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Everything posted by Dan

  1. Freddie Mercury's old Rolls Royce Silver Shadow went for auction a few years back... I'm sure at the time it was reported that he'd never learnt to drive
  2. I'm regularly working on farms near Exeter airport when the Hunters are flying. What a glorious noise! There is a Hunter maintenance company based there that keeps a number of such machines airworthy, and if you look on Google Earth or such like you can peruse their 'stock', particularly what I assume are parts machinesthat get parked up periodically around the perimeter track:
  3. Guy - bit of a tangent but my local garage is run by Richard Miles, formerly of Downton engineering, so more than a bit of Mini knowledge but not what you'd call a conventional Mini specialist. They have my Esprit at the moment for a water pump replacement. Tipton Garage
  4. I'm guessing i'm not in such a bad place after all, then...?
  5. That's shocking.. and I let my subscription lapse some months (years?) ago. Now corrected
  6. Drove past today, petrol station and shop still open, dealership closed TBH I stopped taking my Esprit there when their "9xx engine specialist" set the carbs so rich it felt soggy... I re-set them with my simple tools to get better performance and no headache when parking up in the garage... I know I'm no spanner monkey but even I could see it was too rich, I've balanced the carbs enough times to know good from just OK. On the positive side, it was the first place that I managed to get into an Elise with the roof on whilst sober. The previous three times required the inherent fluidity
  7. Dan


    Cold out, was it sir?
  8. Go and stand in the corner and think carefully about what you've said... Prius = Pious
  9. Hello, my name's Dan and I'm here to get better... for some time now I've had an unhealthy fixation with British Leyland products, and have been regularly reading You know, perhaps the Maestro wasn't that bad after all, coming as it did as a spiritual successor to the Princess and Ambassador... Ahem. Back to the plot. A recent blog post from Chris Sawyer, recalling his time as Communications Director for Lotus Cars USA is enlightening... Copied&pasted from here.
  10. Granted they're not on your doorstep, Tony, but the team owned by Renault have been based in Oxfordshire for many years... weren't they Team Benetton before that? I visited the Renault F1 site in about 2005 on a jolly; nothing French about it bar the parent company signing the cheques and giving them engines. No onions, no bicycles, no charming Gallic toilets, no Gauloises, no contemptuous shrugs of the shoulders... Just lots of blokes called Fred and Jim bashing together cars in a glorified shed in an old quarry. I think an early Europa had as much in common with Renault as any cars coming
  11. And if one dinky mobile phone is enough to screw up an airliner's electronics, how come big chunks of airspace aren't closed every time there's thunder and lightning forecast?! Or am I displaying gross ignorance regarding volts, amps, watts and such like?
  12. I look forward to the backlash against Elfin Safety... the Darwinian approach: "If it only kills one idiot, it will have been worthwhile" gets my vote Imagine, no more coffee cups with "caution - contents may be hot", or bags of peanuts with "Warning: contains nuts", or cheese labelled prominently with "Contains milk" or all the rest of the myriad patronising signage and labelling that has sprung up in the last decade
  13. I'm one of those "what's all the fuss?" types because there's always been a Land Rover around. I've ticked the 'no' box to fitting winter tyres because I simply choose a more fitting vehicle. So perhaps I should have ticked the 'yes' box for that vehicle...? For instance on Saturday morning, I took one look at the snow and clear skies, and walked past the car and up to the shed and wound up a Land Rover. Chose the one permanently fitted with M&S tyres ("These are not ordinary tyres, these are..." erm, no, M&S as in mud & snow) and made my way at a steady pace, with plenty plent
  14. Jamie - I remember them well but don't have the Esprit one that you're looking for. I was a student at the time; we had the Times delivered to the halls of residence. I cut these out of the Saturday glossy magazine (IIRC) and stuck them to my wall. That would have been between Sept 1991 and June 1992. I also had this sales brochure on the wall: I'm pretty sure it had no bearing on subsequent purchases, though...
  15. Trevor - I went to the first event they organised, a couple of years ago, to mark the anniversary of Jim Clark's death. It was an excellent event, thoroughly enjoyable and informative. My write up about it is here. Unfortunately the last two events have coincided with 'must do' work events, so I have had to miss them. I've just had the email reminder today for this event and am considering it. Bit of diary juggling and a sticky caliper to sort out between now and then. I don't like to be the sort of Lotus person who turns up without a Lotus just because there's a bit of drizzle, or it's
  16. Dan


    Yeah, there's two bottlenecks on the downhill side of the square that can get a bit nasty, so always stay uphill of the action. The biggest mishap we've had with the tar barrels was the fire station burning down one year . Fortunately it was the old fire station and not the active one, but a shame to lose a nice old building.
  17. Spot on Mike. I've actually been trying left foot braking in my current auto, as Ian says it's hard to be proportionate at first. I've driven a large number of go karts and left foot braking is instinctive there. Similarly instinctive on my fork lift truck. My point isn't that I refuse to learn new techniques, but that the solution doesn't match the problem. I don't think it's that drivers fail to adapt to using their feet, it's this "ploughing through the bus queue" scenario where I think it's overall driver competence and not vehicle or driving style that is to blame. Hence I think he's t
  18. Honest John, who provides motoring advice in the Telegraph has an ongoing campaign to educate all drivers of cars with automatic gearboxes to brake with the left, accelerate with the right. His logic is that "all these accidents" suffered by drivers in automatic cars "losing control" would be averted. The typical scenario he is tackling appears to be a low-speed manoeuvre close to a potential collision hazard. His argument is that by left-foot braking, you can control the lunge associated with a prod of the accelerator. I can agree with this, although I feel that if you drive the car sympat
  19. Dan


    We'll probably go and watch the burning tar barrel races again: Originally, each pub in the town would sponsor a barrel, and the winners would be the first team to get their barrel from one side of the town to the other. There are no crowd barriers, the crowd just parts as if by magic as the runners pass by. There are no disclaimer forms to sign. Many people go simply because they know that one day it'll be closed down due to "health & safety", and want to show support for being allowed to take risks and make their own judgement as to what's safe and what's a thrill.
  20. Read the lips: "Hello" "Nah, i'm at the movies" "Nah, it's shit, not even in colour" You do when you're deaf in your right ear
  21. Dan

    Sexy Cities

    But surely everyone know's Austin's shagadelic...
  22. Dan

    Glider Pilots

    Lapsed for many years. Went solo at RAF Dishforth in 1992 IIRC, mostly winching with a few aerotows for the occasional treat. Ran the student club for Leeds Uni for a year. We had a K2 and I managed to secure funding and buy a K7 that Clevelands GC were looking to shift. Posh at the time! Flew in the T21 a few times, plus a Blanik, K13, and I have a feeling there was an Acro there too. Liked the K13 and K21 best. We weren't even allowed to push the Discus round the airfield, though. I think the club atmosphere can make or break the experience. Sadly, this means committee people have a great
  23. Oh, you mean this one? Have a look here. Took me ages to hunt it out but I knew I had it bookmarked somewhere
  24. When I was in IT, a birthday card went round the office as usual for one of the other techies... It was his 33rd birthday so I wrote on it: Congratulations - 0x21 again!
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