Friday, March 25, 2005

Go on, Slip your top off!



Well the sun came out and I took the hardtop off the Vitesse - great! I then took it out for a great thrash down the Roman road - it's even better topless. I even forgot to take the camera and take some sensible photos - I will remember next time. I should really get some good shots of the car out of the garage!
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I was amazed at the weight of the hardtop - it's so light one person can easily lift it when it's off the car. Now I just have to figure a way to get it up into the loft of the garage for the summer :-)
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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Where did the time go?

Well that week was rather hectic, I've been down in Worthing all week working - interesting times. I managed to come home in the middle of the week for dinner and a sleep in my own bed with my own wife ;-).
Worthing's a weird place to get to from Reading but I found some great roads between Guildford and Worthing - the first time I've really caned the Toyota and got it to slide a bit. That is no mean feat as although it's capable it is a diesel and rather gutless unless thrashed to within an inch of it's life - still it's a compnay car and deserves to be excercised a little.
Thankfully the buyer of my body shell was able to come up and get it so it was gone by the time I got home - he'd had some transport problems and I'd given him up as a non-paying bidder but he came through in the end. I was happy to see it go and it didn't cost me to get rid so that was a bonus. The front end should go tomorrow and I'll be back in favour with the family as we won't have to look out over rusty car parts anymore.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Wolfrace recliner seats found!

eBay item 7961574280 (Ends 23-Mar-05 21:39:13 GMT) - Wolfrace recliner seats

Not sure if these would fit in a Herald but having sat in them on my patio (best investment for all weather eBay photgraphy!) they are comfortable. My wife tells me that her Godfather gave them to us when he was clearing out his house - so Lord knows where they came from prior to that! It kind of explains why they are in such good condition - he isn't known for his driving in fact I can't remember him having a car for much of the past few years, he always seems to borrow one when coming out of London to see us. Anyway, I didn't really know where to list them so I just put them with the other seats on eBay - seems something of a backwater though so they might not attract any interest. Shame really as they are far superior in quality and features that the modern aftermarket recliners I put in my Herald - there's loads more adjustment in the rake and the tilt mechanism is independant so you don't lose your rake setting every time you fold them to let someone in the back of the car! I've no use for them now and they are big things to keep on the off chance so out they must go!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A real eye opener on eBay

eBay item 5560940277 (Ends 06-Mar-05 18:29:36 GMT) - 25 MAIL-LITE PADDED ENVELOPES - E/2 - �6.69 inc p+p

Caveat Emptor
I bought some bubble wrap envelopes on eBay the other day and got more than I bargained for. One of those "I'll just quickly get those" jobs that turned into a monster. First off, I've been around eBay for a while now and I think I know what's what buying and selling. Anyway, back to the tale - I clicked the "buy it now" option and got an immediate "wait for our special email" advice, so I did.
I then got an email saying "Pay with Paypal" - so I did.
Then I got an email saying "Don't pay with Paypal"
So I emailed these guys and asked what was going on, just how did they want me to pay and if they don't take Paypal why send me a Paypal request?
Immediate email back telling me to withdraw it and use one of the methods advised (they told me to use Paypal!)
Unsurprisingly I was a little miffed by this but I did what was required and sent the guy an email saying he should sort out the silly automatic emails as they were contradictory.
I then tried to pay through their "secure server" well what a farce, the thing fell over three times and I thought better of putting my credit card through that one.
Bank transfer - I'll do one of those I thought, at least I know that will go, so I did.
All this was on the 3rd of the month
A week later I got an email saying my order was on it's way and it turned up on the 12th
When the postman handed me the package I thought, wow they are light and so I weighed them,the postage cost was something like £1.30 - I'd paid £3.57 to these people - on the high side but not that bad. It had taken 9 days - slow but not too bad. Their emails were terse and the whole payment fiasco was annoying and time consuming for such a silly little purchase.
I always try to give feedback and in view of the less than smooth progress on this I decided to give them a neutral feedback, not negative just neutral - my experience wasn't great and I certainly wouldn't go back to them.

Wow! What a reaction from them, immediate abusive email -

"Your feedback is grossly unfair, I you (sic) read the details before purchase you would have seen that we do not take Paypal. The postage and PACKING charges are inline with eBay policy and includes materials, postage, time and VAT, if you think that £3.57 VAT for p+p is expensive you need to live in the real world. The delivery took only 2 days, slow don't think so.

I would suggest you purchase from other sources in future as we only wish to sell to literate customers.

AJB Supplies"


There were other emails but not quite so nasty, more sarcastic - I particularly liked the comment "...this one live is a dream" - good job they are so literate :-) If only they applied their time to improving the customer experience instead of abusing their customers then perhaps they wouldn't get criticised.

So, when you see a negative (the first one) on my eBay feeback record on eBay, you can see why. Having now taken a look at all their feedback most of it is concerning their unhelpful attitude and confusing payment systems - shame they can't take it as constructive.

Right, enough of Jason's consumer watchdog sermon, back to the putting the treasures from the garage on eBay.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Look no wires

A bit of eBay fodder and 10 minutes set up is all that it took to get a wireless network up and running at home. Maybe now I can get the kids online and stop them hassling me for email and web access. Before I get it all sorted I need to figure out how to secure it and supervise it and filter the crap and spam out of the email! at least we can sort out some Death matches and I can cleaver them legally and in the comfort of my own living room :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Back at base

Bit of a hectic week so far 500 miles covered, lots of paying work done, introduced a collegue to the delights of Tapas and went to Whitehall - all in a weeks work

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Hi ho, hi ho...............

It's off to work I go - nice little drive up to Bolton now, then Liverpool and Shrewsbury over the next couple of days. Then hob knobing with Government in Whitehall - my suit has never seen so much action! Triumph activity's taking a back seat for a few days. On Saturday I'll be at home for collection of the last couple of large items - then the patio will be clear.
I'll also be digging out 2 sets of front seats for selling - unless anyone wants a set of everyday Herald seats, refurbished with new foam and replacements for the diaphragms (pirelli seat webbing style) Not perfect but no major holes or nastiness. I think they have new rubber seat blocks on them and I'll throw in a set of seat runners too - price negotiable but they've gotta be worth £50 ish. The other pair are some 80's fabric recliners from Wolfrace - I think they were in good order when I stashed them, will have to see how they have faired - they are stripy and blue but very comfy as I recall.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Here's the RR wing repair in situ
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Here are some of the repair panels I have that I need to sell on. Right rear wing repair - for those frilly arches and disolved B post bottoms

Right front wing repair panel, this one's galvanised. Fixes the wheel arch and the are forward of the bonnet catch.

Here's the RF wing repair panel in situ

Photo above is at the Club Triumph dinner where Dave Pearson and I collected our finishers awards for the Round Britain Reliability Run from Gillian Taylforth - thanks to Ellis Stokes' for the picture.

It's was a really good night out, the time went far too quickly. From a few conversations I was able to confirm a few things about the World Cup cars - like Car No1 is definately safe, having been exhumed - Pat Walker, who has both the Safari car and Andrew Cowan's World Cup car had told me about the securing of Buchanan-Michaelson's car and that was confirmed to me over dinner. I hope to be able to go see the car again soon (I saw it about 18 months ago) It's saveable and although it's had a hard life it has surprisingly retained a lot of original features - more so than WRX perhaps. Anyway, I digress.

The evening was also good for confirming a few things - I think we've got a plan for the 20 Counties event - it involves a rally Vitesse :-)

I also need to work on my 10 Countries entry - I've got a ferry ticket but no plan yet!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Today's learning is.....

A Spitfire 1500 type factory hardtop will not fit in a Nissan Micra.
Last night's learning was - A Vitesse chassis will not fit in a Transit, well it will but you need to leave the doors open a bit and turn the heater up full :-)

More learning later.

Oh and if the guy who bought the body tub is reading this, please get in touch to arrange collection. Thanks

J

Friday, March 04, 2005

I can see clearly now the chassis has gone....

.....and the centre section, anti-roll bar, front valance and rear spring :-) Looks like it's time to get out some repair panels - front wing and rear wing plus a pair or rear wings and a pair of Herald front seats, some convertible rear seats and maybe some Wolfrace recliners too! The garage life laundry continues!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Another day in the city

Sigh, ah well at least it's done now! Looking on the bright side at least my wife posted out all the eBay parcels and books that needed doing, of course there's more now I've opened today's post and seen the emails. The "goods out" pile is more manageable now at least.
I was disappointed that my new spring only made £25 but at least it's going to see the road at last after all these years!
Tomorrow I have some local appointments and will be home by about 5:00pm as there are a couple of people coming to collect stuff. I have to admit that I've lost track of who's collecting what when so if you turn up make sure you get what you came for!!
Likewise Saturday, I'm off to the Club Triumph annual dinner and won't be available from about 4:30 ish.
As for Sunday, well I'll be home in the morning but out from about 11am AND the Reading Half Marathon is on, so Reading will be pretty paralysed traffic wise!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Shock horror, I had to go into work in london this monring and will have to do the same again tomorrow! Then it's on the road again Friday - it's almost like a proper job :-)
Came back home to a pile of emails, a couple of Kastner book orders and a cheque! The cheque is the wife's savings poilicy that she donated to pay for my Vitesse - here's a picture of it again. I still like it and it gave a good account of itself when worried by a Mini Cooper the other day - we can't let these plastic moderns get too superior, besides, even with a blower it wasn't very worrying.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

It's going fast

eBay.co.uk - , Classic Cars Parts by Brand and Automotive items at low prices
Another batch sold - this time most of the bulky items, hopefully it'll all get collected and paid for by this weekend - the wife can ave her patio back and we don't have to look out on car parts every day :-) Actually I quite liked looking out over a chassis.
Just got back from my Triumph Club night, took the Vitesse out in teh rain, worried myself a bit, on a nice straight road I explored traction - wheel spin in every gear but she points in one consistent direction. The car demands respect in the wet and I need a few more trips to get the confidence up but I still love her!
Shame we didn't have many other people at the Club night - the usual suspects but no other Triumphs :-( Ho hum, at least there's a few of us going over to the Isle of Wight next month - should be a good laugh.

Another one bites the dust

Part that is :-) Just had a call from a guy with a Vitesse who needs a few parts, he's coming over with a Transit and wants a chassis, he made a sensible offer and as no one had bid on mine I pulled the auction. I really need to move this stuff to keep the wife sweet and she's now very happy that's on it's way. A few more things will go in the Transit - anti-roll bar, front valance, boot infill panel and the chassis - RESULT! I'm well happy now and should have cash in my pocket to go to the Club Triumph dinner on Saturday :-)

Serious Performance - Serious car care products

Serious Performance - Serious car care products

Just a quick plug for some auto-bling products James Carruthers put me onto. I've never been one for cleaning cars, too lazy I guess but I had always promised myself that when I got a car worth polishing I'd look after it. I also thought that there must be some "tricks of the trade" so to speak, these concours guys spend ages on getting things 100% but couldn't I just spend a few minutes, maybe an hour and get it looking pretty good? Well having spoken to Alex at Serious Performance (a one man band car bling officianado) I bought a few products, nothing expensive and got some great results. At the Stoneleigh show I spent no more than 45 mins on the car having driven up there and it got favorable comments all day.
Now with the Vitesse in the garage my attention has been drawn to the paintwork and I think it needs a little care to bring out the shine so I'll be ordering some kit from Alex to help me ensure I don't spend hours on it. he recommendation is something called "Vanilla Mouse" so I'll have a go at that then - and with a 10% Club discount it's not too expensive either.