Tuesday, 26 March 2013

My dealer now knows as well

Due to hideous time constraints and exam preparations for the coming weeks I thought that I would do some shorter posts during my lunch breaks!

The first...  Well, I thought that I had told pretty much everyone that I needed to tell.  Then came a call from my dad about my Spitfire.  For those of you who don't know it's dead, and he is busy bringing it back to life.  At the moment the chassis is hanging from one garage wall, and the body tub from another.  I can't wait for photos!

But...  He had bad news, well two pieces of bad news.  One, my prop shaft was dead and needed replacing.  Ug.  Another cost I had not taken into account!  But that is an easy decision, I need a new one, full stop.

The other is more of a discussion point.  The rear leaf spring has always been really soft, it's old and tired.  But, if you match it up with some serious shock absorbers to make the car as stiff as possible then it gives amazing handling to the car - the rear end is lowered and the camber on the back wheels is increased to race set up proportions.  So I have never worried about it. With the tub off of the chassis though now is the time to decide whether or not to fit a new, non tired part.  Something I have to discuss with someone who knows their stuff.

My dealer at Jigsaw Racing Services.  Hmm...  Well, I am not going to get on the phone and pretend to be him.  I'm past that now, I'm pleased to say.  So I had to start the discussion by telling him.  And when it is someone who you care how the respond it is still hard to prepare myself.  Random people who need to know (see a future post) not a problem.  People who I know personally, yup.  Problem.

But...  I called and said "Hi, I used to be ..." and told him "But now I'm Stacy" and his reaction amazing.  Not a single pronoun wrong, never got my name wrong (and he has known me since before I moved to Holland - 14 years now!) and was so supportive.  We had a great chat about how I was coping, he asked how Mrs Stace was coping etc.  It really was wonderful.

After about 20 minutes chatting about that we got down to the business of the car.

I could not imagine a better response!  Hopefully we'll get to see him at some point this year, and as he's hoping to race one of his cars at Zandvoort next year I've offered my services as photographer for the team :)

Oh, and I'm keeping my soft spring :)  But am looking at one of his quick street engines to make it a more pleasant (quicker) drive in modern traffic.

I'm grinning ear to ear just writing this!


  1. Marvellous,clearly the moronic British gutter press is failing in their attempts to drag us back to the dark ages.

    Spitfires were born just a mile from where I was brought up and if the gearbox works it probably came from the section my father was responsible for.

    If you make it go faster, how on earth will you make it slow down again? Look forward to it's full transition and snaps ...

    1. There are some superb people out there, and in fact it turns out I am his fourth customer to go through this... I forgot to mention that! It's just a shame the gutter press seem to want to ignore that and concentrate on anything bad that they can!

      The gearbox worked until 2000, then it died. The case was reused, but the gears are special ratio racing cogs to try and get the best in gear acceleration from the car ;p

      Stopping? Already done. The first thing I did when I got the car in 1999 was put braided hoses on the car so that it would stop as well as my old one (a Toyota MR2 - that stopped!). It's the good thing about having a mechanic as a dad - he makes sure you do things in the right order :)

      When it gets back onto the road it will also have potted and grooved discs (maybe vented too, I haven't decided yet) and EBC Green Stuff pads to make it even better and more reliable.


  2. My dealer, in a different tin shed to yours, doesn't know yet. But when he does I'm sure he'll be fine, he's a nice bloke I've smilarly known for a hell of a long time.

    Tired rear transverse springs are generally not seen as a Good Thing on a Wreck. We often replace them with the stiffer one from the van variant. 'Fraid I only have Wreck propshafts though, the same but longer.

    1. I hope you have the same experience. It was great!

      I'll go with the it's not a good thing. And without the racing shocks it would have been a problem. I was considering a MKIV uprated spring (it's about 2" shorter than the 1500 and so improves the camber again) but it would give me the same as I have now with the soft spring. As long as it's not breaking (I've been assured it's not) then I can live with the current one.

      The prop shaft has been ordered. New and about 175 pounds from the budget. I just hope it lasts another 33 years!


  3. I must confess I was baffled when I saw that headline; our little Stace has a dealer?!? What could she possibly be pushing? Muse bootlegs? Home-baked goods? Sweetness?

    Then I read it and all made sense. :c)

    What a lovely story, Stace! Yet another indication of what a kind soul you clearly are, and have always been. That's why people have been so supportive; they know you are a gentle soul. :c)

    Thank you for giving me a big smile to guide me as I head home from my post-workout iced coffee!


    1. Not deliberate at all, honest ;p

      I can't day how nervous I was when I told him. It was another terrifying, nauseating experience! But one that quickly turned into big smiles!

      Keep smiling, you have plenty to smile about at the moment too! (Which also keeps me smiling!)