Sunday, 19 June 2022

Saturday 18th June. (Part Two) Motorfest Chelmsford

 With the Pi collected and out of the way, I now had to get moving to meet my friends Russell & Jan whom I was going to spend the day with at the Chelmsford Motorfest.

After making a flask of coffee and loading the sun lounger chairs in the boot I set off for our meeting point at Ingatestone Saddlery. I was there first, so I made use of a quick photo session. 

Russ and Jan arrived soon after and we set off for the show. It wasn't a bad turn out, although there did seem to be a lot of modern stuff there. I have to say, I was overwhelmed by the amount of interest that the Cortina was attracting. Lots of people were taking photos of it and it was certainly a large point of discussion. I think Russell was a bit put out as nobody was even remotely interested in his Porsche. =)  

I was a nice chilled out day and around 2.30pm we decided to make a move. I was enjoying my first proper day out in the Cortina and having a great drive home, but then all of a sudden I changed gear, there was a loud bang and the clutch pedal dropped to the floor. This car is fitted with a type nine 5 speed gearbox and therefore has a cable clutch instead of the normal hydraulic. Unfortunately, the clutch cable had snapped. It was annoying because I'd even said to my mate Dave 'I need to get a spare clutch cable and keep it in the boot'. I just hadn't got round to it. I rang the AA at 14.50 and they were so useless, they didn't get anyone out to me until gone 6pm. I even explained to them that I was on a single carriageway and a blind bend where cars were having to go on the wrong side of the road to get past me. They said they made me priority, but it would still be three hours. Well that's not my idea of priority! The AA used to be really good and you never had to wait long, but now they have cut back on vehicles and staff they are quite frankly.......shit!
Anyway, the recovery guy (a sub-contractor) eventually arrived at 18.05 and loaded the car onto his truck. Luckily he didn't dawdle and I was home by 18.40. It was a pity that the Cortina's maiden voyage ended this way, but hey ho, that's the joys of running old cars. Looks like a trip to Burton Power products is on the cars Monday morning to buy a new clutch cable! 

Broken clutch cable! 

Saturday June 18th (Part One) Bye bye Pi.

 With the recent addition of two Mk1 Cortina's space was becoming a premium and I decided that something had to give. 

I did a lot of thinking and after much deliberation, I decided to put my Mk1 Pi up for sale. However, with all the modifications I've done to it over the years, if it was going to go, it had to go for the right money. I wasn't going to be giving it away. 

A good friends of mine in the Triumph world always knows of cars for sale and people looking for cars, so he was given all the details and took up the challenge to find me a buyer. 

The first person he found for me seemed interested, but when it come down to it he just didn't want to pay the money and seemed to be stalling and hoping it didn't sell and wait for the price to come down. (Which it wouldn't have)

The second interested party was sent lot's of pics and the spec sheet for the car and within a few hours had paid a deposit through bank transfer. Early Saturday morning, they arrived with a car trailer, had a quick look around the car and paid the balance there and then. They were pleased with the car and I was pleased with the price, so everyone's a winner. 

I've had some great times with this car, but as of late, just haven't been getting the buzz from driving it anymore. So I've no regrets and I'm glad its going to a good home. 

Tuesday June 14th. A day out before work!

 I received a phone call from my good friend Colin on Monday morning asking how well I trusted the Cortina estate I had bought at the auction recently and if I was up for 'taking a chance'. I asked him why and he said that his first job in the morning was at Kings Lynn (Where I had won the Cortina in the auction) and he could give me a lift there if required and I could drive it back. I said I would think about it and get back to him. 

I also rang the transport company that the auction house uses and left a voicemail, but they didn't even call me back. I also put the job on the Shipley transport services website, but the cheapest quote I had was £209 and they couldn't say when they could do it. I only had until Friday 17th to collect the car and after that, I would have to pay storage charges. So, I rang Colin back and said 'ok, let's go for it'. 

Very early Tuesday morning saw me driving my blue Triumph up to Colin's. With my recent purchases I'm now up to 5 classic cars and have run out of room, so Colin is going to look after this one for me for a while. 

We left Colin's at 7am and ran into trouble straight away due to the A14 being closed! We bobbed and weaved across country and eventually managed to get back on our intended route. We finally reached Kings Lynn an hour later than planned. 

Once at the auction house I presented my receipt and we were led out to the Cortina. We checked the oil and water and then had to get it jump started. (not a surprise for a car that's been stored for some time and just shunted about occasionally) Colin and I both then went to Tesco's to fuel up and then went our separate ways. I had a 94 mile drive to work and I have to say, the Cortina estate handled it with no issues at all. I made good time, but the lost hour cost me and I arrived at work 40 minutes late.

The next morning the car received its first wash for some time and really came up well. I have to say, I'm very pleased with my purchase and think I have got a real bargain. It's also a very early car with a bench seat and column change gearbox and it drives really well. I can't wait to give it a proper check over and start using it for the shows. 

Saturday June 11th. Classic car auction

 I hadn't planned to go to this auction, but a friend of mine showed me a car that was due to be sold there and it captured my interest. There were also a few other items that I was interested in, so I decided to make a day of it. As it was a two day auction I rang the auction house the Thursday prior to the sale and asked what number lots they were covering on the Saturday. I was told it was numbers 1 to 366. The lot number I was mainly interested in was 364, so it was going to be a very long day! 

I set out at around 6.30am in the beautiful sunshine and made my way to Kings Lynn car auctions. I arrived at 9am and paid my £500 deposit and registered to bid. Coffee was the first thing on the agenda and after being refreshed I made my way outside and started looking round all the cars. 

The bidding started at 10am with the automobilia items, so I made sure I was back inside for that. I was interested in a set of TR6 steel wheels and my mate Dave was interested in a set of TR6 alloys and had asked me to bid for him. My wheels were up first, but the maximum price I had in mind was soon reached and advanced well above that. I hoped that wasn't the pattern for the rest of the day. Dave's wheels were up next and I did manage to get a bid in this time, but was outbid at £225. (Dave's limit was £200)  The buyers commission on automobilia was 15%, so the final price can escalate considerably. 

Although it wasn't the car I had come to bid on, I was interested to see what price a four door Mk1 Cortina GT would go for. I have to say, it looked a fantastic car on the auction website pictures and video, but in the flesh, it was a different story. (Who on earth came up with the saying 'the camera never lies'???)

The bidding started slowly, but then the price started to climb quite quickly. I also noticed that nobody in the room was bidding on it and it was internet bids only. (They hadn't had the advantage of seeing the car up front!) The bidding finally finished at £14,750. With the buyers commission (8% on cars) and vat on the the commission, this equated to a whopping £16,166. Very strong money for what it was. I also did an MOT history check on this car and there was no history recorded, meaning that its either been off the road since before 2006 (That's as far back as the records go) or, its been imported from another country. Either way, it was very strong money for what I thought wasn't a very good car!

I spent the remainder of the afternoon trying to entertain myself until finally, finally, it was time for lot number 364 to come through. I accosted the chap driving it into the auction room and asked him how it drove. I was pleased to hear that he himself had a Mk1 Cortina and a Corsair and he said this drove spot on. He said the clutch and brakes were fine and it runs lovely. All music to my ears. I had looked over the car several times throughout the day and it was obvious that this car had been very, very well looked after. The MOT history check showed that it has only covered 7000 miles since 2006. 

The bidding started at £4,200. Internet bids started coming in and then I got in on the act. I saw off the internet bidder at £6000, but then a telephone bidder had come in as well. Luckily he dropped out when we reached £6500. With my adrenalin racing it seemed like an eternity before the auctioneer said the magic words 'going for the third and final time......sold for £6500'. I had won what I had come here for. To be honest, I would have probably gone to £8000, so I was very pleased with £6500. (£7124 with commission and vat)

So, the object of my desire? 

A 1963 Mk1 Cortina 1500 de luxe estate. 14,000 miles, not warranted, (probably 114,000) but still a very good well cared for car. All I have to do now is find a way for getting it home from Kings Lynn.