IF YOU look closely at the front numberplate of the Singer Gazelle, you’ll see a black stain. This is the signature ‘skidmark’ of the Landcrab’s somewhat rather heavy-breathing, full-fat exhaust fumes.
Understandably, we don’t run the ’Crab in the shed unless we have to – and yesterday, we had to – because Gez’s arse was really letting rip. Given the shed doesn’t have such a thing as one of these ‘air-fresheners’, we made do with a dose of good old fashioned B-series breath to make the air a lot sweeter and less toxic.
Anyway, enough about a bloke – oh alright – blokes farting in a shed.
I haven’t touched the Gazelle in over a year. Why? I don’t know, but when the old girl is two counties, 25 quid of petrol and a three-hour round trip away, it’s easy for a car to slip from your memory. And last year was all about awakening the MkII Golf and punting it on.
At least now, I’ve got the replacement quarterlight glass, quarterlight rubber and new RB340 voltage regulator in the same place as the Singer – after buying them at Race Retro. Erm, yes, that would be Race Retro 2011…
Hooked up to Gez’s Rover 75, the starter was spinning away, which was good given the electrical problems which seem to haunt the car on a part-time basis. Needless to say, the juice had long since evaporated, so off to join the petrol queues I went. “Gardening?” asked the pump attendant. ‘No, it’s for an old car…’ I replied, hoping that she would believe me and not think that I was paying heed to anything uttered by Francis Maude.
Juiced up, the Gazelle was still sulking. Was the old bugger sparking? Yes. So Gez then had a look at the Stromberg carburettor, which was completely lacking in oil (you can see the expression at the bottom of this – it wasn’t pleasant). I was just about to protest that I had topped up the oil, but then I remembered how long ago that was. Dr Huge couldn’t resist having a quick nose, and discovered that the diaphragm is on its way out. Oh smashing – another job to add to the list.
Oiled up, she fired up and I went for a second gear crawl around the vast majesty of the Dep-O (trading) estate, cleaning up the brakes and getting some heat into them.
Once again, I was smitten by how sweet the drivetrain is and how well the car rides on tracks which look as if they’ve been bombarded by artillery. The flip-side being it also reminded me why you shouldn’t leave a car with a black vinyl interior parked for too long in the full sun – unless you too, want your builder’s crack flash-fried.
Providing that the world still has some petrol next week, I’m hoping to get up to the shed to keep the Gazelle’s new-found momentum up.
All I need to do is finish the sill patch and weld it in place and fit that quarterlight glass, and then its MoT time. When doubtless, the nice MoT-man will question the true age of this Arrow’s very ancient crossplies.
Now, is it just me or does that sound like the perfect excuse to start dreaming about wheel and tyre combos?