It’s light­ing up time

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Our Classics - Richard Bar­nett MAR­KETS EDITOR



The B’s been stuck in the back of our rented unit for more than a year now. I’m al­most ashamed to ad­mit the only things I did with it last year were to sort out a flat front tyre, take the rear seat frame out and send it to the trim­mer and get a re­place­ment six-volt bat­tery.

Any good in­ten­tions of mak­ing progress were side­lined by the reap­pear­ance of the 100E and spo­radic, slow progress with the Ruby hot rod pro­ject. Frus­trated by both I sent them off to auc­tion and, re­freshed by that de­ci­sion, felt far more in­clined to get the ’32 out and about.

How­ever, the new six-volt bat­tery might have been a mis­take, be­cause I feel the only way to make it us­able is to go over to a 12-volt sys­tem. Driv­ing back cross-coun­try from the 2012 Welsh Trial at Presteigne was par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable, be­cause a non-charg­ing dynamo ren­dered the glow­worm-like headlights use­less.

With a 12-volt set-up things would be more prac­ti­cal, and the light­ing in par­tic­u­lar. I like the idea of not only see­ing, but be­ing seen too, and those big headlights, with suit­ably pow­er­ful bulbs, should make night driv­ing much safer. The con­ver­sion shouldn’t in­volve too much

work be­cause there’s not much to re-wire other than lights, wiper mo­tor and the dis­trib­u­tor. Talk­ing of the lat­ter, I’ve been look­ing at re­plac­ing all the ig­ni­tion com­po­nents, but here was a task eas­ier said than done be­cause the orig­i­nal dis­trib­u­tor was long gone.

My friend Ger­ald popped over one evening and set about iden­ti­fy­ing where the dis­trib­u­tor was from and his ini­tial thoughts – that it was from a smaller side­valve Ford – proved cor­rect. Rum­mag­ing through nu­mer­ous boxes he found a se­cond-hand dis­trib­u­tor cap and points and from here we’ll or­der up a com­plete new set of parts. Once fit­ted I’ll run it down to the lo­cal MoT tester for a fresh ticket and then, hope­fully, it’ll be pound­ing West Wales tar­mac.

I’ve not checked up on progress with the rear seat, but it’s not such a pri­or­ity now – sadly Lily the road test ter­rier, star of th­ese pages and vis­i­tor to many clas­sic car shows, died on Christ­mas night. Af­ter 13 years it’ll be strange go­ing to events with­out her sit­ting in the front seat, but other than the Mis­sus I couldn’t have wanted a bet­ter clas­sic com­pan­ion.

The B has been wedged in the back of the unit for nearly two years now but its re­vival has be­gun, fol­low­ing a clearout of some other clas­sics.

Lily – Richard’s res­i­dent road test ter­rier – was a com­pan­ion when­ever he was at shows and in the work­shop, but sadly she died over the fes­tive break.

The Model B’s still look­ing scruffy but it should be back on the roads of West Wales in the next few months.

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