Well. On Wednesday I really didn't think it was going to make it. We fired up the engine for the first time in 60 years and all seemed well, but there was still a lot to do before it could be driven. By Thursday afternoon it was much more together - the lamps were wired up, a starter switch plumbed in, rear number plate fitted, twmporary perspex windscreen made, the last bits of floor cut and fitted, dashboard fitted and a million other little things to get it driveable. At 7:30 I was able to take it for its first drive in a very long time and it all seemed good. There was a last minute panic as the fuel tap started to leak so something was bodged up with the tap fully open and some mole grips on a bit of flexible pipe as the tap... we loaded up our luggage and tools and drove it ten miles up the road. Nothing fell off, so we headed straight for Newhaven and boarded the overnight ferry.
The next day we set off from Dieppe at 6am along a back roads route, in convoy with a friend in a van towing his car behind. Our putative breakfast stop was something of a let down as we'd managed to arrive before any shops were open! This heap goes along so much better than expected that were ahead of schedule all day, arriving at our destination in time for lunch - 140 miles covered with no drama whatsoever.
It attracted lots of attention all weekend and everyone was stunned that we'd driven it down so soon after its first run. I managed a couple of sessions going round the Montlhéry track, comfortably the slowest car in our grid but conscious not to thrash it too much as we had to get home.
Monday was less successful. First of all we lost a tyre after about an hour of driving - if you've never heard a beaded edge tyre let go, count yourself lucky: it's like a gun going off, followed by a total lack of control. Fortunately I was on a straight stretch of road and I managed to direct it in to a lay by. The resulting mess too four hours to sort out which meant we were never going to make our 6pm ferry, but we cracked on with the car running perhaps 80% as well as before and the gear change getting worse and worse. Eventually we lost all gears at a busy junction and lost another hour taking the floors out, taking off the top of the gearbox and figuring out what was wrong - the shaft with third and fourth had worked loose and popped out the back of the box (!) but I managed to get it all back together and somewhat functioning. After remembering to put some oil in the box it all sort of picked up again and the last 50 miles towards Dieppe were fast and fun as they had been on the way down. 45mph in a 1923 car on beaded edge really does feel exciting. We made the midnight ferry, with time for dinner and lots of beer in Dieppe, and I got home at about 6am. The car is currently parked outside my house and I'll take it back to the workshop later and collect my Xantia.
All in all, an excellent stupid adventure with just enough drama and excitement to make it memorable. Would recomission Vintage car and drive directly to France again.