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Lime Rock Park Historic Festival


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Yesterday I drove the 137 miles down and back to the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival. My goal was to enter the Caterham in the Gathering of the Marques in the hopes of meeting other Caterham/Lotus 7 owners. It was also a test whether I could tolerate such a long trip with a significant portion of freeway driving. To reduce buffeting, I mounted the doors. A 6 AM start in the dark gave me an opportunity to adjust the headlights and do a bit of driving in the dark. The great news is that my only bother the exhaust noise, which at 75-80 MPH is really loud. Strangely it felt louder with the doors on than with the windbreakers. The positive is that with the doors on I don't get slapped in the face by the loose ends of the 4 point harness!

 

The festival was great. Loads and loads of fantastic cars. Not as many Sevens as I had hoped. There were just two of us: myself and Ed Lawson from Farmington, CT. My well used and heavily patinaed looked somewhat rough next to Ed's beautiful car. They are both 1700 Supersprints, and it was fun comparing them with one another. Mine was built for high-performance driving and has seen plenty of that, while Ed's was built for street use. Ed's is also five years younger and has a number of upgrades relative to mine, like real double wishbones in front, instead of incorporating the sway bar as an element of the top wishbone. Walter Irvine from Lime Rock Park came over early and introduced himself. He organizes monthly Lotus drives from the park and has included me in his distribution list, which adds a number of new names to my list.

 

I also met two people who knew and recognized the car. They both knew it from 15 years ago when it was for sale through Sevens and Elans. One had considered buying it, and the other did a few laps on track in it at the tender young age of 15.

 

The best represented Marque was Porsche. There was a sea of them. I am glad I was wearing my Porsche cap. Some other year I'll have to take one of my Boxsters there.

 

The car loved the Italian Tuneup from the trip. It really sang, no, roared, on the highway on the return trip. I couldn't resist momentarily hitting triple digits in a pass.

 

Since it is an old car, I had all three required in the trunk, rather mini-boot, and needed to top up the clutch reservoir. I have been losing fluid slowly and hadn't found exactly where it was, but when I wasn't able to get it into first from a light, I turned into a parking lot and topped it up again. The leak is from the master cylinder, and I see it coming out of the rubber boot around the actuator shaft. The remaining fluid looked really ugly, so there is a seal that is deteriorating badly. This must have been going on for quite a while before I bought the car earlier this year. The heater box paint close to the pedal cylinders is gone.

 

So this weeks project is to find someone who can supply me with a new master cylinder, hopefully soon. I am afraid it is going to quit all of a sudden.

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Sounds like a great Labor Day weekend. A clutch is just an accessory. Many stories of driving with no clutch. But, don't delay. A very bad side effect can be getting fluid on the pedals. Makes them slick as owl s it.

 

Jealous in Texas.

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