Deceased: 1927 Hudson Ladies' Lounge Engine
There they were, Her Musical Indoors and the Lupino, just cruisin' along at about 2000rpm, which with the gearing, meant about 90 klicks, in no hurry, when she said, "What's that noise?" So acute is the hearing of HMI that she could, not only hear a fart in a hurricane, but also tell you what note, what key, and if it was sharp or flat. A nanosecond later the Lupino also heard it, and he indeed did know what "that noise" meant.
But this time the familiar death rattle of a big-end bearing going was very short, and was followed by an almighty bang, and then silence. "It's fucked." said the Lupino, who always had a gift for ironic understatement.
"Modern engines don't use split pins," said the expert, "they just use Loctite. It's more important to get the tension right." So that's what he did.
What works for modern buzzboxes don't necessarily work on old bangers. A nut came off the number one conrod bolt. The weird thing is that the bolt was ejected at the exact top of the stroke, and was descending whilst remaining absolutely vertical. As it was descending, the conrod, on its next revolution, pounded the bolt into the dipper tray. The hole is so tight that it could have been drilled.
After that, things went a little pear-shaped, as they say in the classics, and the result is what you see above. There is also another hole opposite number 4 on the other side.
Despite using the correct grade Loctite on all big-ends and mains, a number were not tight, and all of them unscrewed easily. A lesson to be learnt here.
Born: The 1924 Dodge
The Brickie, by both necessity and predeliction, spends a fair bit of his time travelling the back roads of the sunburnt , and it was after he had finished a small job at a piggery near Wychitella, that he spied it.
The Dodge was under an old peppercorn tree near the abandoned catholic church, Our Lady of Perpetual Misery.
To say say it was "under" the tree is probably a bit precise. It was sorta "around" the tree, and even that does not fully convey the situation, as the tree was growing where the engine used to be. Other than that, it was pretty much intact.
The Brickie likes a challenge, so he found out from the local publican the name of the farmer who owned the tree. it would be fair to say that the Cocky was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and yes the tree was his, but he had no idea who the car belonged to. He was willing to give the car to the Brickie for nothing, because it was not his to sell, as long as he bought him a new saw bench motor for cutting his firewood.
This surprised the Brickie a bit till he looked at the Cocky's saw-bench and recognised the 24 Dodge Engine powering it.
The deal was done. The tree was cut down, sawn up with the Dodge engine, a Valiant engine found from the wreckers, and everyone was sweet.
After that it was pretty much plain sailing for the Brickie. Mechanically the Dodge was all there, the panels were all right, and he had enough crap lying around the joint to fashion a most superior cabin.
The question of the original owner still hangs in the air. The Cocky reckons that if he showed up he'd charge him with 65 years parking fees, and make a small profit.
The only clues as to the owner: found in a back corner of the seat, was a crucifix and a bag of boiled lollies, so it's a fair assumption that the gentleman was of the ecclesiastical persuasion, probably something to do with Our Lady of Perpetual Misery.
Born: Cowboy Kenny's
1924 Buick Ute
Kenny the Cowboy has wanted to join the Ferals for a while. A young bloke, barely off his mother's teat, and hardly onto anyone else's, he seemed to be inspired after unsuccessfully trying to insert The Mauler into a freezer at the Logan Pub, and having to make do by hanging him from the rafters.
Anyhow, he sorta did a wrong turn and started collecting '24 Dodges. He collected quite a number, and we all feared there was no hope for him, when two things occurred: 1: He
drove the Mauler's Dodge, and realised that, yes, there were no brakes; and 2: He saw an ad for a Buick Ute, with 4 wheel brakes.
The car was a 1927 Buick and was located in Epsom, about 30 minutes from home. It had been advertised a couple of times, but because it was not "pristine" no-one wanted it. Kenny drove a good bargain because of it. He now reckons Dodges are "peasants cars".
He and Robbo picked it up on a trailer, and Robbo reckons that the owner was related to the Abbott Brothers of Wychitella who had previously owned his Chev Ute. Anyhow, they got it home, put a battery in it, and a bit of fuel and drove it off the trailer.
Three weeks later, after a sheered drive keyway, a bit of cleaning up to make it look a bit better, Kenny took it for a longer drive. By the way, the "cleaning up" involved sorta removing the bright yellow paint that was on the wheels, valances, and lights, and which would have meant that the Cowboy would have had to swap the hat for one with bells on top. We reckon he took the wrong option, but... it's his car.
Came out to the Lupino's, with the Brickie and Izzy in the back, and broke down on the way back. (See pic above) It had shorted out the starter which flattened the battery. Jump started the car and drove home. A gutsy start!
Deaf John's Stupidbaker
Punters may find it hard to believe, but that pristine lump of snot-green engine on the right is indeed Deaf John's resurrected Stupibaker engine.
Those with memories not totally addled by Singing Syrup will recall that the aforementioned engine had carked it due to a deficit of oil. The fact that it was doing 5000rpm at the time, and complaining bitterly, had abso-bloody-lutely nothing to do with it. Oil it was, and those who say contrary to that are vile evil-tongued poodle-faking popinjays, ne'erdowells and poltroons whose mothers coupled with Beelzebub and spawned such character assassins!
So back it is, and sounding glorious.
DJ is "running it in" at the moment, which means that he has not recovered from the nightmares and the nervous tic, and is therefore not revving it to its full potential.
Indeed, playing Devil's Advocate, the Lupino did roar past DJ in the MG Rocket at 110 klics, and it can be vouchsafed that he did not increase speed, as he would have done in the past. Commendable restraint, though no doubt the financial wounds are still fresh.
At the time of the pic, it had done a mere 100 miles. However, at the end of the month we are off to Wentworth some 250 miles for the start of the run up the Darling River to the Louth Races, west of Bourke, and back down again. Now that will be a true test of both it and its owner.
DJ will no doubt be keeping an eagle eye on the oil guage, which he has recently re-installed, having for a long time run without any guages. The Lupino, who is riding with him,, and who has not recovered from the nervous tic associated with thumping noises from the crankcase, will lend him an ear or two on the way.
And the winner of the Lipstick On A Pig Award is.......................
Sometimes the weirdest things happen.
It was whilst being appalled at the vandalism of the Ply Mouth Pig that a pic was taken of the engine bay of the aforementioned Pig.
The second carby, mounted on the firewall of the Pig, sent the Research Department of the Ferals excitedly digging back to early American Indy-car history.
It is a little known fact that, except amongst the cognicenti, the name of Luigi "Cheeze-head" Gorganzola, is virtually unknown.
The monica "Cheeze-head" came about because Luigi had a very yellowish-sallow complexion, which, combined with appalling acne, made him look a bit like a Swiss cheeze.
Luigi was a motoring genius who was experimenting with carburetion in the early 1930's. This was the period of the "junk" class in US racing.
Luigi believed that the then fashion for pre-heated inlet manifolds on cars was wrong. He would corral anyone who would listen and explain that the specific gravity of any fuel was related to its temperature, and that the colder the fuel, the more mass it has, and therefore, the more potential energy it possessed when introduced into the cylinder. Finding the happy medium between iced benzine, and easy running was what obsessed the young Gorganzola.
He also believed in dual carburettors, but not in a conventional setup. He worked on the same principle as dual stage supercharging, where one blower provides the air-fuel mixture, at a compressed rate, to the second blower which further compresses it before delivering it to the engine. Luigi did the same, but naturally aspirated, with the higher (firewall) carby feeding the lower engine carby. Conventional enough, you might say.
Where he differed from others, however, was in the elaborate lengths he went to control the air temperature to the set-up. He had a flexible inlet air hose to the carby operated from within the cabin of the race car. In summer, this hose was trailed out into the slipstream for cool air. In winter it was kept inside the cabin. He had a temperature probe at the inlet of the hose, and guages on the dash monitoring temp and air velocity.
After extensive trials, the system was ready for race
conditions in Chicago in the winter of 1930.
The extreme cold of that winter did, however, present some special problems. He could not get the engine up to temperature, so he instructed his riding mechanic to place the inlet between her thighs for warmth (Luigi always used local girls because they were small and light).
It was during the warm-up laps that the unfortunate incident occurred. He and his mechanic were circling the track, and Luigi was so intent on the exact positioning of the probe that he did not notice a Dodge, in front had slammed on its brakes, and a minor shunt occurred. Only slight damage was done to both the car and the mechanic, and probably nothing more would have come of the matter, except for one, very small, but important, detail.
Luigi used local girls as riding mechanics, as mentioned before. They did not need to have any knowledge of mechanics, and were only there because the rules required a riding mechanic be present. In fact Luigi often did not even know their names, they were just props to his obsession, and there was no shortage of willing girls.
Because there was a small amount of blood involved in this particular incident, Luigi was moved to ask the girl if she was OK, and, by the way, what was her name.
The small amount of blood inhabiting the face of Luigi suddenly also left, and according to witnesses, the sallow complexion turned white, and even the blackheads blanched. He drove the car to the side of the track, and disappeared into the crowd. Some said he went to Chinatown, others say that the Don found him and fed him to the fishes. He just vanished.
This brings us back to Robbo's Pig.
The carburettor setup is very much like that favoured by Luigi "Cheezehead" Gorganzola,even though the inletting is missing. Added to that, the car was bought from the Griffith area, with it's large italian population. Could the Ply Mouth Pig be the last Gorganzola? "Velly intelesting." as they say in Chinatown.
The sheered drive key was found to be caused by a non-original axle with two key ways in it, and the metal in between had broken off. Kenny, being a farmer, just mig-welded the metal back, in situ, and angle-ground the key-ways back, finishing with hand filing. Non of this milling machine nonsense here!
The axles were also slightly smaller in taper than they should be, which caused them to move too far back onto the brake backing plates.
Shim steel fixed that pretty quickly.
The two week run up the Darling should be a good test of his welding skills, and if it breaks, well there are always farmers along the way with mig welders, angle grinders and hand files.
The car lacked a hood, though it did have the hood-bow mechanism. Kenny happened to be at the Carisbrook Tip when a bloke came in with a large, old, canvass tent. $10 later and Kenny had enough canvass to cover a fleet.
And a very nice job it is too.
Apart from that, the only thing Kenny did to the Buick was improve it's performance by fitting an electronic dizzy which he got from the local wreckers. He reckons it really smartened it up, and theres enough spark lead to do another set, if he really wanted to.
All in all, when all expenses are taken into account, it's a lot of car for under 4 Grand.