Monthly Archives: July 2007

Fuel for thought

This month I’ve actually achieved quite a bit – although it may not look that impressive in the photos.

The fuel tank is finally in with new fuel lines, breather pipes etc. I won’t be able to test the renovated fuel sender or the fuel pump until the electrics are installed.

The biggest battle was with the new water repellent self adhesive sound proofing from Woolies. This was to replace the old jute felt that seemed designed to soak up water, and then hold it against the metal until rust chomped its way through.

I cut the material into manageable sized chuncks and then tried to peel the backing off. Hopeless. The glue came off with it. So I tried peeling it off in little bits – this was even more problematic. I must admit to muttering the odd profanity.

 sticky mess

The glue got all over my fingers, I dropped a piece on my new roll of fuel pipe and it stuck fast, I was not happy.

After an entire morning work I finally had enough inside the cavity to fit the tank in – and of course it didn’t fit. The rubber was a lot thicker than the jute – with the tank full it will flatten down, but an empty tank just sat atop it.  This then meant that the cable restraints would not fit round the tank. So out it came again.

Fortunately I have a box full of odd spare parts – including a pair of brackets which attach the cables to the chassis. I took these and flattened them in a vice, refolding them to give me an extra inch of cable length.

bodged brackets

The original is in the centre. When I fill the tank for the first time (After mortgaging the kids) I will have to tighten up the cables to take up the slack.

Getting the fuel fillers in was a struggle – space is just so tight on this car, but eventually everything was in and connected up.

all in

Up For’ard

A lot of silly bits of damage happened to ROJ during the dismatling process – either through ignorance, clumsiness or – more likely in my case, loss of patience.

Each mistake has cost me time and money – a very harsh master that has made me far more cautious as I go along. Fortunately I have been making lots of new friends who are knowledgeable and willing to help. One of these is Billy – a cheerful Macedonian with an artistry in panel beating second to none.

Up at the front end of ROJ were several small dings in the aluminium – including one nasty knock above the right headlamp. No problem for Billy. Off he went to the barn and came back with a few blocks of wood – an old chair leg included, and proceded to knock my £20 odd K car back into shape with an old chair leg…

Billy in action

 The result….

The result

Friend of ROJ

Remember earlier in the blog I mentioned I had met a chap with a crash damaged V8. Well Billy has been at work on that and this is what it looks like now.

Arty's car

I’m slightly jealous of their progress – but then Arty and Billy have far more resources close to hand than I. And I’ll get there eventually.

More travels

8 am tomorrow I shall be on a plane to Dublin for four days, and if you haven’t already spotted a pattern, I will be meeting up with one or two Irish Aston Owners for some car talk over a pint of the black stuff. I hear it might just be as lethal as Finnish vodka…


Woolies were really helpful when I complained about the lack of self adhesion on the foam. We worked out a compromise and they sent me an aerosol of adhesive – so I’ll report on that next time.

Fast Finns

Chapter 2 of my trip to Finland – with the really important toys.

Thanks Malcolm for sorting out the technology.

As I was saying…

I travelled to the Concours at Turku in style. My new friend Harri arranged for me to be picked up from the Klaus K hotel in Helsinki early on the Sunday morning. The Klauis K is a ‘designer’ hotel – which basically means it relies on style over comfort.. Shame this hotel’s owners don’t realise that business travellers like a) a comfy bed, b) lots of hot water in a bath, c)a decent bar and d) a decent easily accessible breakfast… Oh – and lighting that is easy to operate in the room!

I was up bright and early on Sunday wondering what wonderful vehicle I would be whisked off to Turku in when…

 … a Porsche Cayman arrived.

Not wishing to be considered ungrateful I smiled and said ‘Lovely car’ but thinking – ‘Oh no – a Porsche’. Turku is a two and a half hour drive from Helsinki along some pretty open roads and we made good time for an hour, until my friend Jan declared it was time for coffee and wait for ‘the others’.

It was not long before three magnificent cars growled into the carpark alongside the Porsche, all owned by one family. A Lamborghini Countach and two Ferraris.

Tight squeeze 

Remember Jeremy Clarkson squeezing into the Countach? well i can confirm the tightness of the fit – and I’m short of JC by a good three inches.

The choice: stay with Jan in the porker; ride with Mikhael in the Countach; or ride in the red Ferrari 308 with Mikhael’s young sister Amelia – now call me a red blooded, middle aged letch if you will, but there was no contest!

Watch the video and tell me you wouldn’t have done the same.

And yes, we were pulled over by the fuzz. But Finnish fuzz are pretty friendly – unlike US cops who would have shot me for taking their photo.

The Concours was great – I met Harri who introduced me around to various people – including Finland’s answer to Clarkson, but with less hair. Jussi Halli presents a programme called Ajonuevos, if you click on the link you will be able to watch episodes of the programme – which are great!

At the show I saw some cars I had never seen before, like this beautiful Renault Alpine

This Mercedes was one of my favourites

There were plenty of humbler cars too – like these Saabs

The show was all too early over. Harri gave me a lift back to Helsinki in his lovely V8 OI. On the way he showed me a DVD of Ajoneuvos in which Jussi had featured his car. How bizarre to sit in a car and watch that very car on a TV programme…

Watch the video and you will see what I mean. We drove in convoy with the Lambo and two Ferraris – and every now and then would play at ‘leader of the pack’. This time avoiding the attention of two-wheeled plod.

It was a lovely day and I feel that I made some really good friends among the Fast Finns.

Chop Chop..

From speedy toys to a very dextrous one – on the last day of my trip I visited the plant of UPM paper, and took a trip into the woods to see them harveting trees for the mill – check this video out.