August 2017 0nwards..............

Sunday 27th August, Webbs at Whichbold

TOP. Sunday 27th I took the Chevy truck to the car show at Webbs of Droitwich. ABOVE.

The next day, Bank Holiday Monday I took the Chevy truck and the Topolino race car to Arley

Both days were very nice and sunny with plenty of public around over both days plus plenty of classic cars including this 1956 Chevy Bellair. LEFT.



Saturday 2nd September.

We had a work party on the canal today with 6 Volunteers, using the Flying Scott joey boat and the Tunnel Tug we set about cutting back the overhanging branches from the New Road Bridge to Tipton Junction.


Hence to say we found plenty of overhanging trees and rubbish that was lurking behind. The weather was nice and hot all day which made a nice change working outdoors.


After spending around 6 hours we all went back to the Portal with the boats to have a nice cup of tea.

9th/10th September "Black Country Boating Festival"

The following weekend saw us at Netherton for BCBF. Having taken Bittell towing the Flying Scott joey boat I got them moored up the Bosh Boil Arm, I also took the Chevy Truck and parked it next to the Working Boat "Aldergate" On the Saturday we collected the Dudley Mayor in the rain, well it did stop just in time for the boat parade as we dropped off the Mayor to a fan fair of Music welcoming him to the show.

16th/17th September. Tipton Canal Festival.

16th/17th September Stoke Proir Steam Rally

Over the weekend of 16/17th Sept I had two events to do. First was on Saturday at the Tipton Canal Festival, where around 55 boats were booked in, including Bittell and Sagitta. I took the Chevy truck there also.

Then, later Saturday night I took the Classic Caravan with the Chevy to the Stoke Prior Steam Rally to see Dr Busker on the Saturday night and to do the Steam Rally during Sunday the Ford T in this photo won best Commercial in show.

22nd/23rd/24th September. Working Boat Gathering at the Black Country Living Museum.

Just over 45 Working Boats booked in.

Demonstrating the use of the "Strapping Post"


Over the weekend of the 22nd/23rd 24th was the Working Boat Gathering at the BCLM.

Just over 45 boats were on show over the three day show with plenty of visitors coming to see the Historic boats in action. Dudley Canal And Tunnel Trust's boats were in attendance Bittell and Sagitta plus My 1932 Ford Coal Truck.


Out on the Main Line there were boats stacked out 3 deep up to the New Road Bridge.

During the weekend we had Tug's shuffling around demonstrating the art of towing, plus reversing 70ft cargo boats out the arm backwards around the sharp bend canal using a long rope and the strapping post to steer the boat around the bend in one go !

The Weather was nice and dry all weekend.



1st October, Sneaky Blinder at Shakespeare County Raceway.

Sunday October 1st.

We took the race car to Shaky to do some runs.

But some weeks ago I had done many modifications to the Holley Carb......Having it all in bit's on the bench I had some advice off Tony Morris. Fitting bigger longer main jets in the rear float bowel, fitting bigger jets into the front float bowel then locking up the throttle linkage so that all 4 butterflies open FLAT OUT when leaving the start line, I fitted a new 50cc throttle pump and the pump jet starting at 32 thou jet holes, Tony said the car will bogg down off the start line as there will be a "Lack of Fuel situation" on the HIT. I Also fitted a new BIGGER Holley fuel pump and regulator as I'm sure the engine was running out of fuel going up the track. Also fiting a bigger breather in the fuel tank.

So I was keen to see how the car would perform.

1st run I netted a 13.21@106mph The car did bog down off the St/Line but it PULLED VERY WELL thro the gears with NO holding back or popping through the exhaust headers. So I needed to get the car off the St/Line better, I drilled out the pump jets to 34 thou, 2nd run, Car still Bogged down but went 12.96@107mph, again I drilled out the  pump Jets to 38 thou, 3rd run, the car still bogged down and pulled better to a 12.90@108mph. Just then it started to rain so we could not get a 4th run in, But I still need to get the car off the St/Line better, the rest of the run is fine.

Saturday 7th October.

6 Volunteers turned up to clear the Allotment opposite the Cottage at Parkhead Locks, Starting at 10am we all worked till around 3pm to clear the lot, Having piled up the vegitation in a heap we had the traditioal bonfire to get rid of it all. left photo to show how it is now...........

8th October at Shakespeare County Raceway again

After doing more Modifications to the carb like putting the Vacume Secondary piston back on the Carb and fitting my old pump jet back in set at 30 thou, now the Secondarys butterflys will open as the engine pulls down the track ?

1st run netted a 12.86@104mph The car DID NOT BOGG off the Start line and pulled okay throu the gears, but it did hold back a bit just before the finish line, I then looked at the Secondary Butterflys, they did not open ? So, after removing the spring, so to make it open sooner I gave the car another try, 2nd run 12.81@105mph, car still came off the line okay and pulled well, but the butterflys only opened 50% ? I tried something a bit radical......I took the air filter off the truck and fitted it to the race car to create more vacume in the carb.

3rd run. 12.76@107mph, the Butterflys opened 75% ......I decided to advance the Ignition timing by 5 deg to 30 deg advance. 4th run netted a 12.75@107mph again the butterfly's are just opening 75% .........Well I was pleased the car ran 4 -12 sec's runs with a best of 12.75, okay the speed is down due to the butterfly's only opening 75% but I'm sure I can work on that during the Winter.  

Saturday/Sunday 21st/22nd October 2017 Stourbridge Open Weekend.

October 21st/22nd THe Bonded Warehouse Open Weekend. We had Bittell & Sagitta open and on show all weekend. I bought my 1960 Morris truck and 1953 Chevy Step-Side truck along.

The weather was rough on the Saturday with high winds and rain all day,only a few hundred people around, but Sunday was a lot better dry and cold, many thousands turn up this day.

Friday 27th October, ABOVE, Our Boats at Wordlsley Junction.

Having 9 Volunteers arrive at Stourbridge this morning we set off with Bittell and Sagitta back to Parkhead in Dudley, leving at 10.30am we started the 250 feet assend to Dudley via the 25 locks in front of us. At 10.50am with Sagitta up front going up Lock number 16 at Wordlsley Junction, Bittell followed up one lock at a time hence we have to do these locks TWICE. The Weather was very nice all day, bright sunshine and warm.......we all got into Jacks Arm at Parkhead for 3.30pm.......5-hours.

29th October, a nice view over Chicago, just coming into land. 

On Sunday 29th October, at the early hours of the morning Mick and myself flew off out of Heathrow to O' Hare Airport in Chicago, the flight time was around 9 hours getting us into Chicago for Luch time on the same Sunday.....we went back in time ! After collecting the cases then sorting out the Hire car we went off looking for the Begining of ROUTE 66, Then later the Motel for the night overlooking Lake Michagen. 

The Hire car parked outside a Route 66 Diner at "Dwight"

On the first day (Monday) we did not fancy the heavy traffic along the old Route 66 in the middle of Chicago, so we started heading South West on the I-55 Freeway which runs alongside. Having started out at 7am we got onto the Freeway which was very busy to start with but eased as we went out, we did around 75 miles before stopping for Breakfast at a Town Called "Dwight" at this nice Diner, later we drove down the Old R.66 going through towns like "Pontiac" and Springfield, we had to pull up to see these old classic cars that were for sale, I was checking out this nice 1952 Studerbaker truck.

Having driven down the Old 1936 road Route 66 Through Lincoln and Stanton (were the Classic car were) We started  coming into St. Louis where the Missassippiee River crosses. There's an interesting dissused bridge there called "Chain of Rocks Bridge" which was built in 1934......notice there's a bend in the middle ! ?  and only 9 ftt wide where two way traffic used the bridge.  The weather today was COLD, Yes it was colder than England at only Plus 2 deg C during the daytime, hence to say the heater was flat out in the hire car. 


Later we left the bridge, and drove the 66 through St.Louis and passed the Famose HOOP that over looks the River,  You can go up inside this loop, but we diden't because it was around 5pm and starting to go dark, so it was time to look for a Motel to stay the night at "Six Flags" just South of the City.

A nice wooden Sinclair Garage in "Oklahoma" with loads of Classic Cars & trucks outside where we had a guided walk around by the owner. 

You see allsorts of crazy things along Route 66 !

Whilst driving this Historic Mother Road you DO come across some strage things on the way like this 30 ft high steel Rocking Chair ! we found this just passed "Waggon Wheel Motel"  in Oklahoma.


Driving through different towns like...."Miami" "Joplin"....... ...."Chelsea"..."Afton" and "Catoosa" where you can see the BIGGEST Concreate Blue Whale that is land locked in a park.

We were avraging around 300 miles per day still stopping at interesting things on the way, eventually  passing "Oklahoma City" by the end of the day we made  a place called "Elk City" where we had a good look around the Biggest Route 66 Museum.

The Blue Whale at Catoosa in Oklahoma.

Route 66 Museum at "Elk City"

A nice old 50's Chevy Truck parked outside a Phillips 66 Sign

A lovely old Art Deco Filling Station and Diner in Texas.

Day 4. Having left Elk City on the Wednesday things were beginging to start warming up to tee shirt weather as we are in Texas at the moment .


Having driven through........ Texola .....Shamrock.....Mc Lean....and Amarillo

We stopped at a few places including this very nice Art  Decco Concrete made Garage that's been restord to it's former glory.


This place used to serve fuel for vehicles and with a Diner attached filled up the pasingers as well, aparantly non other that Elvis Presley onece had a meal in there or so the write up said ?


Inside this building was a Gift Shop selling everything you want for Route 66 plus a small Museum.

Later on we Eventually found the "Cadilac Grave Yard" which was just South Of Amarillo (On the left) But well back off the Freeway. Around 10 Cadilac's are Burid here nose down.......Aparantly you can take your own can of spray to spray graffite on the cars........there is so much paint on these cars the edges are all smooth ! As we got to "Adrian" This is the place in Texas where the Halfway Point is, we have covered 1,139 miles in 3 1/2 days including stops.


The Cadilac Grave Yard.

The Halfway Point at "Adrian" We have got halway in 3 1/2 days including stops.

Stayed in this nice 1930's Blue Swallow Motel at Tucumcari in "New Mexico" 

We found a nice Auto Museum at Santa Rosa to look around.

Having paid $5 to go in we walked around the 30 or so classic cars that were in there, you could spend an hour in this place plus a Gift Shop.

We saw this rare car built in 1936 made by Graham Brother's it has a straight six cylinder and a Supercharger fitted as standared, the owner wanted $20 k only !

WIG WAM MOTEL in "Holbrook" Complte with Classic Cars outside ........Arizona.

Day 5. Having left The Blue Swallow Motel which for $58 per night was good value to sleep in a 1930's setting.

The next day we set off across New Mexico  driving through "San Jon"  getting to Santa "Rosa" and having a good look around the Ato Museum there where well over 30 Cusutom and Classic Car were on shoe there.

Going through places like ..WagonWheel....Moriarty...and Albuquerque, we came across another Classic Car breakers yard, We saw this 1936 car built by Graham Bother's which had a six cylinder engine and Supercharger fitted as standard.

As we drove through "Gallop"  we crossed the Boarder into Arizona where we stayed the night at Wig Wam Motel for $68

complete with your own classic car outside. the only  problem was the train line ran across the back of the Motels which rattled us all night in our Concreate made Wig Wam.


We paid $28 to go and see and walk around this Crater that the Metor hit the Earth 50 Million Years ago !......It's BIG.

The Dam at "Page" the lower part is the Colorido River.

Going into "Utah" we were in the Middle of Monument Valley.

A nice View of the Grand Canyon.

Having left Wig Wam Motel we headed West on Route 66 First a brief Stop at the "Jack Rabbit trading post" then carrying on to Metor City to see the BIG Hole in the ground made by this Giant Metor that hit Earth 50 Million years ago.

As we were doing well we decided to go off the 66 and go North heading for Monument Valley which was only about 125 miles away, having got up there we came across a big Dam at "Page" which was feeding the Colarado River, we then drove over the Dam into "Utah" into Monument Valley where we stayed the night in the middle of the Mountains.

 The next day we drove South back down the road about 50 miles then turned right at "Cameron" and go another 50 miles, we paid £30 to go into "Grand Canyon National Park"

Walking up this Tower on the left gave us a great view of the DEEP Canyon.  Later on in the day we drove around the edge of the Canyon then 50 miles South to "Williams" to find a Motel for the night.

This was a good shop to find things complete with a Classic Chevy parked outside at "Williams"

The Steam Train at "Williams"

Having spent half a day at "Williams" we carried on along Route 66 through "SELIGMAN"

...."PERCH SPRINGS"  and stopping at "KINGMAN" for the night.

The next day we went North again for 75 miles to go to the West Eagle Point of the Grand Canyon, this is where the GLASS SKY WALK is.

Having paid the cheapest fee of $75 each a Coach took us around a few Visa Points to start with then having put scocks over our shoes we were alowed to walk on the glass floor of the Sky Walk which is 4,000 feet above the Colarado River  !!!!!!

YEP, it was a LONG WAY DOWN !

It was a hell of an exprriance thou.


We then drove back down the 75 miles "Kingman" Then back on R.66  heading towards the "Black Mountings" which we drove over and then down to a little Gold Mining town called "OATMAN" where DONKEY'S Rule and take over the streets. We had a Small Cabin to stay in here, the only thing to watch out for it all closes down at 7pm !

The Donkey's (Burro's) of Oatman were free to roam everwhere on the roads.

The Bottle Ranch just before "Barstow" (Route 66)

Diesel train line runs alongside Route 66, the trains carry goods and can be about 1-Mile long sometimes.

NHRA Wally Parks Drag Racing Musuem

Robert Height's Highway Patrol Funny Car.

Britney Force Won the Championship with a best of 3.66@ 330mph.  

Work goes on in the Pits all the time with 45 mins to rebuild an engine between rounds !












We left "Oatman"  Driving Route 66 over the Colorado River which is the Border going into California, Driving through NEEDLES.....stopping at the "Bottle Ranch " We carried on through "Barstow" ending up in a Town called "Victorville" where we stayed the night. The next day we drove for only 1-hour before getting to L. A.

and POMONA Fairgrounds where the running of the World Finals Drag Racing was being held over this weekend.

We arived on the Thrusday afternoon which gave us chance to look around the NHRA Wally Parks Drag Racing Museum first. 





Friday, was Qualifying for all the Pro -Classes 

Saturday again was Qualyfing 

Britney Force was No1 in Top Fuel with 3.66@329mph.

Jack Beckman was No 1 in Funny Car with 3.82@330mph

Pro-Stock was Greg Anderson

with 6.56@209mph.






Sunday.....We went on the track walk at to the Pre-Race Ceromeys before the National Anthem was sung......Straight after the Top Fuel Cars Fired up for their First rounds

It was ACTION all Day with Champions being Crowned.

Britney Force in Top Fuel.

Robert Hieght in Funny Car

Bo Butner in Pro-Stock car.

Eddie Krawick in Pro-Stock Bike.





Winners were....................

Britney Force in Top Fuel.

Tommy Johnson Jr in Funny Car.

Bo Butner in Pro-Stock Car. ........

Andrew Hines in Pro-Stock Bike. 




The Next Day MONDAY after the Race Meeting we drove down to "Yoba" in "Linda" to see John Force Museum with All his winning cars over the last 40 years of Drag Racing. 

John was a happy man yesterday as BOTH his Daughter Britney and President of JFR Robert Height WON THERE CHAMPIONSHIPS.







Later, we left JFR and drove North West getting to Santa Monica by 3pm where we got onto the Pier and had a ride on the BIG Ferris Wheel to mark the END of Route 66.

This was DAY 16 of the Holiday Tomorrow we fly back home, But having a rest to start with on the was topping 75 f whist in L.A.








Having driven the 2,400 Miles of Route 66......we did have a few detures on the way where we Totaled 3,000 miles of driving .

We started off with  34 deg F temp in Chicago, it wasen't till we got to Texas we were down to our Tee Shirts eventually warming up to 75 F  








On Wednesday 15th November we drove to LAX Airport to firstly drop off the Hire Car and then to get onto a British Airways AIR BUS to fly back home.




Carry on BELOW.........................





























Visit The John Force Museum after the Race Meeting.

The very last Road Sign......................On the Pier.

Well that's it, as the Sun sets over Santa Monica Beach we set off back home to England having driven 3,000 miles across America's Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. which was a great experiance and a great Drag Race Meeting to finish off.

Back home now and WINTER Is coming, a nice photo by Kevin Maslin of Bittell outside the Portal, December.

Have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year from Canal Cottage.