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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:00 am 
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Posts: 43
I can't remember whether the screen was in the down position. I was more impressed with the proximity to road surface I guess.

Later in my teens a good friend had a used 100 and when the screen was down the windshield would buffet because the rubber seal at the bottom was stiff or worn. Scary experience. His steering wheel was also breaking up where the wires attached to the rim. Oyster Bay Garage kept trying to repair it with some kind of glue which wouldn't last too long. He would drive with it loose. That was kind of scary too.

We had a lot of good times in that car though. Later he traded it in for a new 3000. A powerful fast car. He kept that one till he rolled it while driving too fast in the entrance to the Watkins Glen Race Track one evening. Broke his back in that one and was laid up for a year in a stryker frame.

I'm supposed to be varnishing doors....better get going.

Guy


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12890
Location: CT
Haha! I've *just* had my high school reunion (the first one I've ever attended) and took my youngest kid with me, to meet all the crazy people I tell stories about. One guy I don't even remember told my kid, "your crazy dad took me for a ride in a worn-out Austin Healey with bad brakes one night. We approached a corner FAR too fast, and Frank began downshifting and whipping the wheel left and right to make the car run a serpentine course, instead of a straight line into the curve. We actually made the corner with tires howling and our shoulders touching". I don't even remember that incident, but that's exactly what I used to do when my brakes faded, and exactly how I taught my kid to handle brake failure during basic driving lessons. :lol:

I was SO impressed by that AH that I bought several more of them in rapid succession as I killed them off one by one. Could have had other cars, but not for $200 and not half as much fun. The A90 2.5L OHV 4-banger was under-square (typical Brit) and all the electronics were by Lucas (the Prince of Darkness), but the low end torque was huge and the cars were quite light for their 90hp. Four speeds and overdrive. Wire wheels. Tonneau cover (which I kept from car to car). Kept the best hood (roof) and side-screens among them and lived with water streaming inside when it rained. Oh well, I was a teenager with a sportscar and that's all that really mattered. Everything has a price, and the inconvenience of sitting on wet seats was small enough price to pay. I had a Porsche Super 90 for nearly a year. It tried to set itself on fire each time I used the heater, and it leaked oil almost as fast as I could pour it in. It cost 3 times as much as the Healeys did (and wasn't nearly as fast). Today a nice AH-100 can bring $60,000 and the slower Porsche is worth $110,000. Go figure.

You're a good writer. You sound as if you were carefully educated in the '50s (back when teachers could still discipline kids and keep their attention) and maybe polished your skills in college after that. Regret you live in New Yawk; I'd enjoy meeting you.

But HEY ! ~ we have an excellent FREE picnic coming up next month in Darien CT (90 min from Milan) where we usually muster about 75 Zs and 100+ members just to close out the Zeason and say goodbye to the cars until spring. It's worth the trip no matter what you drive. It's a family thing so you could bring the Missus and the kids if they like Zs. No dogs, no drugs, no alcohol, no skateboards or bicycles, no fights or vulgarities. We each pretend our mothers are standing nearby so we don't offend anybody's wife or daughter. It's a good time and members from several Z clubs in NY and NJ usually attend and so does our Executive Advisor, Bob Sharp (yes, THAT Bob Sharp). You might consider cruising in with them, even if you follow them in your family SUV. If you still have the 280 by then, it would draw a lot of attention if you brought it with you (a rental tow trailer would be lots cheaper than a new set of tires). Stick a For Sale sign on it and bring a baseball bat to fight off all the buyers. 8) Might be your only chance to sit and eat hotdogs with Bob Sharp and hear his hundreds of racing stories.
And for FREE.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9052

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:34 pm 
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I remember now that those Healy steering wheels were referred to as a banjo design.

Your mention of driving a serpentine course reminds me of often running out of gas and swerving while driving to slosh whatever gas was in the tank into the fuel line pick up. That trick served me well over the years. Happily I have never had to swerve to slow down due to bad brakes.

I guess the weak point in the Lucas systems was the plug in connectors which relied on tinning the plugs to maintain continuity. I also found that the windshield wiper motors were really underpowered. When the Z cars came available all the electrical problems went away at least for a while until the rust problems and grounding problems began. The Z engineering was far better than what was coming in from Britain in my opinion. I was pretty lucky though and never had issues with my daily drivers.

During the 1970's I was a partner in a marina on the East end of Long Island. Some of my customers would drive in with their Z cars. I would just drool mentally and began biding my time till I could get my own. Then I saw a picture of the 2+2 in a magazine and got more excited. I like the long look in cars. It wasn't until 1991 that I actually got mine through a radio show called swap and shop out of Sag Harbor, NY.

Your picnic sounds like a lot of fun. I will speak to Lynn about attending. I'll try to lure her by suggesting that we can yard sale our way over there. We are a couple of pack rats and can never get enough stuff.

I don't know where you are in Conn. but if it isn't too far away why not swing by sometime. My zip is 12571.

Best, Guy


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12890
Location: CT
Thanks for the invite, I'd enjoy that if time ever allows. Actually life takes me very near you several times each year. Many CTZCC members attend the Rheinbeck car stampede. Our two best Z mechanic shops are both in New Milford CT, some of our members live in Poughkeepsie (and drive in to the fall outing each year), family business takes me to Albany several time a year and I drive thru Great Barington and Stockbridge to get home, but I could turn south instead, Lime Rock Park is directly in line with you across the NY/CT border, and I have frequent motorcycle business in Craryville (12521).

Maybe someday. :thumbs_up:

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Last edited by Frank T on Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:50 pm
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If you go up the Taconic to Craryville you pass the Route 199 exit which is quite close to us. Give us a call and perhaps we could meet. 845-826-2261. Our place is about 10 minutes from the Taconic.

I drove the Lime Rock as well as Thompson, Conn. in 1961 trying to get my SCCA license. I had a bug eye Sprite at the time [top speed 85 mph]. I ran out of time that year and rebuilt the engine that Winter and then got married. All racing ambitions stopped then. It cost me $35.00 per session plus I had to have a helmet, racing suit that had been fireproofed [I bought a box of powder and soaked the suit, let it dry and that was it], a seat belt [one of those webbed lap belt things surplus from fighter aircraft available from Canal Street in NYC], a roll bar and had to pass a rudimentary test at the track to make sure the car would stop.
That consisted of my running up to a line and braking hard with my hands in the air to make sure all four brakes were adjusted properly [I guess]. They probably checked other things like tires etc.

At the time the only tires available were bias ply. We walked the track prior to driving it so they could show us the line for the corners. Then we got into our cars and ran the track as fast as we could. The tires we had allowed us to go into four wheel drifts. I don't know if todays tires behave the same.

When they set us up on the track they put the slowest cars up front [that included me in my class [G or H...can't remember]]. We got off the line with it floored and the fast cars BLASTING past us! I got off to the right as far as I could go. Quite an experience. It is something else to approach that right angle turn at the end of the straightaway.

The experience helped me many times to avoid accidents when crazy people have done dumb things on the highway and is probably why I am still around today.

Sorry for the blather.

Best, Guy


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12890
Location: CT
Blather makes the world go round ~ no apologies necessary.

My racing experience is limited to two summer events at Watkins Glen in the 1960s. For $200 the track would (under SCCA control) host a "race what you brought" 25 lap stampede. I had a 1956 AH-100 and the next summer a leaky 1959 Porsche SC-90 with a detachable steel hardtop (which was probably worth more than the rest of the car). In the first race I got excited and 'got lost' on the racetrack, setting up for a fast turn which I hadn't reached yet. I broadsided the Healey off the track into the gravel and tore both shock absorbers off the driver's side frame. A local mechanic cut 2"x4" blocks and stuffed them btwn the suspension and the body, to keep the fenders off the tires. I drove carefully back to Syracuse like that and bought another 100-4.
The second race was in the Porsche. It leaked so badly after we rebuilt it, my buddy rigged up a metal cigar tube so the dipstick would show "full", but we had actually drained the crankcase and pushed the car to Tech Inspec. The hardtop negated any need for a roll bar, which I couldn't have afforded anyway. But on the day of the race I had not slept for nearly 2 days and drove 90 miles to get the car to the race. On the 11th lap I was just too exhausted to continue and pitted, ending my "formal" race experience. I suspect I actually have more track-time following Bob Sharp around LRP in parade laps and fast-tracking at Watkins Glen with the Z Car Club of Rochester, than I actually got as a teen.

And that's another thing you should be aware of ~ Bob Sharp takes us to LRP each year, gives us a class and leads us on 90mph parade laps. Wives and kids ride along and take videos. Most of the time we're doing highway speeds, but it's thrilling and you can still get the car sideways if you leave the groove and get into the 'loose'. Bob's son Scott Sharp is a champion ALMS racer and appears at LRP often; Bob has taken a few doZen of us to watch free when Scott races. All the old guys in the pits remember Bob and drop their wrenches to come out and say hello when he walks by. It's a free Club-only thrill which you should consider.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9017

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:36 am 
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Hi Frank
My last reply to you seems to have disappeared into the ether. I'm on the run today and will get back to you later.

Guy


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12890
Location: CT
:thumbs_up: I'm here whenever!

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