Driving More Than Working

Driving more than Working

In the Northeast, as Fall approaches, the number of warm days for driving with the top down start to disappear. When this happens, I try my best to take as many opportunities to drive my Alpine before it becomes too cold. I can certainly drive the Sunbeam in cold weather, but with the top up it becomes a cramped little car that smells of motor oil!

If driving the Alpine is what I did today, why is there a picture of the car on jack stands, you might wonder. If you ask this question, then you may not be familiar with British sports cars! There is a certain “pleasure” to “repair” ratio, and this balance must be kept. Your ratio may vary, and may improve over the years of ownership, but never expect any old car to go for long without having something go wrong.

One of my exhaust hanger bolts rattled loose, and was causing the pipes to rattle against the frame of the car. As I found a replacement nut for the one cast along the side of the road, I decided to adjust the parking brake while I was laying under the car. I managed to only do these two tasks, and refrained from larger tasks like replacing brake lines, or scraping undercoating. These will wait for another day!

Several weeks ago, I prepped these aluminum strips for painting, but today, I gathered the hardware to fit them to the car.

They mount to the pinch weld at the rocker panels using M4 machine screws. The screws slide in a slot on the back side of the trim strip, and are held in place with nuts. Since the rocker panels show repair by the previous owner, I had to drill new holes for the strip. Now that I have this piece lined up and mounted, I can remove it for final painting in black. The other side will not be as simple because someone drilled right through the trim strip to mount it to the car. This was probably done after someone tore the strip off and ruined the mounting points. I’ll have to drill new holes for the strip, and probably fill the old holes with body putty before painting.

While I was down on my hands and knees measuring and drilling new holes for the trim strip, I had some company. Scarlet, one of François’ dogs, was insistent on inspecting, and laying on what I was doing. With a face like that, how could I kick her out?!

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