Now then where do I re-begin? Ah yes, it was MOT time around October
(2002), a week to go. I wanted the car on road, even if it was winter.
So the car had nearly everything new, mechanically anyway, so what could
go wrong? I gave it another polish (An army saying - bulls**t baffles
brains) and checked the car over, such as lights, emissions, brakes
and a final check for any rust - no nothing. I was confident the car
would pass. I drove the car to Bath for it MOT. Ahhh! it failed on lights,
brakes and emissions. I drove off not in the best of moods. I didn't
even go back to work knowing that heartless jibes awaited me - they're
only jealous anyway! So it was rebooked for the following week and I
was determined to make it pass.
I stripped the carburettors and re-set them and I even bought a Gas
Analyser to check the emission levels - one task out of the way. As
for the lights, yes you guessed it one of the light motors was a bit
sticky. Out it came for a dam good clean up. In it went and again and
again and again. Eventually, it went in to my satisfaction and now works,
a milli-second after the other light - but at least it works! As for
the back brakes, I put my hand up, it was my fault, after I put the
new brake shoes in I never connected them up properly - what a wally!
So the car is now ready - MOT man do your worst! Anyway, I drove the
car to Bath for its re-check. As I pulled in the test centre the MoT
man just smirked. I in turn smirked back, he then sneared [I'm getting
images of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" - Ed]. Anyway the offending
failures were subsequently checked and …… Of course it passed! I was
now free to drive the UK's roads, top down - but it's winter I hear
you say - okay top down a bit then.
I was now the very proud owner of a gleaming bright red DHC TR7 with
a MOT and lots of new shiny bits. To celebrate, I drove the car to work
and much gasping took place from colleagues. "Yes" I said, "laugh on
now", it had become a much-admired car and a topic of conversation over
many a coffee.
So that was October. Since that time, me being a man with a very low
boredom threshold, I decided to improve the car by giving the engine
a jolly good de-coking. I bought a new head and rocker gasket for the
occasion and subsequently removed the head - Ha! That's a tale in itself
- all I will say is bl***y head bolts - know what I mean?. To cut a
very long story short the head came off and was surprisingly in good
condition very little carbonisation. As the car only had, at the time,
98k on the clock, I thought perhaps this might have been its first de-coke
- maybe it was who knows, there's nothing in it service history to suggest
otherwise. After flicking through the pages of a well-known supplier
of parts, I decided that a new timing chain and tensioner was in order,
due to the low cost. It was time to put the engine back together, not
before however, I check the big ends. Off came the sump and well all
I can say was that I didn't need to spend any more money. Time to tackle
the head. On went the gasket, on went the head - anyone who has done
this job will know about and understand the annoying problem off lining
up the inlet manifold to block coolant union, and its small rubber sealant
ring - enough said! The head eventually went back on and the carburettors
back connected up. What a transformation, the car actually drove like
a sports car albeit a TR7.
Since that time I've been happily driving the car to work daily and
since the summer has manifested itself I've had the hood down most days.
I still get the odd remark, like "I used to have one of those" and we
would give each other a knowing smile. Other remarks I still get is
"you don't see many of those now a days", to which I reply - "thank
I'm coming to the end of my tale, "hooray", I hear you say. I'm about
to turn 40 in October and any reader who has reached that age will know
what this means. It means a new bright red sports car is needed to subdue
those impending feelings. A young minded man at 40 cannot be seen in
a classic car, as people will think he has a flat cap and smokes a pipe
- Um that comes later apparently. So to that end, I NEED a bright red
Porsche 944! [choke, chole, splutter, "heretic" - Ed] To make that happen
my wife tells me my TR7 has to go first, so to that end does anyone
want to continue the tale …?