Some very broken and misshapen bits of car there, the drive shaft was smashed, we had to pull it out and leave it disconnected. The lower arm had been seriously modified, the track rod end was both mashed and mangled. The wheel had been pushed in and hard up against the bodywork, it took a crow bar and 18 stone of Russell to shift it. As always, we got there in the end.
The guys at Blyton had kindly loaded the car on to the back of the transporter with their fork lift, the steering was so badly damaged that towing it or dragging it wasn't an option.
The guys at 2010 fortunately have a new shell with a roll cage already in it so the first job was to try and assess what bits could come off he car and be put in the new one, that meant testing the engine.
Josh was off taking his test for his racing licence at Mallory Park, me and Russ set about the car to see what the score was. First job was to see if the engine had been killed from being run upside down. Maximum respect to Josh again here, despite being upside down himself he still had the nouce to turn the motor off. Ford didn't really design them to run that way up so before we did anything we checked all the fluids, surprisingly the coolant was fine, unsurprisingly, the oil wasn't. To be fair most of it was spread across the underside of the bonnet, the deck of the transporter and pretty much everywhere else except in the engine. We bunged a couple of litres in to re-establish the level and then pulled the plugs. The Sigma engine uses tapered seat spark plugs and despite them having been correctly copper greased they were still bloody tight. They did succumb to me superiority in the end though, we could now safely crank the engine. We had assumed that one or more of the bores would have oil in them, cranking with lots of oil in the bore would create a hydrostatic lock and do massive damage to the engine.
Russ cranked it over and sure enough fountains of OPEC's finest shot out of bores 2 and 3. We let it spin for a few seconds and lots more oil came out so we had clearly done the right thing.
We put the plugs back in and gave it a whirl but apart from a few pops it didn't do much. We took off the air filter and administered some easy start and had a bit more luck, eventually it started and sounded fine. Great, only other job was to get the front near side wheel off and weld up the track rod end so the car could be dragged off the transporter and in to 2010's workshop.
That was a lot easier said than done, it had taken a hell of a bang and everything was bent, twisted and broken. We got there in the end with weldmeister Russ doing a fine job of getting things far enough back together so that it can at least be moved, which will make 2010's job much easier.
In the mean time we were eagerly awaiting news of Josh's test day at Mallory, it was a big day for him and the rest of the clan. Malc phoned to say it was going really well but there was still an on track test to be held at racing speed. I had to come home so I left Russ with an enormous pile of tools to put away and got on with my work at home while waiting for the phone to ring.
It did ring, it was a very proud Malcolm calling to tell me that Josh had absolutely smashed it and is now a properly licensed racing driver. My God that took some character, I'm sure Mum, Dad and all the rest of the family are as proud as punch. Well done Josh, wish I had been there to see it.
It will take a couple of weeks at least to get a replacement car, in the mean time Russ has a fair bit of work left to do welding wise on the Lotus Cortina, he doesn't need my help for that. It will be getting some professional body work / painting then we can put it all back together and finish that off. I will continue in my own workshop getting the Bianchi Stelvio as close to finished as I can and doing some other mundane stuff. I love working with Russ - he is a seriously top bloke, we always learn something off each other, we have a great laugh and usually end the day with a great sense of achievement. I therefore look forward to the next job, whatever the hell that might be.