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Thread: A Day Out at Brooklands

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    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    A Day Out at Brooklands

    It seems like a lifetime has passed, but a mere 4 weeks ago we were still basking in the last of the warm late Summer sunshine. So I decided to take a day off work and go to Brooklands, just for the sheer Hell of it. But before I set off I had to programme the Nav computer – first the time of day, then the distance to my destination along the planned route. This would allow the Nav computer to provide ETA, distance and elapsed time data as well as the usual instantaneous and average fuel consumption. Then it was time for the off!

    45 minutes later, and here I am, outside the main visitor entrance. What a lovely day! What a great way to arrive! I’m really getting into this holiday lark



    Flashing my Brooklands Trust card at the gate was all I had to do to get in, and I have virtually got the whole museum to myself today. However, the museum volunteers are allowed to park their cars on-site, and there were some nice cars too, I have always admired this one…



    So, where to first? For me, it has to be the Stratosphere Chamber, the 1950s equivalent to the spacecraft vacuum chambers we use at work. Those of you with long memories may remember a picture I took back in 2012 of the open chamber, with the nose section of a Vickers Valiant in its gaping maw. Now repainted in its original dull silver, the Valiant nose has moved to the so-called “aircraft factory” nearby, and the pressurised cockpit section of a Vickers Vanguard occupies the chamber instead.



    In the adjacent plant room, where the ammonia cooling towers and evacuation pumps reside you can see the enormous door to the chamber, with the internal ducting used to blow frigid thin air at whatever was inside...



    And this is the bridge from the control room to the access hatch (very like a submarine) through the wooden cladding used to insulate the chamber from the ambient air outside…



    As well as aircraft pressure cabins, all sorts of vehicles were tested for cold weather starting, icing effects on flying surfaces and rigging on North Sea trawlers. Even people were tested, for mountaineering and Polar exploration missions.

    In the main control room I found a copy of RAF Flying Review on display, dated July 1958...



    The cover depicts the Swallow supersonic swing-wing bomber, designed by Barnes Wallis at Brooklands, delivering nuclear Armageddon to some unfortunate Russian city. Such a cool aircraft though. Although it never got beyond the unpowered model stage here in the UK, it is widely believed that the US reneged on a technical exchange agreement and successfully used the sliding pivot concept developed by Wallis in the F-111, which when promised to the RAF effectively proved to be the final straw for the TSR-2 programme. Oh well, at least we have the artwork…



    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard this Vickers Super VC10 flight to the outer reaches of an over-active imagination. This is Captain Spacenut in the driver’s seat. We will be cruising at an altitude of 12 feet, because that is how high the fuselage is above the ground…

    It was a really nice day out. Once I had come down to Earth I had a quick shufty around the museum shop (I resisted the temptation to spend loads on money there and then, but next time I might not be able to help myself), and then hopped back in the car, reset the Nav computer for the trip home and that was that. Total distance travelled was 71.8 miles, with an average fuel consumption of 40.2 mpg.

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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    Looks like you had a good day out, and some nice photos. I too have a soft spot for the Scimitar.

    Dirk

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    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** BlueNova's Avatar
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    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Captain Spacenut ... and that's a decent mpg for the Green Machine too!

    Alistair

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Looks like you had a good day out, and some nice photos. I too have a soft spot for the Scimitar.

    Dirk
    Had 2 scimitars in the past, both SE5a's. I think they have one of the best dash set ups in any car.

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    Lauren, you recall my mentioning how reliant scimitar's were lined with sand bag ballast to keep them on the ground? That is the model I was talking about

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    Nice update;
    You have your car back after a long lay-off, anything on the 'to do' list in terms of comfort, driveability, performance? (I know we all have endless to-do lists on our cars) what has emerged since you've been clocking up miles once again?

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    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffy View Post
    Had 2 scimitars in the past, both SE5a's. I think they have one of the best dash set ups in any car.
    I agree - and the SE5a is the one to have, with the best combination of engine and overdrive gearbox. I like to think that the moulded dash on the Green Machine has something of the Scimitar about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaisa View Post
    Lauren, you recall my mentioning how reliant scimitar's were lined with sand bag ballast to keep them on the ground? That is the model I was talking about
    I do recall you saying that, and I am quite intrigued - I suppose you could argue that with the iron-block Ford V6 in the front, plus the spare wheel in the nose and no weight over the back wheels, the GTE could be a bit tail-happy in the wet, but the same could be said of the Capri 3-litre or even my old Firenzas, both of which demonstrated their unerring ability to swap ends. That said, I recall seeing pictures of a cut-in-half Scimitar at a motor show and unlike the Capri, or the Firenza, the engine is mounted behind the front axle, so could be classed as front mid-engined...

    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    Nice update;
    You have your car back after a long lay-off, anything on the 'to do' list in terms of comfort, drivability, performance? (I know we all have endless to-do lists on our cars) what has emerged since you've been clocking up miles once again?
    Thanks Steve - yes, there is a list, and it is still quite a long one! Top priority before the weather gets really cold is to finish the interior canopy trims. These will carry the vent grilles for the side window demisters, and although the latter appear to be working very well, I need to throttle the airflow back to give more to the windscreen demisters, which on the drivers side are only just adequate in really wet weather. The bar graph tachometer is pessimistic by a couple of hundred rpm, which requires a 110 kohm potentiometer to give more adjustment. I need to fit new kick plates to the sill tops as the chipped paint looks ugly and I need to finish off the rear quarter panels. I also need to make an effective seal for the side windows and the headlamp covers (and maybe drill some discreet drain holes to let the water that does get in, out. There is also a bit of water getting into the wiper well on top of the dashboard from the around the wiper spindle, which I need to seal up.

    Other issues? I have been working through a series of annoying oil leaks, the main one coming from the centre connector of the oil pressure switch (replaced and now oil-tight) and also the distributor seal. As the Alfa uses the same Bosch JFUD-4 as the Beetle, I was able to get some replacement seals from Machine 7, which has worked out well. I also replaced the points and condenser with new items, which has allowed me to replace the coil to distributor wire as well.

    I ordered a pair of AVO double-adjustable front dampers to replace my ageing SPAX units, but when they arrived they were the wrong type, in spite of the box being correctly labelled. So they have had to be returned and now I have to go through the whole order process again. It's just as well the SPAX units weren't leaking like the rears.

    Lastly I need to do a proper alignment of the headlamps before I do any night driving. This I can do quite easily using the access panels.

    That all I can think of at the moment. But I'm sure there is more

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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    What was your rational behind double adjustable shocks on the front?

    Dirk

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    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    What was your rational behind double adjustable shocks on the front?

    Dirk
    Same rationale as the back really, although I am still experimenting with settings. The extra adjustment isn't a major contributor to the overall cost, so I thought I might as well...
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacenut View Post
    Same rationale as the back really, although I am still experimenting with settings. The extra adjustment isn't a major contributor to the overall cost, so I thought I might as well...
    Not the reply I was expecting I thought you would come back with a technical paper detailing the advantages with complicated mathematical equations that I would not even understand

    Dirk

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