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islandbloke

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Everything posted by islandbloke

  1. Same boat guys - probably the third or fourth time I've needed a new exhaust manifold since Lottie was new in 1990. What's the latest 'best advice' on this job. These lumps of iron DO see horribly expensive for what thay are, so a tubular option could be worthwhile. Have spoken to PUK, PNM and Alunox after reading these threads. PUK are out of the tubular systems but can do an 'improved' cast one for 1299 euros, plus gaskets, VAT and delivery, Alunox have quoted £1300 for a tubular system with brace kit - but haven't replied to my email about whether VAT is also included, and PNM are probably closed for the Diamond Jubilee, though Pete said last week he had an 'improved' cast supplier and would check on availability. Any thoughts from TLF members more than welcome.
  2. Just stumbled across this thread - has everyone seen that the Feds have closed down Gibson Guitars in Nashville over claims they're importing specialist woods in contravention of international treaties? I'm a Gibson guy but am only a 'fun' player rather than a proper guitarist. Around 1990 I bought a new Gibson MIII, which is now pretty rare...it was their attempt at doing a Strat but is switchable to also sound like a Les Paul...tremendous instrument. A couple of years before that I bought a Gibson Victory Bass (the price was right and I had some spare cash) which sat in its case for 20+ years until I realised 4 strings might be easier to play than 6 (and no chords!). I play that now in a local blues/rock covers band here in the Isle of Man and I also have a nice jumbo Epiphone acoustic. PS: Check out local (now international) guitar hero Davy Knowles who stood in at this gig (all 3 parts on YouTube).
  3. Manx branch here: As mentioned, we get lots of exotica and the blokes at the ferry are usually pretty switched on, but explain your concerns when you check in and they'll at least be looking out for you. Enjoy your trip and our many derestricted roads...early mornings are best for hooning but take care as tractors and sheep (no really) can crop up unexpectedly...
  4. I can imagine that being parachuted into an ailing company with the brief to 'make itr work' the last thing you want is everyone - from your board members to the man sweeping the factory - to tell you that 'we don't do it that way here'. I'm sad that it's happened (I met some of the top people when I made my documentary programme at Hethel) but think t was probably inevitable that the new broom would sweep clean.
  5. Getting confused with the V8 maybe?
  6. Toby - how do you find the wrap? Are you happy withy the result, or wish you'd had a respray?
  7. Lottie's second coat of Calypso Red is fading - the original paint lasted around six years before going dull and bleaching out, the second has lasted a similar time and is getting a bit pink...I know it's probably because she's always been parked outside. At some point in the future (when funds permit) I'll need to have this sorted. I'm considering three options and would welcome your thoughts: 1. Respray again in red and use an outdoors cover more often! 2. Respray in Norfolk Mustard (I really like yellow!) 3. Go for a vinyl wrap (midlife crisis, I'm tempted by carbon or chrome) - should last 4 years but only costs around £1200 a time. Whaddya fink, chums?
  8. Gordon, did you find the fault - I took Lottie for a hoon a couple of weeks ago (she runs a hot chip allowing 1.25bar boost) and after a few seconds of full power the boost guage fell back to around .6bar, which panicked me, although she drove fine and all the other guages were in the green. So I tried full power again and got the same result. Plan to do a Freescan log but haven't had the time...
  9. Bought Lottie new in 1990, did over 18k miles a year until 1997 and she badly needed 'refreshing' at 130k miles. Was skint so I laid her up in a lock-up for 5 years, then was convinced to sell her as a project in 2002. Missed her so much I bought her back in 2006, generally refreshed and only having covered a couple of thousand miles whilst away. Paint was very faded in 2002, looked good in 2006 after a respray, but it seems not to have been a very good job. Am considering a vinyl wrap since she lives outdoors...
  10. Artie - my Lottie's engine was rebuilt and improved to Garry Kemp spec by her interim owner Gavin - who did the spannering and Garry provided the expertise. She allegedly makes 370-390bhp, and certainly feels like it although I'm not tempted to dyno her to prove anything. Gavin fitted a sheet copper head gasket which didn't last long - she's now running a 'standard' Goetze gasket reamed slightly to clear the ARP studs.
  11. This is one of my favourite philosophical thoughts: It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who knows great enthusiasm, great devotion and the triumph of achievement. And who, at the worst, if he fails at least fails whilst daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those odd and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
  12. Watching it on Sky HD - but it's a bit TOO HD if that's possible. Feels like they needed to use a lens filter to soften it up a bit. And whilst I enjoy Steve Buscemi, I think he's a bit too 'nice' for the Nucky role. Also watching The Sopranos from S1 Ep1 - the great thing about a crap memory is that it's like watching it for the first time!!
  13. I realised as I saw Gavin take Lottie away to the ferry on the back of a trailer in 2002 that I'd made a huge mistake, but managed to say to him that after he'd done all the restoration work he was planning, if he ever decided to sell her to call me first. Luckily he remembered and when the call came in 2006 I was able to find the extra money (he'd spent a fortune and hundreds of hours) and bought her back. Since buying a Benz daily driver (heated seats, yummy) I've not used her as much as I should over the winter - partly because her heater has got a bit insipid despite having a new header tank made - and at one point I was thinking over Xmas that maybe an Elise would be more fun and suitable for the roads over here. But I took her out last weekend for a bit of a blart and fell in love all over again.
  14. I wondered about that last May - I'd had drives in a couple of Scoobies and Evos and preferred the latter. But the need for a luxury alternative to Lottie won out and I bought a black Merc (AMG) CL55 with Kahn wheels and rubber band tyres and (allegedly) look like a drug dealing rap star. Balls to that - it's sumptuous and has heated seats...
  15. I think it's wrong to prejudge based on snippets from the media. Whilst Bahar Humbug has a certain ring to it, I'll pull up a chair and wait to see how he does over the next couple of years before I damn him prematurely. Whilst I'm a hands-on sort of bloke, I also appreciate that some people don't need dirty fingernails to do the same job - as mentioned earlier, being able to delegate and build a strong and focused team is a more important management skill than knowing how to glue a chassis together. Bahar comes across (maybe clever PR by Alastair Florance) as a man with a vision, impeccable contacts and the drive to sell that vision to all concerned. So for now, I wish him well. The business environment even in good times is remarkably fluid and being able to keep the plates spinning won't be helped by us highlighting every broken promise or volte face. We want Lotus to emerge strong and successful, and it's going to take big balls and an amount of risk-taking to do that.
  16. Seems there are a few people interested in this - which is great! Have a chat amongst yourselves and let me know when you'd like to do it and I'll gladly get some options together. Stu
  17. Tee hee - and that's where the fun starts! I'm more than happy to co-ordinate and sort hotel/ferry, but (the difficult bit) need to know when and how many. The ferry will probably be either daytime from Liverpool or early afternoon/early hours from Heysham (near Morecambe). Or you can all fly in and hire Lottie at £1000 a lap! How about an 0215 Friday sailing from Heysham (we'll book some cabins), a night in a hotel (Sat) and return ferry on Sunday afternoon kinda thing (saves time off work)? Big events to avoid here are TT (last week May/first of June) and the Manx Grand Prix (August). I've got a full list of annual events at work which I'll bring home tomorrow so we can avoid clashing with things like the Commonwealth Youth Games (no interest in sport so I don't even know when that is). You'll love it. That 'national speed limit sign' they mention in the 458 article actually means 'no speed limit' here, although only the brave (or daft) will see 3 digits unless it's a dawn run...
  18. I must admit, the 458 is a car I'd love to own - I'm only £160k off a base model! Reminds me that we've never had a LEF outing here - the M100, Seven and Elise boys have all enjoyed their trips though....so how about a dozen Esprits to add to the couple here already for a few days?? Italians Invade Crown Dependency
  19. My PC died a couple of days ago and I got my tech friend to fix it. I'd diagnosed overheating so had pulled it apart and sure enough (I'm a smoker) everything was covered in nicotine and dust. Took the CPU out to clean the fan and bent 100 pins trying to put it back - tip to other non-nerds: you need to twist the CPU off the heatsink and fan first... Anyhoo, it turned out to be the PSU, so armed with one of those and a new CPU (good excuse for an upgrade) I'm back in business. All a bit of a backstory to my pal also dropping off a copy of the new Ubuntu OS. Now, I've been using a Windows PC every day since 1988 so have soaked up a bit of knowledge (not much) and Pete is an open source evangelist. He had such a moan at me a couple of years ago that I built a cheap box from components they were throwing out at work, as I didn't want to compromise my main home machine with extra partitions or virtualisation (remember I'm not a techie and the chance of computer apocalypse is only ever a keystroke away). Box actually works fine, although I couldn't successfully 'home network' it despite notes from Pete. It sits here unused. So when he gave me the U10 CD I told Pete it probably wouldn't be used either. I'm sure Linux is as brilliant as he says, but the closest analogy is that I understand a few words of French from school lesson, but learning Chinese at this stage of my life isn't going to happen, however much it might improve my computing experience and impoverish Bill Gates.
  20. My Lottie has been extensively modified by her 'interim' owner (chip, engine, exhaust etc) and also seems to run rich with a sooty exhaust so I don't know the answer, and you could spend forever chasing yourself round in circles. I'd take her to a good independent (PNM in Liverpool seem highly regarded although I've no personal experience of them). Good excuse for a blart over the Snake Pass to join the motorway network at Mottram...
  21. Interested in details/costs too - one of my dip reflectors is corroded due to 'blocked drain syndrome' so even better if it helps cure that.
  22. My eyes...I've gone blind! Must be true what they always said about too much wa....... No wait - Lucas found the focus ring. Only kidding fella. ECM's are cool as long as you don't get caught using them!
  23. After careful ( 5 seconds) deliberation I've voted to support Group Lotus (Renault), in that they're more likely to do some good for 'our' Lotus. Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoigne seem to be generally good blokes and I wish them well (and was cheering the green cars on this season). But being objective they're Air Malaysia GP (or whatever) running on 'cherished plates', whereas the new Lotus Renault feels more like a (albeit Proton owned) factory effort. Sure, Chapman ran 'Cars' and 'Team' as separate concerns but he himself was the common link... Bahar is taking Lotus Cars to a place I'll never be able to afford to visit, but thinking about all those guys at Hethel with mortgages to pay, I have to concede that his vision and ability to get things moving is breathtaking. And before we all jump to lynch anyone, it could be that this has all happened fairly quickly and he's HAD to act aggressively to protect his employer's assets and rights.
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