Driving a 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 from Peking to Paris in the June 2019 ERA Rally.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

0068 Roll bar, seats, and lots more

30th September 2018
We keep working while the roll bar takes shape

245 days to go !

Roll bar painted
At the moment progress on Gidget is a bit like watching a duck swim in a fast flowing stream - On the surface there doesn't appear to be much movement, but under the water the legs are paddling like crazy in order to keep moving forwards.   The car is still up at J&H Restorations at Yatala while the complicated roll bar continues to take shape.  The main technical difficulty is that each of the 4 vertical mountings for the roll bar base have to be exactly vertical so that the whole unit can be removed easily - One slightly crooked mounting and it would be difficult to remove. But now that has been done sccessfully, we are nearly finished.
In the meantime I continue to work on other items for which I do not need the car.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

0067 The roll bar takes shape

23rd September 2018
Roll bar, seats, and even more red dust !

253 days to go !!

Roll bar almost complete
Ever since we got back from Alice Springs 3 weeks ago Gidget has been
And seat almost there too
up at J&H Restorations to design and fabricate a roll bar. All the original design phase using plastic pipes, and options for changing the soft top mounting method were detailed in my last post - As were the initial plans to use some MGF Trophy 160 seats in place of the retro seats we have currently.  The time required to design one-off items like this is always a lot longer than can ever be imagined if you have never been involved in car restoration, but I am pleased to confirm that we are nearly there !  We almost have a roll bar and we almost have seats !!

Sunday, 9 September 2018

0066 Work starts again

9th Sept 2018
Seats, roll bar, and dust

"New" seat vs current seat (r)
Back from Alice, I hardly had time to unload the car off the trailer, and unload all the "stuff" from Troopie, and it was time to head off again in Gidget - This time to Peter & Brett Janetzki's JH Restorations in Yatala.  The only major work required on Gidget (that we know of so far !!) is the fitting of a roll bar.  A roll bar is "recommended" (but not compulsory) for the P2P, but after our experiences in the deep sand around Alice last week, we realised how quickly things can go horribly wrong if a big rock or a deep rut is hidden in the soft sand, we decided a roll bar was a "good idea".  However Ashton has some requirements - He wants it removable, and he wants, if possible, to be able to use the current roof over the top of it.  So it was off to JH Restorations to discuss further our ideas - We had already discussed it with them when Ashton was over here some weeks ago, so it was just a matter of fleshing out the ideas and turning them into reality.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

0065 Alice to Queensland

29th August 2018
A long way home - 6820 kms round trip.

1st & last pub in NT
Coober Pedy diggings
I finally got away from the Alice early on Sunday afternoon, and managed to get down towards Coober Pedy before sunset, passing lots of road kill, and seeing several eagles which only took off just before I arrived at the scene.  I stopped beside the road for the night, and continued into Coober Pedy the next morning where I refuelled and got some coffee.   Coober Pedy never ceases to
make me smile, with its seemingly endless mounds of dirt from the diggings piled up everywhere - It always makes me think of Hobbits !! From Coober Pedy I headed on south, and before sunset I had got through Port Augusta and turned east towards Broken Hill. I have never seen so many kangaroos beside the road, both dead and alive.  They were just lined up along the side of the road for kilometre after kilometre, and I stopped fairly early because it was just getting too dangerous.

0064 Days 5 & 6 of Classic Outback Trial

25th August
More days in the dirt !

Regularity stage in the sand
Our competitive results over the last couple of
Red dust everywhere
days of the Classic Outback Trial were not so brilliant, but Gidget continued to perform faultlessly, and since this was the major purpose of this shakedown, we ended up very happy overall.   We actually got too clever and instead of just following the provided time sheets precisely all the way through, ended up compounding our errors and as a result being late (or early) all the way through.  Lesson learned however, but since they do not have "Regularity" stages on the Peking to Paris, we do not have to worry unduly
about it !  In the meantime, we visited some stunning parts of the Northern Territory, and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all the other competitors.