've been keeping a diary of the work and progress I have been doing on the track car. I planned to bring it online once he had passed his MOT, but we have decided to do the work he needs to pass the MOT anyway so we are still on with the project!!!
12 Jan 2008
Before I go into what we did today, I think a bit of background information is in order.
The first time I saw Humphrey was in a train station car park. He had been in the same space for a number of days and it was obvious he hadn’t moved. Being the East Anglia Area Organiser for the MR2 Mk1 Club, I stuck a note on the windscreen with details of our meets, with the idea that if the note hadn’t moved in a week, he had been abandoned and was fair game.
I got a PM on one of the MR2 forums a few days later from his owner, saying Humphrey was very much not abandoned but the owner didn’t have anywhere for him to go at the moment. Unfortunately having 3 MK1s on the drive at that time, we couldn’t offer the space either. Eventually Humphrey was moved and I got another PM a few weeks later saying he was for sale and could I let anyone know who might be interested. He had a few bits wrong with him so we weren’t interested, and at the time I knew no one else looking either. Another few weeks passed and I got another PM saying did I know anyone that would take Humphrey as he was now getting in the way and the owner wanted to just give him away!! Well, we thought we may as well take him then, with the plan of getting him up to MOT standard and selling him for a few hundred. We did make this clear to the owner too, who just wanted to get rid of him. He is named Humphrey because we got him just as John Inman died, and decided as a tribute to name him after Inman’s character in ‘Are You Being Served’ – Mr Humphries, because he was free. ‘I’m free’.
So than we had four. Humphrey, My Sakura, Phil’s imaginatively named ‘Mister Two’ and Phils old car ‘The Red One’.
Plans for Humphrey were put on hold for a bit due to a house move, and then the plan to strip ‘The Red One’ so we had room in the garage. Unfortunately we then found some terminal rust in Mister Two, meaning Phil had to get a new car too. Hence the eventual purchase of ‘Phil’s Car,’ ‘Mister-Two-I-Mean-Phil’s-Car’, ‘The New One’, and various other names as Phil won’t name his cars. The cruel sod
Realising that out single garage and two car drive was getting a little overcrowded with five cars, we quickly stripped The Red One, and got the shell taken away. Moved Humphrey into the garage and started stripping Mister Two as he had some good bits on him that people were hankering after.
Phil asked me one day ‘How much spare money do you think you will have next year?’ I started to get worried thinking his biological clock was ticking, but far from it!! There is a Toyota Sprint Series that he was thinking of entering, and what better car to use as a track toy than Humphrey?
So that brings us to today when we finally decided to pull out fingers out as Humphrey needs an MOT. The main thing was to get him out of the garage and get Mister Two in it. We are more likely to work on Humphrey if we can see him.
Cue much shoving about of cars. Sakura driven over the road, Phils Car sat on the front garden. Mister Two starts with minimal persuasion, after having his tyres pumped up. Humphrey gets pushed.
An important bit on Humphrey is the brakes! We have decided to use Mister Two’s brakes and also the good Koni suspension that he had. Every flipping bolt on Mister Two is either rusted on, rounded off or generally inaccessible. It doesn’t help that we only have one of each socket and one of Phil’s extensions has gone missing, so I do a lot of standing about listening to Phil swear, rather than actually helping. Anyway, finally all four callipers and discs are off Mister two – this will also stop them seizing back on and make him easier to manoeuvre. Phil then starts looking at the suspension and realises that the Mk1b suspension (Mister Two) is mounted differently to the Mk1a (Humphrey). So, we will be running Humphrey on standard suspension, or forking out for a new set.
It’s starting to get cold, so we begin packing away. Mister Two gets pushed into the garage. There’s more room in there now as he hasn’t got a front or back bumper so is much shorter. Humphrey gets pushed into place on the drive, and we decide to leave him uncovered. Phil’s Car and Sakura get driven in as normal.
It doesn’t sound like we have done much today but with the amount of shoving cars about, cracking off seized brakes, and undoing rusty nuts (heh), it takes time. At least we have made a start.
Some non car things I need to do are:
Get track experience.
Get a race suit, not compulsory but it’s nice to look the part.
Get a helmet, compulsory but I can use Phil’s as our heads are the same size!
Humphrey - up in the air as usual…
He’s going to need cleaning a bit, been parked under a tree!!!