on the run: TR7 breaks cover…

TR7Amazingly, my lovely TR7 drop-top never made it out of the barn last year – all the more ridiculous because of the gorgeous summer weather. Well, I’m determined not to let that happen again, so am taking steps to prevent it! That includes an MOT, a new battery and a fresh tank of Super Unleaded. All this confident talk took a knock though when two weeks ago I first tried to get the wedge going – it soon became another saga, which is only to be expected with this car…

First, she wouldn’t start, so out came the jump leads. Brilliant, the engine sprang into action, but even on choke was misfiring. Darn, thought I, it’s probably dirt in one of the carbs. Then, as I revved the engine up to 3,500RPM, I began to notice a funny smell, and then a mist appeared on the windscreen. That’s strange, I mused, it isn’t raining… Oh, hang on… Holy crap! As soon as I twigged that the car was spraying large amounts of leaking fuel all around the engine bay, I very swiftly turned off the engine and ran away, for good measure!

Fortunately, the car didn’t catch fire, and so I crept back to investigate. Sure enough, we had one badly perished fuel pipe. Not bad for thirty three years, I mused. Some time later, the car had four new fuel pipes (some others were going too), and it was time to start her up again. She fired up nicely after some spluttering, then settled down much more smoothly than before. Maybe that dirt in the petrol was actually a lack of petrol after all?

So, let’s get this show on the road. Into first gear, and… nothing. Time for an in-gear push start, but the obliging burly fellows fixing up a ’78 Dodge van down the road couldn’t shift the car, because the handbrake pads were stuck to the rear brake drums. So, starting the car in gear with the brakes on – an old trick – freed off the clutch, but took lots of starter motor action, and depleted the nearby Jaguar XJ6’s huge battery in no small measure. Finally then, it was time to give the car some beans, in gear, to free the back brakes. Urgghh! Something that should have taken two minutes took four hours, but she’s finally on the road and driving surprisingly sweetly. Indeed, she’ll be able to drive to the MOT testing station under her own steam at last. Moral of the story, don’t leave an old car lying around doing nothing for two summers…

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