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Extract from August's Octagon Car Club Bulletin

Octagon Club Wings Run - 8 June 1997

John Andrew's K1 Special, KO251

Preparations for the run began with making a new dipstick from the differential. The task was forced on me by an odd phenomenon and I wonder if anyone else with a P type diff. has experienced it. The dipstick which came with the car was a filed down wheel spoke! This served OK as a dipstick but oil from the diff. appeared to escape readily through the hole in the filler plug, into which you poked the spoke. The diff. appeared therefore to use rather a lot of oil though none leaked out through the usual places - the half-shaft oil seals. I thought, The answer is to turn up a facsimile of the original dipstick knob and install the missing retaining spring. This will weigh down the dipstick and the spring will keep it down . This was duly done but oil still made its way up the hole and liberally lubricated the outside of the diff. case.

The solution turned out to be obvious. I made up a new dipstick out of stainless with the top portion a good fit in the filler plug hole, re-used the nice brass knob and retaining spring but put a washer under the knob. Perfect (so far).

The brakes were also re-lined, this after some serious squeaking on the way back from the Regency Run. Brakes take time to bed in. I know that now! I didn't actually hit anything but muck-sweat wasn't in it, I had thought new linings meant better braking! The pros tell me they put the whole plate and newly lined shoes up on a lathe and skim the linings circular - sorry, I don't have a lathe with a throw like that.

Reaching the Start
As in 1996, (our first Wings Run) and living in Worthing, the Godalming start was the obvious choice so, accompanied by my son Stephen as navigator, we set off around 8am for the rendezvous.

Molly's refurbished engine had by now done around 600 miles and had been back to Mike Allison for a service. The sound of a MMM engine in good song at about 3500 revs is a real delight isn't it? Anyway, we had a pleasant early morning run and arrived pretty near the beginning of the gathering of the clans.

The Run
Luck with the weather meant that the sun shone on us as we assembled at the Manor Inn. I guess around 50 cars made the start and red seemed to be the favourite colour. Molly was amongst the relatively few MMM representatives, but the car park made a brave show.

We were allocated number 13 for the run. That's right, number 13 on the 13th Wings Run. Now I'm not superstitious - but read on!

I would observe that the Wings Run organisers have developed great skill over the years in the art of economy when it comes to directions and instructions for the route. It took us exactly one mile to take our first wrong turn and thus we crossed the level crossing at Milford going in the wrong direction. Cause? The driver (me) followed the sign posts not the navigator's instructions! This was the only mistake we made (I think) and the run took us through some pleasant Surrey and Berkshire countryside.

The 1996 run had lulled many into a false sense of well-being and navigational confidence by lunch-time. The trick pulled by the organisers caused a large number of experienced folk as well as us (it was only our second run ) to seek a pub down a road where no pub existed! Very frustrating. For those who find themselves on the A4130 near Nettlebed, the Crown Inn is not in Nuffield but on the main road just past the Nuffield turning!

This year things were much easier, at any rate for us. The recommended lunch stop was the Perch and Pike at South Stoke. Now this happens to be right opposite the entrance to the Old Vicarage and for the afficionado, that means right opposite the entrance to Mike Allison's workshops. Now I have visited that emporium on a number of accessions so I knew where it was, off the main road and one or two Wingers followed me. That would have been fine if, on arrival, I hadn't found the pub car park full of folk on horseback.

Those of you who have revved up a MMM car in front of an innocent equine will know the likely result. So I reversed across the road into the Vicarage drive to get of the road. Wrong move. We had the hood up because heavy rain had been following us from Basingstoke and I failed to notice that tree stump. BANG! Bent rear wing and four inches of rotten wood up the exhaust.

An old Vicarage is no place to exercise the vocabulary which I employed! But, hammer, crowbar, screwdriver and we were back in business. A beer and a BLT set us up and off we went to Abingdon.

We arrived at the finish of the run in sunshine and showers and parked in spot No.13, amongst the square-riggers.

The whole assembly was friendly and again confirmed the wisdom of the advice I received when I bought Molly in 1995 - Join the Octagon Club . Moreover, Harry had his stall of course and yet again provided an unexpected opportunity to cure a problem. Molly has an auxiliary cut out, since the original doesn't function (yet). This device is a Lucas voltage regulator but is wired as a cut-out only. The problem was that it didn't have a cover other than the one I made up out of plastic sheet. Harry had one though and now all Molly's electrical relays are protected from the weather.

The Concourse
Some read the entry forms and some don't. I didn't and having paid my money I was short of choice! Anyone who knows Molly will appreciate that embarrassment is the only possible outcome of her entry into a concours competition, even if it is self-judged. Harry was petitioned to allow me to withdraw but told me that if I did I would mess up the judging rotas in the sealed envelope. OK, OK - so I judged the cars allotted to me. The photo on page 26 (top) shows a few of the reasons for my concern about being out-classed. Lord knows what comments were written on the forms by those who had to judge Molly ! I didn't stay to see.

The Journey Home
Stephen drove as we took the direct route home via Henley and thence to Guildford. No problems occurred and we reached Worthing on schedule for a family dinner, after a most enjoyable day out.

Our thanks to the organisers for an enjoyable event.

Bob Clare

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