Sammio Cordite - Triumph Spitfire 1500 based kit - Page 22 - : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum
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post #631 of 774 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 11:04 PM
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I like how you answer the folks that try to guess what the car is; very gracious to include what they guessed in your response!

I also like your coveralls, although I have a small complaint. You can't possibly have a British car with a Shell patch instead of a Castrol patch!

I am thrilled that you have been out enjoying all your hard work. I remain impressed that you have fought your way through this challenging build. There were many times where I think I may have called someone to haul it away. Some of those times may have been "suggested" by my wife though... You seem to have never wavered, and I think the results are great! Congratulations again!



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post #632 of 774 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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MPTech - So far, only one child has sat in the car (see post #619 above).

But I've certainly done a lot of waving and smiling at children as I'm driving along.

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WIS89 - Cheers Steve.

I've actually got a couple of Castrol "sponsor" stickers for the side of the car when it is finally painted.

But you make a fair point about the overalls, so see below for the "long story"…

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Goodwood Revival - Part 1:
One of the things that has helped keep me going throughout this long build is this unique event.

As I really wanted to attend in a car that would not look out of place if it was lined up on the grid.

See this thread in the Type 65 Coupe section of the forum for an example of the cars that attend this weekend.

One of the things that makes this event special is the fact that most people go in period costume.

So I needed to find something that would match my car and the racing drivers of the 1950s & 60s.

Now John Surtees is one of my all time heroes for his efforts on both 2 & 4 wheels.

So he inspired my choice of light blue overalls and tanned leather gloves with the "crochet" backs.

Now the gloves are easy enough to find & they are much lighter in colour than they appear in this photo.
( They are also a big help when driving given the lack of any sort of power steering. )

But it took a bit of searching to find these overalls on Ebay for just over $10 (give or take a bit on the exchange rate).

They were part of a "job lot" that had been pre-printed.

As I planned to sew a sponsor's patch over this original logo they seemed ideal for me.

Then I ran into a few technical difficulties…

The first one was that I couldn't find a "white" Dunlop patch, only a yellow one.

Then the yellow Dunlop patch was not actually deep enough to completely cover the company logo.

So instead, I had to turn to the 'King of Cool' himself, for inspiration.

As it turned out, this patch...

Was just the right size.

Just don't look too closely at my sewing skills.

End of Part 1…

Last edited by Paul L; 12-24-2016 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Fixing Photo Link
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post #633 of 774 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Goodwood Revival - Part 2:
So that was two patches sorted out, leaving space on the pockets for 2 more.

Technically the Triumph patch isn't period correct either, but it did match my wheel centres.

I think I actually picked the Shell patch to go with the yellow colour of the Dunlop one.

Plus I'd found this more recent photo of John Surtees while looking for blue overall images.

The other bit of sewing I needed to do was after folding the original "winged collar" back in on itself to give me the look of a "grandad collar".

So for a bit of time and not much money, I had a set of racing overalls to wear to Goodwood.

The last thing I needed for my Goodwood costume was a vintage crash helmet.

Which is a good excuse to post this photo of Stirling Moss effortlessly combining racing cars & drinking tea.

So I bought this old Everoak helmet from Ebay that is quite a tight fit on my XL head.

Obviously, this helmet has no safety features at all, and will be treated as such, it is really just for dressing up.

Unfortunately, I did crash test an modern Arai full face helmet during my motorcycle racing days, so I do know the difference.

Anyway, that has been a very long winded way to explain a key deadline for this build…

My car needs to be fully painted, with racing roundels & sponsor stickers by the next Goodwood Revival meeting in September 2017.

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #634 of 774 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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USA - Model Year vs. UK Registration Year:
One of the (many) differences between the US & UK is how people refer to their cars.

The US tradition appears to be to quote the year first and then the car, e.g. 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

As manufacturers tended to emphasis the changes they made to the car each year.
( E.g. Adding hood 'rockets' to the '57 Chevy. )

Whereas, over here, the same model would be churned out year after year, with little, or no change.
( E.g. Production of the Mini MkI to the Mini MkIV spanned 1959 to 2000! )

The licence / registration plate system in the UK is also different to the traditional US approach.

Over here, a car would be given a number when it was first registered and that would stay with the car.
( Regardless of changes in ownership, or changes of location within the UK, unlike changing State in the US. )

So in the UK a car is usually referred to by make and model first, and the registration number/age second.

Note: You are allowed to change the number plate on your car (subject to some rules) provided it doesn't make it look younger.

Which is a very long winded way of introducing the next job I did on my car...

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My donor car had a registration number ending in "V" which matches its first registration date of 1980.

Which, despite being 36 years old, is still young compared to the older Triumph Heralds used by builders of the original kit.

Here are 3 Sammio Spyders lined up with "G" & "H" regs, signifying 1968 & 1969 donor cars.

Now I plan to visit these three builders one day and didn't want my registration number to give the game away.

So I, legally, transferred my car over to a 1965 "C" registration number, while still retaining the 1980 date on my car's documents.
( The car should look older to the casual observer. )

The new rear number plate I ordered slightly longer than my old one, as the "V" reg only had 2 numbers in it.
( Numbers 1 thru 999 can be used. )

Note: The use of "raised" plastic digits is also an old fashioned approach, which should add to the illusion.

Previously, the rear number plate light was bolted into position thru the number plate itself.

But the fact this new number plate is "raised" allows me to fit the light underneath the plate.
( Once I had filed a section of the top edge away, so it would fit around the light bracket. )

After drilling some holes and using a couple of washers to make sure the plate cleared everything, it was bolted into place.

I knew removing the front number plate was going to be a messy job.

But eventually that was done too.

I then took the car out for a quick spin wearing its new number plates.

That's all the car work for now, but I'll post more stuff on UK number plates next.

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #635 of 774 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Following on from my last post, here are some examples of UK number plates linked to years…

Movies References

"A" Reg - Goldfinger - 1963 Aston Martin DB5

Note: The movie came out in 1964, but car was first registered in 1963.

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"G" Reg - The Italian Job - 1969 Mini Coopers

Note: By now, the G reg covered Aug.68 to Jul.69, whereas the A reg was Jan. to Dec.1963.

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"B" Reg - 1964 Le Mans - Triumph Spitfires

Note: #65 helped me pick my planned British Racing Green bodywork with Signal Yellow nose band colour scheme.

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[James Bond Nerd Alert]

The Goldfinger DB5 was a prototype based on a DB4 and rolled out of the factory in Dubonnet Red.
( It also appeared in an episode of the TV series The Saint that starred Roger Moore. )

The Bond production team had the car resprayed Silver Birch and it became a legend.

Goldeneye - This DB5 used a variation to the original Goldfingernumber plate.
( With a 4 replacing the original 6. )

Tomorrow Never Dies - BMW number plate is a tribute to the Goldeneye DB5.

Casion Royale - I say old chap, the steering wheel is on the wrong side.

Skyfall - The original number plate returns.

[/James Bond Nerd Alert]

Previously, I also posted some more useless UK number plate facts towards the end of this thread:
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post #636 of 774 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Suspension Adjustment - Part 1
Early in the build process I fitted a lowering block under the rear leaf spring, as many other builders had done the same thing.

However, in practise, the rear end of my car sits too low and this means the twin silencers are occasionally scraping along the ground.

So I jacked the car and removed the wheels to start the process of removing this block.

Unbolted the ends of the rear spring.

Removed the truck lid so I could get to my Frankenlid access cover.

With that removed, I could get to the four fixing studs...

And remove them.

At this point there was a slight technical hitch…

I made the Frankenlid because the lowering block "lifted" the middle section higher than the surrounding bodywork.

So there wasn't enough room to pull the rear spring out with the lowering block fitted.

Not a great photo, but, thankfully, there was just about enough room to lift the spring up and remove the block from underneath it.

There was a gap of a week between the photo above and the photo below, but I'll cover that later on.

It actually took me hours to get all four studs to line up due to the limited access to see what I was doing clearly.
( Note how much lower the middle section now is compared to the surrounding body work. )

But at least this meant I could reattach the rear leaf spring to the hubs.

Before re-fitting the wheels and getting the car back on the ground.

End of Part 1...
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post #637 of 774 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Suspension Adjustment - Part 2
I took the car for a couple of short drives around the local bumps and pot holes to help settle the rear suspension.

Then I headed to my local supermarket car park to see what difference this modification made.

Note: I'd previously taken some 'before' measurement there, as the ground is flat compared to my sloping driveway.

Rear Silencers:

Before - 10cm/just under 4" to ground

After - 14cm/5.5"

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Driver's Side:
( From the top point of the wheel arch opening to the ground. )

Before - 58cm/just under 23"

After - 61cm/24"
( Sorry the photo is blurred. )

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Passenger Side:

Before - 62cm/just under 24.5"

After - 65cm/just over 25.5"

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I'm really pleased with now the car now sits.

Previously, the "slammed" rear end gave the car quite an aggressive stance, a bit Austin Healey 3000 (ish).

But I prefer the way the bottom edge of the body shell is now pretty much parallel with the ground in that last photo.

Obviously, the flat ground highlights the mistakes I made when I reshaped the rear arches on my sloping driveway.
( As the arches are clearly not in the same position on both side. )

And those mistakes were before the rear wheels moved during the alignment process after I'd reshaped the arches.

Still, never mind, as the good news is that casual observers just see the "big picture", which is a great little car.

So on that high note, it is time to confess to a small mishap...
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post #638 of 774 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Lucky Escape:
When my uncle came over from American recently, I tidied all my bits of wood away from the driveway to the bottom of the garden.

So when I was doing the work on the rear suspension described above, I just grabbed a couple of axle stands to support the car instead.

What I had forgotten was that the car now weighed a lot more than when I last had it on axle stands.

< You can tell where this story is heading can't you? >

Anyway, I was trying to get the rear leaf spring into position when I felt the car starting to topple off the axle stands.

Thankfully, I was able to put my shoulder against the car to keep it balanced while I reached for the car jack.

I managed to get the hydraulic jack in position and pump it up until it was taking the full weight of the car.


I think I was so relieved that I had averted a disaster, that I wasn't really thinking straight.

As, by now, the back end of the car had slipped down the driveway quite a bit.

So I decided to shove the car back up the slope using the wheels on the jack to "steer".

Now I've done this before, but (with hindsight) there were usually four wheels fitted to the car at the time.

The car was on its way back up the drive when the jack got caught in a driveway paver and stopped, but my shoving didn't.

Then, in sickening slow motion, the car slipped of the jack and came crashing to the ground.

I could see the jack crushing one of the twin silencers and my heart sank.

I had to use a scissor jack to get the car up high enough to remove the hydraulic jack.

But it then went from bad to worse as I stupidly tried to straighten the car again.

I made a point of being really careful this time and had roped in my wife to help.

Watching the car fall off the jack for a second time was almost too much to take.

This time the jack clipped the other silencer and attempted to hold the car up using the trunk floor…

...which obviously buckled with a sickening sounding crack under the strain.

So once again, I had to scissor jack the car up and re-group one more time.

I couldn't put the wheels back on, as the rear spring was still loose and that might cause even more damage.

So this time I used a big length of wood under the jack as I tried to more the car for a 3rd time.

By now, I'd also got the planks of wood from the back of the garden, which is what I should have done in the first place!

Finally the car was straight and resting completely stable on the wood.
( Photo taken after I started packing up up for the day. )

This is one of my, now squashed, axle stands.

At the time I couldn't bring myself to take any photo of the damage, as it was just too upsetting.

But I knew I had to face the music at some point, so the following week, here was some of the mess…

Both silencers dented…

A large 'crack' opened up on the underside where the trunk floor was caved in.

It is not easy to get a decent photo of just how dented the inside of the trunk floor is on the passenger side.

There was also a chip taken out of the rear driver's side wheel arch.

On the one hand, this feels like a step backwards, especially after it too me so long to get the car on the road.

But on the other hand (with my glass half full) I have a very lucky escape from serious injury and I am counting my blessings.

So far, the only repair work I have done is to bash the dented trunk floor roughly back into shape with a lump hammer!

This definitely made a difference, as the big gap underneath has closed up quite a bit.

The really good news is that I can still drive the car, so I will come back and fix the rest of this mess another day.

So despite everything I am still feeling positive and until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #639 of 774 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Triumph Swordfish 1500

It is getting colder…
I have been very busy at work recently, however I have managed to squeeze in some short drives at the weekends.

My head and hands have switched to their 'Autumn/Fall' wardrobe.

But I still notice the drop in temperature, as I slowly lose the feeling in my exposed face after a while!

Still, that cold face has a big smile on it and even just driving for a hour allows the stresses of the week to melt away.

So here are a few photos from my travels...

Industrial Backdrops:

The BMW that pulled up behind me looks like it could swallow my little car whole!

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Remembrance Sunday: - A UK tradition that is a mix of the theme of Memorial Day in the US, but with the timing of Veterans Day.

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Trees and Leaves:

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All these short journey add up and I am now close to reaching 600 miles since I finally got on the road.

Until next time, take care, Paul.

Originally Posted by MPTech View Post
…FYI, one of my favourite things, is letting little kids sit in it to have their picture taken. They always seem to get a big kick out of it, girls too!…
Over the 4 years I spent building this car on my front driveway I built up a large number of 'regulars' who stop for a chat as they walk by.

During on of my recent drives, I had stopped off at a local 'corner shop'/'convenience store' on my way home.

I was just leaving when two of my regulars walked in, a Hungarian grandmother and her English grandson.

The granny's English isn't great, but we seem to get the general idea of our conversations and she loves cars.

Her grandson is a typical young boy (under 10), with lots of car questions whenever he is with her.

I was particularly impressed when he remembered the car was called a Triumph Swordfish on his last visit.

Anyway, the granny asked how the car was and was pleasantly surprised when I pointed to it sitting outside the shop.
( They have only seen it on my driveway never on the road. )

So I offered to give the grandson a quick spin around the block.

He almost exploded with excitement and kept repeating "It's my luckiest day."

The granny took loads of photos and by the time she had walked around the corner to my house I had arrived via the scenic route.

It only took a few minutes around a couple of streets, but that takes spreading joy to a new level.
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post #640 of 774 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 07:40 PM
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Your car is an inspiration! Although I am sorry about your recent challenge induced by gravity. I am pleased that the result was fairly manageable, and that you weren't hurt.

Your story about the youngster and his grandmother is awesome. I feel confident that he will remember that day for a long time. It is wonderful how our hobby can make people feel, isn't it?

I look forward to seeing some BRG on her, do you have an expected date for paint -- I am sorry if you already posted it, I just can't seem to recall. I am pleased that you have been able to enjoy it before the weather removes that option for the year. Stay well!



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post #641 of 774 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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WIS89 - Thanks Steve.

I am sure you are right that the boy will have a great memory of his short drive as it was a real assault on his senses:
- The wind in his face (he removed his baseball cap as he thought it was going to fly away).
- The noise in his ears (the twin pipes sound great when revved and pop and gurgle on the over run)
- The seat of his pants (harness style seat belts, low to the ground seating position and "good pick up")
Plus he will have his granny's photos / video footage to prove his story if anyone claims he is making it up.

I know this was a difficult build (to say the least), but I am still amazed at the hugely positive reaction the car gets whenever I go out in it.

It is easy for me to get hung up on all the details that I know are not perfect, but it is clear that is not what everyone else sees.

Which leads me to my plans for paint:
- My initial idea was to rack up 1,000 miles before starting the final body work preparation.
- As I figured that would be long enough for any stress cracks to appear in the fibreglass/filler.
- So far, after almost 600 miles, lots of pin holes / pockmarks have appeared in what was previously a smooth surface.
- Plus a few bigger lumps, where the bodywork is settling down, especially around one of the 'sealed' doors.

So I guess it will be Spring (at the earliest) before I get the chance to starting putting some BRG on.

Recently, I've been putting a bit of thought into the standard of paint finish I want to achieve.

As I've followed build threads where professional (and some amateur) painters achieve almost a perfect "liquid glass"/ deep mirror finish.

This is amazing to see, but it is beyond both my skill set and facilities, as I will be painting the car outside.

Which takes me back to one of my favourite quotes about my car from a fellow builder over here:

... like a 50 year-old race car that has been into the hay bales a few times in its life - perfect…

The reality is that my paint doesn't need to be perfect, is just needs to be good enough for an "old" car.

For example, I can't imagine anyone in this crowd is thinking the Coupe's paintwork isn't shiny enough.

But I will worry about the final details for painting another day.

Cheers, Paul.
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post #642 of 774 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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"There is only one more sleep 'til Christmas."

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Obviously, at this time of year family stuff comes first, but I'm still trying to take the car out for a quick spin every chance I get.

Unfortunately, the weather is not exactly ideal for driving around in a car with no roof.

Still, I bought a pair of warm gloves which certainly helps.

They are perfect for those clear and crisp winter days.

Unfortunately, I've also been out in some pretty 'murky' weather too.

There was enough moisture in the air last week for it to collect on the aero screens.

But it wasn't actually raining, as the passenger seat remained dry.

So whilst it was cold enough for me to see my breath when ever I stopped, I wasn't wet either.

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I've also bought a second hand GoPro from Ebay as an early Christmas present to myself and am amazed at just how small these things are.

Once I've got the hang of how all the various setting work I will post up some driving videos in 2017.

In the meantime, you might enjoy this video clip of a Sammio Spyder, which is based on the Triumph Herald.
( My kit was supposed to be the evolved version of this original kit for the 'younger' Triumph Spitfire. )

The original builder did an outstanding job and this is one of my favourite examples.
( Even if the steering wheel is on the wrong side. )

Some of the English sub-titles get a bit lost in translation, but I loved the expression "I never come home with a sad face."

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So I'll leave you on that cheery note and wish everyone who reads this thread a Merry Christmas!

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #643 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Happy New Year!
I am slowly getting the hang of how the GoPro technology works.

So below is a link to 4 minutes of 'on board' footage taken on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately, the sound is rubbish, as the camera was rattling around inside the protective case.

Also, apologies for the fact the video is not very interesting, but I just wanted to start testing the camera settings.

Both clips were taken with the camera clipped to the scuttle, the first section is "Wide", followed by "Narrow".

The wide angle shows why I need to fit some hood pins to stop the hood bouncing around.

The narrow angle makes it look like I am going a lot faster than I was, especially up the narrow hill road.

I also managed to get out earlier today and it was a lovely crisp winter's day.

By now, I've also worked out how to convert a frame of the video into a photo, so here is the 'on board' view.

I also took some footage of me driving along, as my plan is to recreate the opening scene of the The Italian Job.

Although, technically, if I wanted to accurately recreate the original film I should have a cigarette permanently hanging out of my mouth.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I can persuade my wife to come out to record some exterior shots of me driving along too.

But that's all for now, so until next time, take care, Paul.

I mentioned John Surtees in some previous posts about Goodwood.

So I was very happy to find this present under the Christmas tree.

Last edited by Paul L; 01-27-2017 at 07:19 AM. Reason: Fixing the YouTube link
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post #644 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 12:06 AM
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Very nice. My wife knows which car I drive not by a minor smell more like the stink, she says I stink of gas and exhaust.

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post #645 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 03:44 AM
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Happy New Year Paul, I enjoyed the video- brilliant!

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post #646 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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JoeE & Forbye4 - Cheers gentlemen.

In addition to all the smells from my own car, I also get covered in the fumes from other traffic around me.

It has been fun playing with the GoPro and I am currently editing the initial footage down into a series of short clips.

So, with a bit of luck, I will have enough shots to make my own (very amateur) version of the clip below shortly.

Until next time, take care, Paul.

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post #647 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 01:34 PM
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I look forward to checking out your video tribute to the Italian Job! That is a pretty cool opening scene. It would be pretty cool if you able to come even remotely close. Good luck with it!


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post #648 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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WIS89 - Cheers Steve.

So far, I've managed to get most the footage I need for my little video clip.

Now I'm just waiting for someone else to help me film the external shots of the car driving along.
( Hopefully this will happen at the weekend, weather permitting. )

Whilst I can't recreate all of the camera angles, I did manage to get this 'side of the car' view.

I'm having a lot of problems getting a decent sound recording, but did manage to film the tail pipes.

Which means I can include some sounds of my engine revving, even if the footage itself is very shaky.

So I will be using this first video as a learning exercise and I'll make a better one in the summer, when the car is finally painted.

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Baby, it's cold outside…
My original plan was to rack up at least 1,000 miles in primer, before starting the final body work preparation for paint.

At this point, I've got over 700 miles under my belt, despite a lack of free time recently and the fact it is winter here.

I do make an effort to take the car out for a drive at least one a week to keep everything ticking over, even if just for 10 miles.

So here are a few photos from Sunday afternoon, when the sun was setting and the temperature dropping.

This gave the car a nice 'warm glow'.

And this was the view from the other side.

However, by this point, the sun was almost gone and the temperature was barely in the mid 30s fahrenheit!

One day I will finally remember to balance out the passenger side after I've climbed out to take a photo.

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #649 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 06:00 PM
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It's turned out GREAT Paul! Thanks for sharing your build with us, I've enjoyed (although there were times I was cringing with you, ouch!)

Now comes the best part, DRIVING the tires off of it.

How does it drive and handle? Does your wife enjoy it? Looks fun

I know with my build, it was licensed in 2013 and I drove it in Gel-coat all summer (about 4k miles) before taking it in for paint, but every winter I've had a list of To-Do items, to improve comfort, looks, sound, handling, etc. I've currently got my interior dis-assembled, fixing some things and upgrading others. Next, a couple engine items to tackle. Nothing major but constant improvements.

Are you preparing a Winter Projects list? What's on it?

Thanks again and have fun tooling around the European backroads!
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post #650 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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MPTech - Cheers.

It is certainly fair to say there were many times during the build when finishing this project seemed beyond my reach.

So to have ended up with something that bears more than a passing resemblance to a 1950s racing car feels great.

There are still areas of the car that I know are not perfect, but driving it around has confirmed that no one else cares.

My 'To Do' list before the summer arrives includes:
- Final rounds of body work to smooth out the worst of the 'lumpy' bits.
- Painting the car, which I am now looking forward to knowing I don't have to achieve perfection.
- Making a plinth for the passenger side wing mirror to improve the field of vision.
- Adding some alloy 'access panels' over the wing mirror bolts and the new fuse panel.
- Getting a tonneau cover made with matching head rest pads (definitely a job for a professional).
- Adding my racing roundels and numbers, plus "sponsorship" stickers.

Future updates may include:
- Adding a skin of aluminium to the cockpit interior.
( Although I quite like my current 'rough and ready' black with a splash of alloy look. )
- Fitting aluminium racing seats, but, again, the current seats are fine.

As for how the car handles, it is basically a 36 year old "classic" British sports cars underneath.

So it likes the mildly twisty sections, but requires a lot of effort with its manual steering to get around tight turns.

Having said that, 'working' the steering wheel does add to the look/feel of an old racing car in action.

As the engine was rebuilt by the previous owner, I've tried to keep the revs/speed down to help run it in.

But I've done a few short blasts on a few motorway (interstate) sections up to the legal UK limit of 70mph.

Which seemed fast enough, given the wind blast and the complete lack of modern car safety features.
( I did slip on an open faced crash helmet for these sections 'just in case'. )

Hopefully the video clip I'm working on will give you some idea of the fun this car is to drive.

My wife has been out for one drive in the car and liked it, but will now wait for the summer for another spin.

Unfortunately, neither of my two daughters will join me, as they both became teenagers during my long build.
( So anything associated with their dad these days must be both embarrassing and uncool. )


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post #651 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 12:36 PM
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That is so cool. Great job!

FFR #7124 Mk 3.1, Levy 5 link, LCA's & brakes, 17" Halibrands, electric PS, SAI, Eibach springs, BOSS 427w, webers, hood louvers, tilt front. Delivered 12/23/09, 1st start 02/19/12. 1st go cart 03/03/12. Titled 10/3/12.

"I'm basing it on a collective interpretation of these particular cars. And whatever the hell I like". The Federalist Patriot

SL-C, LS3 525, Mendeola SDR-5. Titled 9-19-18
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post #652 of 774 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Dallas - Thanks.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Italian Job:
Year - 1969
Car - Lamborghini Miura
Engine - 3929cc V12
Location - Grand Saint Bernard Pass, The Alps, North West Italy

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I think the original opening sequence of The Italian Job really captures the pure joy of driving…
A lovely day, a beautiful car, great roads and scenery, accompanied by a soundtrack to match (V12 engine + Matt Munro).
Unfortunately, I don't have a Lamborghini, or any mountain passes near here and I'm not as good looking as Rossano Brazzi.
On the other hand, I do have a car I spent many years building myself and finally being able to drive it is worth celebrating.
Whilst I couldn't make a decent 'frame by frame' replica of the film, I did manage to include a few similar camera shots in places.
But please ignore any clunky edits, dodgy continuity, etc. and just enjoy my first attempt at making a car video for what it is…

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The Harrow Job:
Year - 2017
Car - Triumph Swordfish
Engine - 1493cc inline 4
Location - Harrow Hill and roads around North West London

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Take care, Paul.


Extra Note:
Apparently the fact I added the sound track from my iTunes account causes copyright problems on iPads, iPhones, etc.

So you may need to use another device to watch the clip, which is listed in YouTube as 'Triumph Swordfish - The Harrow Job'.

Last edited by Paul L; 01-29-2017 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Adding extra note
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post #653 of 774 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Catch Up - Part 1
It has been a while since my last post, so let me bring you up to speed in a few areas…

The Harrow Job
It seems that most 'smart' devices will not allow my YouTube car video to play, not just Apple ones.

Anyway, here is one of the many 'out takes' from the original footage.

"Is the camera filming?"

The young boy in the shot is my friend's son who came along to help with the filming.

So it only seemed fair that I have him a lift to the locations.

He had a lot of fun on the day and we might get him some suitable accessories if he joins us next time.

I also felt a lot better about my humble efforts when I found this photo of how the professionals did the original.

Clearly, a GoPro on an extendible 'selfie stick' is never going to be in the same quality league.

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Seat Belts:
Another car builder asked about my seat belts, which I got from Ebay.

Apparently, they were part of a limited batch of new belts designed for this Saxon armoured vehicle!

You can just about see the belts in this interior shot.

I just followed a link that someone else had posted on their build thread, as a few people have them in their cars.

End of Part 1….
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post #654 of 774 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Catch Up - Part 2

Shake Down Mileage:
I've now managed to clock up just over 900 miles since I finally got the car on the road.

Which isn't too bad when you consider it is winter here and I have been busy with work and other 'stuff'.

Thankfully, I've managed to get out for even just a shot spin at least once a week.

I don't mind the cold and dull days, as long as it is not raining.

I've even been taking it out to do some grocery shopping.

So who said a car with no roof wasn't practical?

The car is still getting a very positive reaction every time I drive it, as it really does stand out from the 'crowd'.

The big kid in me still loves the fact that the hood opens on hinges I made myself.

Although the reason the hood was up was so I could top up the oil which is weeping out of the engine.

Fixing that will be added to the "To Do" when I start the process of finally preparing the car for paint.

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John Surtees - RIP
You will see many references to John Surtees on this page of my build thread and he died yesterday aged 83.

His achievements on both two and four wheels make him one of the all time greats.

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That's all for now, so until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #655 of 774 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:26 PM
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Thats a Great Video

After all these years, the trials and tribulations, seeing your project car under a tarp on the deck in the snow, you finally get to Take the Sammio Cordite out for a spin. The footage is excellent, I felt at if I were in the other seat. Great Job, and enjoy the ride(s).


Ordered Feb 26 2009
Engine: 331 from Engine Factory, Carburated QF 650
Halibrand 15" Wheels, BFG Radial TA Tires
Build School July 2010
Recieved Kit July 2010, #7287

Power Steering Rack & Offset Alum Bushings - Breeze, Power Steering Heidt Valve
Power Brakes - Whitby
Hydralic Clutch & Hydralic Brake Master Cyl. Modern Driveline
Modified quiet sidepipes - Breeze
sidepipe heat shields cobrastuff
Trunk Battery Box - FFmetalb
Firewall Forward - FFmetal
Turn Signal switch - Russ Thompson
Enlarged Passenger Footbox mod Russ Thompson
Russ Thompson accelerator pedal
Tremec TKO600 .64 5TH
Heater and Wipers

As of Mar 2017

Fitting the sidepipes and last will be hood and windscreen fit, then paint.

First start April 2016
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Body is being prepped for paint
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post #656 of 774 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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mcwho – Thanks for your kind words Bob.

After such a difficult build, it does feel great to be finally driving the car around.

I’m glad you enjoyed the video, I will try to make another one during the summer.

Cheers, Paul.
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post #657 of 774 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Just a couple of photos from some recent trips out in the car.

I've now racked up 1,003 miles and once the weather warms up a bit more I will start the final preparations for paint.

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A number of people were killed and injured during a terrorist attack in London a few days ago.

While this happened a few miles from where I live/work, I do know the area well.

If you look back to Post #624 you will see this photo of my car outside St.Pancras taken in September 2016.

You will also find this quote…

Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
... the reactions I got from tourists earlier today when I was driving around the "sights" was completely bonkers and a lot of fun.
At the time I was hoping to get a photo of my car with something like the Houses of Parliament in the background.

The problem was there are a lot of stopping/parking restrictions around here.

I did manage to briefly stop outside Westminster Abbey…

But as I tried to move back further to get a better photo, the car was engulfed by other people taking close up photos of it.

So I abandoned the idea at the time and vowed to return very early one summer Sunday morning and try again.

I did managed to take this photo of a lovely sounding McLaren when I was stuck in traffic.

And this was the best "tourist" photo I managed to take from the same traffic jam.

I remember the vast numbers of people walking around that day, so watching the tragic scenes from there really hit home.

But I'll leave you with a photo of the painting we have hanging in our dining room…

Take care, Paul.
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post #658 of 774 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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April Roundup
As May just is around the corner, it is about time I brought my build thread up to date.

I've still been ranking up 'shakedown' miles in between 'life', work and the weather and have now passed the 1,100 mile mark.

Even though the car still looks unfinished, it is still getting a great reaction where ever I go.

Although, you just have to park the car to realise it is very different to most things on the road these days.

One day we has some unusually warm Spring weather over here, so I tried to make the most of it.

But it was really just an excuse to work in a pretty poor USA/UK 'lost in translation' joke.

"We reserve the right to bare arms."

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Professional Help:
Whilst my engine was rebuilt by the previous owner, his restoration project stalled and it was never actually driven for years.

So in addition to letting the bodywork settle, my first 1,000+ miles have also been about running in/checking the engine.

Unfortunately, it has a major oil leak that I have neither the skills/tools/facilities to even attempt to resolve.

By chance I was reading a magazine article about a small specialist Triumph garage that wasn't too far away.

After a brief chat on the phone, I was booked in and dropped the car off there last Saturday, for a mid-week appointment.



HealyRick - Sorry I couldn't get a better photo of this Frogeye, or do a side by side comparison.

With a fast turnaround, I needed to take some time off work to pick the car up on Friday.

So a big thank you to the team at Enginuity for working their way through my 'snagging list'.

Oil Leak:
- They replaced the oil seal on the timing cover, which the main culprit for leaking oil all over the place.
- The timing chain tensioner was also replaced while they were in there, as that was pretty knackered too.

- I'd bought a new thermostat valve to see if that would cure my heating problem, but hadn't fitted it yet.
- Turns out the old one was indeed stuffed and the entire manifold tube also needed to be unblocked.
( Which suggested to the garage that the engine was previously left standing without sufficient anti-freeze in it. )
- Anyway, now that the cooling system is actually flowing properly, l finally have a working heater!

Engine occasionally running on after switching the ignition off:
- This was due to parts of the engine overheating due to the blocked cooling system.
- So two problems fixed for the price of one.

- Many Triumphs had an overdrive option in 3rd & 4th, operated by a switch on the gear lever.
- Initially, mine seemed to work well, then it became intermittent, so I stopped using it.
- Thankfully, a new gear level overdrive switch and a section of new switch wiring has resolved this.

Occasional 'clutch' failure:
- Every now and then, there would be 'nothing' when I tried to pull away.
- Turns out this problem was also connected to the dodgy overdrive wiring.

High Idle:
- As the miles were racking up, the revs at tick over had started to creep up too, close to 1,750.
- So once everything else has been sorted out, the idle speed was reset to around the 800 rev mark.

I think the fact this garage actually specialises in TRs and Stags is how I previously missed them.

However, they certainly know their way around a Spitfire too, so this has turned into a great find.

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End of Part 1...
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post #659 of 774 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Prepping for Paint:
Given the Frankenstein nature of my build, the on the road shakedown in primer idea was a good one.

As you can now see some of the 'lumpy' bits that have been brought to the surface under the stresses of driving.
( Although this side also includes a reminder of a small slip I had with my angle grinder still spinning. )

So my next big job is to go through the final round of body work preparation and get some paint on the car.

The good news, for me at least, is that I am now happy to accept some imperfections in the body work.

I gave up trying to achieve perfect symmetry in the car a long time ago to give myself a very slim chance to finish it.

Since I've been on the road, I've yet to hear a single negative comment about issues with my wheel arches/aero humps/bonnet, etc.

As the reality is that I have built a great little car that is fun to drive and genuinely brightens other peoples' days.

If I look back at this photo of my last racing motorcycle, I quite like the way the dent in the tank is simply painted, not repaired.

Which leads me back to one of my favourite quotes from another UK builder.

"… like a 50 year-old race car that has been into the hay bales a few times in its life - perfect…"

So I am sure that a less than perfect British Racing Green will still look miles better than the grey primer.

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UK Top Gear
Not sure if any of you saw the episode featuring the Fiat 124.

But is was good to see they used "On days like these" as the sound track for the final bit of filming.

Although, clearly, they are able to film cars to a much higher standard that my humble GoPro efforts in "The Harrow Job".

Still, I do plan to have another go at making another car home movie when the car is finally finished.

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Until next time, take care, Paul.
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post #660 of 774 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Paint Prep – Part 1
I know there is no short cut on the path to a great paint finish, it is all linked to the preparation work.

Unfortunately, I just do not have unlimited time available for endless rounds of sanding/filling/sanding/etc.

Instead, I have a few months where the daylight and temperature are on my side for working outside.

Therefore I need the car in paint before the end of July, aiming for the best finish I can achieve in the time available.

Here is the latest photo I have of the car in “Before” mode.

Every square inch of the existing primer is being removed to ensure I start with a fresh base layer.
( As driving around London for 1,100+ miles will have contained this porous surface. )

So after sanding down the primer, I added filler to the worse of the “lumpy bits”, although the first batch did not mix well.

But after some sanding / more filler / more sanding, it was a lot smoother than before.

The next area was the hood, mainly because it looked like this at one stage!

There was also the odd small dip/dent in the hood that needed to be fixed.

Which is easier to see after the first round of sanding.

So that has been filled and sanded back.

End of Part 1…
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