I have just returned from a Bugatti rally in NSW, had a great time and most importantly the T37 did not miss a beat.
We set off two weeks ago with 4 days to get to the start of the rally in Sydney, there were four cars and six people, all the cars were over eighty all the people were under seventy so a leisurely drive was envisioned.
We tried to leave at 2:00 after a nice lunch at Des Dillon’s but Roger’s T44 refused to start, after 30 minutes Des discovered a stuck solenoid so off we went but at the Smith street roundabout the motor died so it was decided to swap out the battery. This is where we discovered that the car had been built around the battery, so the front seat had to come out, still no luck. In the end a claw hammer was used to good effect bludgeoning a partition in the battery box to make way for the battery extraction, 2 weeks later Roger is still removing the battery every night to charge it. The alternator is from a VW, so still kaput.
On the second day all was going well when the Bentley suddenly lost drive 30Km south of Pambula, the (add on) overdrive unit had failed, a local stopped and lent us a chain so the 12 Litre Hispano Suiza found its true vocation as a tow truck. To cut a long story short, in Eden the overdrive and tailshaft were removed then the tail shaft lengthened and the whole thing was back on the road now without overdrive by lunchtime the next day so we still made Ulladulla before nightfall.
On the third day… as with the next 1 ½ weeks all went well, except for Luc’s T43 that sheared the flywheel key but Matt the mechanic with the aid of super strength Loctite had it back on the road so no time lost.
Oh yes, after leaving Bombala this morning after about 40 km I could smell that lovely scent of burning wood. I assumed the Dept. of Smoke and Embers were burning off so ignored it until it was joined by the smell of burning rubber and the ignition light coming on, I stopped. A piece of wood that was holding the battery had come unscrewed and wedged itself under the alternator and as the whole outside of this alternator revolves we had some nice friction going on, to see if it really was hot I put my finger on the alternator….. I am hoping to get feeling back after the blister eases. Some screws were robbed from elsewhere and I was back on the road with the car none the worse for wear.
If we had driven modern cars they probably would not have broken down, but if they had, I doubt we would have had it fixed by lunchtime and what would there be to talk about…Golf?