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Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2014 Almanac - FROM JUST £1.50 EXTRA*; a genuine bargain for this essential publication! For more details on this super diary - worth up to £9.95 plus p&p alone, click here. As usual, in our latest issue - in the year where we celebrate our 25th Year of Publication - we've a run down on all that's best in the classic car world! In the February issue, On Your Marques looks at news from the clubs, with a preview of the Club Expo at Gaydon. Magpie looks at Fakin' It..., and in the Spannerman column the old boy talks about Spannerman & Dictionary Corner. Plus, our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware while Peter Love gives us another Love Steam and Commercial Break. There are news snippets galore, our Letters column, and our look at the world of the autojumbling with The Secret Autjumbler, and we have loads of show previews and more. We check out the big upcoming events, take a look at The Autojumble, Donington Restoration Show, and more. Landers Lobby talks of The Need For Speed, we have news of Silverstone's 50th British Grand Prix, plust we publish the Giant 2014 Diary Part 2. There are more Tales From The Lock Man another of Fordie's Favourites, and lots more. Look out for all the news and snippets; no better time than now to think about that subscription than the February issue!!
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CHANNEL ISLAND HOME - A CARRERA GT STORY
TINY ISLAND OF JERSEY
in the English Channel is 80 miles from the south coast of England but
only fourteen from France and yet is considered part of the United Kingdom.
"...I WONDER WHAT
THE DICTIONARY definition of a “conundrum” is? Well, my
Concise Oxford Dictionary tells me that the origin of the word is apparently
sixteenth century but unknown, and the two possible definitions are “a
riddle, especially one with a pun in its answer” and “a hard or
So yes, I am correct in saying that we like a good conundrum down at the Chequered Flag.
Two of these puzzlers that set our minds to work over the festive period were the Myths of the Month talked about back in December. The first of these was from Melvyn Dover, and here’s a reminder of what he wanted to know about on the topic of uni-directional tyres. “..that “most modern tyres are designed for LH drive cars, i.e. meant for driving on the RH side, this is to account for road camber.” Surely if this were the case then modern cars in this country would all be heading straight for the ditch. Can you explain please?” We came to the conclusion that this was to do with the relative strength of the side walls of the tyres. Let’s just think about the situation if you were in a left hand drive car driving on the right hand side of the road. Your left hand road wheels would be towards the centre of the road, and this means that your right hand wheels would, of course, be towards the outside of the road near the gutter. As regular readers will know, we’ve often had cause to consider the camber of the road surface. This is all about how the road surface is not flat from side to side, but rather it has a raised, relatively flat, section in the centre of the road, and as the edge of the road is reached, the surface falls away towards the gutter. All of this talk of “flat” and “falling away” is relative, so is not extremely pronounced, but it can be seen on most roads.
If we continue thinking along these lines, we can soon see that the tyre that is in the centre of the road usually travels on a flat surface, whilst the tyre towards the edge of the road has to allow for the fact that its tread will usually be on a surface with a predominately left to right slope. The type of uni-directional tyres mentioned by Melvyn are specifically made for the left hand and right hand side of the car. So the tyres on the right hand side of the car are slightly tweaked in their design to allow for this difference in the road surface. As soon as you bring a set of those tyres to a country where the driving is done on the left, the tyre characteristics do not meet the requirements of the camber of the road.
Now this minor difference in design wouldn’t be so great as to affect the steering of the car, so that’s the reason why modern cars in this country are not all heading for the ditch. And I have to say now that everything written on the subject of uni-directional tyres and road camber was the result of a fairly entertaining evening down at the Chequered Flag. So I think now it’s about time I got a little expert opinion brought to bear on the matter. I’ll follow that one up and let you know what I find out.
The next conundrum we discussed was from Brian Kelsall who had picked up on the theme of space saver tyres. Brian mentioned that “..the patrolman called out to a roadside wheel change on account of a puncture but on finding the spare wheel was a space saver declined to fit it because the car was towing a caravan.” We’ve had quite a few of our number looking at their car owners’ handbooks to see what the advice around spare wheels is. The smug ones are easy to spot. They just proudly announce that their car has a full sized spare wheel to match the four on their car. Well good for them. We’ll just ignore them when it comes to this debate.
Read the full article in the current issue out now!
LET THE SUN SHINE ININ THE EARLY VINTAGE PERIOD, the majority of production line cars were open tourers. As manufacturers were able to get their costs down so the saloon became the preferred choice.
In the meanwhile a number of people tried to create a hybrid by designing a canvas roof that took the place of the roof of a saloon, but left the windows and pillars in position. The Singer As-U-Dryv (long before Spuds-U-Like!) being one example, other makes included Penman and of course Tickford. These became known as the sunshine saloon.
It was the Northampton coach building firm of Pytchley who in 1925 modified a Standard saloon by fitting what we now know as a sunshine roof. They patented it carefully and soon the provision of a sunshine roof was common place. Pytchley even went so far as to build a new factory on the Slough Trading Estate in 1930 devoted to sunshine roof production. In 1934 they sold the business to one of their new competitors Weathershields.
After the war the sliding sunshine roof slowly dropped out of favour and now even the glass version is very much an optional extra, most people relying on air conditioning which is becoming a standard fitting on many new cars.
However, there was a cheaper after market alternative, the Webasto (later Tudor Webasto) roof. There were other makers involved as well such as Britax, Weathershields, Slideaway and Golde. Simply put this is a sliding canvas based roof that fits snugly into runners either side of the roof and is fixed at the front just above the windscreen. One of its advantages over the sunshine roof is that it can fitted onto a curved roof.
Now if you have a classic car with such a Webasto type roof, to whom do you go to get it restored? If you want to add a period one now to your completely closed classic to whom to you go? There are very few people with experience to repair or fit new roofs of this sort. I have met one; Peter Harvey of Sandwich in Kent.
Peter Harvey left school not knowing what he wanted to do and started working in the building trade. When he found himself out of work in 1968 one of his friends suggested he should work with him at a firm in Childs Hill in North London called Roof Installations (their main workshop was in Clapham).
This firm was at that time fitting around 200 Webasto type sunroofs a week, all on new cars. It was peace work and he was told he could earn £25 a week, but he soon found peace work very profitable! Then there was a fire in the next door premises which gutted his place of work and he had to move to Clapham. In 1982 Roof Installations amalgamated with Slideaway. The new managers wanted to change things and Peter left and started on his own....
Michael Ware's The Professionals - read the full article in the current issue out now!