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 foot operated dipswitch was also loose, which was the cause of occasional bouts of total darkness while switching between dip and main. I took the opportunity to replace the inner pair of increasingly hard to find sealed-beam units with new reflectors and halogen bulbs, and put nice bright halogens in the outer pair too. As previously mentioned, my car has all four lights providing both dip and main, so once all the new kit was fitted I went back to my local MoT guys to make sure they were all correctly aimed and not dazzling other road users. The centre pair are actually aimed slightly low to provide better spread. The result is that the car is now a joy to drive at night, with good even coverage, and well defined beams that don’t annoy people – getting flashed at night (not like that!) used to be a regular occurrence but seems to be a thing of the past now.
The other thing about to happen last time was that the axle was coming out to fix some leaks and attend to some rusty bits that could be done more easily while the axle was out anyway. This was all done, but obviously ended up being more involved than hoped, with some nasty holes in the chassis being found that would need fixing. Somehow, I had also lost completely one of the sill covers – I don’t know when but it had always been a bit crusty and had clearly had enough of holding on underneath. Since this was going to be a big job, and I needed the car back for a trip to France at the beginning of May, the work on the sills was left for the summer and I went to Bergerac in the now not leaking 410. Although it was a wedding anniversary trip, we still managed to gatecrash a gathering of Tractions Avant. They were all parked up by the river in Bergerac, and there were no owners around to chat to, but they had left a Bristol-sized gap for a photo – spot the odd one out!
Since then, the summer has passed peacefully enough. The BOC Concours went off well, with well over 160 cars present it was certainly the most Bristols ever gathered together at once. The next day was my first trip to Goodwood, which was another great day out, and just made me wish I’d been able to go for the whole weekend. There’s always next year…
And now, in December, the car is back at Spencer’s workshops for the sills to be tackled. It’s been a fairly big job, and was almost done when it was spotted that the front subframe was also rusty at the edges. Thankfully this has turned out to be not quite as involved as feared to fix, and Rob is making an excellent job of the whole thing, removing rusty bits and letting in new metal. Coincidentally it was his brother who last welded up the car 20 years ago when it was Spencer’s own car to restore.
So that’s it for now, though I’ve just realised that I missed two anniversaries last week. It is now four years since I started this blog, though I’m still some way short of 410 short stories, and it is seven years last week since I bought the 410 itself. Mileage together since then is well over 40,000, and I look forward to many more. I know I say this every time, but I’ll try not to leave it so long till the next post!