Mountain Switchback Run

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22nd February 2018

We were very fortunate with the weather this time, for on the day it was sunny with clear blue skies, albeit rather cold.

Everyone met for coffee and ‘whatever’ at the lovely old café/restaurant Venta del Compadre, on the N340 road between Sorbas and Tabernas. This is a traditional stop for traveller and certainly worth another visit, especially if you would like to visit the nearby ‘Oliverias’ for tasting and buying olive oil. It was a little disappointing that although there was a good attendance there were fewer classic cars joining the trip, but nevertheless at least fourteen cars attended.

From here, our organizer for this trip, our friend Alan Sykes, martialed the troops and we set off along the N340 in the direction of Velefique/ Alan and his friend Mo kindly accompanied us on their motorbikes, making sure no one made any wrong turning. We then started to climb the mountain pass, up countless hairpin bends at the same time enjoying spectacular views as we ascended up to 1,820 metres.

At the top of the pass there is a mirador, but Alan had advised us to stop before then, at an area sufficient for everyone to be able to park and get out to enjoy the magnificent panoramic views. There was even some snow still around left at the side of the road indicating just how inclement the weather had been the week before, proving how fortunate we were on the day?!

The descent was still very serpentine but since we were all by this time, looking forward to our lunch, it appeared to be easier? We arrived at the little town of Bacares, surprising the locals with this sudden arrival of so many unknown cars. This is a pretty rustic village, nestled on the hillside. It is traditionally linked with mining.

The Hotel Las Fuentes is almost alpine in design, in that it has a wealth of beams and lots of evidence that it is frequented by huntsmen since there were heads of indigenous wild animals displayed on the wood panelled walls. The staff had prepared large round tables for us and provided a hearty traditional Spanish meal of salad, cocido, grilled pork and lamb cutlets etc. at a very reasonable 15 euros per head, including copious amounts of wine, some obviously local since it was served in ‘jarras’.

After lunch we continued our descent and made our way to Olula del Rio where we enjoyed a post lunch coffee at the spacious and modern La Tejera Hotel.

We would like to thank Alan Sykes for all the effort he put in arranging this trip, especially since it was at the last minute so to speak, hence in a very short space of time.



What do you think?

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Isn’t it refreshing to see an advert which tells the truth, plain and simple?



Future Classics

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If we are talking about future classics, is it more likely to be those which have been reliable in their lifetime, or those which have been unreliable? Well, there are hours of bar room debate here, so the two sites below will provide a good starting point for research:

​On a personal note, after looking at the offerings, I didn’t feel the need to bother Ebay!

Paul Gough​

My Favourite Classic Car

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It’s a well known fact that the Lada Niva is the most capable and reliable four wheel drive vehicle in the world. What’s more, I have proof.

Have a look at this, but skip the silly advert, which comes first:

​Ok, so what’s your favourite?​

​Paul Gough​

Cats at Castle Combe

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As many will know, the world which exists over 3000 r.p.m is rarely visited by me! However, it’s always good to see Jaguars in full flight and the spectacle of pre 1996 ‘Cats’ at Castle Combe, last month, would have been worth seeing indeed!

Thanks to JEC for the link.

Paul Gough

Jowett Javelin

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Most  of us would love to have a Jowett Javelin in our garage. Last month one such was auctioned at Baron’s with a history to go with it. It was purchased by Brian May of Queen, for his father in 1982 .  After his Dad passed away, the car has sat in dry storage to date. Proceeds from the sale will go to the badger charity Save Me Trust.

Take a look

Paul Gough

Did you know?

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The Daimler Conquest of 1953 was so named because it was priced at £1066, the date of the Norman Invasion of England, while the 1954 Daimler Century was so called because of its 100bhp engine.

The first permanently enforced one-way street was applied to Mare Street, Hackney, London in 1924. There were no recognised one-way road signs at the time and so a banner was suspended across the road declaring “One Way Traffic – No Road This Way”

Paul Gough

Tech Tips

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A torque wrench is an important part of any tool kit. Treat it with care and use it often. Manufactures don’t list torque figures for nothing!

When you’ve finished, always ‘unwind’ the wrench returning it to zero. It will stay more accurate for longer, if you do!

When doing your under bonnet checks, cast a glance at the air vent in the master cylinder cap(s). The vent hole allows air in to replace falling fluid levels. If this becomes blocked a ‘spongy’ pedal will result.

Some caps incorporate a rubber bladder, which limits air contact with the fluid, as the mineral based fluid absorbs water from the air (hydroscopic).

Paul Gough.


Why anti-freeze is an ‘all year round thing’.

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Anti-freeze does more than ‘what is says on the tin’. It’s an anti-corrosive too. Get it wrong and trouble is around the corner.

Traditional blue ethylene glycol is toxic but a highly effective antifreeze; it contains silicates as an inhibitor to help prevent corrosion in engines with mixed metals in their makeup. Bluecol and Blue Star are well known brand names, both are declared suitable for ‘classic cars’ on their company websites.

Propylene glycol is another well-known and less toxic antifreeze formula and usually contains silicates.

Recently, problems have been reported concerning the use of antifreeze mixtures using organic acid technology (OAT). OAT was introduced in the mid-1990s and the products are biodegradable, recyclable, do not contain either silicates or phosphates and are designed to be longer lasting. However, these products do seem to cause problems in older engines.

Over and above the ability of antifreeze to find the smallest crevice and leak, OAT antifreezes have been accused of destroying seals and gaskets and causing a great deal of damage in ‘old’ engines. For this reason, the manufacturers do not recommend their use in historic vehicles. These products are usually coloured red, pink or orange.

Another category is HOAT. These products use hybrid organic acid technology in an ethylene glycol base with some silicates in the formulation alongside the organic corrosion inhibitors. The product is usually coloured green and is not recommended for use in historic vehicles. FBHVC is still researching this problem but its current advice is:

Only use blue coloured IAT antifreeze in historic vehicles. Only use OAT products (‘advanced’ or ‘long life’ antifreeze) if the vehicle used it when new and if specifically directed by the vehicle’s manufacturer

Never mix different types of antifreeze without thoroughly flushing out the system

The above article is courtesy of Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC).

See Classic Chat, November 2016 for more information.

Paul Gough

Car Auction Update

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Car Auctions
The first car auction at SRS will be held on Saturday 25th March 2017.
Paul Gough