When I decided to wind down the business, I also decided to look for a retirement project.
An advert in Impressions caught Les Key at the right time. He was an engineer and had rescued the Stiletto in pieces over 40 years ago. Mechanically the car is in excellent condition but the paintwork needs attention.
Les sold me the car on the understanding that I restored it and didn’t sell it.
I used it until November to see how it behaved. I found it to be an excellent drive. Lorraine. who names most of our cars, called it “DAVE”.
It is my intention to upgrade the car without spoiling its originality and reporting the progress.
First instalment “Dave’s Big Day Out”
Knowdale Car Club
The John Clegg Mini Miglia Dales Tour 2016
“Daves Big Day Out”
Every March Knowdale Car Club organise their Dales Tour. I entered it once with Alan Kitson in Kitty, but we didn’t get very far. This year I fancied a new challenge and thought it would be a good opportunity to give Dave an adventure. Alan Kitson was marshalling so I asked Allan Millington if he was interested in giving it a go and he said yes. We met though Imps and rallying about 40 years ago.
Before the big day out, I serviced Dave, fitted an accuspark in the distributor, fitted some halogen headlights, added some wide steel wheels with new tyres and retained the sport wheel trims.
We set off at 5 p.m. On Saturday 12th March, had a meal in Kirby Lonsdale, then on to a Travelodge at Burton Services so we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. The only hiccup came Sunday morning when it wouldn’t start, flat battery. Alternator next job.
Got to the start and were the first there. Grey morning. Watched the rest of the entrants arrive including Sunbeam Alpine, 6, MGB, Porsche, Morgan, Anglia, Talbot Sunbeam etc and Dave.
We decided to follow the Tulip Route. Quite easy but had no idea where we went but the route was interesting and the scenery was stunning. Although I have seen a lot of the area before I didn’t know half of this existed. It was wild and beautiful and we spent a lot of time stopping and taking photographs. See photos.
Dave performed faultlessly, but it struggles up the hills, a bit more than it should and the brakes suffered with fade on the way down. No problem with water temp and the heater kept us nice and cosy. We arrived at The Fat Lamb last due to our relaxed progress. We were stopped once along the way by an irate motorist complaining about the standard of some driving. It appears that some of the entrants didn’t realise that it was not a speed trial!
After a nice butty and a breather we checked Dave over, all was OK and we set off on the second half, not as scenic as the first leg and more complicated. We had to keep adjusting the tulip mileage against the trip on Dave because there was a difference, but not consistently (the speedo cable gave up on the way home). This was OK for Allan who is good with figures, but towards the end of the second leg he had a meltdown and I had a couple of ‘not concentrating incidents’. We had been doing really well collecting the marker board id codes but right at the end we lost it and missed 2 markers. Not bad for a couple who had not done this for 40 years.
The satnav got us to the finish in quick time, dropped our paperwork off had a bite to eat thanked the organisers and set off home, collecting our screen stickers Allan chose a silver one because he was disappointed at missing a turn and I took a gold one for “Dave”.
I really enjoyed being the driver for a change and thank Steve Warrington and the team from Knowdale Car Club for all the hard work and organisation for “Daves Big Day Out”.
photos courtesy of Millington Photography.