You may have noticed that most of my blog posts have concerned the current restoration of my 1963 FHC. That is certainly where my efforts have been made recently. Going back at bit, the 2nd restoration of my 1967 Etype 2+2 was finished in the summer of 2020. I had wanted to show the car that summer at JCNA concours events. Those plans were dashed by Covid. I reallly didn’t want to drive the car much, as it was in super nice condition, ready for a concours. So it pretty much sat in its garage bay for a year. As noted in my last post, I finally had an opportunity to take it to a JCNA concours, where it took First Place in Class. I had also orginally planned to take it to several additional car shows this summer. With Covid still being an issue, I decided to forgo that pleasure. So what was left of my original plan was to sell the car. I will discuss that in my next blog post but first, I decided to do some road testing and make sure the car did not have any issues. This post is about what I found.
One of the first things I noticed was that the brakes were not confidence inspiring. This was resolved with new front pads and a careful cleaning of the brake rotors. I also refreshed the brake fluid. Another thing that I noticed was that the heat was full on. I realized that the cable from the dash lever was not hooked up to the heater control valve on the firewall. It seems that the valve was designed to be full on until notified otherwise. I got the cable hooked up and was able to turn off the heat. A good thing in NC in the summer!
On one drive, the car actually started running rough and then died completely about a mile from the house. This one turned out to be easy. I popped the bonnet and almost immediately noticed that the high tension lead was no longer connected to the coil. I reattached it and turned back towards home. The wire and the rubber boot were very loose. I got everything tightened up and haven’t had that problem since.
After one long uneventful drive I decided to let the hot car idle in the driveway, just to see what would happen to the coolant temps. It got hot! I noticed immediately that the radiator fan was not working. I traced that to a faulty “otter switch” in the coolant header tank. A new switch fixed that problem. The car will now sit happily in the driveway after a drive, idling, without overheating.
From there the “niggles” became pretty mundane. A squeeking from the dash was resolved when I tightened the small nuts on the studs that hold the dash in place. A clanking from the rear turned out to be both a loose spare tire and the boot boards. I tightened the tire and added some rubber strips at the locations where the boot bars rested onto the car body. The steering wheel was not level while driving straight ahead. Resolved by removing it and rotating it one set of splines. The chrome drip rail trim over the doors was loose. Daps of silicone and an overnight with clamps fixed that.
A final issue that I noticed as cars kept passing me on the limited access highway turned out to be an “optomistic” speedometer. I had noticed this years ago and actually sent the speedometer back to Moma for calibration. Twice! As they requested, I pushed the car in the driveway a set number of tire rotations and noted how many times the speedometer cable rotated. I have yet to figure out why they couldn’t do the calibration with this data in hand but it is still off. A GPS app on my phone confirmed that the speedometer is reading about 10% fast. This is probably for the best, as it helps keep me out of trouble with speeding.
Of course, at the end of the day, it is a 55 year old car, and undoubtably things will continue to come up. But I think I have things under control for now.