Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's been a long time

Much water under the bridge and miles covered so I thought a quick update was in order.
PI Pumps - the eBay listing generated more interest than I could have imagined and I have been making ans selling pumps to the Formula 5000 and classic racing fraternity! One to South Africa to go on a Chevron (whatever that is) and a whole package of stuff to a nice guy in California to go on two cars, a Brabham BT - 21 with Lotus Twin Cam and a 1970 Leda F 5000 - I've sourced and supplied seals, O rings, pumps and motors. My little test rig has been running for days! The original idea of selling enough to pay for the development costs is long gone and I broken even with the South African sale alone. All has cushioned the eBay disappointment. Trouble is, the pump I built for my car went to California!
Never mind, Mike, 4x4 2000, Weaver came up with a box of pumps for me and I have the raw materials to make a few more.
I've sourced the O rings for the fuel injectors too although I had to buy a minimum quantity so I'm going to do a batch of those soon. Although I don't have a lot of core so if you want to unload any rebuildable injectors get in touch. I've even figure out the original finish and I think I can replicate it.

Well the plan to use my PI and do the event with Dave Pearson evaporated, to be fair I bullied him into it or rather I tried and by the time I accepted that he didn't want to do it, all the trusted crew were teamed up with others. I did the last 10CR with an unproven co-driver and whilst we had no real issues and got along well it wasn't really the same as doing it with a fellow Triumph enthusiast. Tim Bancroft called me the evening that I accepted Dave wasn't going to change his mind and asked if I knew of anyone looking for a seat as Nigel Gair was considering a third man in his car. It took about a nano-second for the penny to drop and within 30 minutes I had spoken to Nigel and was "in" with him and Dave Tongue.
What a great move to make - thanks Tim and big thanks to Nigel and Dave - we had a great time, a real laugh a minute. There were times when we couldn't stop laughing and on at least one occasion, the bizarre tale of 3000 perverts in Wembley Stadium all waiting for a Russian Lesbian pop group had us laughing so much that we had to stop the car and park until the laughter subsided. Such infantile games as the naming of ever bowel movement kept us amused - The Tracey Island, The Everglades, The Apollo 13, The Connector - there were more, so many more.
The car was superb, I have to say that I did not drive it well at first because I was far too careful with it. Until that is that Nigel gave me those memorable instructions "You're just not revving it enough, stick it in first and don't touch the gear lever until you see six and half thousand". There were compulsory down shifts for all tunnels and narrow streets.
We had a blast, a real blast - we never once argued, even though we did get a little "off route" at times. The car was great, the only issues were the chin spoiler grounding out on tight hairpins, the synchro on third got a little lazy and the HID headlamps refused to keep their aim settings - apologies to anyone we followed! I'd gladly go anywhere with Nigel and Dave.

World Cup Rally and Rally cars
A couple of things have happened on the research front - I was contacted by Graham Robson the author recently, He wanted to use some of my photos for a forthcoming book to be launched on the 40th anniversary of the World Cup Rally. He's done quite a lot but it's not yet complete. I shared with him my photo collection and some of my research to date.
I also went to see Keith Baker, navigator in the privately entered 2.5 PI of Brian Englefield and Adrian Lloyd-Hirst. Keith lives near Norwich so when my meetings were done I drove out to see him. He produced a collection of photos of works and private cars he'd navigated in including the Kim Mandeville Mk1 2000 that recently sold on eBay. If anyone knows who bought it then perhaps they could put me in touch as Keith has some info and photos - that car having been extensively reworked by Brian and Keith. We went through the photos and chatted away for ages, Keith will scan some photos for me and I'll share them in due course.

Here it's all change, I was due to be in India last week and I'm not! I picked up my tickets on the Wednesday only to go to a meeting to be asked if I could do another job - starting the following Monday (ie the day I was supposed to be flying out to India), instead I would be flying in the opposite direction to Dublin.
So, to cut a long story short I now find myself as the Global Claims Leakage Manager covering mainly Europe but a little of Canada thrown in for good measure. The job will take me to France, Italy, Ireland, Poland and Turkey - it's a departure from what I have been doing but along the same lines. Meet the people, create some relationships of trust and use those to get the Global Agenda to the right people who will make it happen.
Leakage is not something to do with bladder control, it's all about spend control - leakage is when we pay out on claims where we shouldn't or where we fail to recover money when we should. The bottom line is it's waste. It erodes profit and therefore pushes up prices - it's no body's friend.
Anyway, this is a Triumph blog so enough Insurance - suffice to say I will probably be travelling more often but shorter haul and shorter duration.

I think that's about it for now.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Well that wasn't what I expected - the first of my pumps raised a lot of interest, some 22 "watchers" a few email but only 4 bids and a sale at £31. I've made a loss :-( However, I said I'd let it run it's course and see what the market valued it at and I guess I've got an answer, although eBay can be unpredictable.
The funniest thing is that the buyer is known to me - I was negotiating a purchase from him! Small world.
This Blog has generated some enquiries and I'm currently putting together a package for the States which will help me break even.
The process has also encouraged a few people to turn up some spares and parts for which I'm very greatful (thanks Mike, that box of stuff will be very useful!) so I'm not put off just yet.