September 2003

I'm slowly getting ready for the 20th Colorado British Car conclave to be held the weekend of the 13th and 14th. Sounds like a lot of fun. Over 500 vehicles expected. Just for fun, I took another mountain ride to make sure all was running well for the Conclave mountain drive on Saturday. The car ran great as it did last weekend. Got home and heard a noise. Sssssssssssssssssssssssssss coming from under the hood. Also noticed a little puddle forming under the center of the radiator. Damn! What's next? Popped the hood to find a small hole in the radiator right in front of the left fan. Seems the fan motor got a bit loose in the bracket and pulled itself forward far enough to start f\drilling a hole in the radiator. Bummer.

Spent the next couple hours trying to get that slug out of there. Not too easily done alone. Next time I'll get some help. A local radiator shop was able to patch it up and perform a pressure check. I suppose he could have sold me a core. Maybe next year I'll do that if it's not cooling well. Managed to get a neighbor to help me get it back in place. Gotta love those fine thread long bolts that hold the rad in. Reconnected everything and filled it up. Took almost three gallons. Lots o' juice. Fired it up and kept filling. After the t-stat opened I capped it and watched, and watched. The smoke coming off the newly painted rad was a little unnerving but went away. After the fluid was flowing and all the parts warm to hot I added more juice and checked the overflow bottle. Added more to that. Heard some gurgling from there but that stopped after the fans kicked on and off again. Seems to be working OK. Wound some safety wire around the fan motors and brackets to keep this from happening again.

The first day of the conclave came with an ominous weather prediction for snow. Most were saying as low as 9000 feet but some said even lower. Not too warm that morning. Met at Memorial Park in Arvada CO to get oriented. About 90 vehicles showed up. Some were brave souls with little convertibles and no heat. I still hadn't fixed the heater control valve but I was pretty sure the heat from the engine would be plenty. As it turns out not much heat made it back to me. Had to shut off the fresh air ducts as they were refrigerating the cabin. Not much residual heat from the engine. But I was comfortable.

Anyway. We took a nice four hour drive along the peak to peak highway from Golden Gate State Park to Estes Park and then down to Longmont to find a brew pub. Nice drive. None of the cars broke down. The scenery was beautiful. Some areas had the first blanket of snow on the trees. Should be some good aspen color soon. An excuse for another drive? I think so.

Saturday. The Conclave. Arrived bright and early to get a good spot. The weather today was forecast to be about 70 and sunny. It was. Very nice. I was the first Jensen to arrive. We had a smaller allotment of space than most. The Lotus group was right next door. AC Cobra reproductions were on the other side. Across from us were the Rolls, and just to the right a fleet of super 7's. I planted my self and watched the cars roll in. The next Jensen was Don and June in the blue Interceptor. Pretty color. A 71 MK2. Next a red Healy rolled in. Nice car except the rear bumper had recently taken a hit. Next Dean and his wife rolled up in a burgundy Interceptor. Nice. His seats were very comfortable. I think I'll definitely have to put some money into my seats. Dave made an appearance with his dark green Interceptor with a front air dam/spoiler. Looked good. Good enough to get him first place in the Jensen category. Several other Healeys showed up and made a second row in front of the Interceptors. They were a little rough around the edges but nice to see them there.

A terrific lineup of automobiles. See the pictures. The minis were tucked way back in the corner this year. I thought I had heard this was the first year they participated. Not sure. Huge amount of MGs and Triumphs. A good showing of Jags too. Love the E type. Found some late 90's magazines with articles about restoring Interceptors.

Later in the day a gentleman walked up looking very interested. Came to find he has a convertible Interceptor that was sitting at home. Next year maybe. After all the Judging was completed, Keith drove in with his black Interceptor. Going through some restoration currently. We stood around for a while and took pictures. We decided we should all get together to tell lies and drink some beer. We'll see if it happens before next year.

All in all a great weekend with some great people and fine automobiles. Looking forward to next year.

Have now rejetted the carb. According to the Edelbrock manual I went about 1.5 stages leaner than stock. The main jet is now .095 Edelbrock #1426) and the metering rod is 073 x 047 (1456). According to an email from David Crowne, he set his up with the same jets and rods and had no trouble till he was up in a lot higher altitude. I'll have to compare notes with him more on this. According to the manual, what I installed should be right for this altitude. Haven't noticed much of a difference right off just driving around town. The one difference I have noted is the lack of a raw gas smell at times. Will need to take it up in them thar hills to test.

David was also kind enough to send along some pictures of the correct way to attach and adjust the throttle linkage and the kick down rod or throttle rod as the manual calls it. I rearranged my controls to work more as the designers had intended. Still need to find another set of hands to help adjust the rod.

I went to the local Chrysler parts house looking to order the spring that tensions the throttle rod. The parts guy said he has trouble with the older stuff but jumped right in. After a while he came back and said that the part has been discontinued from the factory. (Not much of a surprise) He did give me the number of a dealership in New Jersey that was supposed to have one. As I was leaving, I realized that my car was older than the parts guy behind the counter. Makes me feel old sometimes. I did put a generic spring in place for now to see what effect it might have.

Stopped at a parts house on Sunday to get some odds and ends. Came out with some mag/aluminum wheel polish made by Mothers. I like pretty much everything they make. Tried some on the wheels. Wow! Took huge amounts of black gunk off and almost started to get a shine. Not sure if I have the elbow grease required but I think they could actually look pretty good. I think I'll have to take them to a pro though. There's some pitting on the spokes that I just won't be able to rub out.

I just love driving this beast!


Seems to be the time of year for some driving. The weather is cooling and my Interceptor loves it.

Took the beast out for a half day drive along the Peak to Peak Highway west of Denver. Started before most people got on the road. Clear and bright this morning. The aspen trees are brilliant yellow patches mixed in the deep green of the pine. On my way down the hill, most people were starting up. Nice to miss the traffic.

I guess I'm not sure if my secondaries are opening either. The acceleration is crisp and strong but no "whooof" when floored. I still need to find a helper to look into this issue.

It was fun driving the curves and the hills. At one point I had a very strange negative G sensation. I was in second and accelerating through an uphill curve which suddenly turned into a downhill curve in the opposite direction. I felt the back end rising as I let off the accelerator. The red light between the speedo and tach came on for about a second. Somebody remind me, what's that light for?

Got a charge out of that sensation. Too much fun.

I am bonding with the car. Have to get the seats redone though. My backside isn't as padded as it once was.

Drive on!