The Corsair was still a ‘pig’ to start, but a fresher battery meant I had plenty of cranks to get it going. The morning was cool, foggy and a bit damp but I had a good drive down to the Sturminster Newton New Years Day car run. I was reasonably early and directed to park in a good slot near the front of the starting pack. I was soon accosted by one of my neighbours who had come down to see the cars and we had a brief chat. Later, I also caught up with Chris and Bob from the Saturday meets at Sturminster as well. There was also a very nice Mk2 Cortina 1600GT (in Lotus colours) that was a Crayford conversion, and the owner knew of Hugh F-W and seemed pleased to know that the Corsair was still about. I decided to give the driving tour a go and registered to get my bumper tags. The car park in Station Road, Sturminster Newton was packed by 10.30am with all manner of classic cars, trucks and military vehicles. Watch the Youtube video further on down, the Corsair makes an appearance with a drive-by at 3.37.
Promptly at 11 am the call was made to start the run. All was OK until I eventually made it out on the main road heading towards Marnhull on the B3092 when I had poor acceleration and lumpy running. I was also in a convoy following a small Austin 7 that didn’t seem to go any quicker than 25mph, which was a bit frustrating. By the time I reached Marnhull I had enough of the poor running and lack of acceleration so I pulled in to a pub car park to check the points. The points gap seemed smaller but without feeler gauges I guessed on creating a larger gap. The problem I have is that one of the screws to tighten the points down has cross threaded and won’t tighten very much, so the points slip and close up. Back on the road and the Corsair was driving normally again and I soon caught up with more cars on the new years day run.
Heading out of Gillingham towards Wincanton on the B3081 there was a stream of cars stuck behind the Austin 7 still only going about 30mph. Every one finally got past it when it pulled over at a junction to Wincanton under the A303. I carried on following a Range Rover which lost sight of the MGB and another classic. I then lost the Range Rover in Wincanton and did a loop of the town’s one-way system to get on the right road that I missed to carry on. I got as far as the A371 and turned on the the A357 towards Templecombe. I missed a turning for Holton and more of the tour route, but as I was struggling a bit to interpret the typed instructions and it was getting quite wet, I decided to quit the tour and head for home via the A30. The Corsair was running nicely and it was a good drive home.
Overall I enjoyed myself, though a passenger to help with the navigation would have made it better and I also was a bit concerned about how much fuel I had remaining for the complete tour (about 35 miles) and to get home.