October round-up

To start the month I took the Corsair to the Hampshire Capri Club meeting at the New Inn pub/hotel at Heckfield. Where the ‘heck’ is that? Heckfield is a small village off from the A33 between Basingstoke and Reading, just inside the North Hampshire border to Berkshire. It therefore became 70+ miles each way journey for the Corsair, which drove fine with no problems and cruised happily at 60mph on the A303. I didn’t take it on the M3, opting to go through Basingstoke and negotiating the multiple roundabouts which wasn’t too daunting mixing it up with all the Sunday shopper traffic. I hadn’t lost my touch on the traffic lights either, successfully burning up a Fiesta on one occasion. The weather was glorious and warm but the hood stayed up as it was now in the winter mode (after a cooling off at the end of September) and will stay that way until after March next year.

Corsair at the New Inn, Heckfield, near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Once there and parked up and I was settled down with a pot of tea on the terrace, club host Ray arrived followed soon after by five Capris within the next 30 minutes. I didn’t know any of them (the Capris) or the owners but they all seemed a good crowd.

It was about 3 hours of chatting and catching up -well,  it had been about 20 years since I last visited the Hampshire Capri Club and some images of those days are on my main website – here is a sample from April 1992.

At 4 pm I headed for home, in the with the sun still making it lovely and warm. After a long session of cruising at 60 mph again I had to turn off the A303 for the A350 to head for home. It wasn’t long after this I encountered my first problem with the Corsair. To take the right hand turning for the A350 I braked quite heavily entering the central reservation, just like I normally do in the daily driver and I think this caused the issue of the brakes seizing on. It wasn’t until I was about another 2 miles along the road on a fast, flat straight that I noticed the the car slowing down. I had another 4 miles to go and the Corsair struggled up the hill out from Semley, with it down to 2nd gear at one point. At the top of the hill, I pulled over to allow the traffic behind to pass and the brake pedal was rock hard. From there I knew I could get the Corsair home, slowly and carefully and then parked up safely in the garage.

Mulling over what had happened with the Corsair, I recalled the warning John, from AJ Restoration, gave me about swapping out the braided flexible brake lines, I had put in two years ago, for the rubber type. He said the brakes locked on for him in his workshop yard one day and he thought the braided/race spec pipes could have restricted the return of the fluid back to the master cylinder and then free’d off once the fluid seeped back to restore normal operating pressure. Following the advice, earlier in September, I had some pipes made up by JH Rose Engineering in Gillingham, Dorset. Sure enough, a day later the Corsair could be rolled back and forth in the garage now that the brakes had free’d themselves.

I did a few local trips without incident but being mindful of the brake pipe issue. A few days ago (24th Oct) I got around to putting in the 3 new brake pipes. They came at a price nearly double that can be found on eBay,  but are BrakeQuip and no doubt a superior quality. With the new pipes fitted, a test drive to Tisbury and back was required. The brakes felt a lot less ‘hard’ than before but with no more pressure required to slow or stop the car, just that there was more play in the pedal.

The Corsair at a shabby Tisbury railway station

So all is good, thanks for reading.



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