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Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2016 Almanac - from only £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 27th 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 the MG Car Club's MGLive! for 2016, the Volvo EC's post-Christmas meet, and more. Magpie says Have Wings Will Fly, and in the Spannerman column the old boy talks about Spannerman & Top Gear. 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, and take a look at the The Autojumble Midlands, The European Motor Show, Brussels, a preview of February's Race Retro and more. Landers Lobby discusses The Computer Says 'Fine', there are more Tales From The Lock Man another of Fordie's Favourites, and lots more. We also include the 2016 Giant Diary Part 2 and - for every subscriber - there's a copy of that essential 2016 CMM Almanac. 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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THE COMPUTER SAYS 'FINE'...
NEIGHBOUR HAS JUST POPPED
round for advice about his car (petrol-engined), which won’t start.
It’s not an emergency - he and his wife have two cars - but, naturally,
he’d like to get it going as soon as possible.
WE WERE GIVING OUT SCORES,
then we’d have to say that the topic of recycling has come out on the
top this month. There’s been plenty of comments on the different ways
that local authorities deal with the apparently vexing question of what they
will and what they won’t take for recycling. I think I’ll leave
that topic for others to discuss and return gently to the relatively safe ground
of motoring topic.
But this just brings me on to a topic of more importance to me personally, and that’s the score that many of you have awarded – Know-it-all Ken One; Spannerman Nil. I can blame only myself, since I’d said as part of last month’s Myth of the Month that I’d be delighted to hear what you have to say about it. “It” had been the question of whether it’s correct to say you’re in a lower gear because you’re in first gear and you’re in a higher gear when you’re in fourth; or is it correct to think that a lower gear is provided when the overall ratio is one to one and a higher gear when the overall ratio is four to one?
This latter option leads on to the scenario that being in first gear would mean that you’re in a higher gear than when you were in fourth. Well there were some of you that did discuss that, but many more of you had been reading all about propshafts and you turned to what our resident know-it-all Ken had got to say about my proposal to use six thousand rpm in top gear as an example when calculating propshaft speed. Whilst Ken had been happy to accept that many a car is capable of achieving this sort of engine speed, he had asserted that it was only in the lower gears that such relatively high engine revs could be achieved. He went on to point out that in these lower gears, the ratio of the speed of the engine to the speed of the propshaft is nothing like one to one.
Now I stuck to my guns, and as I explained I had maintained that it was perfectly possible to get the high revs at the one to one gearing, simply because I’d used the phrase “perfectly possible”. I’d said that if everything was perfect, it would be possible. Ken had argued that there’d be too much friction in the drive train and far too much wind resistance for it to happen in practice. Sadly, as suggested by the score line above, far too many of you were on Ken’s side. My only defence is to continue with my line that a good discussion sometimes needs a controversial comment throwing in to it to get things moving.
Something that didn’t need any controversial comments was our discussions down at the Chequered Flag, and I’m particularly thinking of the conversation we had about fuel leaks.
It must have been the mention of fuel for two stroke engines last month that made someone mention this topic, and it wasn’t long before we were at it full tilt. Needless to say there was the inevitable comment that if you were going to have a fuel leak, there’s no time like the present to have it since the fuel prices are so low. But of course I was minded to mention the danger of leaking fuel. I cast my mind back to a few years ago when I was looking at an old Vauxhall Astra after the driver of it had complained that she could smell fuel inside the car. I naturally wanted to check the fuel lines, and so I started at the rear and followed the fuel lines towards the front of the car...
Read the full article in the current issue out now!
HAVE WINGS... WILL FLYI THOUGHT THAT I’D START the New Year proper with something tangential (What again? –Ed). Wings are what it’s all about this issue; more precisely, the collecting world of aviation.
Now, of course, I’m aware that aircraft and the automobile are not the same things at all but they have much in common: the inexorable progress of man in machine over the decades, the joys of restoration and the sheer fascination that is history. The two areas are inextricably bound up in places like Brooklands; and of course, there are racing competitions for both branches of motivation.
What there are precious few of, though, is the aviation fair. It just so happened that in January this year, at the site of Croydon Airport, Dave Sutton opened the doors of the hotel there to the public again for his annual aviation extravaganza.
Extravaganza might be a mite ill-chosen, actually, if anyone reading this has experience of toyfairs such as Sandown or Reading. We’re talking here of a dedicated, small band of aficionados: Dave mustered around 35 stallholders and was expecting some 200-300 through the door…
That said, what’s to be found at such venues? Well, I can reveal all (so to speak). For anyone who grew up in the 1960s, the lure of the kit was overwhelming. And, you might be amazed to learn that there’s an awful lot of them out there still, in unmade format. Two or three dealers had a huge variety from which to choose: most were boxed although I did note some 1960s Frog examples in polythene bags with header cards. Certainly around 99% were plastic and you could have chosen from civil airliners, wartime fighters and early pioneering biplanes. According to a dealer named Simon, people are looking for all sorts of things today – and in consequence it is hard to know exactly what to stock. With prices starting at a fiver, it’s an inexpensive hobby, though.
More interesting for this scribe, however, were the earlier, wooden kits. Another dealer, Paul, showed me two old Veron Truscale kits that comprised pre-shaped wooden parts, decals, instructions and all the little pieces necessary to complete a Hunter or a Swift. Dating from the 1950s, along with a Keil Kraft example, these were just £9 a throw.
Even better examples were sighted on a third stand at the event. These wooden replicas, also in kit format, boasted metal parts as well as dope and cement. A Messerschmitt Me 110 was spotted from Dewsbury under the manufacturing label of Worcraft whilst a Bristol Beaufighter from CMA of Chingford was also for sale. Price of these fine examples was a modest £35 each - and I’m sure a deal could have been struck for both, if you were interested.
Kits are one thing but there is a clearly defined interest in finished models, particularly if they were of the sort to grace a travel agents’ window. Okay, I admit, travel agents are in decline these days with the rise of the Internet but time was when these lovely, large models would have captured your attention as you passed. A stunning Air France Concorde was sitting at the show, awaiting a new home: at around three and a half feet long it would have taken up a lot of room but what a model! Not cheap at £220 but the fact is, Concorde still tugs at the heartstrings all these decades on from its launch in the 1960s...
Collectors World with Magpie - read the full article in the current issue out now!