Sunday, December 27, 2009

Idle fingers

Christmas comes in many forms. White, as my father has found out this year in Riga. Hot and sunny in most of Australia, warmish and sunny in New Zealand according to my friends. And in Brisbane, wet.

I went for a bike ride on Christmas morning - took the train out to the coastal suburb of Cleveland and cycled home. It was a beautiful day when I left home but by the time the train pulled in to Cleveland station, it had started to rain. It drizzled on and off as I made my way north up the coast, but held off the big guns until I was right out in the open. As it's summer the rain wasn't cold, so the impression of a drowned rat was more for the look of the thing than any real discomfort. In New Zealand the impression would have been of a rat pre-pneumonia. But by the time I returned home for the traditional exchange of vouchers, I don't think a single square inch was dry! The rest of the day was spent grazing, quaffing a drink or two and watching the alternating heavy grey clouds and bright blue sky scud past. It would rain as though an ocean had fallen on us, water cascading down the trunks of the palm trees and gushing down the road, and then the clouds would clear, revealing bright sunshine that set the ground and rooftops steaming.

So, a lot of the day was spent surfing the net. This can be dangerous. Last year's post-Christmas boredom lead to my adopting a GT6. Just about any orphaned Triumph tugs at the heart-strings, from a Mayflower found in a field (complete with Herald 1200 engine), a Standard 10 languishing in a barn, a conifer Spitfire Mk2 with wire wheels, a Herald 1200 coupe in a knacker's yard, a manky TR3... Life is too short, and garages too small. Fortunately it's the wee Triumphs that appeal most. The big girls like 2500 saloons and Vanguards don't pull the same heart strings at all. Oh well, more for everyone else!

So this year I refused to look at the 'cars for sale' section. Nope, I set about finding a few parts for the GT6 and Herald coupe. One find is a 'Coupe' boot badge. Another is a set of engine gaskets for the GT6, and from Rimmer Bros, a set of interior door cards and engine timing sprockets. Oh yes, idle fingers on eBay bring a new definition to 'Christmas shopping'!

A recent dilemma I've been wrestling with is the colour for the GT6. The Herald coupe is going to be Royal Blue (#56 for the anoraks), probably with white side-stripes. It's not an original pattern, but then nothing else about the car is original either! First choice for the GT6 has been a similar blue, Sapphire. However, the more I think about it, it feels as though I'm just reproducing the Herald coupe's colour scheme. An alternative is dark green, but it's hard to decide on a colour based on photos on a monitor, as the same colours can look very different with different cameras and lighting conditions. So to help me choose, I've ordered test pots of Conifer, Triumph BRG and, out of curiosity, Mallard. All of these will go with the chosen interior colour of New Tan.

The only other progress on the GT6 is that I've decided to fit a CV rear axle conversion made by Nick Jones, and so have posted the GT6's rear uprights to the UK in exchange for a machined pair, as well as CV joints, halfshafts and MGF hubs. Out of interest, a rotoflex iron upright weights 3.96kg. And costs a lot to post around the planet!

Conifer Green - choice # 1

British Racing Green - choice #2

Mallard - the joker

(apologies if these are your photos - I've collected a lot over the last year)