Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Fate? Coincidence? Black (and white chequered) magic?

Long-suffering readers will remember that I raced as #41 in the 750MC Locost Championship in 2009.  Interestingly the chap I bought the Gemini chassis from, Dave Beddows, built and maintained another Locost that used to compete as #41.  Well, there's now a third connection to Locost #41 and things are starting to get a bit spooky. I'd better rewind a little...

For some time I've been watching 3.54:1 ratio English differentials on eBay.  The going rate for these has been somewhere between £160 and £190.  With a new crown wheel and pinion only costing £250, I'd pretty much resigned myself to buying new.  However, this weekend there were four potentially suitable diff's on the world's favourite auction site - very unusual - there's only usually one or two available at any one time.  Basic microeconomics tells us that when supply goes up, price (ceteris paribus) goes down. I decided to watch the auctions closely.  
The first one to end wasn't anywhere near home but the seller was offering postage at £15.  I won the auction for less than £113; tidy!  I paid via Paypal and received the usual e-mail confirming the transaction and also giving some more detail about the seller, including their name:  Keith Malpus.  "That's familiar" I thought.
I had a feeling that there is a Keith Malpus racing in Locosts.  Sure enough, there is - and guess what his race number is...  I e-mailed the seller to ask if it was the same person.  Of course it was.  How's that for a happy coincidence?  The upshot is that I'm collecting the item from Donington on the weekend, saving myself the £15 postage. So, it's clear to me that the car needs to compete as #41 - its karma.  The only problem is that someone already uses that number in the RGB Championship and has done for many years.  Fingers crossed he'll have a great second-half of the season so he can 'upgrade' to a nice low number for next year.  Go Neil! :)


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Pedal Power...

The pedal box is just about complete.  Although its based on a design which dates back to the 60s, I think its infinitely better than the vast majority of fabricated kit car pedal boxes that I've looked at and used.  
Andy at Arrow Auto Engineering has been brilliant to deal with and has done everything possible to make the pedal box suitable for the Gemini - he's also taken as much weight out of it as possible which is good.

There are a couple of questions that remain.  Firstly I'm not yet setted on how/where the steering column with negotiate the pedal box.  Secondly, I may need to move the accelerator closer to the brake - we shall see.

I'm going to Donington Park next Saturday to see the RGB race.  Unfortunately the number of entrants is down slightly due to mid-season fettling, holidays and other pressures.  Even so, I'm looking forward to it very much.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Track-ing Development(s)

Dave and the team at Track Developments are in the process of making the wishbones for the car.  I nipped down there today to have a quick look, to meet some folk from the Bristol Kit Car Club and also to get the geometry checked on Kate's MX-5.  Dave has altered the toe settings and it is much better to drive now - much more confidence inspiring, particularly around the dead-ahead.  I really can't say enough good things about the service Dave, Tom and Ben provide.

My current thinking is that I should get Track Developments to do all the performance critical stuff - including anti-roll bars and specifying dampers.  If it's good enough for some of the big-spending historic guys, it's good enough for my little retro rocket...

I've also been talking to 'Handy Andy' at Arrow Auto Engineering who's in the process of sorting out a custom lightweight pedal box based on a MkII Escort unit.  I'm very pleased with how it appears to be coming together.
This will bolt to fabricated mounts above the footwell.  The master cylinders will be backward facing, meaning that I'll need a quick-access hatch at the top of the main tub - no problem and this will provide very easy access once the job is done.


Friday, 3 June 2011

Fleet of fancy...

No kit car related news yet, but there's a couple of new daily drivers.
Long live summer!