News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: My very first car ajemp  (Read 7027 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AlanH

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Appreciation 27
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2015, 08:48:15 »
"Having dumped the best part of a gallon of new oil over the garage floor".  That brings back memories OldMuzza. While I was waiting for a cab drivers position to be available for Graham Vokes, I worked at his workshop on Old Road back of his house on New Road which housed the 2-way radio etc.
Changed the oil on a Vauxhall Victor one day and was pouring new oil in when Eddy ? his mechanic and book cooker walked in and said "Take a lot of oil those engines don't they?"
"Yes" I replied "I must have put a gallon in already, how much do they take?" "Not as much if you put the bung in the hole" Eddy said "It's all running down the road behind you".
And it was, straight out between my legs and down the gutter and down the hill.
Not quite a first car story but  first car I'd worked on for someone else.  :)
AlanH.


Offline OldMuzza

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Appreciation 8
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2015, 17:45:55 »
Very true, Ajemp, that A40 was hard work. But great for "hands-on learning" - like learning that simply heaving on a spanner will most likely either strip threads or shear a stud, or that thin paper doesn't usually make a decent gasket for an oil-chest. I learnt both the hard way!

I was helping my dad replace the rocker-cover after some routine work  and an over-exuberant pull on a spanner resulted in the top part of one of the two over-length studs that secured the cover shearing off. He wasn't best pleased!  Luckily there was enough stud left for the cover to be nipped up, so we didn't have to try to remove the broken stud. Since then, not too many disasters although I did learn that even using a torque-wrench doesn't always provide insurance against a breakage.

As for the gasket, I had removed the covers to access the cam-followers and having no cork replacements, thought that waxed paper would make a suitable substitute. Having dumped the best part of a gallon of new oil over the garage floor I discovered that it didn't!

But as you say, at least you could work on the things, unlike modern cars.

Offline Ajemp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Appreciation 15
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2015, 11:51:55 »

 Hi old muzza, that a40 sounded like a lot of work,  but in those days what choice had we ,some thing was always going wrong,  brakes, steering, engine,....but it was satisfaction when it was running well ,
                     

at least you could repair them then..... not like these hi tech cars of today computers, electronic brains  etc.

Offline OldMuzza

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Appreciation 8
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2015, 15:29:54 »
My first car was a 1951 Austin A40 Devon (GS3 series) that I acquired in 1966 registration MLO 457, it having been the family car since my father bought it a few years earlier with the express intention of using it to take the family on holiday to the West Country. It was grey, with dull, pitted bright-work and a white-painted rear bumper – the chrome was long-gone and the base-metal was rusty. It had a sun-roof but a previous owner had sealed it shut – I did consider attempting to restore it to working condition but never did – probably a wise move.

My dad and I spent many-a happy hour hacking out the rusted door sills and fabricating new ones before the trip to the West-Country. We also changed the engine – by the road-side outside of our house – without the aid of lifting gear. We put the car onto (home-made) ramps, dropped the old engine out through the bottom and lifted the new one into place with the aid of a length of telegraph-pole arm resting on the windscreen scuttle and a couple of lengths of rope. I lifted the engine as far as possible when it was supported on blocks, the ropes shortened and the process repeated until the engine was at the correct height. I then held the weight of the engine, hanging off the telegraph-pole arm resting on my shoulder, whilst my dad manoeuvred the engine into place and fitted the engine-bearers, while all the time the neighbours looked on  without any offers of assistance – something that cost them dearly – literally - when they subsequently came to my dad wanting cheap TV and radio repairs. The imprint of my sweater on my shoulder was visible for days.

The car took us to the West Country in the summer of 1964 but broke down on the way home with a cracked cylinder-head. Luckily we had a spare head (from the old engine) so we were able to fix it without too much problem, but from  that day on the car was never driven without a spare, built-up, head in the boot just in case it happened again. Those were the days when you could change a cylinder-head by the roadside with just a couple of spanners and a screwdriver.

This particular car, being one of the later models, had a column gear-change. When correctly adjusted it gave positive gear selection, but if the cable that controlled movement across the “gate” was too tight it was impossible to select any gear, whilst if too loose gear selection was very much a lottery!

Selection of reverse gear was controlled by a pulling out the knob on the end of the gear-change. I discovered, however, that it was possible to engage reverse gear whilst travelling forwards at relatively high speed when what should have been a third-gear to second-gear downwards shift became a third-gear to reverse-gear shift! The fearsome metallic CLANG from under the floor alerted me to the possibility of miss-selection, and stopping the car before cautiously lifting the clutch confirmed it! No damage was evident, either then or later, and I found that double-declutching seemed to provide a remedy to the problem, as well as allowing selection of the non-synchromesh first gear whilst on the move.

During the time I had the car I was working in Dover, travelling down on a Sunday evening and returning at the weekend, subject to shift patterns. Those were the days of compulsory parking-lights at night and by the end of the week the battery was usually more or less flat – certainly there was never enough power to spin the engine on the starter. Luckily there was a starting handle, so a flat battery wasn’t too much of an issue. The night before returning home I would drive down to the local garage and get a gallon or so of petrol (about 4/6d - £0.22 -  or so per gallon) and drive around for a bit to boost the battery.

On one memorable Thursday, having bought my fuel, I stuck the starting handle into place and gave it a swing. There was an almighty BANG followed by clouds of smoke billowing out through the front grill. “Interesting!”  I thought – “The darned thing has blown up and we have a fire in a petrol station”.  The smoke cleared, and no flames appeared so I cautiously released the hood and looked inside – everything seemed normal. I tried to start it using the starter – which it did quite happily but very loudly – would have put a racing-car to shame! I assumed that I had blown a hole in the silencer but further investigation revealed it was even better than that – the silencer had been blown more or less off and was located by the rear axle rather than in its usual place. It proved impossible to bend the rusty silencer-casing in such a way as to secure it in its proper place so I had to drive home on an “open pipe” a journey that took me past Canterbury police-station in the middle of a Friday evening rush-hour.  A very light right foot was the order of the day!

The sequel to this bit of excitement was the replacement silencer falling off – at night, in the pouring rain – on the journey back to Dover. A pleasant half-hour or so laying in the mud and pouring rain on the Barham Downs putting the darned thing back on. The joys of motoring ......... .

This car also had the famous re circulatory heater that didn’t seem to heat very much at all and re-circulated mainly cold air. This may have been due to poor water circulation that could have been a root-cause of the cracked cylinder head.  Ice on the inside of the wind-shield was common place and winter driving entailed wearing leather driving gloves and, usually, a thick coat. I usually had blankets stuffed between the driving seat and the door to reduce the draught.

I ran ‘457 for two or three years and, I suppose, it was generally pretty reliable all said and done. But when, quite suddenly, driving was accompanied by clouds of blue smoke from the rear and oil consumption was about 20 miles per pint with petrol consumption at 30 miles or so per gallon, I decided to “move on” when investigation revealed broken piston rings. I couldn’t be bothered to strip and rebuild the engine so I scrapped it and bought a Morris Minor series II, registration JBW 88, that must have been the biggest lemon of all time.

But that’s another story ........ .

Offline Ajemp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Appreciation 15
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2015, 17:47:34 »


 Peterchall,recall that company was  a drapers.

Offline peterchall

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
  • Appreciation 186
  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2015, 17:32:56 »
Hi Peterchall, can you recall a shop on the New road  that the owner had a  BRADFORD VAN  it was always parked on the road  out side of the shop? when  you could park with ease .....the shop is now selling  wedding dresses.
No Ajemp, I don't recall the van, but do know the shop. Russell's Garage, where I worked in 1953, were Jowett and Jaguar agents, which is why I'm familiar with the Bradford van.

Ah! Reverse gearboxes (peterchall), another to feature this was the Skoda `Octavia`. Completely used to fox my father-in-law but for those of us who had driven both Dennis `Lancet` (which featured this) and Guy `Arab` buses in the same days work the transition was no problem.
And there was the other oddity, vehicles with the accelerator between the clutch and brake pedals! One would have thought it to be highly dangerous, but somehow you managed to remember which pedal was which. I think one such vehicle was the Morris-Commercial 15cwt van
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Ajemp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Appreciation 15
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2015, 17:17:31 »

   Like Mickleburgh, the memories of old cars  passion wagons, I drove  to the country side  with my girlfriend ,parked up  in a sucluded spot ,  said to her do you want to get in the back?...........she said  NO I WANT TO STAY IN THE  FRONT WITH YOU!!!!!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ajemp

KeithJG

  • Guest
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2015, 16:26:05 »
My first motor was this 1953 Hillman Minx Estate with an OHV 1390 engine, was 4 speed column change but separate front seats.

Bought it for £35 in 1966 from Yantlett Creek, no not in the creek but from the cottages there.

Had it a while but my college friend from Sheerness bought it from me and when he had finished with it the car ended up on a totem pole in Sheerness Scrapyard by the canal.

I only found out as my step relations lived in Maple Street next to the canal and on a visit i saw it up on this pole as an advert for the yard.....

Another of my motors in the `60`s was this Jaguar £80 ( my wages were £36pw) which my foreman`s Father owned but was covered over in the corner of a warehouse over the river in Silvertown.

Hadn`t been used for years and he put a battery on and it fired up straight away.

Came back to Medway over the free Woolwich ferry and did 110mph ...next day i found out i had done that speed on remoulds...Lol

After about 9 months sold it for £10 to a workmate as nobody wanted a big motor and it ended up in Upnor Woods on fire with a gas cylinder lit under the tanks. It is probably still there as a rust bucket?

I have had about 40 cars mostly performance ones Mexico, Lotus Cortinas, Mini Cooper etc.

Now have a Mercedes C320CDI.

Online Mickleburgh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 146
  • Appreciation 9
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2015, 15:52:46 »
 :) All this misty eyed memories of the cars of ones youth prompts a thought: were not bench front seats, column gear shifts and umbrella stick handbrakes so much more conducive to those `heavy petting` sessions on promising dates? How we would have fared in some of these modern cars I dread to think.

KeithJG

  • Guest
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2015, 15:50:08 »
  HI Stewie, 
                  I found it great  fun in breakers yards  putting the odd bits  and bobs in my pocket bulbs etc. Mollys yard was my favorite . there was a man who could have been Mollys  husband  called Tony very helpful, spent many a sunday morning  lying in mud trying to remove parts.

I used Molly`s place thoughout the `60`s for parts.

I can`t remember her husbands name but he did have jaw bone transplants because of cancer and he died.

They used to live in the green caravan on-site.

Not long after he died i asked her where she was going on holiday to have a break from the yard and she said Los Angeles...so me and my mates said oh! great for you to get away and we said you will be going on a Jumbo Jet then....she turned around and said `eff off i`m going in style on Concorde and she did and we all laughed because now she was living it up.

Online Mickleburgh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 146
  • Appreciation 9
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2015, 14:56:16 »
Ah! Reverse gearboxes (peterchall), another to feature this was the Skoda `Octavia`. Completely used to fox my father-in-law but for those of us who had driven both Dennis `Lancet` (which featured this) and Guy `Arab` buses in the same days work the transition was no problem.

Offline Ajemp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Appreciation 15
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2015, 14:47:55 »
  HI Stewie, 
                  I found it great  fun in breakers yards  putting the odd bits  and bobs in my pocket bulbs etc. Mollys yard was my favorite . there was a man who could have been Mollys  husband  called Tony very helpful, spent many a sunday morning  lying in mud trying to remove parts.

Offline Stewie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
  • Appreciation 16
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2015, 13:41:18 »
Ford Escort 1300L OKP 714M in Daytona Yellow. Still remember this car with great fondness. Probably spent more money on it than I should, getting it resprayed and other repairs and ‘upgrades’ but it got Mrs Stewie and Me to Cornwall (even ‘Lands End’) in the days before the M25 went all the way round. It had drum brakes all round and dynamo so braking required some anticipation and stopping at night times in the rain meant that the lights went dim and the windscreen wipers slowed down!
Because I had been a former ‘demo’ mode for Swale motors it had ‘Hazard’ lights and a three speed fan as additional equipment. I used to spend my weekend in the breakers yards in Strood sourcing spare parts and learnt a lot about cars during this period.
 :)

Offline Ajemp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Appreciation 15
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2015, 12:58:31 »

   Hi Peterchall, can you recall a shop on the New road  that the owner had a  BRADFORD VAN  it was always parked on the road  out side of the shop? when  you could park with ease .....the shop is now selling  wedding dresses.

Offline peterchall

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
  • Appreciation 186
  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: My very first car ajemp
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2015, 12:40:52 »
Vauxhalls set the industry standard for rust. Those were the days when, having paid good money for a new car, you then accepted it as the norm to pay more to have it Undersealed. It was probably the first Japanese imports that provided the wake-up call for British (and European?) manufacturers.

Carrying on Micleburgh's post, a feature of the Bradford van was that it had a flat opposed cylinder engine with only two cylinders.

Another feature, if I remember correctly, was the gear positions being the ‘wrong way’ round. Instead of the usual 3-speed box positions with reverse and 1st on the left and 2nd and 3rd on the right, it had reverse and 1st on the right and 2nd and 3rd on the left.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines