Sticky patch comes to the res­cue

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Phil Gibbs, Burn­ham-on-Crouch, Es­sex

YYour re­cent men­tion of the Vaux­hall Chevette ( CCW 28 De­cem­ber) made me smile.

In the 1980s I owned a Chevette es­tate – ma­roon with red check seats. I paid £100 for it and it gave me faith­ful ser­vice for about six months.

Then on a week­end jaunt into Buck­ing­hamshire with my girl­friend (now wife) the car lost power and would only do 20mph. This made things very awk­ward, es­pe­cially go­ing up Wy­combe hill when the speed re­duced to 10mph. I saw a large mo­tor parts chain store in the dis­tance and headed for it.

On a com­plete hunch, I bought a Phillips screw­driver and took the top off the Stromberg car­bu­ret­tor. As your 28 De­cem­ber piece sug­gested, the di­aphragm had an inch-long split in it. The store did not have a spare so af­ter a minute’s head scratch­ing I de­cided to try to re­pair it us­ing a bi­cy­cle punc­ture re­pair kit. Stick­ing a patch over the tear and putting the top back on the car­bu­ret­tor took me ten min­utes. I ex­plained to my girl­friend that we may be able to limp the 35 miles back home, but when I got back on the road my Chevette went bet­ter than it had ever gone be­fore. Feel­ing very pleased that we’d got home safely, I promised my­self I would re­place the di­aphragm as soon as pos­si­ble. How­ever I con­fess that the car drove per­fectly for an­other three months be­fore I fi­nally got around to fit­ting a re­place­ment di­aphragm. Those were much sim­pler times.

Vaux­hall Chevette – a faith­ful ser­vant.

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