Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cobras go to North East

Mark Turnbull had invited me up to his house in Sunderland. Keith Akerman joined me. So two Cobras travelled from Yorkshire to County Durham to see another Cobra being built. What a fabulous day we picked  - wall to wall sun!

First we got to Marks and kicked tyres. Looked at his grey Gardner Douglas 427 Cobra. Admired his four post lift. And compared notes on how we had gone about building our cars.
Another Cobra being created
After we were Cobra'd out we went up to Tyneside to see his new home. Well the building site that will become the Turnbull's new residences. Mark's family have also got a number of these apartments too! He is doing some consultancy on the building, including moving quite a number of staircases to free up the main views of the Tyne. Rather him than me.
A couple of the staircases
Just look at that view!
Then Mark took us back to Sunderland and bought us fish and chips. At this point Keith's car decided to run out of fuel. Luckily he had a can in the boot. Petrol in tank, fish and chips in a carrier, we made our way to Roker marina. After boarding Mark's vessel (he is a record holder in the North Sea - caught the biggest shark ever caught here!) at the marina, we settled in to lunch. Yummy!
Captain Turnbull. What better place to eat fish and chips.
After food, we returned to Mark's house where friends and family descended on the Cobras. A bit more tyre kicking, mickey taking and photos, before it was time to leave for home.
Traffic jam at Chez Turnbull with Keith's Cobra
Not wanting to run out of fuel, we filled up at a nearby filling station. A nice lady in a Merc Pergoda let us out in to the traffic (it was Michelle, Mark's wife - she had managed to evade us during the day).

The two Cobras drove impeccably and got us home safely, despite heavy traffic and some suspect driving from others (including a Porsche driver who obviously had something to prove to himself).

Saturday, 20 May 2017

GD open day at new factory

I met some great folk at the new GD factory in Grantham on Saturday. Some I had met before, others I had talked to or corresponded with, others were totally new to me and some had used this blog. Loads of people attended. What a nice group, with the same or a similar interests.

The weather was good in the morning, but it chucked it down in the afternoon. I had checked out the forecast for the journey and had decided that the tin top was a much safer bet. And a good choice this turned out to be. Some lucky folk had demo runs in the sun, whilst others got soaked, not that this spoiled the day - at least for me!

The day had been organised by Meena and Andy at GD, with a lot of help from Sue and Larry of ClubGD. Staff and family had been roped in to help and those who attended were met by a mouth watering selection of pastries, biscuits and drinks. Just what was needed after the long journeys.

Here are a few photos from the day.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

New wheel!

Well I have finally got round to getting a slightly bigger steering wheel. I have gone for a 14" (previously a 13") premium grade leather traditional style, with nicely polished and radiused edged spokes. The wheel is flat, rather than semi-dished and has a slightly thicker rim and was bought from Scarborough Racing Developments.

The only issue was that it was a 9 hole fixing and the previous wheel was a 6 hole fitting. The advice was to temporarily fix the wheel with 3 bolts through the holes that still lined up, then drill the remaining 6 holes through the boss. The steering wheel was then fixed with the 9 countersunk fixings screws, washers and nylocs provided, putting the central circular ring supplied in place. An easy upgrade!
New steering wheel fixed

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Stoneleigh National Kit Car Show 2017

I didn't take the Cobra to the show for various reasons (none to do with the car), but I still went to Stoneleigh.

Here are some photos of the Cobras from the Cobra Club at Stoneleigh:
Mark Clayton's AK nearest the camera (only the second day out!)
The DVLA must have made a fortune from the XX60BRA brigade.
Here is Simon Smith's AK (SS 60BRA), next to Noel Hirst's black and rather battered looking car
(someone ran into the back of it on the forth day out, ouch!)
Love the red and black car
Note Keith Akerman's GD (the cream one) with the billet wood bonnet prop
On the GD stand this beauty caught my eye, it is a MK3R (that is a MK3 with the big arches).
A real show stopper in my opinion
GD even got a mention on the Chris Evans breakfast show, following the kit car show!

The next day I went to the National Motor Museum at Gaydon. Loads of cars there, mainly from the British Leyland line. A few got my attention, including FAB1, a sparkling pink number:
Thunderbirds are go!
And some others from the past:
The F Type concept that got away. First seen by me at Curborough on a photo shoot

Monte Carlo winner in the hands of Paddy Hopkirk. Those were the days!
Mark Webber's F1 Jaguar (now Red Bull F1)

The first ever Jaguar E Type undergoing restoration
... and a Le Mans winning D Type
And for those Strictly dance fans:
Morris (not linked to the car) men, with traction engines in the background

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Photos of the car

Couldn't resist a few photos!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Stripes - changed my mind!

Cobra stripes

Today I had vinyl wrap stripes applied to the Cobra by Expression Car Wrapping in Baildon (see link below on the right and speak to Jamie). I have been going to have stripes, then not, then stripes, then not etc. You get my point - indecisive!

So I have finally made up my mind and gone for two broad metallic grey stripes (a sort of gunmetal) with a metallic red (more burgundy really) pin stripe on each side. The red matches the leather stitching and the carpets. The stripe measurements are taken from Superperformance website (which is approved by Shelby) and fit between the wiper spindles, the roll hoops and the reverse/fog lights (total 360 mm). The red stripe is 6 mm, then there is a gap showing the body colour (white) of 5 mm, then a grey stripe of 152 mm and then a central body colour gap of 25 mm. It is almost the same as I envisaged in June 2015 (see post)!

I took the car down in the morning and removed various things at their workshop such as the wipers, screen, number plate light, boot handle etc. I had removed the Cobra badges and sun visors in advance. The car was then left with Chris at Expression.

In the afternoon, after the stripes had been applied, I went down to fix the various parts, before driving home. It even looked good stripped down!

Here is the finished job. Very pleased.

So why have I changed my mind? Well one of my daughters said that a Cobra without stripes is .... well not a Cobra. She is the one who said that I drove it like Miss Daisy by the way! You would think that I would ignore her because of comments like that.

Anyway, if I change my mind again (which I don't think I will), I can always have the stripes removed!

Steering wheel

There is no power steering on the GD. I have fitted a 13" steering wheel and this makes it a bit heavy I think, so I might change it for a bigger diameter wheel at some stage (still leather).

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Side vents

You may remember that I was not happy with the side vents from GD. I didn't like them in stainless steel, so had them powder coated in black. Still didn't like them! They didn't look suitable for such an expensive car. So I had some made that now look the part. Thanks to Mark and Josh for organising and making them.

They arrived in bare aluminium.
Side vents in bare metal
My first job was to make a paper template in order to mark out the captive studs. Once drilled I slightly elongated the holes so that they could be positioned exactly. Next I sprayed the vents with a primer, before coating with a Hammerite satin black.
Vents sprayed in stain black
Then I attached the vents to the car.
Vent fitted
And the full view

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Gardner Douglas open day 2017

Fancy seeing the new GD factory and an assortment of factory and customer built cars (both Cobra and Lola T70 types)? Then Andy and Meena are holding an open day for existing and new customers at their new Grantham factory on Saturday 20th May, 2017. So if my build has inspired you, why not come along and see what you could have!

If you book you can even arrange a demo. You can chat to existing owners too, without booking!

The new factory is at Retro House, Swingbridge Road, Grantham, NG31 7XT (just off the A1), tel 01476 567180. The open day will be held between 10 am and 4.30 pm.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

National Kit Car Show 2017 - Stoneleigh

Yes, its that time of year yet again! It is billed as "The biggest kit car show in the world". The show is at Stoneleigh show ground near Kenilworth in the Midlands, from Sunday 30 April to Monday 1 May 2017. Well worth a trip for the day out.

The organisers say that there will be over 4,000 kit cars to look at, including loads of Cobras. GD will have a stand in Hall 1, along with an area designated to GD owner's cars outside.
One of the GD 427 cars on the 2016 stand

GD T70 Moda and Spyders on the 2016 stand
Other major manufacturers will have stands with cars in various stages of build. In addition there will be many supplier stands, selling various things from nuts and bolts to engines.

Depending on the weather (I have no wet weather gear whatsoever), I hope to have the Cobra there. So come and say hello and ask any questions that you may have.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Self-cancelling indicators

I had realised how reliant I was on the self-cancelling indicators on my day to day car. So without them I was leaving them on in the Cobra after turns. I even had a biker draw level at some traffic lights and say "Your indicator is still on mate". So I thought that it was about time that I did something about it.

It is an easy mod. that I should have done earlier. But I hadn't! Here's what I did:

I applied masking tape to the shroud and marked the straight ahead position of the steering wheel and that of the indicator self-cancelling stub (this little bit of plastic can be seen within the hole at the 10 o'clock on the column, when the indicator stalk is in the on position).
Straight ahead and self-cancelling stub position marked
The boss was removed from the wheel, then I carefully marked where I needed to drill holes for the pegs (about 12mm either side of the stub) and clear of the shroud hole. The pegs were cut from 4mm aluminium dowel that I had bought from Wickes.
Pegs in position in the boss
The boss was put on to the column when each peg was inserted in to the drilled hole. After both pegs and holes were done, I fixed the pegs with superglue (they are a friction fit) to ensure that they did not come adrift. Finally the steering wheel was re-attached to the boss and then secured to the column. A road test confirmed that the modification had worked and that the pegs did not foul against the shroud.
Steering wheel back in place.
   Another job done!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Careful application of the throttle!


Fabulous sound track. Incredible acceleration. Incredulous looks from the bystanders and other drivers. Not a car for the shrinking violet!

And that is just the first run out.

Today I gave it full beans .... well 2k revs (max 6,500) and 60mph tops. Getting to know it slowly. Don't want the snake to bite. Chicken you might say. I agree, but at least I will live to drive it again. Andy said it was 'lively' and I see what he means .... you only need to move your toes a little and you are well over the speed limit. Sorry officer!
First drive
First day out