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The first meeting of 2007 was a fairly quiet affair - in total 6 members turned up and nobody in a Tiger (mine was off the road). Still it was a good evening with plenty of things discussed.
Hopefully we should have some more people in February. (p.s. can you guess I am writing this two weeks after the event).
The second pub meeting had a much better turnout than in January.
We had a total of 8 members at the meeting and a wide variety of topics were discussed. As usual I was the only nutcase who drove there in a Tiger. However this was a decision that proved to be interesting as the drive home was rather wet.
Finally I tried to persuade more people to commit to the Duxford event although I didn't manage to get any more.
This was arranged in conjunction with Which Kit Car? Magazine and will be featured in the May issue (on sale in the middle of April).
Because of this there are not as many details in the write-up as I would normally put in in fact I don't have all the power figures the cars generated as obviously we don't want to take away from the magazine.
However I can go on about the people who were there. So from EATOC there were myself, Adrian Gibbins, John Tovey, Niall Turner, Mark Bristow, Simon Mattin, Steve Randle and Richard Wilkins. The non Eatoc people there were Graham Marshman and Matt Gregory and Colin Wakeling (co owners of the pink R6).
The day started off rather damp as to get to Northampton we had to drive through one of the worst rainstorms this year at some points visibility was down to about 50metres because of the spray. However we finally made it without any major problems.
First impressions were very favourable with a group of 7's of various types lined up outside along with some more exotic machinery at the back of the workshop all of which was being moved out prior to us starting.
Once everyone had arrived then we all had our photographs taken with the cars for the magazine followed by a briefing on how the day would work.
Basically each car would do three runs: -
The first would be a calibration run to set the car up against the rollers so that the engine speed could be matched to the road speed.
The second was the initial power run to generate the figures from the wheels.
Finally a third run would be used to calculate the transmission losses and then give a flywheel power figure.
Once this was explained we were all asked to fill in a questionnaire on the car, giving information about the engine type, state of tune, expected power figure and probably most importantly the maximum engine speed we wanted the operator to take the car to.
Obviously each car would be strapped down securely for the power runs as the last thing you want is to see your car flying through the wall.
For my car I put down a power figure of 140bhp this was based on the fact that it had last been on a rolling road ~3 years ago when it produced 150bhp and I thought it might be a bit off. It was more than a bit as it only managed 125bhp, the torque was down by almost 50lb/foot as well.
I think my car needs more work and talking to the staff later on it turns out that they can work the Emerald ECU, Dellorto parts are carried in stock and they are happy to work on the old pinto engines. As a result of this the car will be booked back in to them to get sorted out.
Finally after all the cars had been run we were given a brief talk on how mapping works with modern ECUs including an interesting demonstration where they changed the ignition and fuelling from a laptop and you could hear the engine change without anyone doing anything physically to the engine.
To round off the day we were also given a talk on setting up suspension and how it makes a difference to the way a car handles and also the suspension configurations you should avoid if you don't want to get the car to try and kill you!
All in all a great day and one which might well be worth repeating next year.
The pub meetings are getting more popular with this one gaining a total of 10 club members and three tigers in the car park. Unfortunately mine wasn't one of them as it is currently in the garage undergoing some repairs. However Adrian Gibbons, Mark Bristow, Paul Browning all brought their cars.
With the lighter nights coming next month we might even get some photos on this page.
A lot of topics were discussed and we gained some more people wanting to come to Duxford on the 1st April.
Well it finally happened
After visiting Duxford back in October 2006 I happened to see a display organised by an American Car Club. Up until this point I had no idea that you could hold a car event there. So I decided to find out more.
So 6 months since initially having the idea, 3 months since booking the slot with Duxford and countless phone calls to various people and we finally got a display.
The basic idea was fairly simple lets get a load of Tiger owners into the museum to gain interest from people who would never normally go near a kit car show and bring our interest to a wider audience.
Duxford was chosen for a few reasons one it is fairly central to most people in the club, two it has plenty to see for the people taking part, and three it is one of my favourite venues.
We had a total of 31 at the high point of the day which included 1 Lamborghini, 1 MR2, 8 assorted classic cars from the Fakenham car club and a very strange full bodied Tiger badged Mitsubishi EVO VII which Jim Dudley brought (I had hoped that he would have brought a demo car or two), and finally 20 Tigers of various models.
Today was a long day first off Detling is not a short journey for me involving a round trip of some 280 miles and secondly I had been working until 2AM on that Sunday morning. However a few hours sleep later and I set off on the journey stopping to pick up Piers on the way. The main journey itself was uneventful and we arrived in fairly good time. Now compared to last year there were a lot more Tigers in the parking area and whilst the show stands were fairly quiet I did get a couple of items that I needed for the car.
There were some interesting show cars there and a couple do spring to mind as being particularly interesting. The first of these was a Citroen 2CV based wedding limousine a strange choice of donor as the original car only has a maximum of 33bhp and the fibreglass body fitted must weigh vastly more than the 2cv shell....
Another was the Aeon that featured in Which Kit Car? (now renamed to Complete Kit Car) magazine this is certainly a fantastic looking machine and the bodywork is flawless in it's execution, however I do think the owner has gone a bit ott with the LED lights inside the cockpit.
Outside in the parking area were some notable cars as well there were a pair of Novas one white, and one blue with blue fir trim inside... each to their own! There was also a Furora which looked a bit like a two seater racing car complete with wings, in-line seats and side radiator pods. Personally I didn't like it but someone must.
The custom built 1930s inspired race car was there this time with a new addition of a trailer although I thought the trailer sort of let the car down as it featured steel wheels and rather strange full mudguards if I had done this I would have made the wheels match the car and the same with the mudguards.
The final vehicle of note was a Sylva Riot this is the first time I have seen one in the metal and it is tiny it makes a Tiger look like a huge car, it was very nice but I doubt I would want to drive one with a lorry following me.
Finally at the end of the day I set off at back to Peterborough having first dropped Piers off at home of course one of the best bits of the journey is having to make the trip through the Dartford tunnel at 50mph in 3rd the noise coming off the walls is fantastic...
As I now have Hooligan freshly MOTd for the next twelve months, Merv and myself thought it was about time we ventured out with respective Tigers to the meeting for the first time this year. Also we didn't want any more ribbing from a certain all weather Scholar Zetec Cat member.
Deciding to at least arrive in daylight we both set off in good time, Merv complete with passenger who is having a Cossie Duratec R6 built by Paul and Jim at tiger. When we arrived I found out why wearing a helmet in Merv's car at least by a new passenger is compulsory. If he hadn't, and with the widest grin seen for a long time in the car park of the pub, the top of his head would have parted company with the rest of his body. Totally smitten with the R6 was an understatement, and his Cossie engined car will have even more grunt that the highly respectable Scholar Zetec in Mervs R6.
In all there were four Tigers plus tin tops making up the EATOC contingent, including a couple of new members who were anticipating having their cars on the road within the next few months, which will certainly help in breaking the gathering record made one sunny evening last year.
The car park we shared this time with a gathering of MX5s. Looks like the pub is possibly gaining a reputation for club meetings, the large parking area certainly is a big advantage and attraction, as well as the hospitality shown by our hosts.
The evening was spent generally chewing the fat, putting the world to rights with a good dose of Tigerin thrown in for good measure.
When it was time to go, a third Tiger belonging to Mick from Bourne joined Merv and myself for the run home. This was my first time out with the new halogen headlights picked up from the Donnie last year. What a difference, seeing in the dark was a revalation, which some would say is a big advantage and there I must agree particularly after a wet drive home in the dark from the pub last year and not being able to see a thing.
Lets now look forward to the next pub meet and Stoneleigh.
There was a large turnout of Tigers in the parking area so many that we overspilled onto the road during the day it looks like we could need a bigger parking are in future. There was also the usual problem with the kerbs where the Tigers needed the help of planks, fence posts etc to make it up a 4 inch kerb stone without leaving pieces of car behind. It is not easy when the average ground clearance of the cars is 3 inches or less.
After getting the flag erected and spending an hour or so talking to assorted owners as well as sticking a flyer for the open day onto every Tiger parked up I finally made it into the show halls.
There were some very nice cars there and a couple of aesthetically challenged cars there as well... The Minotaur in my opinion definitely falls into the second category. Ultima had their usual stunning stand as well as Gardner Douglas with the T70.
Star of the Tiger stand was the new alloy bodied R6 Lightweight a masterpiece of folded metal which looked stunning shining under the lamps strangely it had front mudguards but no support brackets .The Tiger stand also featured an ERA 30 in Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours, Paul Dudley's R6 race car, an R6 Road Car, Wide Bodied Cat and an Avon (belonging to EATOC member Stuart Haslam).
I have now realised that I didn't get to see the new Sebring which should have been unveiled at the show and I am not sure how I missed that one. I also missed seeing Adam Wilkins Riot as it turned out he was on a separate Complete Kit Car stand on the other side of the show.
It was a good show although I didn't really get to see that much but I did get some exhaust wrap which I will apply to the car shortly. Certainly the show stands are a day's worth of walking and my usual complaint about the shows still applies there is nowhere to just sit down and have a rest for a few minutes. Is it really too much of a disaster to stick out some plastic chairs for people. There was even an empty stand in one of the halls which would have been ideal.
First off here is a review of the weather encountered at Thorney Toll today.
Drizzle, light rain, heavy rain, dry (5 minutes), very heavy rain, dry (30 seconds), medium rain, no rain (6PM).
Now we have that dealt with onto the actual day itself. As you can probably tell from the report above it wasn't ideal weather for an outdoor kit car event ? especially when a lot of the owners don't have weather equipment. But for some of us it doesn't matter that the rain is pouring we will still go and drive to the event. So after setting out and getting there virtually in the dry apart from the spray caused by the lorries it was time to see what was on offer.
First off the rolling road has now been installed and is ready to be used so you can all now book your cars in to see how good they are and how much work they might need to be better... Jim has said he is looking for club bookings for power runs etc. and will be offering very attractive rates for clubs which wish to take him up. So if anyone is involved with other clubs then it might well be worth arranging. The only limitation is the rolling road will only handle up to 500bhp although that is not really an issue with any Tigers that I can think of.
Due to the weather we were rather down on the number of owners cars in the car park although I think we did reach about 15 at one point ? if the weather had been a lot better then who knows. Although it has to be said that it was a better turnout than last May (3 cars) ? I honestly don't think that there were many prospective customers turning up either which is a real shame.
However a few people went for (rather wet) test drives and those that were there all appeared to be enjoying the day if not the prospect of the drive home. To end on a good note we also recruited two new members to the club.
Guess what ? it rained again!
Seriously though the rain in Peterborough was so bad that I turned back in the Tiger and went home for the BMW. At one point I could twist the steering from lock to lock without any resistance due to the quantity of water under the wheels. However it appeared everyone else had thought the same and for the first time ever we had a meeting without a single Tiger in the car park. We also only had six owners turn up! However the meeting still went ahead and plenty was discussed. I just hope for a dry event sometime soon...
It had to happen eventually and it did ? by a minor miracle (and despite what the weather forecast said) we had a dry and sunny event!
For the first time in weeks I managed to start out in the dry and without fear of rain managed to drive all the way to Abbotts Ripton ? enjoying the fact that I could go down the back roads in daylight and not in the dark as well.
Once I had arrived I found that there were had three early arrivals Alan Whale, Mike Smith and Brian Allen. These were followed in quick succession by Mervyn Garner ? then a pause and Malcolm Brown and after a longer gap by Chris Davison who's car had only done 40 miles prior to setting out for the pub and hence doubled its recorded mileage in one evening!
We were also joined by Ron Best making his first visit to one of the meetings in a very distinctive Orange CatXL which was an ex-Tiger demo car. Also making a first appearance was Steven Tuck who only joined the club six weeks ago this was around the time he completed his Cat. His car arrived with only half a front number plate after an unfortunate encounter with a rabbit.
The final person to arrive was Mike Finch who came in his Rover 75 ? now those of you who are long-time club members may remember his name. He has also now rejoined the club after a gap of 3 years.
The weather stayed warm and dry for the whole evening and loads of topics were discussed, unusually compared to when we have an inside the pub meeting it finished earlier than expected as when it started getting dark people packed up and then went home.
However it was the best turnout this year and if the weather holds next month we might even beat this one.
Something strange is going on here... We have had two pub meetings in succession which have been dry!
The evening started off with meeting fellow club member Perry Comey and driving down to the pub with him. Now Perry works in Huntingdon and knows the back roads to Abbotts Ripton better than I do as he left me behind as I can't remember the road well enough to push the car safely. (well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it).
Once arrived we found that there were a load of MX-5 owners there for a meeting as well which meant a queue for the bar for once.
Outside we had a total of 11 tigers including some we hadn't seen for months along with some more of the regulars. Unfortunately Mervyn had a slight problem with his R6 as the bolts holding the alternator onto the engine had sheared ? one of which had broken flush with the block, but the other had just lost the head. This meant that the remains could be easily removed and replaced with one of my spare bolt collection I keep in the car for emergencies ? however after making a temporary repair he decided to leave for home before it started getting dark so as to not put too much strain on the alternator. He did make it home successfully and will hopefully be repaired ready for Kimbolton in a couple of days.
Although the weather looked ominous for a while the rain held off all night and everybody should have got home in the dry. Finally at the end of the evening I set off following Malc back to Peterborough ? who for some reason missed the turning (with a large signpost) back to the A1 and proceeded in the general direction of Alconbury. He realised the mistake fairly quickly and a quick U-Turn later we headed back home.
Now all that needs to happen is we get a dry day for Kimbolton.
The day started off with some lovely sun and not being too warm. As such the drive down to Kimbolton only took about 40 minutes and it was fairly easy to locate our allocated parking area.
Once arrived I started to unpack all the stuff out of the car including the new club gazebo (bought to replace the one wrecked at Duxford back in April).Fortunately I had previously assembled it in the front garden so I did know how it went together as it is fairly large and heavy. With Simon Mattins help we soon had it up and it proved for the first half of the day to be a very successful sun shield... Over the morning a lot more people arrived and I think we ended up with 12 cars in total not a bad turn out but we could have done better.
The morning was spent wandering around the cars and trade stands. It had already been decided that we would have the AGM at noon and that went ahead as planned ? the minutes can be found later in this issue.
After the AGM a few people thought that it might be looking like rain but they were initially dismissed as crying wolf. Unfortunately around 2:30 it started to rain lightly, and then steadily increased to an absolute downpour. Having said that though the gazebo still kept the water out even though we decided not to put the side screens up! The last picture on this page sums up the weather simply.
Maxey is the long haul event of the year, it takes a lot of planning to get to the show after all it is only 3 miles from my front door!
The day started off dry and warm ? unusual enough for this summer but even more unusual for Maxey. So after the long drive I parked up and had a good look around.
As usual there was a good range of cars ranging in age from 1904 to the present day. Some notable cars included an '84 Capri which was in almost new condition. A very well restored SAAB 99 with matching trailer made from the remains of another SAAB. There was also a Hillman Avenger rally car (they are rare enough in road trim let alone rally spec).
The weather virtually behaved itself all day with just a few spots of rain before the show ended at 4PM.
In total we achieved 10 tigers at the show not a bad number considering the weather forecast and it was certainly one of the better shows of the last few years. However it has to be said that just after leaving it started raining and kept on for the rest of the day - so it was just a bit too late to spoil the show.
This is my first ?summer? of Tiger driving after an 18 month build of the usual high?s and lows. With the weather or at least the lack of it this year, I sometimes questioned the sense of having an open top car with no wet weather gear! This was endorsed on the way back from the Sporting Bears meeting earlier this year, when driving though a thunderstorm on the A1 you think ?I spent 18 months of my life just so I could do this!? Still on a rare dry day, the car is fantastic and those soakings are seen as an occupational hazard.
Fortunately the Saturday morning I turned up at Malcolm?s house, ready for the ?Deeping Three? (Malcolm, Merv and myself) to travel to Donnington, it was dry and you knew a good time was ahead.
The drive there was keen in places, sedate in others, its strange but with three in a convoy you tend not to attack the journey as much. Once at Donnington we are directed right to the end of a long grass strip where the Tiger designated spot was. You immediately knew this show was not on the scale of Stoneleigh and if anyone wanted to look at the Tigers they would have a long hike. Still there was a good turn out so the walk would be worth it.
Once parked up and after a chat with fellow owners, my son and I went to have a look around. We are both fans of the Italian replica?s, not the horrible MR2 / 355 disasters but the Diablo or Countach cars when done properly are always worth a look. Fortunately for us there were 3 excellent Countach examples built by Dave Harrison cars and a Diablo to look over.
From here we headed towards the indoor trade area after stopping to watch the Westfield display, with customers paying to experience what the ?seven type? cars have to offer. I have to say it didn?t appear as good as the Caterhams been driven at Stoneleigh by a long way.
Once inside the indoor area it was not as busy with trade stands or people compared to other shows. Now I have been told by a few people that they did not enjoy the Donnington show as much because of this. Personally I found this an advantage, the manufacturers seemed pleased to see you, being far more helpful and communicative than in previous shows.
There are some superb kits out there and the quality is exceptional on some and on others is questionable at best, mind you at £50K for some of the builds you would expect and want it to be top quality. The Gardner Douglas T70, Minotaur and Extreme?s Murcielago looked good, the Vindictor Sprint family (a 4 seat seven style car), was unusual and an interesting idea but not my ?cup of tea?. Extremes Peugeot 406 based 360 replica looked good but with a car looking that good the engine should really be in the same place as the car it?s replicating.
From inside the halls we could hear the historic racing taking place on the circuit, time to have a look. As it was late in the afternoon we managed to get in for a discount price and took a walk around the paddock. Being feet away from the Silk Cut Le Mans Jaguar and other historic racers was an added bonus to the day. A walk round the car park alone was like being at a motor show, with Ferrari?s, Aston?s and the like. Icing on the cake as we walked back was the Ferrari Enzo that drove past, how rare are they!!
It was time to head home but the ?Deeping Three? were now the ?Deeping Two? as Malcolm had left earlier. Ahead were 65 miles of some great roads. With only an R6 and E1 making the journey, I suspect the way back would be attacked a bit harder than on the way there, I wasn?t wrong. Trying to keep up with a car that is lighter and has 100 more horses than mine makes the drive even more challenging.
The miles flew by and the journey was over all too quickly. I was proud of my car it had put up a good fight, so this is why I built a Tiger and who cares if you get wet now and then, find me a twisty road and I?ll look forward to every bend, although I think I need better tyres on the car.
Donnington had been another good day out; they all are when a number of Tiger owners get together. Look forward to doing more of the same next year, see you there.
Well it finally happened after 3 rather damp open days at the Thorney toll factory we got a dry one!
The day started off dry and reasonably bright and stayed that way for the whole day. I initially arrived at around 10:15AM to find there were already about 10 cards there. During the morning the numbers slowly increased until at the peak I think there were around 40-50 Tigers present. Most of the regular EATOC members turned up and there was a good show from non EATOC members as well (I say this as generally the non-EATOC people would have further to come.)
There were a couple of highlights on the day ? we finally got to see Ian Fowlers extremely shiny Super Six which is very well detailed. Jim sold an ERA30 to a Super Six owner and there were some very well built cars out there.
During the morning there was a crash near the factory on the A47 so a load of us ran out to see what had happened. As there wasn't a Tiger involved we all disappeared just as fast (an ambulance was already on the way).
I was also informed by a certain Mr Garner that nobody has ever taken a picture of his car and put it on the club website well there will be by the time he reads this...
Finally at the end of a very good day we all left for home ? however one of the last things to happen was that Richard Wilkins finally got a ride in the ERA 30 and managed to be the only person ever to have his hairstyle improved after a ride in that particular car!