Sunday, June 29, 2014

An empty parking lot: The first shakedown runs

With barely a single low speed kilometer on the clock since restoration, the time had now come to start running the car more seriously. While it would be great to just hop in and go for a cruise the reality is that for the car to run properly, hundreds of assemblies need to operate without problem.

Having had the whole car completely apart down to the disassembly of the clock, we felt that a progressive and metered approach to getting our Dino fully road worthy was called for. As such we have begun a process of progressively longer and more involved drives between which a comprehensive check of the tightness of all the fasteners is done. Racers call this giving the car a proper 'nut and bolt' and today was the first of these tests.

Lucky for us there is an enormous convention center only a few hundred meters from our office and today (being a Sunday) the entire complex was all but deserted. As such we had access to a number of roads and large parking lots on which to put our Dino through its paces. Operating in this controlled environment was great because it allowed us to really pay attention to the car without concern for other vehicles. Also should a mechanical problem arise we are not too far from home.

It all felt a little like those days way back when Dad would take us to a parking lot on a weekend to teach Paul or I to drive. For a good while we just circled the complex and with time built up more speed and confidence with the car. While keeping the engine within its break in max RPM we still managed some blasts up to about 70mph as well as some proper brake and cornering tests.

The test went well with no visible mechanical issues. The real proof will come when we get the car cooled and on the hoist for a comprehensive nut and bolt. If we don't find anything serious then the next run will be longer and on the public roads.

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