410 Short Stories

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Behind the Arras

We’ve been off to France again this month.  I’d been given a flyer for a classic car show in Arras, and since I needed to go to France anyway to stock up on cheaper booze (only slightly these days sadly!) I thought the two things could be combined easily.  Arras is only a little over 100km from Calais, so it would make a nice weekend trip with a cheap hotel in town easy to find.  The weather on Saturday was fantastic.  We stopped first at Majestic to pre-order our supplies (if you order in advance of collection you get a discount to cover...

Urgent request!

The Vulcan bomber is a true Bristol. Four Bristol Olympus jet engines means it is more Bristol powered than my own car. Through a combination of extraordinary dedication, thousands of small donors, corporate will, and the National Lottery, one Vulcan XH558 is now airworthy after a 12 year restoration, the largest return to flight operation ever undertaken. However, the current financial situation with the Vulcan to Sky Trust is parlous to say the least. Notice has been given to their staff, and if they do not have £1,000,000 in pledges or donations by Friday night the end will have come...

Memory Lane

I’ve had this video for a while, and have finally put it onto YouTube for your general delight. The occasion was the BOC trip to Bordeaux in 2004. I went on on this trip and had a great time. It was more or less the first thing I did with the Club, and after getting to Bordeaux went on to Spain for a couple of weeks, racking up about 3,000 miles by the time we got home. I’m afraid HTV edited the 410 out of the broadcast clip, but there’s some good archive film of a row of 410s in...

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Happy New Year

So where were we?  Once again, sorry for the absence.  At least I’ve managed (just) to get a post up before it becomes three months since the last one.  I put this down to the power of me not wanting to do my tax return, meaning I am finally doing lots of things I’ve been meaning to do for ages.  Anyway, the car continues to go nicely.  We were down in Somerset yesterday, to photograph the area where the proposed Severn barrage may be built.  A long motorway run followed by some very small little back lanes, leading eventually to...

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Catching Up

Well, sorry it’s been so long since the last post.  Things have been pretty busy over the summer, and having got a little behind with updating this, I then kept putting it off.  The 410, you’ll be glad to hear, has been behaving itself over the last few months.  There’s still a few little things to do after the rebuild, like sorting the draught around the passenger door that makes a huge amount of wind noise, and working out how to get all the dust out of the instruments.  But to help avoid such an accident again however, I have...

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French leave, part 2

No apologies for the above photo. I know it’s not a Bristol but it is one of my favourite cars, in terms of looks, ever built – the De Tomaso Mangusta, so called of course because the mongoose eats cobras… Another trip to France in the 410 last weekend, this time for the Le Mans Classic. The Mangusta was parked in the paddock area, and I expect was the most orange car on site by some margin. We had a smooth drive down in torrential rain from the Eurotunnel to Le Mans, in convoy with friends in a lovely 1970...

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French leave

Another busy couple of weeks here. Yet another wedding to attend, and this time in France, mean another good run for the Bristol. An early morning departure put us safely aboard the Normandie Express for a very rough crossing to Cherbourg. I don’t mind rough seas, but the foul smell and sound of people being sick that permeated the whole vessel was not an inspiring start to a holiday! The car was completely unscathed obviously, thanks to the sturdy chocks the crew had used in preparation for the heavy seas. We were heading for just south of Tours, and had...

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Mint cake

So you though I’d forgotten about this? Well, here we are again! Sorry it’s been so long since the last update, but having got out of the habit of regular updates I got kind of sidetracked. But here we are, and it’s been a pretty busy few months since the car came back. First up was the BOC AGM in Nottingham, a lively affair this year with some new rules proposed and then withdrawn at the last minute. The proposal was to introduce a time-limit on the length of time that club officials may serve on the committee of the...

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On the Road Again!

Well, we’re back! Running on all cylinders, so to speak, and ready for action. I picked up the 410 from Andrew Mitchell‘s last week, in the torrential rain, and it really is good to back behind the wheel. Andrew and his team have done a fantastic job, especially Steve who did virtually all the major work. The fit and finish on the panels is superb, the paint match is excellent, and overall I am very happy. I certainly did not envisage this moment last July, while standing at the roadside in the middle of the night looking at the very...

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Drawing close now

You’ll be glad to hear that work on the 410 has continued to progress apace and its return, I hope, is imminent. The paint is now all done and it should just be having underseal, final bits and bobs and a new MoT this week. I shall update you the moment it’s finally back and ready for action. In the meantime I thought I’d share this little gem with you. I’ve mentioned before what rare and obscure books can be found in charity shops, and here’s another example. It’s a series of three children’s books simply called Cars, found in...