14 June 2009

Went to a meet at the Ace Cafe in London yesterday evening. There & back in a day, with a pre-meet meet(!) arranged at West Wycombe, a National Trust property which is normally closed on a Saturday, but has been specially opened for the Marcos owners. Trip down & back an absolute pleasure, & the first public appearance of the newly restored road going LM600 was both exciting & very well received. About 20 Marcos cars made the Ace Cafe, of which eight were Mantis, which was pretty cool. The cafe management seemed pretty impressed & have already asked if we’ll come back again next year, which is nice. Hats off to Gary Harman who arranged it all – no mean feat I suspect.

31 May 2009

The first of the two annual Tatton Park shows I (try to) organise. Despite being the 50th Anniversary, or perhaps because of (everyone saving their cars for the ‘big weekend’ in August perhaps?) I can only find four other owners willing to come along & exhibit their cars. It’s disappointing but at least the marque is maintaining a presence! I expect the post-50th weekend euphoria to guarantee a fight for places at the second Tatton show at the end of August! (Famous last words…). Anyway. as we had a small number of cars the Tatton show organisers tucked as away behind the big copse, which at first I was a bit miffed by as it’s less visited by the punters, but… as the temperature rose & it began to get seriously HOT the shade came in handy somewhat! It’s about time we had a sunny Tatton Park show as the last couple have been seriously soggy (& I haven’t had the Mantis at one for two years due to the various tales of woe covered in 2007 & 2008’s blog). Anyway, my Mantis scrubbed up well & it was fab to be back there with her. I think I’ve mentioned it before but I just love the idea of all those photos of my car sitting on people’s PCs or being shared around at schools or colleges etc. She’s a looker after all!

January 2009

I’m still more than a little twitchy about the new engine from TopCats. Not being ‘technical’ on the engine front it’s hard to articulate what it is that feels different from the original engine, but a few things spring to mind:

  • Overwhelming smell of petrol whenever I go to the car, & whenever I get out of the car (as my beloved has commented on a few occassions now…)
  • MPG seems to have dropped.
  • Engine temperature higher than on original engine
  • Idle never drops below 1200rpm. Thr original engine tended to initially idela at 1200 rpm then settle down to 600 rpm
  • Emissions test shows 6.8%

Again apologies for lack of updates but car was sent back to TopCats who investigate the issues listed above: TC adjusted the idle from ‘race setting’ back to 600rpm, but can’t find anything else wrong with the engine to some considerable mutual frustration. The replacement A/C rad from MHS is fitted & the A/C gassed. The car is trailered back from Topcats to Cheshire & I start using it again. Petrol smell far less prevalent. Idle is fine if very slightly lumpier than on the original engine: not a problem though. MPG ‘seems’ improved but overall, I’m just grateful to have the car back, & an emissions test shows the levels have dropped back down to 1.8% (I can’t find the paperwork so may be expressing this using the wrong terminalogy or quoting the wrong figures) which for a non-CAT test is fine. Upon receiving the car my initial focus is on how the engine drives (fine… I think. Now slightly paranoid perhaps!), & it’s not until a week later that I try the A/C only to find warm air being dispensed, & the A/C clutch not being engaged, which suggests no gas. This is very frustrating indeed, having paid for new hoses & a new rad, but Topcats are adamant that the A/C was tested sucessfully on the Saturday before it was sent up. The next step is to get the system filled with dyed gas to locate the leak, if that is what the problem is, but preparations for the 50th Anniversary Rally are the priority so the investigation is on hold.