I am in Suffolk, and as my friend and sometime customer Robert Ely lives quite close, here was the opportunity to sample his amazing Fulvia-powered mid-engined sports car.
I expect that Robert will forgive me for telling you that he confessed to having "fiddled" with the carburettors somewhat, but I was convinced that the problem lay with the ignition system. Obviously, the clue lies in the rainwater that can be seen in some of the pictures. Sure enough, the distributor cap had plenty of moisture inside, as did the rotor arm. Surprisingly despite the cam cover being rather exposed, there was no water around the plugs - a common Fulvia problem.The exposed cam cover may be seen in this picture;
I cleaned and dressed the rotor arm carefully and added a squirt of WD40 to the cap. On starting up it was obvious that things were a lot better, although not right. I therefore turned my attention to the carburettors. The special tools I have for this job are attached to my head: my ears.
Five or ten minutes with a screwdriver sufficed. I was impressed with the throttle response which I believe is largely due to the very nice exhaust manifold and the vastly better air filter.
"Road test" I said.
So off we went. Mercifully the rain held off, although I soon became quite wet owing to Robert's aerodynamic modifications... The engine sounded excellent and the car is fast - very lively indeed; with probably about 100hp and 500kg this is unsurprising! The gearchange is "back to front" but the low weight means that starting from rest is easy in 2nd gear. The chassis as far as I could judge, is excellent with a firm but comfortable ride, plenty of grip and good turn-in. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that Robert has now fitted attractive 15" aluminium-alloy wheels with very nice sticky Toyo tyres.
My Land-Rover client was keen for a ride so despite being a rugby fanatic, tore himself away from the "Six nations" on the TV.
Looking slightly wind-swept on his return, "Almost as good as my green Land-Rover" he commented!
The windswept return
Robert showed me some of the aerodynamic developments he has been working on, including special venting for the radiator at the front, and a diffuser at the rear.
There is more to come (including a paint job); I shall keep you all informed.