Reader's Letters January 2017
YES I HAVE OWNED
I read the article about the Lancia Aprilla (Have You Ever Owned? CMM Issue 332, November). I found one in a field five years ago and dry stored it hoping to one day restore it or possibly let it go to someone who has more time. Over the years I've brought owners manuals and various spare parts.
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I read your article about the Armstrong Siddeley, Siddeley Special Six in the September 2016 issue (Have You Ever Owned? CMM Issue 330).
I'm currently restoring one. It is a 1937 model with Burlington bodywork. My father bought it about in about 1999 from a retired policeman in County Cork.
The policeman had the car in Kenya and bought it back to Ireland when he retired. I don't know exacty when but the car was laid up some time in the late sixties - early seventies.
Sadly, my father passed away 20 months ago but, despite knowing he had terminal cancer, a month before he died, he bought a router to remake the tool drawers. This depsite how much other work was/is needed to the car. He had plans to try and get close to the 100mph top speed at least once. I'm not sure if that was a joke, but I'm intending to get the car back on the road and take his ashes for the drive he didn't get to do.
As bought, the car was in very original condition, however the engine was seized solid, the paintwork was flaking off and the interior had been attacked by moths.
Back in the day, I helped dad strip the engine out which involved removing the front bodywork. It was depsatched to Dave Harris, a well known restorer in Meriden. Then work commitments for Dad and I meant the car has sat, pretty much untouched since. Dave and Dad never really negotiated a price for rebuilding the engine, or at least, not when Dad had enough money to hand. I've since sorted that out and after a few mods are made, the engine will be back in the car in the not too distant future.
I've always had an interest in old cars, Rover P6s are my all time favourite, my first car was a 200SC and I've owned a 3500 VIP and the 3500S mk2 (manual) prototype, which had to be sold when I got divorced. Something I am quite bitter about, (selling the car, not the divorce).
I've also owned a Mk3 Triumph GT6 which I bought to do the Nurburgring in and ended up keeping for a few years. Currently I have Dad's Siddeley collection (12+, Siddeley Special, Typhoon and Star Sapphire) and my Rover 2000TC and Lotus Excel.
The car as bought, the car as I inherited it, and as it is now: I've taken the car to a few restoration shows to help promote the Armstrong Sideley Owners Club, the marque and of course get a bit of help with work on the car.
As can be seen from the picture (below, left) the car was mostly complete, I'm not sure if the carbs were ever there but finding where Dad put stuff over the decades is proving a bit difficult e.g. I can't find the inline banjo for the central lubrication system and haven't managed to source a replacement yet.
I hope the above is of some interest to you.
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Just read the Lock Man's last article in the December 2016 CMM where he referred to “Peter Burton” in Germany.
I must pass on as an old Vauxhall friend of Peter the sad news that Peter passed away in August after suffering poor health for a couple of years.
As one grows old one’s memory fades, but would I be correct in saying I have read you article before some years ago and this was a reprint?
*Yes Michael, that was an article from the archive, as we made clear - very sorry to hear about Peter, a long-standing CMM supporter.
I refer to page 18 of the September edition of CMM (Issue 330) where you have an excellent article on the Robert White Collection. You however quote (presumably from information supplied by Bonhams) that the collection comprises 'chrystal glass car mascots', they were never produced inter-war in chrystal, only post ww2 and the firm is now known as "Christal Lalique". Also with the introduction in 1925 of the large version of the (two) Mermaids, this was then added to the car mascot range making a round figure of 30 different mascots. I quote from information provided in the "Unique Lalique Mascots" book Vol. 1.
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I read with great interest Martin Pagett's article in the December 2016 CMM magazine (Issue 333).
Like Martin, we have been making fellow enthusiasts aware of the pending damage that can be caused by Ethanol in pump fuel. We had been addressing the issues since 2011 and monitoring tests and reports. Sadly some of the information that we have circulated falls ‘onto stony ground’ and we have been accused of scaremongering and getting the issues out of proportion. However, we have cited local anecdotal evidences which has, certainly in more recent times, focused the minds.
Whilst there are, as Martin noted, several aftermarket additives that have been tested and approved by the FBHVC, there remains a certain reluctance in some quarters to take on board the potential harm. I have personally been using a Bardahl product originated in North America and Canada where levels of Ethanol in fuel have reached 13%.
However, speaking to various industrial chemists, the only sure fire method is to remove the Ethanol from the pump fuel before it enters your tanks and fuel system.
We have been experimenting and carried out a number of trials which have resulted in the successful removal of virtually all the Ethanol contained in pump fuel.
Our tests demonstrated that the majority of pump petrol contained between 4 -5% Ethanol but one supermarket fuel tested 8% Ethanol. We considered this to be an exceptionally high level and probably a ‘rogue’ batch. Samples taken later from the same supermarket showed the nominal 5% Ethanol content.
I now feel quite happy to follow the separation process and ensure that our own vehicles are full of Ethanol free fuel in their tanks and fuel lines particularly over the ‘quiet’ period December - March.
I am wondering if others have considered the value of the total removal of Ethanol?
Chairman - KETTERING
AREA MOTOR CLUB