Monthly Archives: June 2014

British Car Field Day 2014

Instead of working on Ms. Jenavieve, I finally get to reap some of the rewards in driving her and showing her off.  This past weekend took part in our second British Car Field Day in Sussex, WI. Once again, I was the only Jensen there (honest, I recruited people at Jensen East) but it was still fun, even though she got classed as a big Healey again.

From the front… lots of people stopped to (1) read the sign, and (2) ask why she had a muffler under her hood.  I told people it was a spare in case the rear one fell off 🙂

From the rear, obviously.  Spent 6 hours the day before scrubbing down the orange peel with 1000/1500/2000 grit wet sandpaper, followed by a couple of grades of Meguiar’s cutting polish and finished with caranuba wax.  Did all but the hood (that has its own set of issues and I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew that day).  Came out nice, in a way it’s almost a bit more authentic finish since I lost just a little bit of gloss overall.  Had a few people ask if it was her original paint.

And the view of all her cousins.  Austin-Healey 100s and 3000s.  Obviously they got all the votes in the class.  It was fun just being there though.

And one more view.   Actually, one of my best friends from high school dropped by so technically it’s not a picture of Ms. J, but of Ms. Tracy.  But Ms. J is IN the picture.

Custom bonnet (hood) prop

While I’m not tall, I do like to have as much headroom as possible when working on Ms. J. The factory prop (which was lying in her boot when I got her, which was probably a good place for it) doesn’t allow a lot of headroom. One of the previous owners had removed it and installed what looked suspiciously like a prop from a 1970s Ford Pinto… just a rod which was attached with a cotter pin, stored atop the radiator, and could rotate up to a vertical position to set into a hole drilled in the underside of the bonnet. While this solved the bent bonnet problem from the original prop, it still didn’t allow much more headroom, basically because the rod could only be “so” long to store across the radiator.

So, I had a brainstorm, and my son (the master welder) and I created a much improved prop. All it took was a length of round stock, and a short piece of tube stock, along with a couple of washers.

The pictures aren’t the greatest, but hopefully you get the idea…

First order of business was to custom cut and bend a new rod, similar to the “Pinto” one she came with.  You can see it in the pic, lying across the data plate, with a couple of bends near the end on the right so that it can “hinge”.  There is a washer welded about an inch from the end to act as a stop, with the remainder inserted through a hole in the sheet metal near the headlight and then held in place with another washer and a cotter pin.  The left end, you will note, has something else…

With the prop in the upright position, you can see that we welded a short piece of tube stock to the end of the rod.  For quick “under the bonnet” jobs, this is all we need as the end of the tube can just be inserted into one of the recesses in the underside of the bonnet.  However, for more room…

… we need an extension.  This is another piece of the same rod stock, with a bend in the end and another washer welded to it…

… which inserts into the tube at the end of the prop…

and into a strategically drilled hole on the front edge of the bonnet.

This makes working on Ms. J’s engine much more pleasant.  Lots of headroom, and it’s not in the way.  While it’s a small chore to use (for now the extension sits in the boot… looking for a couple of clips to clip it under the bonnet) it’s quite functional and easy to work around.  And again, I don’t “have” to use the extension if I just need to do something quick.

Now I can put my 4 foot level away… which was my “temporary” prop while I was working on the restore.  No more broom handles, either!

Jensen East 2014

Our first Jensen East meet, and the planners thoughtfully situated it in Monroe, WI.  Only a 3 hour drive from home.  We couldn’t very well NOT go, right?

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Ms. Jenavieve in her first all-Jensen car show.  How exciting!

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Of course there was much more Jensenia to view.   Beautiful day in downtown Monroe, WI.

I just like this picture.  Everyone’s parked for the final night banquet.