuck the wiring loom safely out of the way.

Then I could remove my LED reflectors and compare them to the Lucas rubber mounting.

First job was simple enough, just drill an extra hole for the LED wiring.

Not easy to see in the photo, but I have just made a start on removing a lip on the inside.

Removing this lip helped the different profile of the LED reflector to fit in.

As did filing down the edges of the reflector too.

Sorry about the poor photo, but the back end now worked like this.

And the front like this.
( With one done, it was much quicker to do the second one. )

Unfortunately, by this time it was raining steadily outside.

So these will be re-fitted another time.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

micky1mo 17th December 2017 17:23

The new, old style, reflectors should match you rear lights nicely!! :icon_smile:

Paul L 18th December 2017 17:10

Mike - They really do look the part, see below…

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Just one of those days...
For the second day in a row, I was outside working on the car with my breath visible due to the low temperatures.

Then what was meant to be a quick job refitting the LED reflectors turned into anything but. :rolleyes:

I noticed that there wasn't much thread to play with on the fixing bolt due to the extra layer of Lucas rubber.

I then proceeded to drop the first nut and just could not find it anywhere. :rant:

So I needed to trip to the Summerhouse to find a suitable replacement.

This time I got the nut on with no problem before proceeding to over tighten it and break the bolt out of the back of the reflector. :tape:

Oh how we laughed. :cry:

So it was back to the drawing board and I drilled a hole in the centre of the reflector.

The good news is that this allowed me to bolt the thing into position.

The bad news is that this stopped the LEDs from working. :rolleyes:

So I've ordered replacement and will try hard not to break it when I fit it.

At least I was able to get the other one in without any drama.

And despite this morning's mishap, the reflectors look great and are well worth the effort. :cool:

So, for now, I just have a single fog light working on the driver's side.

The photo above was taken around 4pm when the sun had already set.

As all the dilly dallying in the morning meant that I had a pile of domestic chores to do before I could go for a spin.

Given the number of people driving around will fully misted up windows I decided a short drive was better than nothing.

A mistake with the camera settings gave me this 'arty' shot, which I quite like.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

micky1mo 18th December 2017 20:32

Looking good !! :roll:

molleur 18th December 2017 21:05

Very nice!

micky1mo 21st December 2017 16:54

Paul L As you only need one fog light, why not set the other reflector up as a reversing light, very useful in car parks ect. . :icon_smile:

DaveP 22nd December 2017 06:30

Looking good. A quick question regarding the LED fogs is whether drilling the hole stopped them working. Did you nick a wire you think?

I ask as one of my options for my lights was to drill a hole on the centre of the reflector/light and put a white LED in that hole to act as a reversing.

If the Wiring is too close for that I will put my rear reversing lights somewhere else :)


Paul L 22nd December 2017 18:00

Mike & Molleur - Cheers chaps. :cool:

As for the reversing light, I've removed all the reversing light wiring, so I will stick with fog lights for now.
( See below. )

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Dave - The external wires are OK.

But looking at the LED light pattern, I guess there is a circuit board of some sort in use.

So even though there are no lights in the centre of the reflector, I guess there is something 'important' in the middle. :rolleyes:

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Friday Plans:
Plan A was to use the car to drop off some Christmas presents to my mum so she could see it painted.

Then I would see if I had enough time to reshape the edges of the replacement LED reflector that arrived yesterday.

Unfortunately, there was a light mist all morning, when meant I had to take my Mondeo instead.

But by the time I got home the weather had finally started to clear up a bit, although it was still grey.

So I managed to get out for an hour, which is around 15 miles in traffic, but I had a few good bursts in the middle.

Stopped off on Harrow Hill for a few photos on the way home.

Then decided to turn up the final slope to the church on the very top (where the Harrow Job video ends).

There I was greeted by a small crowd all very well dressed and a professional photographer clicking away.

Turns out there was a wedding about to start, so I quickly turned around.

Thankfully, I managed to get out of the way just as the bride arrived. :cool:

So just time for one quick photo and I was on my way.

So that's all for now, cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 23rd December 2017 17:05

Odd Jobs:
It was an early start as I was at Sainsburys at 7am for the final bits for Christmas dinner.

It was almost 3pm before I could start working on the car.

First job was to remove the broken LED reflector, start the the engine & switch on the fog lights.

This allowed me to check the wiring of the new LED reflector.

I then filed down the edges of the reflector so that it would fit into the Lucas rubber mounting and refitted it.

I had two other jobs to do in the boot while it was 'open'.

The first was to swap the standard nuts on the locating lugs for nyloc ones.
( As these were shaking themselves loose when I was driving along. )

I had also been having trouble with one of the boot lid locks not wanting to close.

Eventually, I spotted that it was fouling here.

Unfortunately, by this stage it was dark outside, so the following photos are rubbish.

But I covered the rear of the car up...

And ground the area back a bit to give me some more clearance.
( I'll repaint this black another day. )

The good news is that both rear fog lights are now working again.

The bad news is that I noticed a big chip in the paint in one corner of the boot opening.

And the engine blew oil all over my wife's car a few feet away.
( So I had to wash that down when I was finished. )

Despite being lit by the street light in the photo, the rear end really does look the part now. :cool:

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

Paul L 24th December 2017 06:46

"This is only one more sleep 'til Christmas."

Which means it is time to log of the computer and get ready for the big day.

So I hope you all have a good one.

Merry Christmas, Paul. :)

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