2017 June onwards................................

Sunday June 28th. Custom Car Show at Mill Race Lane, Stourbridge.

Sunday 28th June

I took the Altered and Chevy truck to a Custom Car and Bike Show on Mill Race Lane in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

This is only it's 2nd show which is held every year for 1 day at Whitson. The weather was very nice with 21 degree sunshine and a slight breeze, after getting unloaded I set up my stall to try and sell some Auto Jumble.

A good selection of American cars plus British Classic Car and motorbikes arrived, even a 200 mph Maclaren road car turned up, which had just been built. Plenty of visitors arrived as well, I saw people I had not see for years.

The Photo on the left is Nathen who is a BIG fan of the race car

he would not leave the car until I fired it up for him which realy made his day.


We packed up and loaded up the Altered on it's trailer at 4.30pm and got back to Lye for 5pm.

Wednesday 31st May. Towing GRW 65 Joey boat through 2-miles of Dudley Tunnel.

Wednesday 31st May, I drove around to the Portal to connect up Joey Boat GWR 65 To Tow through the 2-mile long Dudley Tunnel ready for 10am for this Photo Shoot at Parkhead today.

I also bought my 1932 Model A coal truck which was used in some of the posed photos. Jane bought her Horse "Caroline" This was the Horse Power used to pull the Joey Boat along the canal

Nice photo taken by David Williams

A nice Black and white photo by David Williams.

Tipping coal into the boat,  photo, Malcolm Raneri

Having a break,  photo By Malcolm Ranieri

Taking the strain....photo by Malcolm Ranieri.

My Photo of GWR 65 UNDER Horse Power, along the Dudley Number 2 canal.



During last week It was discoved that I broke the two front welds on the engine mountings.

Having partly stripped the carborator and fuel pump plus pipework then draining out all the petrol I proceeeded to remove both engine mounting plates, cutting and grining the old mouting brakets off I got Roger from AKL to Mig weld these brakets back on for me.

After reassembling the parts I took off, it was all back together again ready for the weekend ahead.


JUNE 3rd. I Took the Chevy Step-side and Race car to Himley Hall in Dudley, weather was a bit mixed as we had two heavy showers during the day, plenty of vintage/classic and people there all day. 

During this week, I stripped down the Holly Carborator on the race car, I discovered that the Secondary choke was NOT opening during that 13 second run at Shaky, this is why the engine is holding back, so after modifiying the Diaphram spring plus other mods to the carb, I needed to try the engine under load, so, I booked it into "Rolling Road Service" in Bromley Street, Lye so that load can be put through the rear wheels and to see if the secondary butterflies are opening when flat out ? YES they seem to be working okay now, so just need to try the car up the track again.

Sunday June 11th.

I took the race car to Shakespeare Country Raceway. After unloading the car I got it Scruteneered okay. Then went and signed on for the day ahead.

My first run against my Chevy Truck netted a steady off the start line of 13:47@95mph This was to see if the engine would bog down off the St/Line (which it did not) and to hold it flat out over the finish line, it went a bit faster, but it was holding back well before the finish line.

2nd run, I nailed it off the Start Line The car ran 13:24@92mph, still holding back and popping before the finish line ?

After some engine adjustments I took the car on 2 more runs with a best of 13:07@91mph ! The engine is still holding back even thou the secondary choke is coming open at full throttle ? ! To say I was disapointed with the performance of the car was an understatment ?

I'm thinking I have a gearing problem now in the rear axle area,

The engine is flat out in the red line at 5000 rpm waay before the finish line, this is something I will have to look into later this week. 

2nd Wednesday in the Month, 14th June is "Greasy" Night at Mill Race Lane in Stourbridge.  

Since I ran the car at Shaky, it looks like the altered is not running right ?

I started looking into the rear axle gearing, after jacking up the car and putting chalk marks on the prop-shaft and the tyre, I rotated the wheel one turn to work out the gearing, I have 4:56 to 1 ratio on 28" tall tyres and I think I need something like a 3:90 gear in there ?

I'm hitting 5000 rpm at around 1,000 ft on the track, so something needs to be altered in the gearing, after doing some phone calls I realised that trying to find Oldsmobile Differential gears are Very Rare, so, the other option is to go taller with the rear tyres, This I worked out at 32" high (from28") adding 4" to the hight of the tyre and the gearing, which would make it 3.96 to 1. So I ordered a pair of 32"  x 12" x 15" Hoosier Slicks from Northampton Tyres, I also wanted to go Tubeless, which I wanted to seal the rims up well with bead sealer, fitting the slicks on was not difficlult trying to blow them up onto the rims prove very difficult, but I did it in the end. So going to taller slicks I knew I had to cut a 4" Semi-circle out of the fiberglass body arch (above) this I did using my 4"  angle grinder with a thin cutting blade, I managed to do it without wrecking the paintwork, Fitting the wheels on the back has made the car higher off the ground which has given me more Sump to ground clearance which again is better.

20th June.........The Altered with it's new slicks fitted

24th/25th June "Nostalgia Nationals" at Shakespeare County Raceway, over 200 race cars are booked in.

Sunday 25th June. I took the Altered to Shakespeare Country Raceway, Weather was mainly dry but we did have 2 showers of rain during the day which put things back a bit.

My first run in the Left Lane netted a 12.88@100mph I left the Start line soft, the car was pulling all the way.

My second run was not so good in the righ lane as I got it wrong and only went 13:30@101mph. after realising my Secondary Butterflies were NOT OPENING I modified the carborator to help, but they only partly opened on my best run of the day at 12:80@102 mph in the left lane.

The gearing is a lot better now and the car is pulling better, but this Carb is still playing up, it's not very realable as it is ? I think I'm going to have to buy a new Holly Double pumper, mechanicly operating secondarys, the way it is, it's a Holley 4-barrel working as a 2-barrel carb which I'm sure is holding the car back ?

From 28th June to 1st July. Beer Festival at DC&TT "The Portal"

Tuesday 27th. I spent the Morning helping to set this Beer Festival up, putting up the Pallet Racking in the right order and the right distance for the shelving to take the barrels of beer and Cider.

We lifted over 57 diffrent FULL barrels of beer and Cider up on the racks. over 24 hours for them to settle down first then on Wednesday 28th June Dudlay Canal and Tunnel Trust were open at 12 noon to serve the real ales for thier 5th Beer Festival.

I only went over on Saturday Afternoon to help serve the beer, soon after I started serving a load of Wedding Guests came in after getting Married in Singer Carvern earlier.

On Sunday 2nd July I spent all morning helping to pack up the Beer Festival which was a great sucsess this year.

This was the first time I've done bar work, my main problem was finding the correct beer the customers wanted which took me a while ! 

Saturday 8th July.......Mill Race Lane, Stourbridge

Saturday 8th July I took the Chevy truck and race car to The M.C.C. Club at Mill race Lane, Stourbridge. The Weather was nice and hot all day whith loads of Custom/Classic Motorbikes arrived plus some Custom Cars and hot rods, The place was packed out with people most of the day.

Sunday 9th July......Stourport Steam Rally.

The next day I was booked into the Stourpourt- on - Severn Steam Rally with the Chevy and race car. A nice hot day with plenty of exhibits and people around all day, I took the race car into the arena to do a short talk on it then later fired it up, On the way home, coming through Hagley the Chevy truck died ! it felt like it ran out of fuel ? But there was plenty in there ! There was lots of air in the feed fuel pipe, so I bled the petrol through, it started and got home okay !




Monday 10th July.

After Breaking down last night coming back from Stourport I had a long think about this fuel starvation............

I've fitted new fuel tank unit and a new Fuel Gauge, so I know I did not run out of fuel as it had a good 1/2 tank in it when it happend ?

I suspect it's the original fuel feed pipe

So after drianing the fuel tank into jerry cans, I took the old fuel feed pipe out from the inside of the chassis, I did find a nasty kink in the pipe  plus some cracked up rubber pipe which was perrished in places, without further ado, I went to Brierley Hill Motor Factors to buy 15ft of Petrol rubber hose at a cost of £10 and replaced the lot plus putting a fuel filter in the line as well. I then road tested the truck around the block which drove fine, but the biggest test will be a 180 mile round trip to Santa Pod Raceway and back next weekend.

Saturday 15th July. Santa-Pod-Raceway, Dragstalgia 2017.

The Apache Nitro Burning Nostalgia Funny Car.

A new Swedish Nostalgia Methanol burning Dragster. 

Saturday 15th July.

I went down to the Pod in the Chevy truck to put on show in the paddock.

Weather was not that good, having left home in the rain at 7am I arived at the Pod for 8.45am, getting parked up I started walking around the pits which it started to rain again ! I met up with the new owner of the Old Apollo Comp Altered race car we raced back in 1979 to 1981. Max Spaans bought the race car last year and is hoping to get it back on the track next year...let's hope it all happens, it will be great to see the old Altered back running down the strip at the Pod again. They finally got going at 2pm and finished at 9pm whilst it was still dry, Saw some record runs this afternoon. 

Above. my Chevy in the show paddock at the Pod.

July 16th 1940's at the Black Country Living Museum

July 16th.

1940's Event at the Black Country Living Museum.

I took my 1932 Ford Coal Truck with me to this very popular event.

Weather was a bit mixed with light rain during the morning.

I found my German Sea Mine I built for the Museum a few years ago in the canal which I floated up under Broad Street bridge, then later on I opperated the Tug "Coventry" in towing a few Joey boats around to keep the canal arm busy most of the day........Higlight of the day was seeing the Lancaster Bomber coming over low, with three passes really rattles the chimney pots of the village

a great amosphere !

July 23rd Shakespeare Country Raceway (Roger Gorrange in his Mustang Jet car that ran 5.80/260 mph.)

July 23rd was the next round of the Wild Bunch July Shootout.

With around 15 cars in the class turned up. 

Before this meeting I spent some time modifiying the Holley Carb so the seconarys choke can open mechanicly, so I know they are opening flat out, I also had to increase the Pump Jet size to get more fuel into the engine off the start line.

My first run netted a steady, with a bog off the line 13.10@100mph, I drilled the jet out another 2 thou to give it more petrol

My seccond run was well messed up as the car still bogged off the st/line, I tried somthing different by changing gear manually ! I did not do a very good job of it, so I slowed the car to a 15 sec run. after another drilling out of the jet by 2 thou, I gave it another last run of 12.91@103 mph which was better but I was still getting this bog off the start line.......I need to do some more modifiying to the Holley Carb.

We were very lucky with the weather today as it was dry all day.....Just !

A nice photo of the Altered zooming down the track............

Saturday 29th July.............. Welland Steam Rally


I drove down in 50 mins in the Chevy via the M5 Motorway which got me in early at 8.45am to get a good spot on the front row of the Commercial line up, as usual the field behind soon filled up with around 250 Classic Commercials.


The weather was JUST okay, around 18c most of the day and very cloudy with the threat of rain most of the day we got away with it.

There was a nice display of Pat Collins Fairground displays there plus a marque FULL of Archive items

Russel Cook's Steam Waggon...........................

The Road Gang having a break..................

Old Restored Indian Motorbike that used to run the Wall of Death at Pat Collins

Tuesday 1st August. 

Sagitta coming back from the Audlam Canal Rally.I drove to the Wolverhampton 21 Locks for 9am that morning only to find the long pound drained down !

Yes the Kids had been at it again, what was even worse two Working Boats were tied up overnight there, the boats were stuck in the mud at an Angle, the crew fell out of bed that morning, as I arrived they were running water down from the top, you can still see the Butty(Above) at an angle as the water rises. I walked down passed them only to meet Sagitta just coming out of the bottom lock, telling them what had happend up front, plus there were 4 other boats in a que alsowaiting to go up the flight,   so its going to be a slow day today ! As we arrived with Sagitta the Pound was FULL

So, boats were on the move....be it very slow........Then it rained and thundered and lightning......it was all going on !

By 1.30pm we eventually got to the top lock......It would normally take around 2 hours to do this flight !  but today it was 4 1/2 hours this time ! Then I went home.  

Sunday 6th August......Trimpley Vintage Gathering.

Sunday 6th August.

After breaking down with the Chevy Truck with petrol leaking out of a flooded carb, I fitted a new spare needle and seat on the road side, then got going, arriving at Trimpley site at 9.30am. There I set up my stall selling Auto Jumble. Yesterday they had an Auction in this field untill a BIG Thunder Storm happend....a COW got struck by Lightning, it was killed outright ! 

Working on Bittell........................

I started work on Bittell a few weeks ago now, after having a new hull fitted 20ft in the centre section,and a complete re-paint the inside was looking very tatty indeed.......So I started with the replacing the rotted ply-wood floor having cut the sections out to the right shape I under coated then top coated the floor, Then found the cross plankes were also rotted out at the ends, again replacing them. I then started de-scaleing the old rust off the inside of the hull walls plus under /inside the rear counter, removing all the ballast, I took about 4 buckets of rust/dirt out the boat, having giving ALL the metalwork a good coating of Red Oxide. Then later top coating the inside of the hull and cabin area with red top coat. Now the engine looks shabby, so, after a good wash down the engine was pained green. Yesterday, I started fitting all the ballast back in plus the new floor and planks. repaired the shelving then fitted all that in plus other bits, Sealed up the doorways to stop water getting in as well.    

Bittell all painted up inside now and looking nice.

Engine all painted up now and ready for action.

19th August " Blitz in the Park" Wednesbury. 

Saturday 19th August, I was invited to come along with the Coal Truck to an event in Brunswick Park, Wednesbury called "Blitz in the Park" A WW2 1940's event. The weather was dryish, cool wind, with the odd shower of rain. It was a bit poorly attended by vehicles and displays but as it was the first one there it can only get better in the future. The Mayor of Sandwell paid me a visit and had his photo taken, he said to me that the truck was in better condition that he was as they were both the same age at 85 years old !