“A Frenchman, an Englishman and a Czech are working together in a field,” sounds like the opening line for a rambling and ultimately disappointing joke, but in this case, it describes something much better. At the recent SimcaTalbot Matra Club rally in Beaulieu in England, there was–as regular CC readers will soon see–a fascinating collection of cars. But there was also this:
These guys are seemingly changing the rocker cover gasket on a French registered late 1950s Simca Aronde Plein Ciel Convertible. That’s pretty courageous in a field, especially in England where it is no doubt scheduled to rain soon. The car in question is registered in France, and the team working on it consists of a Frenchman, an Englishman and a Czech, who has come over in his Simca 1501 to help.
So, today’s QOTD is in two parts: have you seen a more courageous repair in a car show field, and have you seen a more multi-national team doing it? What other fascinating collaborative efforts have you witnessed at such an event?
If I’m not seeing things, the head is on the ground…so that might be a head gasket they are changing. I guess it beats a tow back to France.
Yeah I see a head so it does look like they are doing a head gasket replacement.
Well I did see a trio of Montanans working on an Alfa Romeo Spider last year. If I recall correctly a radiator hose broke and the owner needed to drive back to Bozeman.
I really should get to more car shows though Portland is rolling car show pretty much.
I saw Jackie Gleason’s (alleged) 1976(?) stretched Town Car limo at a car show in Morro Bay. The back seat’s velour was pocked marked with cigarette burns and bourbon stains. Smelled like an old ashtray. Had a small Sony color TV with a giant VCR, along with a full bar with small refrigerator, for his amusement. The vanity plates said ” Great 1.” Limo was a little worn, saw many Vegas to LA runs, as the Great One preferred not to fly. Had decent documentation for authenticity, and was for sale.
Later in the day, the owner, or someone, with several stand abouts giving advice, had pulled the carb and appeared to be rebuilding it on a card table; apparently, it wouldn’t start or run well for an interested buyer.
I think that limo was featured on Pawn Stars. No deal.
Yes, you’re right. I’d seen her six or seven years previously; she had developed a bad case of rust, with additional sun damage, when she showed up to Pawn Stars, must have been in salt country a while, left outside all year. The asking price was Quixotic, the answer was NO! The Great One had owned so many cars and wasn’t Elvis. Some celebrity cars turn into white elephants in the collectors’ world.
Junk celebrity cars do, anyway.
“Pawn Stars” is full of celebrity-owned stuff that at the end of the day, proves that celebrities have garbage, too, and it’s not worth any more than anyone else’s trash. One guy came in with Sammy Davis Jr’s beat-up video movie collection and Rick rejected it. Nothing special about it.
Come in with a bunch of open-reel tapes of previously unknown Sammy recording sessions and you might have something.
I believe they’re changng the head gasket.
But field repairs, ask any Tatra dump truck mechanic (to keep it Czech) or a John Deere Engineer, they’ll tell you….
Field repairs are never fun. I remember replacing the timing gears on a ’73 Econoline 6 (a 240 I think) in a parking lot about 20 miles from Road America. Fun.
That is indeed a cylinder head laying in the grass. I wonder what ended up inside that engine.
From all I have read, I would have assumed that this would be a common sight at English car shows. 🙂
Seriously, this is probably a better (or worse) car show sight than anything of my experience. While I hate field repairs, I can imagine worse circumstances than in a place where there is lots of good help available.
Other then losing small parts in the grass, that looks like a very relaxing place to make some repairs. Sunny, nice soft grass, friends to talk with and help, and many Simca experts to give advice!
There have been some mighty memorable (and weird) things I have witnessed at a car show, but nothing quite like this. There determination is both admirable and likely necessary.
I saw this all the time at VW shows. Usually involving #3 exhaust valve. Easiest engine to rebuild ever. New jugs, heads, rings and pistons takes about two hours if you can pull the engine. No antifreeze, no waterpumps, no radiator & no hoses.
That blue and orange are straight out of a period postcard.
Having just finished replacing an alternator whilst lying on my back in a concrete carpark in the rain; that grass looks damn inviting. Not a good place for lost bolts though.
Once went to a carshow where a raffle revolved around buying guesses on when an engine would seize. A 301 Pontiac Grand Prix had its tank filled with gas, oil drained, and then people bought chances on how long it would run. Winner got 50% of the pot. Only time I’ve seen the death of a car at a carshow.
Engine blow contest is standard fare at air-cooled VW shows. Usually over in 1-3 mins with it usually seizing instead of a hailstorm of parts, sadly.
301 lasted a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would, heck of a death rattle in the ticking valves.
Local swapmeet killed 500 MB same way except it refused to die, ran for ages sans oil and coolant smoke and steam everywhere then they lifted it high in the air with a crane and gave it flying lessons. One lesson and it failed to learn.
I used to go to alot of off road shows. I once saw a guy with a toyota show truck swap the thrid member in his rear end on the shows grounds in under an hour. The truck had 40″ or so tires and the pinon angle was a little crazy ( my guess was the leaf springs were about 10″ taller than stock.) The truck was full of chrome so not really seeing strenuous duty. He popped something in the rear end just driving across the fair grounds. The thing was this must have happened before because he pulled out a tool box and a rubber made bin. He had a spare third member gearlube etc in the rubber made ready to go. Funny to watch as we drank beers in front of our trucks.
40 inch tires and 8 inch ring gears rarely have a long and happy marriage….
Two things that pop into mind straight away are a Rover P6 driving around with all panels removed, and a Rolls-Royce Meteor V12 (don’t think it was a Merlin) on a stand that was fired up every hour and just about blew leaves off tree branches 18 feet above it!
Watched some guys do a rod bearing job in a parking lot once!
I went to a classic car show (mostly foreign) at Odaiba in Tokyo probably six or seven years ago. The best thing I ever saw at any car show was there: a small two-seat, mid-engined car, probably a Marcos Mini, painted up in baby blue and orange like it was one of the Ferrari-beating Ford GT40s from the late 60s. Awesome. I wish I still had my picture of it.
not quite the same thing, but there was the time I was repairing
my ’60 Lark on W. 10th St. in NYC in the 80’s (a rusted brake line,
single reserve system, master cylinder UNDER the car) pulled my head out from
under the car, only to find a cop with his gun pulled out and nearly trained on me.
On the whole, I’d rather be doing a head gasket with friendly types in a field
in England… pint anyone?
What a great idea!
The best thing? That has to be a chopped ’49 mercury with a genuine honest to god flamethrower in the rear .cool as hell!