Needs Recommissioning, continued

I got advice from Craig Little, from Desmond, from Keith Bowley and eventually I advertised on the Cercle Pegase and Michel Marteling offered me a set of brake shoes.But Mike Tebbett had already kindly sent me a set on loan (and I’d never even met Mike then) which I had relined at Jim Jacks ( and so finally Sweet Pea should have been road-worthy…

There was just minor fettling to make sure that the relined shoes fitted the drum but what had happened to the brake rods now the new shoes were fitted? The rods were now at least an inch too short, so they had to come off and have an inch and half welded into them.

I can only assume that someone when selling the car had had to adjust the brakes to such an extent that not only was the angle between the rod and the lever probably obtuse but that there must have been a good two or three inches of threaded rod sticking out of the lever…so they must have done what any competent used car salesmen would do and hacked it off.

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And then the MOT…fortunately the MOT station which is close to my partner’s garage have some experience with old cars having tested an 1899 Brown for many years. But there was no way that the 18 stone MOT tester was going to fit into the driver’s seat of the CS; he made some flattering comments on the type of car polish which I had used, I switched on the head-lamps and they had a laugh at the hand-operated windscreen wipers.

However when it came to filling in the online MOT form for the braking effectiveness he did not know what to do until I offered to go out with his Tapley meter; after all, I wanted to have a little reassurance of how quickly or slowly I might hit something anyway.

He showed me how to set the Tapley lock so that when I stopped I would be able to bring it back to show him the result. I decided to try it out first and managed to achieve 50% which I knew would be enough but I wanted to see what more I could get. I set the lock, accelerated down the road, did an emergency stop and locked the brakes (well, one anyway) thus reducing the efficiency to 40% but I knew that was still OK.

On returning to the MOT station I got out of the car, picked up the Tapley meter and clipped the dashboard as I lifted it out – serendipity, a perfect 50% again; my 18 stone tester was most impressed!

Background Photograph of Amilcar CS in the South Downs, 2010
Recommissioning an Amilcar - 2
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