Feb 092016

I could get used to this travelling … as I currently write this sailing off the Whitsunday Beach. Although the down side is it’s been three months since heading off from the UK and therefore being without my E-Type ‘fix’, either tinkering or driving. Completely by chance, the stay in the lovely Llao Llao hotel in Patagonia coincided with the start of the Argentinian 1000 Millas historic race. The organisers were using the hotel as their race control so the car park started to fill with all sorts of exotic cars including a number of E-Types.

  • The eventual winner, 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS

However last summer, Chris, a fellow E-Type forum member and S2 owner, dropped by to have a look at my restoration progress while he was over from Australia, visiting folks at home. Unfortunately I was still addressing a few teething problems and finishing the trim so we weren’t able to take it for a spin.

Sydney is now Chris’ home town and not surprisingly was one of the key destinations whilst travelling in Australia. So I dropped him a note to see if I could drop by while in Sydney to have a look at his FHC. His suggestion was better than that, to head up north to drive some of the twisty Old Pacific Highway. This was once the main link between Sydney and Brisbane further up the coast. It has since been replaced by a modern motorway and so, without the volume of traffic, it’s an ideal driving road.

Chris and his S2

It was a offer I couldn’t refuse! So we arranged to meet in central Sydney and head off for a three hour drive. It has always surprised me how small even an E-Type looks compared with modern machinery. This was even more evident as Chris turned up amongst the Sydney traffic, where there seem to be more larger SUV type vehicles than in the UK.

Chris pointed out a few of the historic parts of Sydney before heading over the Sydney Bridge to the northern suburbs. Not a bad mode of transport for my first crossing of the iconic bridge!

Sydney Bridge in an E-Type

It was great to compare notes on our E-Types, especially as Chris’s is pretty much as it left the factory. Except for sensible changes such as an oil pressure gauge with a direct feed from the engine to give a true pressure reading. It was interesting that his standard cooling system keeps the temperature running at the normal level, even in the Australian heat. Confirming there’s no need to meddle with the standard S2 set up.

Once on the twisty section of the Old Pacific Highway, Chris pulled over and asked if I would like to drive. A brave man, as this would be only my second E-Type that I’ve driven! It was reassuring that it felt largely the same as mine. At least what I can remember of it from when I last drove it in October.

Me behind the wheel

The only slightly perceptible differences were a possibly smoother gear change and a different feel to the throttle. I had been having issues with my gear changes but this was mainly due to the incorrect orientation on the various washers and the resistance offered by the reverse plunger. The throttle difference was not unexpected as this was one change I had made from the original set up, fitting the Mangoletsi cable throbbed linkage.

As Stephen mentions in his comment, a classic case of spell checker thinking it knows best …. the above should read “Mangoletsi cable throttle linkage”!

It was an excellent and very enjoyable morning out and I was grateful for Chris’ hospitality and sparing the time. It was also great to have the opportunity to chat with a fellow car enthusiast. He mentioned a potential trip to the UK so I will be able to reciprocate and enable Chris to compare driving the two cars.

I will be redoubling my efforts to get the hood fitted ….

 Posted by at 2:21 am