P to P thoughts, post aborted Euro Tour – With circa 1600km on the clock since all the work, some thoughts about the car and its preparation for Peking to Paris …..
The car is very comfortable and we both felt very glad about this as we spent some long days behind the wheel. Granted we were only running on tarmac, but having now covered circa 1600km I cannot impress upon any other P to P competitors how important the change to the seating position was. (removal of front bench seat and fitting Courbeau suspension seats) To be honest, I simply would not have been able to drive the car for this length of time with the original seating position. Having your legs in a comfortable position is critical and being able to stretch out the left leg really helped. The car is comfortable, but I think that all these old cars tend to bounce up and down a lot more than a modern car. A couple of level crossings were interesting, with quite a hard landing – tough on the lower back if its not well supported.
Whilst the “Euro Tour” has ended in tears, we both fell pleased that we did what we did. We both agree how obvious it is that we need to all lots of km before P to P – it’s the hard miles before we go that will give the experience and familiarity necessary for the event.
I have a slight sense of being overwhelmed, the enormity of P to P really struck home and a real feeling of the stupidity of trying to make a journey of that magnitude in an old car ! As Julie said there always seems to be something just fixed and another thing on the way out ! I was very surprised how quickly time disappeared in the mornings fettling the car – slightly worrying as this will mean very early starts on P to P.
Tyres – we fitted Benson with 5 new Dunlop tyres (recommended by Simon at RPS as hardest wearing and least prone to punctures), these made a massive difference to the ride. Car was fitted with BF Goodrich before but felt more solid on the road with the Dunlops and they also tracked better, less likely to follow grooves or bad camber. These tyres were a bugger to fit onto the split rims even with the special tool we bought on eBay.
Nylocs – in the short distance we have travelled we have had issues with old nuts coming loose, most concerning were the nuts inside the hub that keep the hub fixed to the wheel spokes. A lot of nuts on the car have already been replaced with ugly shiny new nylocs and lock washers. I plan to make sure everything is as above before we leave.