Amy arrived home from Liverpool on Wednesday, her driver Martyn arrived from Cumbria in their Astra on Thursday, and we spent Friday investigating why the Vauxhall has spent all its life with Martyn stalling.
Gareth's Volvo was ready and waiting for his arrival on Friday from Pwllheli - and the acid test of whether our work on keeping his engine bay cool had paid dividends: the forecast was for almost 30 deg on the rally.

  • As for Martyn's Astra, a 1.8 that has been modified by fitting a Weber DMTL
    • Onto the ramps, off with the sumpguard, welded in a Lambda boss and connected up.
    • Out on the open road...
      • Massively rich on all feathered/steadystate throttles: so rich that it couldn't register the 0.70 AFR but simply said "RICH"
      • Full throttle was good, tying in with the fact that the car goes like stink
      • Under heavy braking it goes very lean (1.30) and tries to stall
    • In brief
      • The carb had clearly come from one of the 55 Webcon vehicle conversions that was not a Vauxhall 1.8: the jetting was completely wrong, so there's the answer to the fuelling.
      • Martin at Webcon patiently spent several phone calls educating me on the DMTL, resulting in the discovery that fuel was in fact gently overflowing the float chamber and dribbling down the chokes - I solved this, for a while.
      • With no one stocking jets for the DMTL (no, DCOE and DGAS/DGAV hets don't match!), we were left with leaving the carb "slightly better" than when he arrived.
      • Martin at Webcon is sending up a brand new Cavalier DMTL to Martyn...
    • Lunchtime Saturday
      • Martyn & Amy Henchoz lying 2nd overall, a couple of seconds behind the leader
      • Gareth & Rob Henchoz lying 4th
    • By mid afternoon the carburettor had returned to its evil ways, and Martyn stalled a couple of times, then compounded by Amy wrong slotting on the trivially easy final Regularity; they dropped to 16th
  • We held onto 4th overall, and "best on Regularity" - so my Curta has proved its worth, matching Gareth's performance on Test
  • As for Gareth's engine bay: we didn't suffer fuel vaporisation at all, on the hottest event we have ever competed in together. I shall ask him to write a brief impressions report...

The big attraction for several I spoke to was Matthew & Diane Mantle's Lotus Elan: under the bonnet it was immaculate, but outside it was wonderfully, um, patina'd in the extreme: truly a delight of originality, very desirable and very cool.

Also seeing Carrie & Bernard Northmore out in their 944 was a delight, since we started Historic at around the same time as Bernard.

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