Sunday, 2 October 2011

Slow progress..

Conscious of the fact I haven't blogged for ages, here's an update:

1. Car has now progressed from a wreck to a scruffy 924! It starts on the button, runs, I've had the brakes apart and they work, and driven it regularly round the Crescent. We are now ready to test!

2. Got some drivers champing at the bit to pay some money to are in the 360 next year, which means I'm pretty much committed

3. Then...turn the car into a racer before the beginning of May!

I'm quite proud of the progress to dat, now we need to spend some money. Whoops, that's a problem! Fingers crossed for the Lottery over the Winter...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

At Last - A Porsche Driver!

All together now:

Oi am a Porsch-e Droiver
Oi droives it round the Crescent
Oi am a Porsch-e Droiver
It is jolly pleasant
Oo-arr oo-arr ay
Oo-arr oo-arr ay

With apologies to the Wurzels and even more apologies to whoever it was that wrote "Una Paloma Blanca"

Whatever, progress of sorts made this weekend with the fitting of the racing seat and trial fit of the belts.

Thanks to a bit of wheeler dealing, I've ended up with a reasonable Cobra steel-framed seat and a slider to accomodate short ar-----erm, slightly less tall drivers than me with ease! I've also acquired a couple of brand new Cobra mounting frames which came from a Corsa and drop into the 924 to take the seat, which is far too narrow to fit on the standard seat mounts.

The mounting frames were too tall, so I had them shortened and the seat base is about the height of the standard seat, we can just reach the adjuster over the cross member. Still to do is have the floor strengthened - it flexes where the seat frame is bolted to it! MSA rules call for 3mm plates to be added above and below the floor, so by the time it's been done I'm confident that problem wil go away.

You can see the cage in place in the photos - it's not fitted but I've nowhere else to store it! I switched to a 924 because a Midget was too small for me to be comfortable, it's amazing how little room there is in goes too far back even for my lanky frame to reach the pedals and steering wheel, but the roof is still pretty close :-)

Also difficultly close is the handbrake, which is on the right hand side. Under the doorbar. Ah, good job I've got small hands, but I don't think it'll be used in a hurry if the brakes fail at speed!

Belts are only temporarily fitted, have experimented with using the standard rear belt mounting points. It's OK on the outside edge, but I think the inside is too far off a central pull. Shame. I'll have to re-set the mounts into the vertical panel where the rear seat should be. Would like to put them on the horizontal boot floor, but I can't get in there to fit the re-inforcing plates. 

The seat goes so far back that not only can I not reach the pedals, but I'm also behind the line of the front seat belt mountings, so we need to make sure I'm far enough forwards that they pull me back properly into the seat.

Takes me back to my old days sharing the Rover SD1 with my dad in Thundersaloons. He was - how shall we say it kindly? - somewhat stouter than me and sat further back with the belts set long to go round his corpulent frame. When I got in, the mechanics slid the seat forwards until I squealed, at which point the belts were tight enough! Happy days..... 

And back to my somewhat corny rendition of "I am a cider drinker"...after I got the seat fixed in place I fired the car up and drove it round The Crescent. Rear brakes still binding, but they need a rebuild anyway, car feels really soggy but it could be that soft rear tyre, and it's heavy on the steering, can't put a tiny wheel on...BUT I'M A PORSCHE DRIVER!

Running on 4 - check!
Overheating - no!

Just one all 924s have a long, clunky throw on the gear lever? Answers please to max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

The 360 gets closer, and there are a couple of drivers on the horizon to share with me. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Made some real progress last weekend, with the final removal of all the sound deadening in the driver and passenger area. This was too well stuck down for cold chipping, so used the blowtorch...only a couple of little fires, and it only took a couple of days for the toxic fumes to clear from my lungs! Still, a definite move forwards, and makes the car look better.

This week I have sourced the replacement screen, possibly even a fitter, and arranged for the cage to be fitted. The seat has arrived, I'm waiting for the slider to turn up, and then will be looking at fitting the belts and then .... I think we'll be going testing! Just to check it runs properly and nothing falls off, before back to the drive and prepare for spraying. Also lined up some Challenge spec suspension, but that may wait until after the 360.

If it happens that is! I've no doubt the car will be ready but there's no drivers yet, they've all fallen by the wayside. Frustrating, it is a pretty cheap event with a load of track time for about the cost of two standard events, but it falls awkwardly between Easter and May Day. At this rate I'll be all dressed up with no place to go. May even be reduced to mechanic work on the MGDavid 924 which will be frustrating.

So if anyone reading this has a National B licence or higher, fancies a drive in a six hour race, and has some money (£600 - £800 is the budgeted cost) please contact me max-at-midgetmax-dot-com!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Slowed to a crawl?

After the excitement of the Christmas break, work has slowed to a crawl as the combination of dark evenings and weekend working have eroded time available to work on the car.

Successes are limited to:

- chipped off the sound deadening from the driver's and passenger's footwells. Still got the seat spaces to do plus the rear deck
- temporary build of the roll cage (easier to store!) awaiting someone to weld the mounting plates into the shell
- finished stripping out the interior and repaired the "924 pox" in the battery tray - car now (mostly!) watertight
- gradually sourcing bits, but now need to find the cash to buy them and the time to fit them! Managed to get hold of a full 924 Challenge suspension kit secondhand :-)
- looking for co-drivers to share the entry costs! Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship racer Nick Clark has signed up, and fellow racer Wayne "Waz Pablo" Osborne is taking a break from his pest control business to engineer the attempt, so we're pretty committed now! Still two drives available, check out the driver/sponsor proposal here.

Chipping off the sound deadening has been a hard job. Wood chisel, large hammer and plenty of elbow grease....these Germans know how to build a solid car! If it had been a 70s MG I would be through the floor by now......

Hoping to spend some more time on it soon, but work, road car problems and Alex's kart mean time is at a premium. Wish me luck!