November 2008

Date Event




The summer of 2008 has turned to autumn and winter is around the corner.  The Black Cat has completed 2,600 miles with only a minor fault at the Prescott hill climb last May.

 For the past 6 weeks the car has been at Nostalgia Cars getting the star crack in the top of the front offside wing repaired.  These star cracks do occur from time to time if you are unlucky enough to pick up a stone in the tyre and it strikes the underside of the wheel arch with enough  force. My crack was quite severe but unless it was pointed out or you saw it in a certain light you would not notice it.  However I knew it was there and decided I would get Nostalgia to repair it.  Repairing it meant that the whole of the front o/s wing had to be re-sprayed but now that it is done you would not tell that had ever been damaged

Before I got the repair done, I did some research on preventing star crazing or cracking.  Back in my Westfield days, we used Carlife Rubbercoat painted under the wings to form a cushion for any stones thrown up, which seemed to be effective. Unfortunately the Carlife Company has ceased trading. All is not lost. I found that  there is a an equivalent product called Isoflex High Performance Liquid Rubber. It costs about 21.00 for 2.1 Litres, available from all good builders merchants, Screwfix, B&Q etc.  Painted on the underside of the wheel arches it forms a rubber membrane that cushions the impact of the stones.  Only time will tell if it is effective. 

One of the most important jobs to get done whilst the car was at Nostalgia was to seal the windscreen.  Despite all our care and attention during the final stages of the build, the atrocious weather at the JDC open Day at Highclere Castle and several trips in the rain over the summer demonstrated, we still had a fairly severe leak around the windscreen pillars  where they join the body,  Nostalgia resealed the windscreen joints again with the same procedure as detailed on the NSCC boardroom. They tested the car by leaving it out in the rain and have pronounced it dry. We will have to wait and see how it is under driving conditions.

Whilst the Car was at Nostalgia I got a few of the shake down jobs done. Just a general check around and tighten up nuts and bolts, screws and clamps.  Check the oil levels in the diff and gearbox.  It was easier to do theses jobs on a lift than scratch around under the car in the garage at home.   We also took the opportunity to recheck the steering geometry. One of the comments made, when we did  the article for "Classics Monthly ", was that steering did self centre but in the opinion of the driver he would have preferred it to be stronger.  During the steering geometry check Nostalgia  have increased the caster angle to +3 degrees (an increase of 2 degrees). During the drive back from Taunton yesterday my impression was that the steering did self centre more strongly but not excessively and the handling was more positive.

With all these jobs done, the car being at Taunton, was ideally placed to exhibit it at the Exeter Kit Car show.  The show was a great success with more than 6,000 attendees may of whom regarded the "Black Cat" as the best in show. Purrrr........



The Black Cat and a replica Ford GT40 at Exeter

The Black Cat prominently displayed on the Nostalgia Stand