410 Short Stories

Jensen and Bristol

Fame at last, and a new home

  Well 2013 came and went, and 2014 has almost gone too. However the 410 soldiers on, as evidenced in this month’s Classic and Sports Car magazine. They were after a 410 at pretty short notice so I went along to Chobham Test Track for a photoshoot  a month or so ago. Writer James Elliot and photographer Tony Baker got to work while the Jensen owner and I drove the cars for the pictures. It was a little odd being the subject of a photoshoot for a change, and quite eye-opening to drive a car being photographed instead of being...

120617_BOC_SF029

Tyred and horny

Wow!  Less than a year since the last post!  Be still my beating heart! The car has been going well recently. It had a service at Spencer’s back in the spring and has seen regular use through the rain and sun we call summer. There was some excitement when I managed to break an exhaust manifold, but that was sorted pretty quickly. Luckily it was the right-hand manifold, of which some are available. Apparently the left-hand side is much harder to find. I’ll try not to do it again however. My car does sit rather lower than it should which...

110706_PH_SF005

A familiar story

Well, if anyone is still reading this, you’ll have noticed that every time I post anything on this blog, I usually start by apologising that it’s been so long since the last time, and end with an airy promise that I’ll try not to leave it so long until next time. Well, guess what…? It turns out that small children are a slight hindrance to both blogging and driving old cars which don’t have a full complement of seatbelts. Yes, just a few weeks after the last post, a small, screaming, pooing addition to the Happy Bristoleer’s family put a...

110130_PHSS_SF010

A Mini adventure

Ferrari California A few hardy Bristoleers  braved the cold last Sunday to go to the PistonHeads Sunday Service, held at the Mini factory in Cowley. Bristols always seem to get a mixed reaction on the PistonHeads forums, threads usually started by someone who has never seen or driven a Blenheim getting very angry that other people would consider paying so much for such an ugly, outdated car. There is then a long discussion about how you either “get” them or you don’t, and people singing their praises as the last gentleman’s car. I think the older cars tend to avoid such polarisation...

Happy New Year

I thought I’d better get something on the blog early this year, and will try to keep up with posting better in 2011 than in 2010.  The 410 is going well as ever.  I picked it up from SLJ’s in mid-December but it hasn’t seen much use through the snow and salt we’ve had recently. It is all much more solid underneath, and they kept the rotten bits so I could see just what had been remade.  Nice to have it back, and nice to know it should last many more years now.  The garage smells pleasingly of new paint...

MG_5182

Still here

Hello! Don’t worry, I’m still here. Around this time last year I mentioned that getting married might slow the rate of blogging, and it seems I was right! The last time we spoke, the car had just had a new MoT, but kept blowing fuses and the lights didn’t work as they should. All that’s now sorted – a replacement fuse holder (there are only two fuses on a 410) has so far kept the electricity flowing as it’s supposed to, and a morning spent remaking all the connections to the headlights seems to have sorted them out properly. The...

Phone0135

Silenced

Things carry on here. The door has now been fixed and is working as a door should (opens, closes, that sort of thing…). While it was at Spencer’s I also asked Rob and Colin, since they had one door apart anyway, to replace the rotten weather seals on the front windows. It is possible to replace them with modern rubber seals, but these sit proud of the door and don’t look nearly so nice, so I have stayed with the original style. Mine had got pretty grotty over the years, with the metal bits under the felt rusted and crumbling....

SC330_SF02

Bitter and Twisted

Well, happy new year to one and all. Things are moving slowly forward. My ‘other’ car, the Bitter SC, has finally gone to a new owner. Technically it had been for sale for some time, but in practice I had not advertised it anywhere, so enquiries were few. However a few people in the Bitter Owners’ Club knew it was for sale, and passed some enquiries on to me. One of those was very keen, and although it needed a bit more work doing than he’d planned, the fact that it was a manual transmission car swung him. I say...

Stay Tuned…

Well hello! Sorry this hasn’t been updated in six months now. Maybe that’s what happens when you get married – are there any married bloggers out there? Anyway, to cut a long story short the car has been off the road for the last few months while waiting for various small / medium sized jobs all to be done at once, which makes it a Big Job, hence the delay starting. Things should progress in the new year and I look forward to keeping you updated with what’s being done and how it all goes. In the meantime, thanks for...

Sam and Astrid wedding, Kent

Still Here!

Well sorry it’s been a bit quiet here for a while. This is due to spending April furiously preparing for my wedding, and then spending most of May on honeymoon. Hooray! The 410 obviously played a part in proceedings, transporting me and my wife from the ceremony venue to the reception. The photo above is the best man and his girlfriend fitting the ribbons to the bonnet. Honeymoon was in California, where we went on a bit of a road-trip, covering 2500 miles all around the state, from snow-clad mountains in Yosemite, to the 47ºC heat of Death Valley, elephant...