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 brake on the progress towards 410 short stories. This also has meant less use for the 410 itself,  since we can’t go out en famille (according to Mrs Bristoleer at least…). However, the little blighter has been out in the car a couple of times and has seemed very happy with his seat up front with me. The urgent plan is to have rear belts fitted this spring, and I’ve been umming and aahing over what to do, and where to take it. The options seem to be Bristol Cars themselves, but I’m told they subcontract the work to Quickfit SBS (no relation to Kwikfit), who are also highly regarded by many and I could go direct to them myself. They have several Bristols in their gallery, and I’ve seen the very neat work they’ve done on a friend’s MG Magnette. The third option would be Spencer Lane-Jones’s Warminster workshop, who also have experience of belting up cars. My indecision stems from the various approaches taken to fitting rear belts. Some people have told me it can only be done properly with the fuel tank removed, but others say this is not necessary. Lap belts would be much simpler, but if it’s going to be done it needs to be done properly so three-point belts are the way to go. It is not going to be cheap either, with estimates varying in the £750 – £1500 range.  If anyone has any thoughts please do let me know.

One task I do intend to do myself however, is overhaul the heater box. The heater has always been pretty efficient, providing good level of warmth in winter. However the demist/defrost (footwells/windscreen) control has always been very stiff. Or at least it was until one day about 18 months ago when it suddenly became very free moving. Unfortunately it also became non-functional at the same time. There is an excellent guide to the removal, repair and overhaul of the heater box and its controls in the latest BOC Bulletin, so I shall try to get stuck in and make it work again. It would be nice to regas the aircon at the same time. This was working when I got the car, and I hope will not be too involved to revive.

So there we go, not even mid-January and we’re already at 50% of last year’s post count. I’ve learned my lesson so make no promises of when the next update will be. I’d like to hope you’ll get more than two this year, but we’ll just have to see what happens…

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