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Old 07-03-2018, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Just back from Pendine. Had a caravan booked for the week, starting the Monday before the races. Had the first part of the week as a family holiday, which worked out well.

Weather was hot all week. My wife even went swimming in the sea. So did Meggie the Weimaraner. Nice couple of days, came back Wednesday evening.

Thurs at home, Tinkered with the truck, put extra retaining straps on the coupe seat. Came out ok I thought. Gassed the truck up. The coupe was already full up.

Fri got the truck and the coupe out, ready to go. Put spare wheels and tyres in the truck. The boys rocked up and we were ready to go at about 09:30. Me and John leading in the coupe, Trev tail end Charlie in the truck. Made good progress, all going well until at about about the half way mark, Trev phoned through saying the truck was rattling. Pulled up and yes, it was indeed rattling and missing on one cylinder. We sussed there was a garage in Clyro, about 3 miles down the road. We drove carefully to there and pitched up in their yard. Got permission to work on it there, but went to grab a sandwich from the garage while the truck cooled down. Duly fed, we pulled the generator and manifold and looked inside. It was easy to spot the problem. One valve had shed it's collets. Closer inspection showed it was a broken valve spring that caused it. We discussed it for a while, and decided it was worth just crossing our fingers and carrying on on 7 cylinders. We set off, Me and Trev in the truck in front, John in the coupe following. We realised after a short while that John wasn't following. I quickly realised why, I had the keys to the coupe in my pocket. A quick backtrack and we set off again, the truck rattling along. It's amazing how your brain can filter out something like that after a while. Gassed both vehicles up along the way to ensure we had enough fuel for the meet. at some time during the rattly part of the drive I noticed the truck had stopped charging, the ammeter showing a small discharge constantly. As it was daylight, Knowing the battery was in good condition, I elected to ignore it, keep driving and we'd get there before it went flat.

Arrived about 4 pm safe and sound. Parked the truck for later attention, unloaded the coupe, which was my race entry, and took it for scrutineering, which was more thorough than in previous years and caught a few people out. The coupe breezed through, as I had read the requirements beforehand and made sure it would comply. The new system of giving the drivers the briefing as they signed on went very well, saving the clamour normally seen.

Sat: Up bright and early and helped set up the track. Got the car down to the pits and got ready as my race number (47) is relatively low so I am normally in the first batch. Got in the queue behind Deano and waited to run.

Run 1. When the flag went up I gunned it and held the revs possibly a bit too high, but went up through the gears the car pulling well until as I approached the trap, the engine just died. No big bang or anything, just no response to the pedal. Cruised through the trap and coasted to within 10 yards of where the other cars had parked. Opened the hood to see what had happened and it didn't take long to see that king lead, the main HT lead from the coil to the distributor had disappeared. It simply was not there. You don't have to be the sharpest bowling ball on the rack to work out that it must have been there when I set off, so it must have popped out of one end, got caught in the fan belt and pulleys and got ripped out and flung out on the track. Returned to the pits on the end of a rope thanks to Roland and Chris.
Recorded speed 59.something mph.

I needed a plug lead. Was offered some but already had a plan. I have a seven cylinder 41 pickup parked up, that has one plug lead it does not need so I nicked the one from the dead cylinder and used that to replace the missing king lead on the coupe. Once fitted the coupe was running strong, well as strong as a mild 21stud motor can.

Run2. Got lined up, waited my turn and when the flag went up, I gave it all I could. A nice strong, clean run. The track felt very squirrely, (which was to cause a problem for the faster cars) but I was fine with my car. parked up, cruised back when told, and was pleased with the car's performance.
recorded speed: 76.41mph.

Back story: Now, here's the thing. My old mate Dave Wilcox, also has a 21stud powered model 40. I spoke to him earlier in the week and we had a gentleman's wager. The 21stud model 40 shootout grudge match was on with a whole 1 each in the pot. Things were suddenly very serious with big money riding on it. I frantically scanned the results sheet for Dave's speed. Yes! 71.something. The whole thing now depended on Sunday's runs.

Back to Saturday's racing. The track was drying due to the very dry, hot and fiercely sunny weather. The cars with 4 and 5 speed boxed were kicking up the track near the top end. One car spun out while accellerating probably due to driver inexperience. One of the fastest car spun out in the timing traps at high speed. Another did the same, quite spectacularly. Things had proceeded until we were half way through the field on the second runs. A discussion was had and it was decided to call it for the day. Three spinouts where no-one was hurt was enough. No-one wanted to risk a fourth. Everyone was happy with the decision, and the track and barriers were knocked down and stowed in good time, with lots of people prepared to help.

Sunday: the track was set up after a lateish start due to the tide time. We were literally setting up the rope barrier in the receding lapping waves, the guys putting the poles out paddling in bare feet. The racing started again from where it was left off on Saturday. The remaining set of second runs were completed with no drama on a reasonable track.

Run 3: I got in line and hoped for a repeat of run 2 or some kind of improvement. It was not to be. Almost in a repeat of the first run, the car lost power before reaching the traps. I coasted through, slowing rapidly, but this time, when I stopped the engine was idling happily. I tried revving it and it wanted to die. It fuffed and farted about and then suddenly started responding to the throttle. I was able to drive back to the pits under my own power, but the time was a dnf. (Did not finish due to low speed).

Backstory continued: I managed to get a peek at the results sheet before it was published and could see that my best speed was still faster than Dave's second or third run. I left the scene rubbing my hands in glee knowing the filthy lucre was mine!

Sunday continued: the sky turned cloudy, the rain came. The track became very soggy. Being good die hard rodders, the racing continued regardless. The last car ran and the cars returned en masse. It's always a great sight and the drivers were greeted by a round of applause as they left the track and entered the pits. I say a round of applause, basically it was me and one other bloke. The drivers all smiled, though, so it was worthwhile.

The results ceremony was held and there were some new inductees into the 100mph club and plenty of records broken, all reflecting a lot of hard work for the drivers some of whom had been waiting a long time and trying very hard to achieve their goal.

So that was it. The end of another Pendine sands Hot Rod Race.

In the pub later the massive 2 grudge race pot was duly handed over with good natured piss taking, back slapping and bonhomie. Lots of back slapping, hand shakes and cheers for all the new record holders and 100mph club inductees.

Monday morning came and we packed up the coupe and the truck. Over the weekend, between races, we had been playing with the truck and had noticed that the commutator had been fouling the end plate of the generator. We carefully deburred the commutator and put it back together using two washers to space the end plate off a little bit to give enough clearance for the armature to turn without rubbing. It still wouldn't charge. I repolarised it twice. Nothing. We took the lid off the (new) regulator and found that if the cutout was prodded momentarily while the revs were up, it would hold in and keep charging. I rigged up a cable tie system such that if I pulled the cable tie it would pull in the cutout and initiate the charge. That will get us home I thought.

Vehicles packed and ready to go. the coupe was running well with no sign of the problem hat it had on the last run. the truck was rattling away on seven cylinders and blow me, when I started it up it started charging straight away! Obviously it had healed. Although on seven cylinders, it drove ok on the way home, this was a non motorway route, all up hills and down dales. The coupe drove well too, with only a couple of little hesitations that soon cleared. The day was very hot and both cars were very hot inside with a lot of heat coming into the cabins through various holes in the floorboards etc. the vinyl upholstery didn't help either, making it a bit uncomfortable. the truck stopped charging at one point but a light tug in the cable tie (accessible through the driver's window) did the trick and it was ok all the rest of the way home.

Arrived home mid afternoon, safe and sound, both vehicles running well (or as well as they could). The truck covered approximately 240 miles on seven cylinders.

I can only apologise for the lack of pictures. I only took a few, some on the beach with the ex Malcolm Campbell 38 Woodie and a couple of the truck and the coupe on the way home. I'll add a couple when I can get them off my phone.

The Pendine gig is my favourite event of the year and is unmissable. Many thanks to Neil and the sidewinders for putting on such a fantastic event which gets slicker every year.



Edit: Those not familiar with the event should get a taster by watching this video. my car is the 33 coupe visible leaving the beach at 5:20.


Edit 2:

Pics added.
1, Map image showing the route. 161 miles. Truck broke down at Clyro. Truck did 1-1/2 of the journey on 7 cylinders.
2, The truck, the coupe and John at a shady stop on the way home.
3, 4, The coupe, and the ex Malcolm Campbell 38 woodie on the beach on Saturday
5, Wee Mark's lovely 35 Cabrio.
6, I told you we had the top off the truck motor. Pictured at Clyro. I was too busy thinking about what we were going to do to take a detailed pic of the problem valve.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg pendinemap.jpg (45.6 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg Pendine1801.jpg (62.3 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg Pendine1802.jpg (29.8 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg Pendine1803.jpg (42.7 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg Pendine1804.jpg (41.9 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg Pendine1805.jpg (34.9 KB, 153 views)

Last edited by Mart; 07-03-2018 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

I enjoyed every word. You worded it so well I have vivid pictures in my head of all the goings on. Thanks for the trip.

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Old 07-03-2018, 09:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Excellent story "Mart". Brings back memories of the days I used to race "on a shoestring". I would really have enjoyed being there!
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Interesting and fun story Mart!
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Nothing like driving em
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Keep cool and carry on.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Those gigs and the trips to get to and from are always a different adventure every time. It sure beats being a couch tater.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Enjoyed it, thank you.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Great story, and a great video, with some really nice cars, including yours!

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Old 07-03-2018, 06:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Swimming you say .....? Looks like great fun!
"Came too close to dying to stop living now!"
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

GREAT video!!!.....excellent report on the trip!!..Ya’ done good mate!!.....Mark
I'm thinkin' about crankin'
My ragged ol' truck up
and haulin' myself into town.
Billy Joe Shaver
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Great stuff Mart , totally loved your report of your great adventure!!!
Thank you
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Had fun watching the video, and reading your adventure, thanks Mart.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

good story mart, i'll bet there's a valve spring in your tool box on the next trip!
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Old 07-05-2018, 03:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Love the story and pic's. Is it on at the same time of year, every year? Coming to visit the Mother country on the BIG OE next year and would love to take this in! Don't tell my wife....... cheers
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:17 AM   #16
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Great story! Loved the video and pictures.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).


I'm the creator of the video. Just wanted to say I'm glad you guys liked it. I had a lot of fun making it. The day at Pendine was so much fun, one of my favourite automotive experiences so far. All the cars are super cool and I've now got the bug. I noticed from YouTube a lot of traffic coming from this site, so just wanted to get in touch to say thanks I'm glad you like the video. I definitely intend on making another next year!
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Loved the story. Thank you!!
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

The story and video are outstanding. What an adventure!
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Old 07-07-2018, 02:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: Pendine 2018. My personal story (warning: word heavy).

Hi Mart great story and video. I hope you didn't have an encounter with the "ghost" of Parry Thomas while you were there.
"you can't make honey out of dog sh*t"

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