The Last Tango in Hemel
Will it all fit?

 

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26th May 2018…..The Dark Lord descended on Hemel at 8:20 and after un-loading a car load of goodies from Rova, we had a quick natter over a cuppa. The plan was sorted to fit the suspension front and back to SHW as the house sale is now imminent and I need to be able to move him to his new home in Lincolnshire. Unfortunately I was unable to spend any time this week getting things ready for his Lordships visit so we had to spend the first hour moving loads of stuff off of, and from under, SHW just to move him a little to work on. With the space cleared underneath we were able to put the home made Viva trolley under him then braced the rear end with axle stands so we could put the front on first. This turned out to be a bugger of a job and take much longer than anticipated. Finding all the bits should have been easy but wasn’t, plus the fact I couldn’t find one of the top wishbone bolts. (Along with lots of others). You know the ones, big long buggers! We also had to make a spring compressor from 12mm threaded bar as I’d loaned mine out and they haven’t come back. (Trouble is I can’t remember who I loaned them too). (Since I wrote this I found them in the move and /I had two sets and for some reason I put them in with all the gaskets I have. I've never told the Dark Lord). To be honest this made up version worked much better than my shop bought ones. We managed to get the front done and as I couldn’t find the wishbone bolt we used 12mm threaded bar. This should be okay as we only need to get the car on a trailer so it won’t be towed along the road. The rear end turned out to be a bit easier after Spot found SHW’s long arms on the shelf. We finished around 6:30 and got washed up ready for a nice Indian, red wine and beer. Late in the evening we spent time talking about and working out what we still need to get done ready for the 50th anniversary bash at Market Harborough this year, with a list being produced for yours truly to sort.

27th May 2018…..Spot wanted to be away by 11 today so we had a quick look at DHR’s broken indicator stalk. It just flops about now so two spares were dug out of the garage but as usual the wiring was slightly different so Spot figured out what I needed to do to use one of them. After a quick test without removing the old one it worked, so that’s another job for me when I get time. Spot had also put our improvised 50th anniversary plaques through a vigorous test by strapping them to the front and back of his car on the journey up to me. All went well until it rained then the laminate started to split. I had already made new improved version 2 ones up and these were tested on the way back and the latest report I have is they are much better. Proper ones are being made by the Owners Club I think but these test ones do help promote the day it seems by the amount of people stopping to read them. 

28th May 2018…..After finishing yesterday doing house jobs, (getting ready to move), I was given the day in the garage. I had a lot of clearing up to do. It took most of the day just sorting things out, (and I still couldn’t find the Dark Lords glasses case). I also wanted to remove four of the florescent light fittings to take up to the new garage and I managed to do that as well but this was only after I’d done a total re-wire of the lighting system. DHR was then able to come home again but it was too late to start the indicator job. By 6 I was knackered so call it a day. As you may have been able to deduce from this write up, the move to the wilds of Lincolnshire is now pretty close so hopefully shortly I will be a retired person with time for more ‘Vivaing’. I can’t wait.

8th June 2018.....Today Joanne helped me get all the spares I had in the loft of the garage down on the floor after pushing the V8 shell outside. When we tried to get the V8 back in again I had to move parts outside because everything didn’t fit. Just a note here to all blokes who stupidly ask their better halves to help them do something like this, be very careful. Joanne wanted to know why for instance I had eight or nine grilles and I’ve only got three cars. This went on every time I passed things from the loft to her. I kept telling her that someday things would be worth a small fortune and make her rich but she still wanted to get a skip in!

9th June 2018……Spot arrived at ten to eight so we immediately had a cuppa then it was straight to work. I needed to get the metal bender moved or maybe taken to bits ready for the big move, and the lathe and compressor. I also needed to lift the big metal table out which Joanne and I couldn’t do on our own. The first job though was fitting the boot and bonnet to the V8 and making sure all the panels etc. I’d put inside the V8 ready for transporting on Thursday was secure. Spot had the boot on in no time after I’d found two sets of hinges! I couldn’t understand why I had two sets, then remembered the half car I’d had a few years ago. They must have come from that. Then the bonnet was attached. Because I’d done the inner wings the hinges could be fitted without a problem and to be honest both were done in very quick time. We then rearranged the panels inside the car and Spot says we need not strap them down as they can’t move. (I probably will before the trailer gets here). Then we had to make space. Next job was to breakdown the metal bender so I could lift it on the van next week. That turned out to be a total no, no as between us we couldn't even lift the top section after I'd undone the bolts. So I bolted it up again and my only hope is that I can push it on the very back of the van by myself. We then managed to lift my big metal bench out from its tightly fitting space but only after we removed the big vice. Next it was the lathe. Now the idea for this very heavy item was to lay it on the car trolley so I could push it on the van. This meant we had to remove both ends and lower the centre bed section onto a bit of wood on the trolley. What I hadn't taken into account was that Spot is such a weakling. So as I took the heavy end and was resting the heavy metal end against my leg after it was unbolted, his lordship lowered his end before I had chance to brace myself and I trapped my pinky between the top section and the leg. Luckily this is where my years of weight lifting came in handy and I had the strength to lift it up again with my other hand and release my finger. At first we both thought I would lose the use of it and the blood was pouring everywhere. Spot nearly fainted at the amount of blood and the sight of the disfigured finger. Of course I just carried on as if nothing had happened and hardly mentioned it again all weekend, in fact for the next week or so! Most people would of course have blamed the dark lord but being the man I am I told him I forgive him and we would keep it between ourselves and never mention it again. The fact is three weeks later I had to get the finger strapped up as I still couldn't use it and even now the end of the finger is bent. Being able to now use only one hand I still managed to help him dismantle the wooden bench so we could move the big compressor. With this done it was time to call a halt in the garage and go and meet Mark. Mark had inherited an HB but it wasn't running, so obviously he came to me for help. Mark's black HB wouldn't rev so we put on our super mechanic suits and jumped in our Viva-mobiles and headed for Mark's. We only had a two hour window as Mark had a family commitment to attend. The problems were probably two fold. The carbs and the timing. The engine was an 1800 lump and after Spot inspected the carbs he rattled on for ages about needle numbers etc. until I glazed over and ended up talking to Mark's nine year old son Harry. He was a very clever and insightful nine year old and Spot was quite upset when Harry said; "I want to be a specialist Mechanic like you Mike", to me. Obviously he could see who was the brains in this team. Anyway after messing with the carbs and re-setting the timing the car ran well and could be rev'ed and driven. Mark was a happy smiling man when we left him. I'm just glad I didn't let little Harry down as sometimes meeting one's hero can be a disappointment.

10th June 2018.....We got up and headed for the Vauxhall Heritage centre. When we got there Mike John and family, all the way from New Zealand, had already arrived. Mike had been touring Europe and this was his last couple of days so had included the Heritage Centre and Luton Show to finish off his trip. We all tried to park together and in the end there were 9 HB's there and 7 were GT's. (Tony in his Lotus power HB, Ian Ridge from Southampton in his Lotus powered GT, Colin Barratt in his GT, Dave Laxton in DEV, Adrian Miller in his Crayford, Colin Robbins in ORO, the Heritage Centre GT and of course Rova and DHR). Next came a very rare moment, Tony had a 'chod' moment. He made up a contraption which included a huge great pole on which he could connect his camera and take overhead pictures. He got it all out, set it up and just as he was about to take a wonderful picture of the cars he realised...the camera battery was flat. Luckily we never made him feel embarrassed, Not. At the end of the day Tony took us through the scenic parts of Luton, people would not normally drive through and now i know why. I dreaded a red light in case I lost my wheels but it did have one novel moment. We stopped at a set of lights right outside a curry house and guess what it was called.....the HB Curry House. Brilliant.

The following day I picked up the hire van and for the next three days drove to Shepeau Stow each day with a van full of Viva goodies and dumped them in the new garage. On Thursday 14th June I had the V8 GT taken up on a flatbed. I couldn't fit it in the garage as it was now full to overflowing with parts. So I covered it in a damp proof membrane and tarpaulin. Below are the pictures taken over many days and a few of the finished garage.

Remember to see the pictures clearly you can click on the pictures below for a bigger image.

 

 

 

 

Final Move

As there were no brakes on the V8 we had to block the back wheels.

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Joanne even started putting things outside.

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We had to start moving things around as I needed to get the V8 back in.

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Things were backed up to both doors.

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I needed another plan!

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And started loading straight away.

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I did wonder how many journeys it would take though.

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in fact it looked bloody massive.

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The V8 had gone by this time so now it left one.

 

Final Move

There's much more room up here.

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All this and only have one car in there.

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The delivery guy was excellant. No fuss, no trouble and really efficiant and quick.

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The question now was what to do with it?

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Then I covered it with a damp proof membrane and tarp held on my rachet straps.

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Nothing was sorted just chucked up there. This pictures is towards the rear of the garage.

Final Move

Seats, bumpers, exhausts, everything I could lift went up.

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But I have managed to get all three cars in. All I need to do now is sort everything out. Glad I've retired!