Thursday, 17 September 2015

Riding the Mountains, getting her home ..

It's a funny thing.. you spend plenty of time preparing for an event and then it's all over so fast. Yesterday we returned home from what I can only describe as a truly epic event.. The Riley, 83yrs old, got us all the way down through France into Spain and over some very tricky mountains.. some 2500 miles! getting as high as up to 4700ft in the Pyrenees.

We certainly had our problems along the way, to include fuel tank holed (really can't prepare for that one!) blown fuses, suspension mods, fried wires, blown bulbs.. the usual and we took plenty of spares with us! .. mechanically she was just amazing, didn't miss a beat. She only over heated once, but we were up high! glad we fitted an electric fan with manual switch : )

tunnelling through the mountains in Spain

Most of the trip is was beautifully sunny, we did however his some torrential rain and thunder coming through France... Difficult driving with no windscreen! but again, proper preparation with wet weather gear is no different to riding a bike. The secret is to stay dry and keep dry.

Lots of other cars and bikes on the tour, to include Porsches, Morgan's and Jaguars..and some 50's bikes..

It's hard work navigating and driving, (and fixing stuff along the way) but that's the challenge. Would I do it again.. YES!!!  question is what car next?

Stay tuned.. the Riley gets a well earned rest and I get back to the Allard.. want to get this finished and fired up next! ..

Monday, 7 September 2015

Mountain men and technology

Over the weekend we drove the 700 miles down through France, Le Mans, Poitiers, Bordeaux and across the border to San high in the mountains touring some truly breathtaking scenery. 
Transmitting live data via Freescale equipment and IBM software, amazing technology in an 82yr old car!!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Launch day! - Tour Begins..

One minute you have months ahead of you to plan, decide on jobs to do, modifications to make and how you would love the car to look and run.. The reality of it is, and I know full well from past experience, that things like (the other stuff in your life) and unforeseen issues with the car pop up and they intern create other unforeseen problems and issues that need resolving and reworking.

 ... if you haven't already done so, read 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'  

Back in April when the car was purchased, we assessed was it a 'goer' for a 3k km tour? Basically we had a list of jobs to do and drew a line at a point where we knew our 'go point' .. We have managed to get well beyond the go point and so fingers crossed the car is in good shape and we are good to go!!

To amuse you these are some of the issues we had to deal with, most in the last week! No blaming, just sorting and shakedown..

- Flat inner tube on a brand new tyre and tube (faulty valve ripped)
- Tachometer cable snapped 
 -Indicators failed to flash correctly (incorrectly documented back to front Japanese LED flasher unit)
- wiring fry up to the back end, lost brake lights... Previous wire fire, rain shorted out circuit during 'wet testing'
Battery totally dry and failing , fitted new one (and taken spare)
Water temp gauge busted, fitted another one
Coil cooked, fitted a new one.

Carrying many, many spares, all sourced and working prior to storage. We have tried to get an much plug and play equipment as possible onboard. coil, distributor, belts, relays, fuses etc etc .. 

We have actually fitted carpet in the footwells! no not for any aesthetic reasons, purely to stop road grot and dust flying up through the wooden floor. You forget just how mucky roads are these days when in the confines of an everyday modern car.

Lots of Pics to follow as we get under way, heading for the cross channel ferry, Portsmouth to Le Havre.

wish us luck.. we will need it!!