Classic Sports Car - - Our Classics - RUN BY Ju­lian Balme OWNED SINCE 1991 PRE­VI­OUS RE­PORT May 2016

I’m em­bar­rassed to con­fess that, what with rac­ing TR4S, Gasser sta­tion wagons and ’32 Ford hot rods, I have rather ig­nored Wooly Bully re­cently. Since the 2016 stag­ing of the Fly­wheel Fes­ti­val, it had been in res­i­dence at Bices­ter Her­itage. The pur­chase ear­lier this year of a Dy­nam­a­tor (some­thing I’d promised the car ever since it was re­built in ’91, when the or­gan­is­ers of La Car­rera Panamer­i­cana rec­om­mended that we fit­ted a mod­ern al­ter­na­tor) meant the Lin­coln was fi­nally dis­in­terred from His­torit, and moved the 100 yards to Clas­sic Per­for­mance En­gi­neer­ing to have it fit­ted. At last the en­gine bay looks cor­rect.

Hav­ing bragged of the car’s re­li­a­bil­ity, it was only nat­u­ral I should be caught out by a se­ries of mishaps – the first on the way back from The Clas­sic & Sports Car Show with Si­mon Tay­lor, whose car had also been struck by me­chan­i­cal mal­adies. It didn’t help that I’d left the hand­brake on – an item I rarely use – but part of the link­age had seized while in hi­ber­na­tion. Colin Mul­lan did the nec­es­sary, along with a brief in­spec­tion prior to our de­par­ture for the Le Mans Clas­sic.

The French trip marked the rare treat of putting the orig­i­nal band – Wooly, Mick Walsh and me – back to­gether. Glo­ri­ous weather ac­com­pa­nied our drive south un­til a lunch stop brought about the un­ex­pected use of the car’s min­i­mal tool­kit. The nut hold­ing the main feed to the Dy­nam­a­tor had worked loose and fallen by the way­side, caus­ing the bat­tery to run flat. As is al­ways the way with Wooly, it soon at­tracted a crowd – one of whom, Chris­tian Sil­lau­nie, felt com­pelled to hero­ically dive in and help, burn­ing his arm on the still-hot ex­haust in the process. The rest of the trip went with­out in­ci­dent, though with high am­bi­ent tem­per­a­tures the car was run­ning hot­ter than usual.

It seemed ap­pro­pri­ate to drive the Lin­coln, a three-time vet­eran of the St Mary’s Tro­phy, to the Good­wood Re­vival and again it was fault­less – not some­thing the driver could be ac­cused of. In the ex­cite­ment of the day, I man­aged to drop the bat­tery cutout key some­where around the cir­cuit. We man­aged to by­pass the switch by con­nect­ing the ca­bles to­gether, thus avoid­ing an un­planned camp. How many en­tries from this year’s race could have made the same jour­ney?

An au­tumn run passed with­out any is­sues other than a blown fuse, but again the car was run­ning warm. Putting my hand on the ra­di­a­tor I no­ticed that the top was far hot­ter than the bot­tom, so be­fore us­ing it again I’m tempted to whip out the rad and have it flushed – if noth­ing else to prove I’m not ne­glect­ing the ‘magic car’.

Fail­ure to pro­ceed in France with (l-r) helper Sil­lau­nie, Balme, plus Hank Hank­ins and mate

New key fit­ted after cutout by­pass bodge

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