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Paul L 18th February 2018 14:43

Last Man Standing
My wife and daughters spent most of the half term week ill with a cough/cold.

Unfortunately, I've now got it as well, so all I did today was to peel back the covers and start the engine.

The only good news is that the battery seemed fine today, as it sounded like it was dying last time I started the car.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 24th February 2018 13:03

Short Sharp Shocks:
I'd forgotten to send a birthday card in time, which was a good excuse to drop it around in person.

This area is also a good example of the madness that is the London property market.

My mate and his sister bought their first house in this area in 1995 and spent less that £100k.

These days, these little two bedroom terrace houses will set you back over £800k, bonkers!

I also took the scenic route to Sainsburys, where this pickup was HUGE!

So around 14 miles yesterday and 9 miles today, which isn't much, but better than nothing.

Also, if it wasn't so cold, the sunshine and clear blue skies would be a real joy to drive in.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 3rd March 2018 05:27

Winter Wonderland:
No chance of taking the car out for a spin in this weather, so here are a few snow photos instead.

Unfortunately, my camera couldn't capture just how 'blood red' the sun rise was.

This was the first day of snow arriving here.

After a few days the driveway was looking like this.

Whilst we've had snow here before, the icicles hanging off the car cover were something new.

Take care, Paul. :)

Paul L 10th March 2018 08:42

Quiet week:
A combination of work and weather meant I only managed a 6 mile 'scenic route' round trip to Sainsburys last week. :rolleyes:

Then to make things worse I discovered that the micro heater has sprung a leak 'somewhere'.

I hope it is just a jubilee clip on a hose needing tightening. :pray:

But I need some dry weather to start crawling around in the footwells with a torch to find the problem.

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

Paul L 18th March 2018 12:40

Swings and Roundabouts:
I did get a chance to go on a longer detour (just under 20 miles) to Sainsburys on Friday which was very nice.

The 3 series convertible arrived after I had parked and I couldn't help but wonder what car design Tribute could bolt to it. :icon_wink:

Without doubt, it was the warmest day I'd driven in for months, but there was rain in the forecast, so I didn't push my luck.

Saturday was spent driving taking my wife and eldest daughter on a University campus tour.
( Snow while driving there and back and as we walked around outside the various buildings. :rolleyes: )

Which meant this was the scene outside first thing this morning.

With a bit of luck, this will be the last of the snow and the good weather will finally arrive.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 23rd March 2018 18:38

Some Small Signs of Spring…
Got a chance to go for a proper drive this afternoon and there was real sunshine on the car today. :cool:

Unfortunately, by the time I'd reached St.Albans the sky was looking like this.
( Photo taken while I was stuck at a set of temporary traffic lights. )

So I decided to take the M1 south to save a bit of time, even though it is alway nerve racking. :eek:

Cheers, Paul. :)

DaveP 24th March 2018 08:37

Looking good Paul !

Loving that green. And the wheels ... yummy


Paul L 7th April 2018 14:15

Dave - Cheers. :cool:

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A few more miles…
A combination of family stuff, work and wet weather have kept me out of the car for a while now. :icon_sad:

But I did get a chance to use the car for a 'drop off' on Thursday evening, setting off around 6.45pm.

Heavy evening traffic heading into London meant 6 miles in 30 minutes. :rolleyes:

Then it was back again just as some street lights were coming on, so this was me back home around 7.45pm.

I also have a small time window earlier today and headed into Harrow shopping centre.

Quite by chance, the 8th floor of the car park was pretty empty so I got a few photos.

Unfortunately, I had my small camera with me and it struggled to cope with the contrast in light.

I remembered to made a note of the mileage today and I've now clocked up just over 1,600 miles on the road. :cool:

In other news, I baked my first batch of chocolate chip cookies on Tuesday night.

As you can see, I need to leave a bit more space for the cookies to expand during cooking. :rolleyes:

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

molleur 7th April 2018 18:49

Or, make the cookies smaller.
Glad you are getting out and enjoying the car!

Paul L 15th April 2018 06:15

Molleur - "I like big cookies and I can not lie.
You other brothers can't deny…"


My first batch of cookies were for an event at work, where, despite their shape, they were all eaten.

Then my wife and daughters complained that I should have saved three for them to try. :rolleyes:

So I made a second batch, which were miles better & looked more like 'real' cookies (but I forgot to take any photos).

The key differences were:
- Halved the ingredients to make just five cookies per tray.
- Switched Lurpak butter to Stork Cakes (which my daughters use).
- Left the 'balls' of cookie mix in the fridge to chill a while before baking (an internet tip).

But that is more than enough about baking, so back to getting out and enjoying the car...

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Sunny Saturday…
Despite the beautiful sunny morning, I had to put domestic chores ahead of taking the car out.

Thankfully, the sun was still shining when I finally headed out after lunch.

So I took a chance and dusted off my summer hat and gloves.

I also chanced wearing just my light blue polo shirt, but did leave a jumper in the passenger seat.

At slow speeds, with the sun out, it was lovely and warm. :cool:

At anything over 50mph, or if there was shade, it was a bit chilly, but I wasn't going to complain.

The car continues to get extremely positive reactions wherever I go.

Hearing a small child say "Wow! Look at that car!" will always gladden the heart.

But my favourite comment of the day came as I crawled through St.Albans traffic...

"It even smells like an old racing car." :D

Unfortunately, that would be due to the oil leaking onto the hot exhaust pipe (see below).

Obviously, convertibles with their roofs down were everywhere, including a nice red F Type.

Also passed a McClaren, 3 Ferraris, 2 Aston Martins, 2 Maseratis, 1 BMW i8, countless Porsches, etc.

Only saw one classic car out (a TR2/3?) and to this day I've still never seen a Sammio/Tribute/Miglia/Formosa/etc. on the road.

I clocked up just under 70 miles and was out for almost 3 hours including stops for petrol and photos.

Found a modern industrial estate for the photos.

Which reminds me that I really do need to wash the car at some point as it has been a long Winter.

Parked the car on the street when I got home…

Which allowed me to check the oil when everything had cooled down.

Note the mud sprayed all over the inside of the bonnet.

Unfortunately, I'm still leaking / burning oil, so I will have to get that looked at by a professional at some point.

This was the oil left on the street during the short time I was parked before moving back onto my driveway.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

Mick O'Malley 15th April 2018 07:18

Mud Glorious Mud

Originally Posted by Paul L
Note the mud sprayed all over the inside of the bonnet.

I don't have a picture, but the A352 also suffers from this. A couple of weeks ago I had to unavoidably drive though standing water, which resulted in a misfire from wet electrics. I pressed on and engine heat soon dried it out, but, with my Le Mans trip coming up, I'm wondering if splash guards might be a good idea?

Regards, Mick

Paul L 21st April 2018 05:43

Mick – Building some sort of splash guards is on my “To Do” list.

I quite liked the way Jerome fixed this problem on his Sypder.
( As I don’t want to mess about with the bonnet any more. )

I always remember these photos as they came when he had the car craned over his house! :eek:

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Despite the beautiful sunny weather around here lately, I’ve not had a chance to go for a drive. :icon_sad:

Work is very hectic at the moment and the good weather also brings a load of domestic chores too.

So in the last week, I’ve:
- Given the grass its first ‘high’ cut of the year to tidy it up a bit (OL, a lot).
- Given the garden furniture a couple of coats of protective oil.
- Given the Bar-B-Q a post winter clean too.

Which meant that on Thursday night we were able to have our first family BBQ. :cool:

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I’ve got to put a few hours of ‘real’ work in over the weekend, but I hope to get out in the car at some point.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 29th April 2018 15:37

Grey Sunday
It was just after 2pm when I finally had a chance to go out for a drive today.

My woolly hat was back and I also went for my 'Autumn' black leather gloves.

But I should have picked my winter ones, as it was COLD!

After around 45 minutes I actually had to stop in a garden centre cafe to warm up a bit. :eek:

Then it felt like rain was coming, so I called it a day after just over an hour's driving and around 20 miles covered.
( Note: The clouds were so dark I was making a point of not heading too far from the house 'just in case'.)

Cheers, Paul. :)

Mister Towed 29th April 2018 17:44

Is that a G Wagon you've parked next to? It looks huge.

Paul L 3rd May 2018 19:06

Mr T - :D

Jokes aside, I keep looking at cars like this and wondering what Tribute could do with them.

Note: I'm just looking, with absolutely zero chance of building anything else for years to come. :rolleyes:

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Very Busy
I hope to catch up with a load of forum replies over the weekend, as work has been manic lately. :icon_sad:

But I do have one small bit of car related news…

I saw an advert on Ebay for 5kg of alloy off cuts for £20 + P&P, so I thought I would take a chance...

Despite having a full mix of sizes on display, the advert was very clear that what you get would be 'pot luck'.

At this point, I am only thinking about covering the main sections of the cockpit sides, not the rear cockpit wall.
( Mainly because it took me so long to fit the seats I just can't face removing them to get access. )

So as a guide, the short & fat piece in the centre is 30cm x 40cm and the cockpit sides are around 1m x 50cm.

Which means I will need to create some sort of overlapping patchwork quilt design see what that looks like.

Until then, take care, Paul. :)

Jaguartvr 4th May 2018 06:11

I bought the same batch and it has proved invaluable. I also bought a second-hand bench shear, £40 on eBay. This makes cutting a breeze, square edges with no distortion. The bench shear is one of (the many) invaluable tools that you never knew you needed until you had one.

Paul L 6th May 2018 07:01

Jag - I know my patch work quilt will be nothing more than a 'veneer', but I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do.

Whilst the bench shear does sound like a good piece of kit, I don't actually have a bench! :icon_wink:

So expect my handiwork to be as rough and ready as the rest of this build.

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Saturday Slog
My reward for a tough week at work was to take my wife and daughters on a shopping trip to Uxbridge. :rolleyes:

But it got worse, as my wife has borrowed a pressure washer and the driveway was on her hit list.

So I had to move everything that I've been using to jack up the car, or hold stuff down, which was neatly stacked on the drive.

I only carried it through the house and onto the patio, as it was too hot to continue to the bottom of the garden.

Then my garage wall needed a trim.

Before I had to cut and edge the verge (more about that later).

Then I could move my car off the drive, before being sent to mow the lawn and blow up the paddling pool. :rant:

When my chores were finally complete, I noticed just how much oil was blown over my wife's car and I was only idling for a few minutes. :eek:

Then I had to stick my head in the passenger footwell, with my feet hanging over the rear of the cockpit, so sort out my heater leak.

Most of the photos I took were rubbish, but this was after I'd removed the heat shield material from around the heater & hoses.

There was some slack in the jubilee clips, so I really hope that tightening these up has fixed the problem.

Especially as the only way to tighten one clip, was to loosen it fully, reposition it for a better screwdriver angle, and then re-tighten it.

At which point I had engine coolant pouring down on me in a space I could barely move it and struggled to get back out of. :rolleyes:

Then it was time for the car to get washed for the first time since I got back on the road last November.

But before I started, I noticed another problem, as I'd clearly had a petrol leak that has bubbled and stained the paint. :icon_sad:

My only thought is that I didn't secure the cap properly when I last filled up.

Washing the car ended up being quite depressing really, as whatever problems I have with my paint (white marks) are clearly there to stay for now.

But even if I have inadvertently ended up with a 'survivor' finish, I still love my car and all it represents. :cool:

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I'll end this update by returning to why I had to tidy up the verge earlier in the day…

While I was trimming the hedge, my wife was chatting to the lady next door and my promise to take her to church in the Swordfish came up.

Now given all the mess and noise my neighbours had to put up with during the build, the offer of a drive was the least I could do.

She was even happy to wait until the car was painted, as I did offer to keep my promise when the car was on the road in grey primer.

So as tomorrow (now today) was forecast to be the first real warm Sunday since the car was painted, we made it a date. :cool:

Given the fact she is 82, I wanted to sort out the verge out so that I could park along side it to help her get it.

We just need to practise getting her out before we go, as that is the part my mum struggled with given how low the car sits.

Which meant that by the time the car was clean and I finally had some time to myself it was just gone 6pm.

So I decided to go for a quick spin to double check the route to her church which is a few miles from here.

It was a lovely evening, still lots of sunshine and no drop in the hot temperature, so a T-shirt was more than enough.

Along the way, my rear view mirror was filled with a white Rolls Royce Phantom Convertible with the roof down, something like this.

At which point, the traffic ahead slowed to a snails pace and were both just crawling along for all around to see.

But you couldn't make up what happened for the next 10 minutes until we went our separate ways at a roundabout…

I must have got 20, or so, positive reactions and the poor Roller (which may have even been chauffeur driven) got tumbleweed. :D

From people walking past on both sides of the road saying nice things to children pointing & waving (obviously I wave back).

Plus cars coming the other way also commenting, flashing their lights, hooting, giving a thumbs up, etc. as they passed (even a bus driver).

If ever there was a journey to confirm that I am needlessly worrying about the standard of my paint job, this was it. :cool:

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Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

Mister Towed 6th May 2018 08:14

Did you leave your tank full by any chance, Paul? If so the petrol may well have expanded in the heat and overflowed out of the filler.

Nice to see you're still enjoying your car at every opportunity, I really miss mine so need to get my Speedster on the road asap.

You have my deepest sympathy regarding wife borrowing pressure washer for you to use. Mine has plans for me to do some 'gardening' (whatever that is) today. :(

micky1mo 6th May 2018 10:43

Paul L I have some 0.9mm sheet aluminium here so if you cut a template you welcome to call-in and have what you need. :icon_smile:

Paul L 7th May 2018 06:45

Mr T - I try hard not to fill the tank to the brim, mainly to avoid spilling petrol over the paint. :rolleyes:

But it is possible the car could have over heated under the covers. :icon_sad:

Just to be clear, my wife was the one using the pressure washer (borrowed from one of her friends).

So it was my car and associated bits of wood/brick/etc. that were in the way and needed to be moved NOW! :icon_wink:

By chance I was talking about your car yesterday (see below) and your Speedster is already looking good. :cool:

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Mike - Thanks for the kind offer. :cool:

I had a look at how the patch work quilt might work yesterday (see below), so I'll keep you posted.

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Sleepy Sunday
First job of the day was to carry all the wood and bricks from the patio to the bottom of the garden.

Then I had to move my normal car, so there was enough space to park the Swordfish next to the kerb.

To say I was gutted to see a fresh leak from the heater when I removed the covers would be an understatement. :icon_sad:

But there was no time to fix that now, as I had a 'date' and needed to get out of my working clothes.

Fair play to my 82 year old neighbour, Betty, who climbed into the car with no issues whatsoever. :cool:

Obviously, I took it easy and we had a very pleasant trip to church and, thankfully, she also had no problems getting out either.

Which means I've now taken two ladies in their 80s out for a spin, but my teenage daughters still wouldn't be seen dead in it. :rolleyes:

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I was able to take a slightly scenic route home, via meeting my wife in Sainsburys, as we were having a small BBQ in the afternoon.

Along the way, I passed an interesting looking car in front of a garage, so I turned around, parked up and stopped for a chat.

Turns out it was a two seater 1927 Lancia Lambda with a V4 engine and the owner, in his 70s/80s, was a complete star. :cool:

He knew all the car's history, originally owner by a Contessa, fibreglass front wings added by a later artist owner, bonnet extended, etc.

He also wins the prize for best 'What is it?' question asked to date… "Is that a Sprite based special?" :D

I dropped Mr T's homage to the Lancia D24 evocation into the conversation, along with the straight 12 'Medusa' from Rods 'n' Sods.

Could have chatted for hours, but we were both supposed to be somewhere else, so we said our goodbyes.

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Then it was more gardening, before manning the Bar-B-Q, where the heat from the grill combined with the heat from the sun slowly cooked me!

By the time we'd eaten, the fact I've had a hectic few weeks finally caught up with me and I needed to have an afternoon nap to recover. :rolleyes:

End of Part 1…

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