Whilst a lot was done in March I have only added it to one page as other wise it would make for a very boring set of photographs. At the beginning of the month I bought a battery, all be it a lot larger than the average Regal battery but it fits into place and it meant that I could start the car up and take it for a spin down the drive. The first thing I noticed was brakes - in that it didn’t seem to have any. The braking distance at 10mph was about 4 miles and so after seeking advice from a few folks took all the brakes apart, cleaned them with brake cleaner, re-adjusted them, bled the brakes and took it down the drive with the hand brake half on to help bed in the pads. That seemed to do the trick though I still wasn’t sure if the brakes were OK as I can hardly compare them to my Rover with disc brakes on each wheel. Luckily help was on hand from John Jenkinson who let me drive his Regal 3/30 saloon around a few streets. Whilst his brake pedal did feel a fraction harder than mine, my braking distances are more in line with an “on the road Regal” that likes the M.O.T man. One thing I noticed test driving my Regal was that whilst I sat in there it was fine, when Sue then jumped in as well there was a strange noise from underneath. Now anyone reading this knows that you never mention a ladies weight but it was strange why the weight of two people on board made a noise. After a quick investigation I found out it was the hand brake cable catching the prop shaft. The cable should be pinned to the central tunnel - but I haven’t done that yet.
I now have seats in the Regal though as I have used Reliant Robin ones I have had to modify the brackets slightly so that they sit on the chassis. In addition I have fitted the seats as far back as they can possibly go and as Robin seats have lower back legs, I now have an amazing amount of head room and a far bit of leg room to - which with me being 6ft 3” really helps. Along with the seats the interior has also had a new American Walnut effect dash added, pull handles on the doors and I finished off the quarter light window on the passenger side. With the dash completed, this meant I could bolt down the speedometer and as it is a new one reading 000000.0 miles I clocked up my first 000000.1 driving it down the driveway.
My dad made me new hinge plates for the back door hinges and so the back door has been bolted on. It’s had more paint and sanding to make it look smoother and its lots better than it was but still has a few dips. I have decided though that my car is female ... and the dips are just cellulite! Hmmm yes saying my car has cellulite sounds OK. The back lights have also been added and I wired in the number plate light. That was fun as I had to poke wire through the door so that I could pull through a length of wire to the number plate light. The light comes on and goes off when it should do, it doesn’t smoke and burn so I guess I did it right. The wiper motor assembly after being stripped down and rebuilt has now also been added though I have two wipers of different sizes. I will get them changed as soon as I can but at least, for the moment, I have wipers. I have also added a pair of old Desmo wing mirrors that I came across on ebay - they seem to set the front of the car off a treat.
My plan was to have the car ready by the end of May to take to the Reliant Owner’s Club National Rally in Coven but I think I need to use the car quite a bit first to make sure it is happy travelling long distances. I’m not convinced a 160 mile maiden voyage is a good idea when the car has probably only done 0.1 miles in the last 20 years. Going up and down the drive in 1st gear doesn’t really tax it so I may try and get a dolly or better still a trailer to take it down on, I shall have to see how things go.
I still haven’t attached the logo on the side but will do that during April. I also need to replace the seat belts as the existing ones are totally rotten so as I have a set for that (thanks to John Copestake) I will get those in to. The badges are only pushed on at the moment as I have some “Harly wax” which is 100% pure No.1 yellow carnauba wax (hence no liquid - no white powder when it dries), so I will be giving the car a good coat of wax soon as well.
Go to Part 16 April (2005)