May should have been the month that the whole project came to a close but alas not quite. The whole aim was to finish the project ready for the 47th Reliant National Rally but there are still a couple of small jobs that need doing for the MOT (making a battery cage being one of them). I decided therefore that I would leave a few jobs incomplete and clean up the car as much as I could. (cleaning overspray areas and sealing the windscreen etc). The interior still needed a little bit of work and this has now been completed along with any residue etc removed from the glass etc. The body has also received a lot more polish in a bid to get it as shiny as I could. Mind you, the shinier it goes - the more the flaws in the body stand out. As one chap told me this month though, “It’s a 33 year old fibre glass body that probably wasn’t perfect when it left the factory - so the chances of getting it perfect are pretty slim.”
At the end of the month I got the car insured via PF Spares and after my brother spent a couple of mad days building up a trailer from a caravan chassis, the car was towed to the National Rally. I would have loved to have driven it but do not know how far I would get until the car proves itself and any little “quibbles” that will almost certainly arise are dealt with.
Whilst at the National Rally the car created a lot of attention and it was amazing how many people knew the car - even though they have never seen it in real life. Despite my fears over the body and paint work many people seemed quite impressed with it and many remarked on the shine the vehicle had. I saw several people running their hands over the wings and commenting how smooth they were. I never heard any one mention the flaws in it and they just seemed to be excepted as part and parcel of owning a Reliant. At the rally the car performed faultlessly, well that was after a rather embarrassing start. Whilst loading the vehicle onto the trailer the engine was ticking over and then stopped. I thought no more of it but when we unloaded it at the rally and I tried to start it with a small crowd of people watching it wouldn’t start. That’s highly unusual as she always starts first or second time but after the 5th attempt at starting it suddenly dawned on me that the car ha run out of petrol. - DOH!!. Refuelled the car started after a couple of turns and then sang its little heart out.
In the car of the day competition (rescued class) my Regal won second place. It was being beaten by a rather nice green Bond Bug that I assume was rescued a few years ago as, unlike mine, it has been on the road for the last few years. I discovered that points are also awarded for having a good tool kit in the back of the vehicle. I only had a few spanners in the Rover and so put those in but imagine as they did not score highly and were no match for a proper tool box.
Hopefully therefore everything will be wrapped up in June (I know I said this last month but this month has been extremely mad).
Go to Part 18 June (2005) - Final episode.