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Well, some might question the sense of holding a meeting for a kit car club in the middle of January. However it gets us out of the house and into the fresh air for a short while. I will say that although 8 members turned up only one of us (me) bought the Tiger along, the others reckoned it was too cold or some other feeble excuse!
Although it might have been cold outside, in the pub it was a lot nicer, and we all had a good natter. Amongst other things we discussed the forthcoming Le Mans trip (which we should have more details on soon), problems with the cars, and other things as well.
I didn't take any photos as it was dark, but the most important thing to note is that next months meeting will be on the 7th of Feb and not the 14th - for some reason it was thought that having a meeting on that day might be a cause of some domestic problems..... wonder why that would be.
We had a better attendance for this meeting with 9 members and two tigers in the car park (mine and Steve Green's), again it was absolutely freezing, but a lot warmer in the pub itself, the details for the Le Mans Trip have now been finalised and can be read on the planned events page.
One thing of interest was that Niall Turner is now the ex-owner of a turbo pinto cat, he hasn't sold the car but is changing it over to Zetec power after spending too much on the pinto. We also had several new faces arrive including Mike Smith, and Terry Austin.
It was a good night only marred by the fact that it was raining very cold rain which made the drive home a bit tricky! Hopefully as it starts to get warmer and lighter then more people will be persuaded outside.
The March meeting actually had fewer members turn up than the February meeting, this was strange as the weather was better but nobody seemed to want ot drive their cars to the pub
Six members in total attended and had a good evening.
The first show of the season for 2006. After the cancellation of the Stafford show it now falls to Detling to get everybody started on the show circuit again.
I had arranged to meet Barry Collin at the Cambridge services on the Sunday morning but due to work commitments he was unable to make it, instead Eric Johnston turned up using the trip as an excuse to run in a new engine in his Avon.
The run down was fairly uneventful apart from the crawling through the SPECS zone on the M11 and we soon made it down to Basildon to pick up my brother (in the process getting moaned at by his one of his neighbours!) and then proceeded to Detling itself. I did get a slight shock as going down Detling hill the speedometer on the tiger stopped just before the speed camera corner! Fortunately my Camera Detector remained working.
As we came in through the gates a load of tigers left at the same time, this seemed slightly odd at the time as it was only 12:00 but no matter. Once we had parked up it was time to look around. Now this was the second time I have been to Detling the first being in 2004 since then they have built a new set of buildings and made the whole place a lot nicer to walk around, also the new halls have huge windows which means unlike a lot of show venues you can actually see the exhibits without a torch!
I didn't notice or register that many new cars although that could be me not remembering what had been released before but there was a good number of manufacturers present and loads of accessory stands as well! I also met Richard Wilkins and Stewart Fenton who were both exhibiting their race cars. Tiger had a large stand with most of the range except for the Cat featured, although F190 TDL (see March EATOC News) was on the GTS Tuning stand.
Outside there weren't that many cars to see by the middle of the afternoon although Steve Valentine's car was there I didn't see the owner. But there was one very strange cat parked, it had 175/70R13 tyres on the front 205/70R13 tyres on the back and a 16 inch rim for the spare wheel, without a doubt the weirdest tyre combination I have ever seen. There was also a beautiful GT40 replica on show.
Going back inside again there was a stunning cobra body hand crafted in Aluminium, not really my thing but you had to admire the workmanship that went into crafting it. There were also some stunning Jaguar replicas including a C-Type and an XK120.
Finally after good few hours we made our way back to the cars and went to head home, fortunately before driving off Richard caught us and told us to avoid the M2 as it was blocked, so we took the M20 back instead. I will admit to using slightly too much throttle when going through the Dartford Tunnel in 3rd gear with a couple of downchanges for good measure. I didn't go over the speed limit just had the exhaust echoing off the tunnel walls, we left Eric to continue home as I diverted to drop Piers off in Basildon.
My final journey was a nightmare it took me over an hour to get from Basildon to Bishops Stortford a distance of 30 miles, and then a further 2 hours to complete the rest of the journey in heavy rain back to Peterborough.
But to sum up it was a good day and well worth the trip down there, just hope for better weather for the journey back.
Right, well were to start with this one. I think the first point must be the weather. An idiot(myself) looked at the weather forcast thought it looked half decent and got the Tiger out of the garage for a nice drive down. This was a huge mistake as once I got on the A1 (and halfway to the venue the heavens opened with a huge rainstorm.
I stopped and fitted the roof and because I was closer to the pub than the house kept on driving, the B1090 which is normally a nice quiet road, had flooded in a few places and one of those the water was so deep, that when I went through at ~10mph the bow wave met across the bonnet and the water came in between the sidescreens and the bodyshell!
Fortunately the pub was dry inside and a total of 6 members made it there, and when we left the rain had vitually stopped. It has so far taken 2 days to dry the inside of the tiger out!
Ten Months ago I took delivery of a Tiger Cat E1 comprehensive kit. Word seems to get out and it is amazing how many fellow Tiger owners there are out there as a whole new world opens up..
A few months later my daughter mentioned that a friend's dad owned a Tiger. This dad turned out to be Merv Garner who lived just down the road and at the time owned a Toyota powered Cat. However he was selling this to buy a well known R6 with no engine, to which he planned to fit an up-rated Zetec with hopefully over 200BHP (now you're talking!)
This is an account of how I ended up going to Stoneleigh in the R6.
Merv's long awaited R6 chassis turned up in February and was deposited at another local Tiger owners house, Malcolm Brown. Between the two of them they would have the Tiger ready for Stoneleigh, (providing the engine was ready in time), so would I like a lift to the show in it. There could only be one answer as the drive itself would be an event with Stoneleigh a bonus!
Having seen Malcolm's Tiger work with his own Super Six example I knew the R6 would be ready and be of the highest build standard I wasn't wrong. With days to go Merv rang and informed me the engine had fired up and all seemed well. Over the next few days Merv and Malcolm tested the car and pronounced it ready for Stoneleigh - I quickly went out and bought a crash helmet.
The morning arrived - dry thank goodness. My lad (also called Chris and aged 12) and I walked round to Malcolm. Fortunately I had managed to get young Chris a lift with another well known Tiger owner and definite enthusiast Giles (you may have heard of him!)
The R6 looked great, Merv had placed foam over the fibre glass seats and it almost looked comfortable and to my surprise it was! He then informed me that the furthest he had been was to Uffington and back 10 miles at a push, so this journey would be a good test.
At 08:15 I climbed over the huge exhaust system, (which looks like a small nuclear bomb), said good bye to my legs as they disappeared under the dash and settled into the foam - I wasn't getting out of here in a hurry even if I needed to.
Helmet on, thumbs up then at 08:20 A Super Six, R6, Cat E1 and a V6 GTM (next door to Malcolm), all fired up. To all those just waking up, (what else could they do), it must have sounded like Silverstone. Merv's small nuclear device clung to the side of the car and certainly had the loudest and best sounding voice, even if it was only a couple of feet from my ear.
Fifteen minutes later we are in Stamford and I can't stop smiling, this car makes a fantastic noise and just wants to rip the tarmac up and go. At the lights in Stamford from the car ahead Malcolm looks round and puts an inquisitive thumb up to which Merv replies the same. All the engine vital signs from the gauges were good and beneath that bonnet there were plenty more horses waiting to get out.
A few miles later and we are on the A43 heading towards Corby. This is one of my favourite roads with long fast bends and a good road surface. As time goes by more horses are let loose as the throttle is squeezed just that bit further.
The pilot is certainly getting more confident with the car.
Now we are on the road from Corby to Market Harborough and up ahead are a couple of lorries, getting past these is going to be great. Clear road, Malcolm goes, Merv waits and then all hell breaks loose as my head is thrown back and then the lorries are gone and we are following Malcolm again. Did we go past them or under them, either way take my word for it, this car shifts and it has not been anywhere near its full potential yet.
As we pass through Rugby there is a large railway arch. The pilot can't resist a blip on the Throttle as we pass through. As the noise is enough to start a small avalanche it was lucky that Giles and Chris in the following Tiger weren't showered with falling brickwork.
By now Stoneleigh was only a few miles away which was a shame as I was enjoying being co-pilot. Once in the show I learn how you get a Tiger over the kerbs and onto the grass without leaving your sump and an oil slick behind. Chris and I then spend the day looking round what was an excellent event and talking to fellow Tiger owners about their build and getting as much information as I could.
For the drive back, young Chris and I changed cars. Giles would take me back later once we had both finished looking round and talking to people.
The trip back was a blast down the M6 and A14 and although the Pinto is not as quick as the Zetec R6, the car is still great fun and doesn't hang about. Once at home I asked Chris what he thought of Merv's car. Amazingly he had fallen asleep which seems incredible. However while he was awake he had really enjoyed the trip.
So what have I learnt from this day?
I have even more enthusiasm to get my car up and running sometime in the near future, although after the R6 it may be a little under powered...
Chris and I would both like to pass on our thanks to Merv and Giles for giving us lifts and making the whole day an event. I hope to return the favour one day when I finally get my car on the road!!
A quick summary of the event, cold and very wet.....
Seriously though it was a very wet day and never really got light. As a result of this very few tigers turned up and most of the owners who came spend the day huddled in the workshop watching the rain outside. A couple of brave souls did go for test drives but it was really very quiet.
A real shame as it is the first open day that has ever been a washout, especially as the Saturday in Peterborough was a lovely dry and sunny day which I spent working on the car outside.
This was held only two days after the open day but the weather was drastically different. The evening was warm and dry and I had a very enjoyable drive down the backroads to Abbotts Ripton without seeing a single drop of rain.
We had in total 7 tigers arrive and 4 other owners in their normal road cars, there was also a Jester and a Slyva Mojo who had heard about the meeting and decided to come down as well. It was good to see such a large turnout and to be honest put the entire attendance of tigers at the open day to shame!
There was also some important business to sort out, we made a decision on the new logo for the club and this is now being drawn up professionally (incidentally this will mean more work for me to rebrand this website!)
June's pub meeting I had felt would be a bit of a gamble, not only did we move it from the usual Tuesday to a Monday evening (due to people leaving for Le Mans through this week) but we also shifted venue, to the white swan at Conington instead of the usual Abbotts Ripton venue.
Well it certainly paid off we had a total of 12 tigers and a few new faces. These included: Bob Cox, Barry Collin, Brian Allen, John Holmes, Mike Morley, Niall Turner, Paul Johnstone, Paul Browning, John and Rob Clark, Steve Green, Terry Austin and myself in Tigers
Malcolm Brown and Mervyn Garner both left their Tigers at home due to a flash flood in Market Deeping (seriously)and Wayne Parker also came in his tin-top as well.
This has to be one of the best turnouts we have ever had at an event and beats the numbers we have seen at some of the big organised shows we attend.
There was a minor problem though, there are two Coningtons around Huntingdon, one being the village where the venue was, the other being up the A1 slightly north of Abbotts Ripton. Both Niall Turner and Steve Green independently ended up at the wrong venue but we put them right and they eventually found us.
All in all it was a good meeting and a nice venue.
The poker run idea came from Barry and Jeanette Collin, who together were responsible for organising the whole event on behalf of the club, so all credit must go to him.
Last year they organised a Treasure Hunt for the club and this year decided to make it slightly easier, instead of a set of clues to follow it became a driving tour around East Anglia covering a total distance of 75 miles, there was to be one stop (for lunch and comfort breaks) followed by a barbecue at the end.
I was the first person to turn up and was slightly concerned when I pulled into Wicken that nobody else had arrived (it was about 11:15) fortunately over the next hour or so a total of 15 7's arrived with 4 non-tigers. Only 14 cars took part in the run though. Trevor Taylor arrived in his Avon which he has just completed, but is unable to fit into comfortably so it is now for sale(!)
We then headed off for the run, this was a very twisty set of roads that Barry and Jeanette had chosen, the roads were great however the surfaces weren't so good.
Halfway through the run we stopped off at a Tesco for a quick break. On the way back we had to go through the centre of Saffron Walden which has a nice one-way system where a few people further back in the convoy got slightly lost.
Finally we headed back to Wicken although I must mention that Barry (who was driving) forgot where he lived and missed the exit into his own village going round the roundabout again...
After arriving back those who wished to watch the football could do so. whereas the rest of us enjoyed the barbecue and the prize giving.
The prizes were as follows.
|1st||Scott Stephenson||Black Avon|
|2nd||Mark Bristow||Yellow Avon|
|3rd||John Holmes||Yellow Cat|
|Boobie||Adrian Gibbins||Yellow Avon|
There were also some other prizes given out
|Best Presented Car||Steve Valentine|
|Best Navigator||Danni Stephenson|
Well this has to go down as one of the best pub meetings we have ever held, altogether we had 14 Tigers, 4 Luegos (including 2 V8 power monsters) and a Lotus Esprit turn up.
There was a slight problem though we arrived to find a huge party of people already there so we couldn't park in the usual spot and ended up in the top field. However with our turnout it didn't really matter too much.
Incidentally there was a small problem for a couple of the cars coming to the meeting. John and Christine Holmes were following Peter Coe when they had an impromptu shower. Peter had topped up the water before leaving home and forgotten to replace the expansion tank cap, after a few miles it reached boiling point and er exploded. Fortunately there wasn't any damage caused just a bit of car cleaning required! Coolant and Anti-freeze not being the nicest of stuff to get off cars!
Importantly Paul Browning bought a sample of the new club logo for a T-Shirt for every one to have a look at and that went down well with people much preferring it to the old logo. (It is now being changed slightly but more on that later!)
I'm not sure how much fuel the V8 powered Luego uses but when it left the car park everybody's eyes were watering from the unburnt petrol coming from the exhaust might need a retune there!
To top it all it was a really nice evening weather wise.
Kimbolton is always one of the best attended shows we go to and this year was certainly no exception to that rule. In total we had 17 Tigers attend so not a bad turn out! I actually arrived first and eventually found the parking slot designated for the Tigers (I say eventually as I must have gone round the parking area twice before I found the right area.) and parked up on my own! There was one advantage to getting there early I got a good chance to wander round the early arrivals and get a good selection of photos before everyone else arrived!
Eventually (45 minutes later) Mike Finch arrived followed by a slow procession of cars as the Tigers all arrived, and the day started getting hotter.
By mid morning it was warmish and by lunchtime the temperature was very hot (somebody's car read 35C) in the car park and I can well believe it.
There were as usual a lot of things to see although the show ring had a few events cancelled due to the heat, and to be honest standing out and watching the shows was an endurance in itself. Fortunately we had one of the club gazebos with us and we positioned this under a tree to get more shade, this was were you could find most of the Tiger owners during the afternoon.
We finally packed up late to find that Steve Green's car wouldn't start, at first the coil was suspected as it didn't appear to be producing a spark, but after Niall Turner had gone home to collect his repair van this didn't seem to the case and the car had to be towed home. It looks like the Ford ignition module has failed and this will need to be replaced.
A very successful day and we will be back again next year.
With all the great weather of late this years Classics on the Common event looked liked being the best ever.
The event is in its 13th year and the only midweek event of its kind attracting over 1500 cars.
On the day the weather was fine and dry and temperatures were expected up around 31 degrees perfect for that evening blat.
After several conversations with members and sending e-mails it was clear a few Tiger owners were going to come along. They were not disappointed the selection of classics were remarkable. All evening more and more cars turned up and more and more people. The crowning moment had to be seeing 12 De Loren cars coming down the high street with Gull Wing doors fully open. I was amazed with the turn out people had travelled some distance to be part of the event.
The papers who covered the event claimed over 10,000 people attended the evening and judging by the e-mails floating around not one to be missed again.
The Tiger was greeted with some interest and many people had heard of the Company. A few Caterhams made the event also and it was nice to be part of an event that included all makes of car from Classic to Kit The organisers told me many months ago if your cars interesting we want it on the Common. I wonder if that was why a guy turned up in a nice MGB with a Volkswagen beetle engine in it.
This is a very short writeup. We had a club committee meeting arranged at the same time as the meeting and I spent most of the time involved in that.
After the meeting I got to chat to a few people before a rain storm caused everyone to leave in a hurry!
Unfortunately for the second year running the Maxey car show was slightly damp. Admittedly not as wet as last year (see below for an even wetter event). Having made the journey early in the morning it has to be said that the rain probably put a few people off. However there were several hundred cars arriving.
In total we had seven Tigers turn up, and Geoff Mason who brought his race prepared Striker to display, and he ended up winning one of the best in show awards totally unexpected and if he doesn't win any races at least he has won a prize this year!
Well if Maxey was best described as damp, Rougham is best described as torrential driving rain with occasional showers when the wind dropped.
Probably because of the rain the number of cars arriving was dramatically reduced with probably only 200 if that. Half the parking area that the cars occupied last year was taken up with a display of military vehicles which spent the day competing to make the biggest spray of mud.
We also had the AGM and found that the club gazebo is not waterproof and when exposed to heavy rain is about as much good as a string vest! I think during the AGM we looked more like a group of penguins in the Antarctic that a car club as everyone huddled together during the rain.
Sunday 27th August was blessed with a dry and sunny day again this year.
Niall and I had planned to set off around 8.30am but were slightly delayed by the fact that a rogue stone damaged his sump the evening before. Not to be beaten Niall worked till the early hours fitting a new one.
When we arrived at Knebworth Simon Mattin, Eric Johnson and Neil Jameson were already there. We were later joined by Alan Newberry who has recently completed his Tiger build.
The show itself had a good turnout with hundreds of vehicles of all shapes, sizes and ages including Del-Boys Reliant Robin from Only Fools and Horses, Dune buggies, Hearses, Classics from just about every manufacturer you could possibly think of through to a selection of Buses. A variety of vehicles went around the arena throughout the day accompanied by some very interesting commentary.
One car I spotted for sale was a mint 1966 Mini Cooper yours for a mere £12000.
There was also an Auto jumble with approx 40 stalls well stocked with a wide variety of car parts new and old. Overall another good show not to be missed next year.
Sunday the 10th September saw a number of us set out in foggy conditions to meet up at a service area just to the West of Peterborough.
By the time we set off the sun had broken through giving us a bright sunny day. Having left the service area we headed off in convoy towards Oundle. From there we went to Weldon then onto the A43 towards Stamford.
We stopped just before the A47 junction for John Dodson to take the lead and take us to Rutland Sailing Club where he very kindly supplied us all with tea and coffee on the balcony overlooking the reservoir.
After a very pleasant break we continued around the reservoir, on to Stamford and finished up at Malcs house in Market Deeping where he and Marylyn had prepared a BBQ for us all with a marvellous spread, topped off with strawberries and cream.
Overall another very enjoyable event and thanks must go to John Dodson for the visit to the sailing club and of course to Malc and Marylyn for the superb BBQ.
We were very lucky with the weather and although it was a dark evening (what do you expect in September) it was dry and clear and suprisingly warm.
I had a good run down with no traffic encountered and dry roads.
In total we had 8 tigers and a couple of tintops which is a very good turnout. We also recruited a new member who had recently bought his tiger from an owner in Scotland gone up on the train and driven the car back to March! The car when he picked it up had only done 4500 miles it has now done 5500!
A very good evening and we shall keep doing these throughout the year although the weather might get to be an issue in a couple of months.
The pictures are rather dark....
Although a lot of the club members decided to go on the Saturday to the show, I had to be different and go on the Sunday this being partly to do with the fact I was still installing the new windscreen and I needed an extra day to get it all working.
As it happened I had the screen installed but not wired up and set off to the show with every intention of getting the parts needed to finish the wiring.
The day started off bright and sunny and after a fairly easy drive I arrived at the circuit. Up to this point the car had stayed fairly clean after being polished and cleaned out of all the debris caused by fitting a new screen. However the infield of Donington is rather dusty and a lot of the dust ended up on the cars. I also had to do the obligatory blipping of the throttle when passing through the tunnel under the track.
Once arrived I spent an hour or two talking to various owners some of whom I knew and others who I hadn't seen for years. The new club flag certainly raised interest and not a few sarcastic comments it is not large enough to sail a tiger with no matter what you may think! We recruited one new member to the club and quite a few people expressed an interest in joining in the future as well. One thing that happens with these shows is that you get ideas and there are quite a few more that I might be tempted to work onto my car later in the year.
I finally made it to the show halls. There were certainly a lot of cars on show so maybe the industry is in a healthier state than people think. I did notice a decline in the number of 7 type manufacturers and certainly nobody was trying to launch a new car based on the same concept. Obviously given the recent problems there was no sign of Luego or Robin Hood speaking as a Tiger owner this is a good thing because it provides Tiger with a bigger potential market as the number of players reduce. Tiger themselves had a large stand with an R6 Duratec, Cat XL, ERA 30 and an Avon on display. On the Saturday they had also had cars out doing demo runs around the track all day.
On the other manufacturers stands a few things caught my eye. These included some rather strange looking beasts such as the "rhino buggy" which looked like Mad Max meets a hummer! A Tiger Cat built at a cost of £18,000 by Chester Sportscars, for some reason it was fitted with 18 inch rims and as a result had over 6 inches of ground clearance, in my opinion the worst Tiger I have ever seen. It even makes the pink R6 owned by Matt Gregory look very subdued. There was a nice sportscar called the Murtaya based entirely on the mechanicals of the Subaru Impreza including the four wheel drive system which would make for a very quick car. Also relaunched was the Eagle SS this time with Toyota MR2 mechanicals but looking much the same as before (I did a double-take when I saw it as I couldn't believe it was being offered for sale again!).
However the number of accessory stands were rather low and nobody had the parts I required to complete the wiring of the windscreen. All I was after was a simple timing relay. I did however notice something as soon as it got to 2PM and the racing on the track started you could have dropped a pin in the exhibition hall and made everyone jump. The halls were virtually empty and all of the people on the stands were just sitting around bored with nobody to talk to.
So although the racing was good for those who wished to spectate it was not so good for people who wanted to sell things to the punters who were now elsewhere. So in one respect having the racing is good for the general punter who then has a free afternoons entertainment but not so good if you are there trying to sell things to a punter who has wandered off to watch the races.
Finally after a long day I set off for home normally I wouldn't mention the drive home but I managed to have a completely empty road between Market Harborough and Corby which was a great drive, unfortunately coming out of Corby I got stuck in a queue behind a McCain lorry going all the way to Peterborough which spoiled the journey somewhat.
The open day almost at one point looked like being a washout however the rain held off and most of the day we had clear blue skies. Much better weather that we had to endure back in May.
I started the day by meeting Simon Kelly in his Avon and then driving down together. At about 9:20 I stood outside the house and thought I hear a tiger but nothing came into the road. A couple of minutes later I got a phone call he had come down the road and turned left instead of right sending him into the wrong part of Werrington. A few minutes puzzling and we finally found each other.
We then had a nice sedate run over to Tiger and kept to the speed limits all the way down the Thorney bypass(!). Once there I erected the flag and blocked everyone's view of the restaurant from the workshop!
As the day went on more cars arrived until eventually there were about 40 or so Tigers parked outside the factory. Quite a few people were interested in the electric windscreen on my car, and there were a few people looking for the element in the glass. It has now been wired and is fully working apart from the warning lamp.
The other big news was that we have the EATOC T-Shirts and quite a few of them have now been sold to their new owners - however if you have ordered one and haven't yet collected it please contact Paul Browning to arrange collection and payment. We also now have caps and umbrellas available as well.
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