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Six Cylinders Motoring Notes - Zoom at 8pm tonight!


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Rather impressed by that little Peugeot.  Reckon with a bit of elbow grease there's a really pleasant little car there.

I'm usually far, far, far from the sort of person who goes for the whole "rat look" thing, but there is a part of me which does say that the ridiculous colour contrast going on here is such a thing in itself that it should stay.  Unfortunately it also screams out "Hey, Mr. Policeman who's having a really crap day, pull me over!" I reckon.  So getting it back to being at least mostly one colour probably does make sense.

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Didn't take much to get it going really.

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It was initially a little reluctant to pull fuel through, but when we saw that there were bubbles being pulled through the filter once the engine was running that pretty much immediately explained why, as it's obviously pulling air in somewhere.  All of the fuel hose in the engine bay looks quite crusty so will be swapped out before we do anything else.  If there's still air getting in then we'll worry about the other end - odds on the tank pickup being easily accessible?

Immediate observation: What a sweet sounding little engine.  Aside from a little bit of an exhaust blow from up front somewhere it's very quiet and extremely smooth.  Probably one of the smoothest idling engines I've come across before the days of electronic ignition and injection. 

With it up and running a quick trundle around was had.

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I then had a shot.  Things I noticed:

[] I know we're not on tarmac, but man the steering is light.

[] I know how smooth that field isn't.  The suspension is wonderfully soft.  Seats are bloody comfy too.

[] I've not driven a huge number of cars with column changes, but this definitely feels like one of the most pleasant to use I've come across so far.  So long as you remember there's no syncro on 1st, though hardly unusual on an early 60s car.

[] Bit of a clatter from underneath somewhere on larger bumps, not convinced it's actually suspension and not just something rattling about though.

[] Clutch release bearing is a little noisy, but not enough to alarm me.

She ran absolutely lovely for probably 30 minutes or so, until left idling for 10 minutes or so, and then conked out when we tried to drive out to the field a second time.  Sounded like we weren't getting fuel, but there wasn't a sniff of life when offered some easy start.  I checked and we had a strong spark both at the distributor and plugs (well, number 1 anyway), but not a sausage in terms of signs of life.  Until after about five minutes she started back up again, running awfully (behaving as if short on fuel) for a couple of minutes before sorting herself out again once we were driving around.  Once switched off a little later she again absolutely refused to restart until after sitting for a few minutes.  So we need to try to get to the bottom of that one as the last thing you want to have to do is wait five minutes to restart if you stall in traffic. 

Feels like fuel vapourisation (worth noting that the carb is basically sitting on the head on this engine - there really isn't an inlet manifold as you'd normally expect, it's just an elbow), though the fact she wouldn't even cough on easy start puzzles me.

We'll figure it out.

Seemed like the generator had lost interest in charging after we'd been running for a while, though it definitely was working when we first started up as it's something I checked early on while we still had the choke on.  Guessing that's just going to be a duff connection somewhere, or possibly the points needing cleaned in the regulator (I'm assuming it's a points style setup at this age).

For all it looks quite a state at a glance, I don't think there's really much between this car and the road.  Aside from the rear arches, a bit on the bootlid slam panel and the lip of the bonnet the body actually looks really quite solid - though admittedly I'm saying that not having crawled around underneath it yet!  Get the bits of electrical system that are currently disconnected hooked back up, sort the rear arches and the bonnet, then just tick anything else off as it becomes apparent I think.

This isn't a car I'd ever really even thought about before, but it does seem a nicely thought out and based on admittedly at this point a very limited sample, nicely refined for the period little car.  Though not all that little really...It looks somewhat petite by modern car standards, but it's a decent size.  Guessing a Morris Oxford from the same sort of period would be the closest British competitor?  Though I think the Peugeot may be a little larger, cabin definitely feels bigger anyway.

I'm quite impressed and definitely will be interested to see how this progresses.

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really awesome to see the 404 has come to life without too much issue!, it does sound very nice in Zel's video! :) 

its a very nice "An car" of the 1960's :) I never thought much of the Pug 404, but I am finding it quite endearing how it is just a very good box with 4 doors and 4 wheels for the time!

very much looking forward to more on it in time! (and hopefully I can blag a cheeky go of it at the FoD in time! I have never driven a column shifter before! not unless you count @Mrs6C's Model 70 with its column mounted accelerator and brake pedal! LOL, so I am very curious to find out what that aspect of it is like)

 

I agree it would be fun to keep the current exterior look at least for a while, just because I like how much it contrasts with how nice the interior is and how solid I hear the underside is, I imagine you could have a lot of a fun with that, they see this proper patchwork paint outside and think oh gosh I bet its horrible everywhere else, only to be greeted this sweet running engine with a lovely interior :) I love that contrast! plus it being shabby on the outside means you dont have to worry about it at the Tesco car park :) 

 

I am wondering however, what are the new front wings painted in? If its just primer, I understand that primer can be hydroscopic or at least porous to water, and can lead to rusting of the panel underneath if its left as it is, so I wonder if  that is the case if it would be worth just quickly slapping some paint on the wings to just help seal everything up so to speak :) (im Sure Zel has some Invacar blue leftover from TPA's paint experiments and repaint :mrgreen:

 

 

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I love that 404. I’m probably going against the grain but the cheapest option of leaving the paint as is ( “in its juice” I believe is a rough translation of the intention in French used in antiques) would be my favoured approach. It looks like a badly repainted, play worn die cast.

Plus you could pitch it to the bbc that a dechevelled detective drives it and loan it to them during filming for dollar.

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I might be around after Christmas, probably more at the end of the week though. Meeting the Peugeot is a good incentive! 

I’m going to buck the trend and say paint - at least all in one colour anyway.

I quite like the dark blue but it’s your car so whatever you want. 

Also please bin those horrible repro ‘American’ plates - the British ones may be a bit crap but at least we did use plates like those even if the font is slightly wrong.  I don’t know any American state that used silver on black so they are faking something that never existed in the first place. 

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Road and Track road test, April 1961. They like it a lot - ‘The net result is a car which is almost impossible to criticise’

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Quick, terrible pics but you should be able to read the text. I can bring the magazine next time if you want to scan properly (and I’ll have a look if I have any other US road tests). 

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As much as I would love to get up to the FoD again, I have pretty much 25th, 26th Dec and 1st Jan off work so unless some miracle happens and work decides to give the entire workforce that week off it’s highly unlikely I can come up. I have a few days off in the new year mid January so I can always get in the way then.

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