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Showing content with the highest reputation since 15/10/09 in Blog Entries

  1. 5 points
    Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019, Meeting my Motorsport Hero! Hi Everyone, I’m sure loads of you have attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the years, I actually went to the very first one way back in 1993, it was almost like a garden party back then, and I have been going on and off ever since and have seen it grow massively over the years and it is still an incredible event to attend. Now I wasn’t going to go this year but a couple of weeks ago I read that a particular car was going to be there, now I was sceptical if it would be the actual car as it was also supposed to be paraded before the start of Le Mans this year but that was actually a replica, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to this particular car, but I really didn’t want to risk missing this car coming over to the UK, I was actually planning to go out to make the trip to see it is it’s normal museum residence in the states so this actually seemed to good to be true. But anyway I got there Friday morning at 7am and started my hunt, it isn’t easy trying to find one car amongst thousands at the biggest car gathering in the world, but after a couple of hours I saw those iconic Gulf Colours out the corner of my eye, I rushed over to the car and to my amazement it was the actual Ford GT40 Chassis Number P/1075, I actually really couldn’t believe that I was standing next to such an iconic car and it was just sitting there with no security and to be honest most people probably didn’t realise the significance of this particular GT40. I have seen it read many times that it is considered the most valuable race car in the world today and as I mentioned it normally resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit where I was planning to go to see it so I really never thought such a piece of history would be in the UK and be so accessible, I guess that is the power of Goodwood, So why is it so special? Well basically it is the only car to win Le Mans on 2 consecutive years of 1968 and 1969, I guess most car enthusiasts will know that Ford was in talks to buy Ferrari and when they fell through Henry Ford made it his mission to beat Ferrari at LeMans which he did for 4 consecutive years from 1966 to 1969 with the GT40, actually there is a big Hollywood film coming out later this year about this story, anyway not only is GT40 P/1075 remembered for it’s 2 wins it is also considered the winner for the greatest Le Mans race of all time in 1969 where is won by only 100 meters after 24 hours of racing, changing the lead 5 times on the last lap with the faster Porsche, you can view the video I took at Goodwood of Jackie Oliver discussing this incredible win below - Finally another iconic moment of the 1969 race was that Jacky Ickx made a protest about safety at the start of the race, this was when the drivers used to race across the track to their cars and speed off without doing up their belts til they got down the Mulsanne Straight to get a quick start, so Jacky walked slowly across the track, climbed in, did his belts up then left the grid in last place and as it happened there was a big crash on the first lap where John Wolf was killed as he hadn’t done up his belts to get a quick start, so in the end with Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver behind the wheel they fought their way from last to win with Ickx crossing the line by the smallest of margins after 24 hours, quite incredible. Anyway it was an amazing day and a real honour to see P/1075 up close and personal, I probably looked like some weird stalker as I spent all day admiring the car taking loads of video’s and pictures and I really struggled to leave at the end of the day as the chances are it may never come back to the UK again but at 8pm I dragged myself away. There are a few more video’s on our YouTube page below and probably far too many pictures below. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPJOUerA5TrUPs0HpWORopg?view_as=subscriber Jacky Oliver Re-United With P/1075 50 Years after it’s famous Le Mans win. Cheers, Paul.
  2. 5 points
    Hi all, I know this is not strictly a Lotus but a Westfield replica of a Lotus Eleven but I have just bought this in my quest to put together a collection of Lotus's from every decade since formation so hopefully posting it on here is OK, the originals go for around £130K now so this will have to do for my 50's example. It is brand new but the fly in the ointment is that it is nearly finished being built by the current owner but it has yet to get through its SVA test to make it road legal, this shouldn't be too painful but I guess you never know the outcome till you get stuck in and to be fair the last Westfield I owned was a disaster as I bought a cut and shut without knowing and that was a death trap in which I had to replace the chassis + other bits a bobs. But I just can't resist a pretty car and I have to say that I find it totally stunning, one of the prettiest cars I have ever seen, I'd be quite happy to put it in the living room as an ornament but I think my wife may have something to say on that :-) So let's see how things pan out when I put it in for an SVA, in fact Westfield have said they will help with this so fingers crossed, watch this space. More pictures to follow once I get it home. Cheers, Paul.
  3. 5 points
    For a bit of fun I thought I'd do a video walk round of the 380 Cup, Don't laugh, I am certainly no camera man :-)
  4. 3 points
    Well after a very troubled start to our relationship it looks like the Esprit is now finally ready to start a new chapter in her life as at long last she seems to be running well and I actually got her to work this morning, thanks to @Sparky who worked his magic on her Everywhere you park her it is a Leica moment in my eyes Cheers, Paul.
  5. 3 points
    Hi All, Had my first track day this week over at Bedford Autodrome, watch out Lewis :-) The morning session was very wet which made trying to learn the circuit a challenge as the Caterham was constantly trying to swap ends on me but I actually really enjoyed it which surprised me but luckily the afternoon dried out which was much more fun, really loved the fast flowing parts of the track. I think I have well and truly got the bug now though with another one booked for a couple of weeks time, I can see this being a slippery slope :-) Cheers, Paul.
  6. 3 points
    In the beginning there was light and all was good....... Well up until the point when I removed the cam belt to change it for a nice shiny new one. The crankshaft went clunk, dunk, thug, thought that was a little strange, pretty sure it shouldn't be making that noise )-: My heart sank as I suddenly saw money oozing from the galleries and seals of the engine. When I had stopped crying I decided that action would really need to be taken and find out what needs to be done. I checked the endfloat and it was about 4mm, when it should be 0.08-0.2mm..... so err slightly off. I Knew that the thrust washers had come off, but thought that even with them out this was a little excessive. Initial plan would be to see what was lurking under the dry sump and make a decision from there. So I started stripping off all the ancillaries that I had so lovingly put on just days before. Well at least it was all nice and clean and the bolts weren't rusty and seized, so didn't take too long to remove the plenum and carbs. Even with only those off I felt like I was making immediate progress. Noticed that even though the carbs were cleaned and polished the aluminum had already started to have white corrosion marks on, not good, I'll have to address that when I reinstall. As it was getting cold and late I thought I'd call it a day and attack the engine in the morning. Over night I had been thinking more about it, and realising there and then that this wasn't going to be a quick job, decided to take the engine indoors to my workshop where I can work on it in relative warmth and most importantly the dry, over the winter. This was no mean feat as I had to juggle about a lot of stuff in order to make enough working room around the engine. Why is it that there's never enough storage space? Engine now in the dry I could attack it with zeal, external oil pump was first to go, with about 8 x M6 nuts holding it on, no problem at all, I suppose that all that oil had kept all the nuts nicely protected and lubricated. Very elaborate seal underneath though, it'll have to be an original seal to replace it as I don't fancy cutting that out of the gasket paper. On later internal inspection I found that the annulus and rotor were all good, this was a major plus as these parts are really really rare to get hold of. Whipped the engine over and WD-40'd all fixings that I could see, then went for a cuppa tea. Refreshed and bolts readily soaked, started removing the lower ones on the sump, working my way from the centre outwards, some where extremely tough to get going....a bigger lever was needed. Then removed the smaller nuts around the edge of the casting, these were a b*gger because the casting itself wraps around the nut so tightly that you can only just get a socket on only half the top of the nut. There wasn't a hope in hell of getting any spanner on it either. Felt like this could have been the turning point for me, if I'd struggled too much and either stripped the threads or the outer edges, I'd probably had thrown my tools down in a strop and paid someone to finish the job for me. End seals were then removed, well partly, the cam belt end wasn't going to come off without a special tool that I'd have to make up, so I let it dangle there in the mean time and proceeded onwards. Narrowly escaping the major strop and excessive output of cashflow paying someone to do this engine rebuild for me, I got all the nuts off. Now for teasing the aluminum casting off the long studs, which all in all took about 1 hour. Rubber mallet and casting now severely beaten into submission and with the lower half of the crank casing on the work bench, I inspected the innards like a surgeon and he's poorly patient. As suspected the thrust washers had indeed come out, but were whole, thought they may have been mushed into a billion pieces, good sign. But then there was this additional ring that had been broken, pretty sure that that wasn't supposed to be there. Later investigation on the LF and eyeing it up against the crank in the daylight showed that is was part of the casting of the crankshaft, which had cracked in a perfect circle around the main bearing. Cause was that the number 5 main bearing wasn't getting enough oil from the reworked chamfer on the crank case casting. The PO didn't line up the Vee with the Chamfer so it was starved of all oil, not good for something that was rotating that quickly against another metal object. Took the parts and engine up to Lotusbits for an expert assessment and advice. Although I knew the crank was toast, I thought that the rest would be ok to put back, considering the pistons were new and beautifully forged. However there was a large amount of float on the pins in the piston, so a new set of Mahle forged pistons were purchased along with seal set and rings. looks like this is turning into a full rebuild /-: Have to keep reminding myself that this is a preservation project to keep our heritage on the road. It turns out that the dry sump that I have is the 1 in 100 that was bored out to 0.015", which generally means that because the main bearings are as rare as hens teeth that the sump is now a lovely oily door stop. Only two options available to me: 1. Buy a wet sump engine. or 2. Skim the top off the original lower crank casing and line bore back to standard with a 2nd hand upper casting already at standard size. I wasn't liking any of these options, first one would not only take a vast amount of money out of my pocket it would also depreciate the dry sump engine car. So like most OCD Lotus Esprit drivers I started trawling the internet adamant that I could get the holy grail of bearings to fit my car. By hook or by crook I will find some til my dying day!!!!!!!!! Update to this.... Amazing I found some bearings +0.015" ....yay!!!! I got a mate to send them to me ....yay!!!! Haven't received them yet and this is 3 days after being posted 1st class .....boo!!!!! I'm now quietly crying in the corner of my house while I write this ? Fingers are still crossed that they turn up, could be the Black Friday post is a little slow this week.... Update to the Update Bearings have now turned up, they were sat safe and sound in the post office waiting for collection, only problem was that they didn't tell me they were there!! Good old PO, anyway I nearly keeled over when I opened the box and saw the gleaming bearings glinting in the sunshine. My daughter thought I'd gone a little loopy when I started doing a little jig on the pavement. However she benefited from my unusually generous behaviour by receiving a big chocolate bar from the newsagents. My happiness was alas short lived though, when one of the really really rare bearings, as opposed to the really rare bearings, was scuffed.....oh man, from ecstasy to misery in a few short minutes. I'm not sure I can take this sort of feeling, my constitution isn't used to these roller coaster emotions. Phoning back Phil, who I'd originally bought the bearings from bared no fruit, apart from a sharp discussion about not wanting to return the money to me for supplying a faulty bearing. Eventually all was sorted and my task for looking for another one started out in earnest. Thanks to this forum and in particular JerryS for pointing me in the right direction it turns out these bearings weren't as rare as I was led to believe, apparently they were still available at source, so I got them to send another one through. It just goes to show that when someone gives you advice on something, it's sometimes worth doing the donkey work to find out for yourself! Next installment will be the building of the engine which I will start a new blog for....... One last note, a friend of mine keeps reminding me that so many people generally give up on their restoration, for the very same reason, too much stress and emotional turmoil that it's difficult to take on a constant basis. I think everything had gone so well for me up to this point I'd fooled myself into thinking it would continue on this vein, and when it went a little south, I began to wobble slightly. I feel I'm now over a hurdle and stronger for it.....bring it on!
  7. 3 points
    Engine was looking very shabby with paint flaking off it and corroded aluminium spots all over so I thought that it would be nice to give it a clean and possibly paint the seen bits...... oh how wrong can I be, I've now virtually stripped it down and am now in the process of cleaning and shot blasting everything on it, then on to spraying the bits in wrinkle black and silver and only then to add them all back in )-: Here's a before picture. And the after shot....
  8. 2 points
    Hi everyone, I thought i would share the progress of the lotus esprit 1988 restoration project. It was never supposed to be a full restoration project. More just a tidy up, then one thing led to another and alot of money and parts down the line it has become a restoration. I am looking after the mechanical things and the old man is doing the electrical and interior side. Big job to do: - Exhaust manifold repair - rear calipers refurbished - full suspension re build These big jobs led to lots of smaller side jobs. Picture of how it was at the start. Not bad on the surface. But the mechanical side of things needed alot of TLC. One thing let to another. Front spring was burst bit in taking the hub off the lower ball joint fell apart. This lead to finding out all of the bushing bolt has corroded to the bush sleeves so had to be cut out. This then led to wanting to change the upper wishbone bushes and ball joint. O ly to discover that the upper wishbone stud was solid inside the mount. After lots and lots of heat and force the pin came out. All front suspension components have been changed. The lower wishbones had to be changed after the balljoint collar was found to be enlarged so wouldnt accept a new ball joint and hold onto it. Much better now. Thanks for reading. Lots more to follow. Any advice, hints or tricks greatly appreciated. Marc
  9. 2 points
    Hi Everyone, I thought I would just jot down a few thoughts from my first drive in the Radical SR1 at Oulton Park on Friday, I must say I was very relieved to finally get out in the car after our first 2 tests being cancelled due to snow and with my first race less than 1 week away. So how did it go? well looking back a couple of days later I would say I was fairly happy although I need to go a fair bit faster but for my first drive in the car at a circuit I didn’t know and to be fair is a pretty scary track, then I was reasonably happy at the end of the day. Blimey It’s Fast! So as an overview of the day, basically it was a general test day so there was some seriously quick machinery there of all kinds, it was quite cool start to the day when sitting in the cafe on my own eating a sausage sandwich and Matt Neal walked in, the triple British Touring Car Champion, to get his breakfast, that actually bought it home a little that this was all about to get quite serious. The day was broken down into 4 x 30 minute sessions, I had 2 drives in the morning and another 2 in the afternoon, below are my thoughts on how each session went. Session 1 So to say I was nervous would be a slight understatement as I had only driven 3 track days before and done some karting a few years ago but the guys as UPE Motorsport really helped me settle into the car and made me feel like there was no pressure and I need to get to feel the car first and to find my own limits. So bearing in mind that the car had never been driven before in an ideal world we would have had someone who knows Radicals shake the car down but due to the test day cancellations this was never done so came down to me, so it was a case of going out for one lap then coming straight back in which I did and to me at least everything felt great, then I repeated the same but this time for 3 laps and then back in, again all seemed good so then I was free to go out until the end of the session and to start building my speed up but before I knew it the 30 mins was over and I was back in the pits but happy with my first drive. Session 2 So now it was time to start pushing the car a little, as the track was still damp we did session 1 and 2 on wets which still felt very quick indeed and to be fair I still wasn’t reaching the limits of the tyres or the car, it’s really hard to describe how fast and physical these cars are, I had been practicing on Project Cars on Xbox which is great for learning the circuit but has no real way of giving you the sensation of speed and how scary it can be, in the game I can take some corners easily flat but in real life this is a very different story. So during this session I was reasonably happy with my progress and got down to a 1m 59 second lap time which apparently on wets was pretty respectable, one thing I did notice was that when going down the main straight I was noticing that my head was being pushed back due to doing over 100 mph without a wind screen and after a while my neck was really starting to hurt, so after a couple of trips into the pits the guys added extra padding to the headrest which ended up helping a lot, looks like I need to get down the gym to start working my neck out Session 3 So after a quick bite of lunch I was back in the car, this time on dry tyres so I was expecting to take quite a chunk of my time but in the end it ended up being a bit of a messy session with yellow flags then a red flag to stop the session and I was still concerned about my neck pain so I actually ended up going 2 secs slower, to say I was not impressed is a understatement so I went off, sat in the van and gave myself a telling off This was actually becoming a lot harder than I thought as the quick guys were doing 1 min 50′s so I was 10 secs of the pace which was quite shocking as it felt like I was going really fast, It’s much easier watching it on the TV that’s for sure. Session 4 So with this being the last session of the day and my last drive in the car before qualifying the following weekend for my first race I was determined to try harder and to find some time, in the end I got down to a 1 min 56 which made me a little happier as at least I improved and I got within 1 sec of my team mate who raced his Radical last year so he is a very good benchmark but there is still a lot more speed in the car, I just need to find it in myself to man up and to throw caution to the wind a little more. I have spent all weekend watching quick laps round Oulton Park in Radical’s on You Tube and to be fair I am pretty happy with my lines and breaking but there are 3 really quick corners at Oulton and I am sure it is here that I am loosing most of my time as well as that I am lifting when approaching Druids which should be flat out so I am confident that when next back in the car for Qualifying I can find some more time. Doing quick laps on your own is one thing though but once it comes to racing then I am sure that will be a totally different experience again. 1st Race This Weekend So this Easter weekend I have qualifying on Saturday followed by 2 x 20 minute races, certainly going to be a fun weekend, I hope my body has recovered by then as my arms and neck are still aching a fair bit, I have ordered some brave pills from the chemist as I know that all the extra speed I need is in me not being such a wimp in the quick stuff, to be honest though I am gagging to get back in the car to see if I can find that missing time. Watch this space and I will report back after the first race weekend and will hopefully be able to load up some race footage. Cheers, Paul.
  10. 2 points
    Finally got a chance to play with the Cup today after taking delivery a couple of weeks ago, have to say extremely happy going with Signature Orange, really comes alive when the sun hits it, just looks epic Anyway here are a few pics - Cheers,
  11. 2 points
    Popped over to Hethel yesterday to see my Cup 380 in it's final stages of build and decided to take the Elise Home, 17 years after rolling of the production line and looking as good as ever :-)
  12. 2 points
    It's been a while since I've revisited the Esprit, I've been trying to get some additional finances together to pay for the engine rebuild. When the sun comes out it seems to motivate me to do things, so I striped the engine down to constituent parts and tried to catalog everything by taking pictures, although my iphone seems to lose pictures all the time, what is with that! Anyhow all the castings were sent off to get vapour blasted and have returned shiny like new, a thing of beauty I can tell you. The Main casting has been sent to the machine shop to get Hone bored to take the +0.015"/-0.02" engine bearings which were the only ones available. Unfortunately this block was one of the 100 to 1 blocks that was rebored to +0.015", and subsequently a right pain in the **** to get bearings for! The crank also needs to be reground from -0.01" to -0.02" and then be balanced, with the flywheel, its fixings, the cam belt pulley wheel and washer. At the same time I've given the machine shop the new series 4 ball bearing for the spigot shaft on the transmission to put in the crank shaft. I've also given the pistons to the machine shop to clean up for me, along with the Cylinder head, which I asked to be bolted onto the block whilst it was machined, it gives the block added rigidity that can only help. Now just awaiting the return of this so I can get on with the rebuild. Update to follow, hopefully shortly..... So now I have the block back and the pistons, crank and flywheel plus all the periphery that went along with it, I can crack on with the assembly. Yay! I don't know if any of you have had this problem but it is a right b*gger to get the dry sump off the main block. It's tightened down with 10 x M12 nuts and about 10 x M6 nuts, and once released will come off with a beating from a dead blow hammer......usually! But not this time. I gave up after about an hour and decided to put the little grey cells to use rather than my rather aching muscles. I've now come up with a spreader which I have manufactured using the ends of the casting and 4 M10 bolts to pries them apart. Pictures will be coming shortly.....if it works. And it does....sort of! So after being partially defeated by the main casting I thought I would put together the pistons, how hard can this be! I seem to be thwarted at every turn at the moment. In the manual it clearly states that the gudgeon pin is a finger push fit, well I defy anyone who can push these gudgeons in with their fingers! They came out of the pistons, albeit with a bit of persuasion . I measured the internal diameter of the piston 24.1mm and the outside of the gudgeon at 24.5mm so I suspect that the internal diameter of the piston has bulged a bit. Will be taking it back to the machine shop to get a little bit of material removed and I'll get them to check and assemble them too. All in all a fairly unsuccessful foray into engine building! Will try harder next time! Some small successes this weekend, the spreader tool worked to a degree, I managed to separate it to a point then tried to pull it apart with my hands. That thing was trapped, can pull it up 5mm one end then go to the other a pull that up 5mm too, only to have the first end drop by 10mm. Got a bit frustrating I can tell you. In the end I resorted to getting two car jacks at both ends and separated it that way! on another note, had the machine shop clean the engine block after machining but there's still swarf and grit in there so I'm going to have to clean the whole block myself, hate that job with a passion ?. Still at least I'll be able to trial out my new parts washer!
  13. 2 points
    Been a while since I posted anything, but while my engine undergoes its rebuild I've been reflecting on the various works done to the interior over the winter. The dash came out (there are 4 nuts holding it in, and I defy anyone to get them all back in without the aid of extension bars, universal joints, magnets and lots of swearing), along with all the leather panels for reconnolising and repairs. While all this was out, I: - put in an electric aerial - wired in some footwell lights - wired in Spiyda Design's anti-slosh module to the fuel gauge and light - fitted a delay box to the circuit feeding the dome light, so it dims to nothing rather than just switching off - treated some minor rust to the chassis door mounts and the scuttle beam - refitted the choke control - the little clip that holds it in place is an absolute pig to get in properly and I don't believe it can be done with the dash in situ - tidied up all the wires with loads of cable ties - retrimmed the steering column shroud - put new black leather on the dash below the windscreen - replaced the rusty steel air vent on the passenger side below the windscreen - replaced the rusty sun visor pivots - broke the rear view mirror but sourced a second hand replacement (off a Hillman Hunter apparently) Hopefully I don't have to do any of these things again for a very long time... Anyway, the main purpose of the blog entry is to document how I put in a new console piece, just above the radio aperture. On my car, this is just a blank panel covered with a strip of leather. For some time I've wanted to put something in there with buttons and lights and things. As a fan of Knight Rider in my youth, you can never really have too many of these things. Panel design Reigning in my desire for a funky but anachronistic air/fuel mix gauge, I realised it needed to not be too crowded to look sensible. I looked at what I needed in there; and settled on a switch to override the otter switch and control the rad fans, a yellow light to show me that the fans were working (as opposed to the "fan fail" light, which may or may not show me if the fans aren't working, although has been known to come on when the fans do), a blue light to show me that the air con was operating (if I ever get it fixed) and a switch to retract the electric aerial without switching the stereo off. This last one was needed because the replacement aerial cannot drain properly to the outside, it's just too big. It has a drain hole at the bottom, but rather than fill up my footwell I prefer the idea of stopping and putting a rubber cap on the retracted aerial if I'm ever listening to the radio in a rainstorm! So 4 switches or lights. At this point I decided I wanted rectangular items, which seemed to me to be more 1980s than any of the circular options. Note that this is a much harder option than going for circular bits, which can have their apertures drilled. Materials Suitable switches and lights were easily obtained from Car Builder Solutions. Plastic was much more of a problem, as if plastic is rigid enough not to bend on switch pressure, it's too brittle to work properly when you're trying to make a rectangular hole. I found this out the hard way after cutting out the required size of black ABS (took numerous attempts with my rubbish jigsaw), using a soldering iron to melt out approximate rectangles, and then setting to work with craft knife and file. Managed to shatter the thing pretty quickly. Further research yielded The Plastic People who offer a range of plastics cut to size. The aperture is 185mm by 37mm on my car, so rather than rely on jigsaw and steady hand I got them to send me this sized piece in a couple of different types. The best for this purpose turned out to be their "foam board" which is soft enough to have the rectangles cut out with a knife but solid enough (just) to act as a panel. I did reinforce it with two thin strips of the original ABS along the back of the panel though. Here's what the plastic panel looked like with the holes cut and the lights test fitted: The font of wisdom At this point, I decided that unlabelled switches or ones made from a label maker were going to look a bit crap. I needed something authentic but which Doing a bit of research on this forum, it turns out the retro-futuristic font in use on the Esprit up to about 1990 when the old HVAC panel was discontinued, was something called Microgramma. This was also used on the Elan in the sixties, so is a nice link to Lotus history even if the font on the exterior of the car is different! To try and match my HVAC panel, I downloaded a font file and mocked up a Word document with suitable legends (attached here). This can then be printed out on sticky paper and applied to the panel. Finally, I put on a layer of matt self-adhesive film to cover over the whole thing and make it look a bit more plastic than paper. Wiring Meanwhile, I'd managed to identify the wires needed for the switches. Both lights are currently unwired, as the air con doesn't work and I think I need to run a wire from the rad fan relay to the dash to have the rad fan "activity" light work - a project for later. The aerial switch just interrupts the 12v signal wire from the stereo to the aerial. The rad fan override switch interrupts the yellow and green wire which goes from the otter switch to fuse 13 in the fusebox through a large block connector on the RHS under the dash. It's not any of the binnacle connectors. Putting it in place On the home straight now, I used a dremel to cut an aperture in the blank panel forming part of the centre console trim. This was just wide enough for the switches and lights, as I needed to retain some of the panel to receive 2 self-tapping screws. This are not very tight (to avoid distoriting the switch panel), but secure it well enough. Here's the end result - terrible photo, will take a better one when I get the car back... Control panel.doc
  14. 2 points
    As written in title, I found some of the most rare factory fitted Eclat wheels. The problem was, the seller knew that too! [attachment=28396:Ad_Eclat_Sprint_(77).jpg] Even though I had to buy them - and paid what he was asking for :huh: [attachment=28395:$_57a.jpg] And now I' m able to give some new knowlege about these wheels... [attachment=28645:image.jpg][attachment=28646:image.jpg]
  15. 1 point
    Here are a few pics from our Radical SR1 race weekend at Snetterton a couple of weekends ago. It wasn't my best race weekend as the weather really threw up a few challenges and I just don't have the confidence in the wet but it is always great fun to drive the SR1 and we survived unscathed which was more than can be said for some. Cheers, Paul.
  16. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, The races are coming thick and fast this year as we were at Brands Hatch this past weekend for race 5 & 6 on our calendar, unbelievably we are now half way through the season, I was really looking forward to racing at Brands again as I really enjoyed it last year but the weather really had different ideas. In all honesty I much prefer dry conditions, especially at Brands as it is a track that really rewards a little attack but for the Friday test it was pretty much wet all day, we woke up Saturday morning to more rain and a drying qualifying session that got quicker with every lap which made it tricky to know how much grip there was but the weather looked promising for both races. Race 1 So for race 1 we are all in the assembly area where we gather 20 minutes before race start, all on dry tyres but in the distance we could all see this very dark and menacing cloud getting closer and closer and then with only a few minutes to go the heavens opened as everyone was running around swapping the tyres over from dry’s to wets, it was all a little chaotic but I have to say a big thanks to the team who did a stellar job getting the car ready under pressure for the race start. I must admit at the start of race 1 I really had no confidence, I actually think I drive my van quicker in the wet, but anyway at least I survived with a top 10 finish which when the conditions are like this then I’ll take that, below is the first lap of race 1 where you’ll see 2 cars spin off then another hits the pit wall at the end of the lap, all very entertaining Race 2 For race 2 it was almost DeJa Vu as the track had dried out between races and what looked like the same cloud was hovering again in the same place but luckily the wind changed direction and the race stayed mainly dry, I was a bit hesitant at the start and got overtaken by a couple of cars then 2 cars went off into the barriers at Paddock Hill bend so we spent quite a bit of time behind the safety car then I had a great race with one of my competitors, I knew I was quicker but I just couldn’t find a way past but in the end with 2 laps to go I found an opening, overtook and pulled away but before I knew it the race was over, another top 10 finish though so could have been worse. Have to say it was a brilliant weekend though where we had every condition to deal with in true British summertime fashion and it ended up being a lot of fun and the car stayed in one piece which was quite an achievement in my book. Snetterton next at the end of July, I really hope this is a dry one and that I can attack more as I am a fair bit quicker this year so really want to race with the mid pack more as I have been racing more this year and it really has wetted my appetite for more. Anyway please find a few pics below, thanks as ever to Ollie for taking some brilliant pictures and to the guys from 360 Racing for their support and our great HiFi Sponsors Cheers, Paul.
  17. 1 point
    Cadwell Park Race Weekend Report! Hi Everyone, This is just a quick one as I wanted to share my quickest lap from last weekend as I feel that I probably did my best lap yet in our Radical SR1, it is a slow process getting on top of these cars but everytime we go out we get a little bit faster which I guess is all I can ask for. My problem is that I love chasing lap time and here I can find reasonable speed now but I go slower in the races for some reason, not ideal I know so just need to treat the races like qualifying. This past weekend at Cadwell Park went pretty well, closed the gap to the front guys again, have to say that I absolutely love cadwell Park, probably my favourite track of the year, it is a stunning location and the track really is quite technical and challenging but it definitely rewards an attacking driver and getting air at the mountain is definitely a unique experience which keep you awake. So I went 4 seconds quicker than when I was Cadwell last year, I put it down to my new helmet design, if I knew it was going to make that much difference I would have done it earlier I was concentrating on carrying more speed into the corners which I am getting the hang of now, for once the below lap actually looks reasonably fast whereas last year they looked pretty pedestrian. I was mortified when I got home to watch my lap and find that the file was corrupted somehow but luckily I found some guys in California who somehow un-corrupted the file for me which was a huge relief, thanks guys. So anyway here is the lap, for me it is worth watching just for how beautiful the track is - Next Stop Brand Hatch in a couple of weeks Cheers, Paul.
  18. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, I just thought I would do a quick blog to say that I have a traded in pair of the Wilson Audio Sabrina Speakers, these really are one of my favourite speakers. These are a customer trade in who has upgraded to Wilson Sasha DAW’s, they are in black, as new condition and boxed with all the accessories. New Price - £18,998 Our Price - £13,998 If you’d like a listen anytime please feel free to get in touch. http://hifilounge.co.uk/wilson-audio-sabrina-loudspeakers Below are a couple of pictures when in use at the customer’s house before we swapped them for the DAW’s. Cheers, Paul
  19. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, Some more Munich news, this is quite a big one as I use Fact.12′s at home at the moment so the news of a new and improved Signature version is great news. The Signature applies to both the Fact.8 and Fact.12, both have been extremely popular speakers over the years so the fact they have been given a re-fresh can only be good news. From what I can gather PMC learnt so much from developing the epic Fenestria, especially the crossover, that they have now passed that down to the Fact.8 and Fact.12 to give a more open and insightful sound whilst reatinging their sheer musicality. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Fact.8 as it is quite unique in its presentation, extremely quick, open and resolved so I can’t wait to hear the new Signature version, we’ll have these on demo shortly. They are available in White Silk or Metallic Graphite which sounds quite interesting but I have to say that I think they look really cool in white so I may order a white pair for demo. The good news is that the prices are staying the same, so £6995 for the Fact.8 and £14,495 for the Fact.12. Please find a few pictures below and if you’d like to book a demo anytime please feel free to get in touch. PMC Fact.8 Signature PMC Fact.12 Signature Cheers, Paul.
  20. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, A lot of you already know that HiFi Lounge forming is directly connected to PMC, for those who don’t know the story basically myself and Wendy attended a PMC open day around 10 years ago where we heard the mighty BB5 XBD’s, we were so blown away we bought a pair of MB2i’s for home, as we couldn’t fit the BB5’s in our living room, I absolutely loved those speakers and that moment inspired us to sell our house and to attempt to become a HiFi dealer and to set up HFL, so bearing that in mind I am so honoured to now have the first pair of PMC’s epic new Fenestria Speakers on Demo in the UK and one of the first in the world, it really does feel like we have come full circle from that first experience of PMC all those years ago. These have now been installed with the help of PMC and although they are a pretty big and heavy speaker they actually come in several smaller boxes which makes handling and installing them not too difficult at all really, good thinking PMC, you will be able to see from the pictures below. So most importantly how do they sound? well funnily enough until we installed them I hadn’t even seen or heard a pair but my faith in PMC didn’t let me down, I stayed here till 10pm last night listening to a real variety of music from the Carpenters, Bowie, Yello, Muse through to Rammstein and all I can really say is that PMC have created a truly incredible speaker that reveals so much and really pulls you into the music, the mid range which sits in it’s own “nest’ to give it the best performance possible is like nothing I have heard before, vocal’s just hover in mid air in front of you with such a lifelike presentation and the depths the bass go to really did test our demo room which was pretty awesome There are an amazing amount of firsts in these speakers that I won’t go into now, I’ll let PMC cover those in our open day hopefully next month but the most important aspect for me is that I really didn’t want to go home last night as I just wanted to listen to my entire music collection again so I just wanted to say a huge congratulations to everyone at PMC involved in developing the Fenestria, it may have taken 5 years but the end result is completely captivating. At £45,000 they are certainly not going to be for everyone but if you could consider a pair of Fenestria’s I urge you to just come along and have a listen as I am sure once you have fallen under their spell you will be figuring out which organ to sell to have a pair in your life, I can see I will certainly be having many late nights here from now on, sorry Wendy. We will be announcing details of our Fenestria open day shortly so please watch this space, please see below for a selection of pictures of the installation of the Fenestria into our Naim room, I did get quite carried away so there are quite a few, sorry http://hifilounge.co.uk/pmc-fact-fenestria-speakers Serious Packaging! Decided to unbox them at PMC as easier to transport out of the crates. They made it safely all the 2 miles from PMC HQ! Goodies Box! Now this is what you call a crossover which sits in the Fenestria’s base! The top part twists and locks into to place with the help of this template! Thanks to Tom and Keith from PMC for helping with the install. Starting to look like a speaker now. Here is the ‘Nest’ which holds the Mid and Treble Units, beautiful piece of Engineering in itself. Tom and Keith Carefully installing the Nest section. Next up is to attach the Planar Wings, what a gorgeous finish. There we go, one Fenestria installed, do it all over again and we can have a listen. Ta Dah, here is the other one, actually not too difficult to assemble at all, definitely a 2 person job though. Fine Tuned by Peter Thomas himself, how cool is that :) I’m busy running these in daily now so if your are passing and would like a listen please feel free to pop in anytime. Cheers, Paul.
  21. 1 point
    Hi All, So 6 years in it is time for some new HFL wheels, now I must stress that this change was bought on solely by necessity and not because I thought the new van looked cool In all seriousness though as the business has grown my good old Ford Connect was struggling to cope as the speakers have got bigger and transportation space was a real issue, especially with Martin Logan speakers which are bigger than most. Farewell My Old Friend! I have to say I felt a bit sad when my trusty old Connect was trailered away as we started our partnership just before starting HFL with no idea what lay in store but over the 6 years it never let me down once and in the end we covered over 75,000 miles together delivering and installing HiFi all over the country, it really was a great partner. Well Hello There! Once the new van was delivered though I soon got over my feelings of loss I had it in the back of my mind that I needed a bigger van for some time but didn’t really know what I wanted, well that was until I was in the paddock at Silverstone and a Ford Transit Custom MS-RT drove past, needless to say the rest is history, basically a Transit Custom is given to Fords Rally team who dismantle it, fit sports suspension, body kit, new wheels and interior, tickle the engine a little then give it back. The coolest thing is on the option list there is something called a MaxHaust, have to say it is one of the coolest audio gadgets I have ever played with, if you are ever in HFL just ask for a demo As I said at the beginning, this van was solely bought as a workhorse, nothing else Delivery Day! Let’s get some stickers on it! Right, I’m off to play with my exhaust Cheers, Paul.
  22. 1 point
    I’m not really sure when the idea popped into my head about going racing with Radical Sportscars but as soon as it did I thought it would be really cool if we could run it as a HiFi Car, then the idea developed into a ‘Best Of British’ HiFi Car, so the next step was to approach all my British brands that we work with, now I knew this wasn’t going to be everyones cup of tea, in fact I did wonder if anyone would be mad enough to agree but luckily enough 6 of our brands were crazy enough to think it was a good idea and they agreed to help with sponsoring the car. So the next step was to design the livery in the HiFi Lounge colours and to cover it with our sponsors, I am really pleased how it has turned out, it looks like a real racing car now where as at the first race weekend it did look a little plain but at least it is easy to spot on track now and is also getting people talking in the pit lane, it turns out one of my competitors makes the case work for dCS, small world. So I’d like to say a huge thanks to the following companies for supporting this mad cap idea especially as I am finding out that motorsport is definitely not a cheap past time but with their support it is definitely helping but more importantly it is really cool to be driving a HiFi themed Race Car So thanks to our 4 main sponsors of (in alphabetical order) Chord Electronics, Naim Audio, PMC Speakers and Trilogy Audio as well as our other 2 additional sponsors of Atlas Cables and Rega, thanks guys, really appreciate your support. A couple of weeks ago we had a photo shoot at HiFi Lounge with all the representatives from each company which was a lot of fun, here are a few of the pics from the day with each relevant sponsor - Maurice From Chord Electronics http://hifilounge.co.uk/chord-electronics Mike From Naim Audio http://hifilounge.co.uk/naim-audio Tom From PMC Speakers http://hifilounge.co.uk/pmc-speakers Nigel Representing Trilogy Audio http://hifilounge.co.uk/trilogy Rob From Rega http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega Donal From Atlas Cables http://hifilounge.co.uk/atlas-cables Also here are a few random pics from the day + a couple from when on track - Thanks again everyone for your support, know I just need to start getting faster Cheers. Paul.
  23. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, Well I must admit that I wasn’t planning on holding a Boys Toys event for this year but with what seems like an incredibly long winter and also what with my Radical exploits we have decided to do a bit more of a laid back BTD this year, nice and early in the season just as an excuse really for everyone to get their cars out and take them for a nice spin, I know I can’t wait to get out on the road again, we always have a great turnout of Lotus Cars at this event so be great if we can keep that tradition going So to sum up this years BTD in a nutshell, basically we will be at the shop all day with the BBQ going for breakfast and lunch so feel free to come over anytime from 10am - 4pm in your pride and joy to spend a few hours with like minded car enthusiasts and we will have our showrooms open playing some of the best HiFi out there, it really doesn’t matter what car you have, if you love driving then please feel free to come over. In Conjunction with Radical Cars and UPE Motorsport I am sure most of you are aware that in a moment of madness I decided to sign up with Radical Cars earlier in the year to enter their SR1 Cup championship, if you haven’t heard about this then my progress can be followed from our motorsports page below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/index.php?route=information/motorsports I have to say it has been a daunting, scary and equally exciting and exhilarating ride so far so I am really pleased that Dom from Radical Cars will be bringing something special along for the day and also Darren from UPE Motorsport will be bringing my race car along and both will be on hand to answer any questions and to explain how going racing with Radical Cars and UPE is a very easy process, be great to have some of you guys joining me on the grid https://www.radicalsportscars.com/ http://www.upemotorsport.com/ Simulator Setup, Beat my time for Hospitality at our Silverstone Round! So this is a bit of fun bit where ‘The Need For Speed’ part comes in, basically I will be bringing in my sim setup that I have been using to get as much practice as possible for the real thing and I have to say now that I can compare the 2 this does get really close, well other than not preparing you at all for the fear of cornering at high speed, but it has been a great help, I will set a time on Project Cars 2 in a Radical SR3 around the Silverstone National circuit as a benchmark and whoever sets the fastest time will win a HFL Racing fleece and the top 5 times we will give full hospitality with Radical for our Silverstone meeting on 23rd June and I have to say the food these guys put on is exceptionally good + you can spend all day in the paddock seeing how a race weekend all works. RSVP So basically this year is just an excuse to take your car out for a spin, get some free grub, talk to fellow Petrolheads, have a go on a sim and listen to some great hifi, if you do fancy coming along could you please just fire a mail over to my e-mail address so we know how many to cater for, thanks - [email protected] Hope to see you on May 26th between 10am - 4pm, now we just need to pray for some sunshine. For those you haven’t been here before please find our address below - HiFi Lounge 4 The Granary Buildings Millow Hall Farm Millow Bedfordshire SG18 8RH Tel - 01767 448121 Cheers, Paul. Here are a couple of pictures from last years event, thanks to Bibs for them - Here are a couple of pictures of some of our showrooms where you can relax and enjoy some tunes -
  24. 1 point
    Snetterton Testing Report, Starting to get to grips with the car! Hi Everyone, Just thought I would post a quick blog as went out testing yesterday at Snetterton in the Radical in preparation for our next race weekend there on May 12th, we only run the 200 configuration where for the race weekend we will be running the longer 300 version but I just felt I needed more time in the car to try and help understand this downforce thing. In end I got nearly 3 hours of running and doesn’t my body know it today, my arms are really aching as Snetterton is a very fast and physically demanding circuit, towards the end of the day I started making mistakes as that much time in the car really does drain you mentally when you are not used to it. In the end it was a brilliant day and I learned so much and am now starting to feel at home in the car, after our first race weekend at Oulton Park a few weeks ago I felt that I should have done better really even though it was my first run in the car I knew I had more to give but Oulton is a pretty scary place and my hope was that Snetterton was flat and wide so that would give me more confidence. To help push me on I had Tom Gladdis who has had a pretty esteemed racing career as my driver coach, he was just brilliant as he didn’t pressure me but just gave excellent advice which I did my best to follow, basically he went out and set a benchmark lap of 1min 17 and then I did my best lap of 1min 23 after my first session then looking at the data we could compare where I was loosing the time, basically as at Oulton it was all on the brakes and in the fast corners, technically my driving style was good it was just I needed to be braver and trust the aero but as the day went on I chipped away with Tom’s help and got down to a 1min 20 which I was really happy with, I think if I had strung every sector together I could have done a 1min 19 but by the end of the day I was frazzled The car went straight from Snetterton to the graphics shop to get it all HiFi Lounge’d up, can’t wait to see it once done. Anyway here is my best lap of the day, roll on the race weekend Cheers, Paul.
  25. 1 point
    So just got back from a day at Brands Hatch and I am pleased to say that I passed my ARDS Test. Not sure that quite makes me a racing driver yet but it is definitely a step in the right direction and I can now look forward to a year racing in the Radical SR1 Cup around the UK. In the end I was surprised how relaxed I was, I was expecting to be riddled with nerves but they never materialised, I think listening to Bruce Springsteen live at New York on the way must have helped In the written exam there were a couple of questions that were designed to catch you out but I got a 100% pass here then it was on to the driving exam, this was in a turbo Peugeot that was a lot softer sprung than I am used to but was still fast and I got commended on my speed, consistency and awareness, especially as I had never driven Brands before and passed with flying colours. I have to say that driving Paddock Hill Bend at speed is awesome, so much steeper than you realise, can’t wait to try that in the Radical, could be quite scary. So all in all an excellent day, the next steps are for me to head over to UPE Motorsports tomorrow for my first time to sit in the car so we can adjust the seat, peddles and belts etc and get me as comfortable in the car as possible before my first days testing at Snetterton on Tuesday, there could be a major fly in the ointment here though with the impending snow that is due to hit so we’ll have to see how that pans out. Anyway really pleased that the ARDS test is out the way, such a small stamp below should hopefully unlock a year of fun Cheers, Paul.
  26. 1 point
    We Must Be Crazy :) Hi All, So this is probably the craziest thing I have ever decided to do but we has just bought a race car and HiFi Lounge are going Motor Racing We are entering a 12 round championship with races around the UK and I would love as many of our customer’s as possible to become involved by coming along to the races, other than being a hifi dealer I have always joked that being a racing driver would be my dream job so this is an attempt to merge my 2 passions together, I have spent my whole life watching far too much motorsport so I am hoping some of it may have sunk in So when we say race car, what have we actually bought? Well there is no point mucking about so we have jumped in at the deep end with the slightly scary Radical SR1, for those who don’t know Radical Cars they are a local company based up the road at Peterborough and make pretty much everything in house and offer a range of pretty epic cars and for many people Radical offer are their first steps into motorsport, especially with the SR1 as they make the whole daunting process of going racing reasonably straight forward, you can read more about the car below - https://www.radicalsportscars.com/our-cars/sr1 The Best Of British HiFi The idea is to run a ‘Best Of British HiFi’ Car, we have a few sponsors lined up but as soon as everything is confirmed we will make an announcement regarding who is crazy enough to back us. What started as an idea for a bit of fun has turned into a serious project now, basically I needed a race medical which luckily I passed this week, I have had to get all the racing kit, you know it is serious when you have to buy a Hans device I have then got my racing licence test at Brands Hatch at the end of February, we have had to employ a race team to run the car, we have gone with the guys at UPE Motorsport so look forward to a fun year with these guys, please see a link to their Facebook page below and my my first test in the car is at Snetterton in a few days with another shortly after at Rockingham then Oulton Park, the Car is being built now then we can have the fun part of designing the livery. https://www.facebook.com/UPEMotorsport/ Keep Up To Date On How The Season Is Going! We have a Motorsport page now on HFL’s homepage where all this years goings on will be posted with live feeds from the track so please keep an eye on this if you are a fellow petrolhead and also we will posting regularly on our social media feeds so if you don’t already follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram please follow the links below HFL Motorsport Page - http://hifilounge.co.uk/index.php?route=information/motorsports Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HiFiLoungeUK/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/hifilounge Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hifi_lounge/ We will also be holding a motorsport themed ‘Boys Toys’ open day shortly where we will be running a driving based competition where the winners will get full hospitality at one of the race meetings so please watch this space. Please Support Us At The Track! The races are on Saturday’s so it means HFL will be closing on 6 Saturday’s this year but as many of our customers are petrolheads I am hoping that a lot of you will come along to support our efforts and believe me I will need as much support as I can get as this is the fist time I have driven a car with real downforce which is a scary thought. So please see the race calendar below and please put any of the races in your calendar that you think you can make it along to, if you can’t get to the track then the races are also broadcast live on you tube although you probably won’t see much of me as I expect to be trailing round at the back until I’ve got some experience in the car So this is really just a headsup to the madness ahead for 2018 but please keep your eye out on the website on the Motorsport page for all the latest news, just hope I can get to the end of the year unscathed and with my dignity intact Definitely looking forward to a fun year though with lots to learn Please see a few photo’s below from the recent AutoSport show where I signed on the dotted line, I must say it seemed like a good idea at the time but as the first race gets closer I am already starting to feel the nerves. Cheers, Paul.
  27. 1 point
    Hi All, There is certainly no rest at HFL, as soon as we finished the new showrooms it is time to give our old showrooms a bit of a makeover, starting with our trusty old upstairs demo room that has done us proud for the last 5 years and many of you will know well. As we have 5 demo rooms now we thought it would be a good idea to give the upstairs room a bit more of a cinema feel as this is where we have our Atmos 5.4.1 setup with all our Arcam receivers, processor and Sony Projectors, basically we needed to darken the wall down a few shades to help with the contrast for projecting + we took the opportunity to add some soundtrack Vinyl to our Vinyl wall and also add a movie poster form one of my favourite films of all time. So what with our Arcam Cinema open day coming up this Saturday I would say we are all set to make the most of the best Hollywood has got to offer. Here are a few pics - Dismantling The Room Is Never Fun! Andy from AW Decorations Doing A Great Job Some Great Soundtracks Here! Room Re-Assembled and Looking Great! Time to test the Projector Planet Earth II Really is a Reference 4K Disk The Darker Walls Certainly Seem to Help With the Black Levels Cheers, Paul.
  28. 1 point
    Hi All, Both Wendy and myself just wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone that came along on Saturday to our 5th Birthday Anniversary bash and really made it a day to remember, it was an amazing turnout and had a really party feel with everyone just getting stuck in playing their favourite tunes. What blows me away is that 5 years ago we were starting on our HiFi Lounge journey not knowing what the future held but during that time we have met so many great people, many of them good friends now, so it was really nice to see everyone together enjoying themselves. We both really want to send a huge thanks to Peter Thomas for running one of our rooms all day, most definitely the star of the day playing a brilliant mix of music that all sounded amazing, his presentation at 1pm though did throw up one problem, even with the new much larger showrooms we just couldn’t fit everyone in, but it was such a rare opportunity to hear songs we all know and love in different ways with cuts straight from the mixing desks to the released version, it was such a great insight how the version we have at home can sometimes be so different to the original take, in many cases much worse, for me hearing the Freddie Mercury recording with just his vocal track was amazing, so thanks again Peter :-) Thanks also to Chris and Dawn for bringing along the vinyl for sale, as popular as ever, I thought I was going to survive without buying any records but resistance is futile and in the end I had to get my wallet out. Finally a big thanks to PMC for our awesome lemon Cake that tasted amazing and looked really cool also, classic PMC humour :-) and thanks to Rita for quite possibly the best Carrot Cake in the world which really did get demolished in a matter of minutes and a big thanks to our support team of Ross, Ady, Damo, Kyri who helped run the rooms and make the day run smoothly also a big thanks to Lesley for helping Wendy. So thanks again everyone, we really do appreciate everyones support, here’s to the next 5 years :-) Please find a few snapshots from the day below - Cake Fest! Demolished! Meet Jtan, Our awesome secret Weapon Web Designer, watch this space. I think we need bigger Rooms! Peter Thomas, The Star of the show! A Big thanks to everyone who helped out! Cheers, Paul & Wendy.
  29. 1 point
    Took our pad and pencil along yesterday to the Supercar meet at Beaulieu and did a few sketches Cheers, Paul.
  30. 1 point
    Hi All, Well we are now in Utah for our Wilson Audio training, got in last night after an 11 hour flight which was a great opportunity to listen to loads of music, I have to say that anyone who hasn’t listened to Lorde’s new album yet, give it a try as it really is very good, especially track 8, also Royal Blood’s new album comes highly recommended. So anyway once landed we made it to the Hotel which is a bit special I have to say, my bedroom is bigger than my living room, everything is bigger in America I guess :-) So 2 things I have learned since being in Utah, firstly it is a Mormon State so until recently it was difficult to get a drink, even now in some places it can only be served with food, luckily in our hotel this isn’t a problem and also more interestingly men are permitted to have up to 6 wives, not sure if that is a good idea or just too much like hard work to be honest, interesting idea though. So today was an opportunity to look round Salt Lake City before our 3 days of training commence tomorrow, firstly it was 100 Degrees today so pretty toasty which makes sight seeing a challenge but it did seem that this area is split into 2 very distinct parts, one part was super clean, with everything looking immaculate, almost like from a movie set, here there are stunning churches and the awesome Capital building then on the flip side we took a tram into what we thought was the town centre but there seemed to be a lot of poverty here, much like any big City I guess, but most of it is very well kept and has a very open and relaxed feel as the population is quite low so the streets are very quiet. Anyway below are a few pictures before the fun part starts tomorrow, some really beautiful architecture out here but I really can’t wait to hear the bigger Wilson’s :-) Hopefully I will get time to update this over the next few days but our timetable does look pretty full on, don’t worry I don’t expect any sympathy :-) Surrounded By Mountains. Inside the Capitol Building! Plus there are very straight roads out here, rubbish for Lotus Cars, we need corners :-) But the Nacho’s are great :-) Cheers, Paul.
  31. 1 point
    After around 3 years of looking I took delivery this week of an S3 Esprit :-) I'm really hoping it is a good one, it does appear to be but I am no expert, bought it from UK Sports cars, it has been totally restored and in honesty it is as if it has been transported back from 1985 as it is almost like new but it has done 74,000 miles and has had 12 owners, so I am lucky No 13. I must admit I was taken by it's condition and decided that if there are mechanical gremlins then everything is fixable, time will tell I guess but at the moment I am very happy :-) I had the wheels diamond cut and painted before delivery but will look to add a set of Comps in the not too distant future. Just hope it drives as good as it looks :-) Cheers, Paul.
  32. 1 point
    I have now removed the engine and gearbox, this is with the intention of changing the cam belt, water pump and all rubber pipework with silicone hoses. Not only this but the gearbox whine needs to be looked at. I've come to the conclusion that a reconditioned gearbox is the best course of action, albeit an expensive one. No real problems here apart from the fact that my crane was only just high enough to get the engine and gearbox over the tail at the back of the car. Even with the load leveler, I had to lower the car on its jacks in order to get it over and then lift it manually as well. A few scratches and loads of expletives later I managed to haul it out….yay. Not too worried about the scratches for now as I am going for a respray anyway. However I think I will either hire an ‘A’ Frame to put it back in or separate the engine and gearbox and put them in individually, haven't decided which yet!
  33. 1 point
    Hi All, Another big week for the new showrooms as the partition walls went up to make the rooms a little smaller, over the next month it should really all come together quite nicely as next week we finally knock through from HiFi Lounge right through to Highend Headphones and have all the doors installed. Also next week the electricians are coming in to install unswitched power sockets with 10mm cabling on it’s own circuit + ethernet points, the following week both units will be decorated from top to bottom then finally the carpets are going down mid March and hopefully then the Sofa’s arrive and we can then start filling the rooms with kit :-) The most nerve racking part of this whole process is what are the rooms going to sound like when complete as at the moment obviously everything is very echoey and with the glass along one side I feel it may be a little challenging so I am expecting that some acoustic treatment will be required as in reality it really doesn’t matter what the rooms look like as it is all about the sound quality and this is something we can’t test until the rooms are completed unfortunately so fingers crossed :-) Anyway please find below a few more pics of the partition walls going up in each room, these have been filled with acoustic insulation so they really are very ‘dead’ when knocked which is obviously very important. Regards, Paul.
  34. 1 point
    Hi All, In preparation for the launch of our new showrooms we have bought on 4 new brands so that we have something to put in them :-) Firstly we are really pleased to add Wilson Audio Speakers to our portfolio, I guess this is what you call Highend as their speakers start at £18,498, hardly entry level, and go up to the £100′s of thousands for the newly announced epic WAMM. To be honest I have read about Wilson Speakers for years now and how many respected reviewers consider them to be amongst a select few who really do make the best speakers in the world but in all honesty I never thought we would offer them at HFL but we are now 5 years in here and it is time to re-invest and I couldn’t think of a better speaker that I would like to offer our customers. Wilson Audio were established in 1973 by David Wilson and are run from Utah, USA where all their speakers are designed and built. They are known for building highly rigid speaker cabinets. They construct their loudspeaker enclosures from non-wood materials such as phenolic resin composites and epoxy laminates. The cabinets are then painted using a high-gloss automotive process in a variety of colours. They offer a natural, delicate and open sound that get’s as true to the recording as possible, this is helped with Wilson’s use of time alignment of the drivers which plays an important part of their design and look offering something quite unique. Now the new showrooms should launch in April all being well and I wasn’t planning to un-box any of the new demo stock until the rooms are ready but I just couldn’t wait till then to start listening to the Wilson’s so yesterday I un-packed the Sabrina’s, we also have a pair of demo Yvette’s but they come packed in wooden grates so they will probably have to wait until we have a proper demo room downstairs in April as it will be impossible to get them up the stairs to our current demo room as they weigh a tonne. Anyway it has been a while since we have done an un-boxing so this seemed like the perfect opportunity, they are a stunning looking speaker, they may look small but they are incredibly heavy and solid, it took longer than expected to un-pack them as the speaker comes wrapped in a protective film which took a while to remove and I have got demo’s all day today so am not going to get a chance to listen, they do look gorgeous though, roll on the weekend :-) There really is nothing like Wilson Audio for both looks and sound quality so if you would like to experience these amazing speakers for yourself please come in HFL for an audition or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch, you can see the full range below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/wilson-audio Anyway, On with the Un-Boxing :-) Cheers, Paul.
  35. 1 point
    Hi All, I think I said last year it is always a strange one writing about an award you have just won but I just wanted to thank PMC Speakers for the third year running awarding HiFi Lounge ‘Best Retail Experience’, lets hope we can keep it up once the new demo rooms are open :-) Obviously it goes without saying that PMC make some of the best speakers in the world ;-) You can see their range below and if you would like to come in for a listen anytime please feel free to get in touch, we also offer very competitive trade in prices and now can also offer 0% finance over 12 months. http://hifilounge.co.uk/pmc-speakers Now the work begins to try and win it for a 4th year :-) Have a Great New Year, Cheers, Paul.
  36. 1 point
    Hi All, Well it’s that time of year again where it is fun to look back at what 2016 ended up throwing at us but firstly both Wendy and myself would like to thank everyone again for your tremendous support throughout 2016 it really is much appreciated as this year has proved another year of growth for HiFi Lounge and Highend Headphones and we are more than aware that without our brilliant customer’s we wouldn’t be having this much fun :-) A look back at 2016! Just reading back the first paragraph, I said it is ‘fun’ to look back but perhaps ‘fun’ really wasn’t the right word as for music lovers 2016 will be remembered forever as the year where we lost some of our most loved and influential artists, for me the loss of David Bowie followed so quickly by Prince at the start of the year was a real body blow as along with Bruce Springsteen and Elvis I have now lost 3 of my favourite 4 artists, but if that wasn’t bad enough there was also the loss of Glenn Frey, George Martin, Scotty Moore, Pete Burns & Leonard Cohen to mention just a few, a very sad year indeed. A Great Year For HiFi As for HiFi though, it was a bit of a strange year as many of our brands brought out a lot of new and excellent products but nearly everything was a revision on what had gone before, Devialet brought us their new Expert Pro range and the Amazing Gold Phantom, Rega gave us the new Planar 1, 2 & 3 turntables, how after all these years they keep making their decks better is beyond me, Bryston gave us their new ‘Cubed’ amps which were quite literally stunning, again I thought the SST2 amps were a tough act to follow but Bryston made the jump so big that many people ended upgrading to the new Cubed design, then PMC graced us with their new Twenty5 Series of speakers, again I thought it was impossible to improve on the original Twenty Range but with the help of the new laminair technology and new drivers the upgrade was considerable giving a really effortless speaker that really did disappear, then just last week OPPO finally released their much awaited UDP-203 4K player, these really have been flying off the shelf and finally Naim announced the new Uniti Range which will be un-leashed early in 2017, I had a preview recently and they really are a beautifully designed piece of HiFi, I am expecting big things from Naim here. So as you can see there really was a lot of refinement going on here, for me the 2 products that really stood out as bringing something new to the market for 2016 was Musical Fidelity’s Encore range, giving a powerful one box design with the Encore 225 that will rip, store an play CD’s but also has analogue and digital inputs + a powerful 225 WPC amplifier to be a true one box solution and also the Focal Elear and Utopia Headphones really got the phone ringing, I can honestly say I never seen so much excitement over new products in the headphone community and I have to say a special mention to the Utopia, with its Beryllium dome drivers it really did bring something new to the Headphone market and for me is the first headphone to challenge the mighty Stax SR-009, they really are that good, So all in all it was another excellent year for HiFi. BRUUUUUCE! On a personal note, I had a brilliant year chasing Bruce Springsteen around the world seeing him 10 times this year, now going over 80 Bruce gigs since 1985, I’m not sure if it was spurred on by the passing of both Bowie and Prince but I have always wanted to see Bruce in his hometown of New Jersey so this year I just thought sod it and had a trip of a lifetime to see 3 Bruce gigs at the Meadowlands New Jersey which are already going down in history as 3 of Bruce’s best show of all time, night 3 was just beyond all expectations, we even got to meet Little Steven backstage :-) The other notable Bruce gig this year was Rome in an old chariot racing stadium, what an atmosphere, possibly the best concert I have ever seen. Best album of 2016 I wouldn’t say this has been the best year ever for music but for me there are 2 albums that stand head and shoulders over everything else, David Bowies final album ‘Blackstar’ and Nick Caves ‘Skeleton Tree’, both albums tinged with an air of sadness, obviously with Bowies passing and the loss of Nick Caves son in such tragic circumstances, you can almost hear Nick Cave crying on the album, I have never heard such anguish with heartfelt and harrowing singing put into an album before, it really can be quite tough going but really is quite absorbing. Which is the best album? It really is impossible to say to be honest, to think that Bowie put out such an amazing album as a final farewell is quite incredible, it was almost as if he saved some of his best material over the years for his final album, amazing stuff so I think this year will be a draw between David Bowie and Nick Cave for me and if you haven’t listened to either of these albums I really would strongly recommend it. Looking ahead to 2017 I am sure there will be some amazing new HiFi to sing lyrically about throughout the year but 2017 looks set to be a big one for HiFi Lounge as we are expanding, basically we have taken on 2 more barns which are in-between HiFi Lounge and Highend Headphones so the builders will be in early next year to knock through to make it all one big HiFi Toy Shop which I am really excited about, the idea is that we will have a dedicated Naim room and a Highend Room, we also have some exciting new brands coming early next year such as Wilson Audio, Audio Research, DCS and Quadraspire, please see a couple of pics below as the rooms are now. There is an amazing amount of work to be done yet but if all goes to plan the launch event will be April 1st, yes that is no Joke, and the idea is that Naim will be bringing along their Statement to partner up with a pair of PMC MB2 XBD’s so please pencil that date into your diary but keep an eye on the website for confirmation. Well I guess I should wrap it all up really as I could talk forever but really again I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last 4 years really as we are now in our 5th year, where did that time go and Both Wendy and Myself would like to wish everyone a great Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Look forward to seeing you during 2017 :-) Regards, Paul and Wendy.
  37. 1 point
    Progress report.... Interior trim has come back from the upholsterers and looks fantastic, decided to go for black carpets as all the dirt showed on the old cream ones. And a black binnacle, hated being blinded by the sun on journeys, and considering that most of the journeys I will do in this will be when the sun is shining I thought it a prudent decision. Engine has been stripped of all ancillaries and has been cleaned and painted silver using high temp paint, looks the dogs cahooners at present, along with all the ancillaries which have either been painted, replaced or repaired and are also slowly being put back on. I've also completely rebuilt the carbs and put in new seals, fixings and internal float chamber valve, after cleaning in the sonic carb cleaner tank. This is the second time I've done this in a few years so it was fairly fresh in my memory! I did find an issue with the throttle arm, it wouldn't go all the way down because it was interfering with the body of the carb, so grinded a little off the arm and now goes all the way down. The stop screw is still there to make sure that this is still adjustable, it's just not relying on the inaccurate body of the carb to stop over throttling. An issue I had with the new alternator I'm trying to replace, the pulley wheel wouldn't come off initially, but a bit of head scratching and a pair of sensitively placed mull grips soon released the little beggar. This I then tried to put on the new alternator I'd purchased, only to find that the shaft was a different size, I'll have to get a collar machined up to try and rectify this error. All pipework has also been checked and replaced or repainted with high temp heat paint and now looks great, can't wait to assemble all onto the car. My misses wasn't happy about using the Aga to cure all the high temp heat paint on the parts, made the house smell bad, and getting the engine into that small oven was a squeeze Got a load of silicone pipes through the post so will start cutting these to the correct lengths soon, along with the angled pieces, although I've seen a slight problem on the horizon, there is a "s" shaped piece coming directly out of the engine and I'm pretty sure with the bends that I have I won't be able to replicate this, so will need to get this made up especially....more additional expense, wallet is feeling the pinch Transmission is my next big task, bought a new uprated circlip from our friend overseas and hopefully this will sort out the whining problem I was getting. Finances are quite tight at present, so wanted to trial this fix first before committing to a refurbished transaxle. Anyone have any experience in doing this, if so a few pointers would be very helpful? Found a paint guy who is recommended, has painted fibreglass, and is reasonably priced so once the engine is back in, and the dash too I'll get it trailored over to him.... Definitely can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  38. 1 point
    I turn around for one moment and this happens....... He was making himself a little home...little b*gger
  39. 1 point
    So the moment I was dreading, as I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about removing the interior trim. Yes there were a few grazes, cuts and bruised knuckles, but generally it was ok. Removing the dash was a little bit of a head scratcher but eventually found the screws underneath and removed them with relative ease. Some of the screws were welded with rust, and they were a bit of a b*gger, but I'll replace these with stainless steel screws when I put it all back in so that the next person won't have as much of an issue. Took the headliner out and found that the foam had disintegrated to dust, which then collected in my airways and eyes. After the temporary blindness and coughing had abated, I then started on the aftermarket sunroof which had some screws on the outside and some on the inside, all of which were rusted and quite painful to remove. Tunnel and back panel, seats and door cards were relatively simple, needing no more than a screw driver and a bit of patience. Holy moly what a mess the car looks when everything is out... God help me what have I done Sent the interior of to get re-leathered at a place in Birmingham, I went up there to see them and they were doing a nice job on the seats so thought I would give them the rest of the interior too, decided on a light cream interior as per the original, but black carpets and binnacle. Couldn't stand the reflection of the binnacle on the windscreen whilst driving in sunny weather. Decided to sort out the visors and headliner myself, but I'll make a separate blog for this...
  40. 1 point
    Here you will find my Blog: Lotus Esprit Turbo 1990
  41. 1 point
    Series of pics from primed and masked to final lacquer coat on. At last Re-blacking the interior lid section with matt black per original And underlay on the insides here Gradual build up of the base coat Lacquer coats commence: Oops, bit of short term memory loss while refilling the gun means a bit of extra flatting required... So now on to body trim parts, followed by the suspensions bushes and interior work, not to mention the engine seals, aircon, electrics It feels like a small light at the end of a very long tunnel, but at least we're now in the bloody tunnel
  42. 1 point
    [img]http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=blogentry&attach_id=25971[/img] The seasons have changed for the better and Spring is in the air with dry roads and glorious sunshine. What better day to give "Mario" his first outing this year. It was up early and on the road for a 180 mile round-trip to the cars and coffee get together in Portland. Every Saturday exotics/rare cars from around the area meet for an informal get together at a local coffee shop, it's become a regular fixture around the USA. [img]http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=blogentry&attach_id=25969[/img] This was the first time I had done any distance on the new original shocks and boy does the car ride nicely. Tyres were set to 25 front and 33 rear, the result was a smooth ride and nice light steering. It also seemed to remove the last of the vibration I had all but eliminated last year. I'd also replaced the rear radius arm mounts as they were on their last legs. The left rear drive-shaft was checked for any defects as the right one had failed late in 2013. [img]http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=blogentry&attach_id=25970[/img] The Seafoam fuel additive I put in the tanks at the end of Autumn worked a treat staibilising the 10% Ethanol blended gas and there was no hesitation or rough running during the trip. All the work done over the winter was fruitful and 136S ran effortlessly. A brief stop at the Ferrari/Maserati dealer on the way home finished off the trip nicely. [img]http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=blogentry&attach_id=25967[/img] [img]http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=blogentry&attach_id=25968[/img]
  43. 1 point
    Finally some more interior progress has been done. Just got the door cards back from the upholsterer.. I am very happy with the turn out :) [img]http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u267/vintaylor/WP_20130908_064_zps6f7955ee.jpg[/img] [img]http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u267/vintaylor/WP_20130908_061_zpsad8db4af.jpg[/img] [img]http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u267/vintaylor/WP_20130908_060_zps9d4406ab.jpg[/img] All original double stitching has been re-created [img]http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u267/vintaylor/WP_20130908_066_zpsd713748a.jpg[/img]
  44. 1 point
    I used my new DeVillbis Teckna spray gun for the first time. It sprays very nicely as you can see from the pictures. This is a big step forward for me. I've had this project for three yrs. Now I can start assembly right after sanding and polishing.


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