November 9th

Managed to get to talk to Mr Hill at the VRO. I have to fill in the forms and send off to him:

  • The forms
  • A cheque for £180 made out to DVLA--those b******s in Swansea again. (£155 for the road tax and £25 registration fee.)
  • The SVA certificate. (This means having struggled for it, they're taking it off me again!)
  • One of the Westfield invoices. He seemed to say that he just wanted the address off it.
  • Insurance cover note.

He said that with luck we could arrange an inspection for next week, which would be OK-ish. Interestingly, he seemed quite chatty and asked me where I'd had the SVA done and so on. He asked me how long it had taken and I described the process and commented on the two forms that were filled in for Swansea. Even he seemed to think that the whole process was bizarre--there seems to be a bit of internecine warfare here.

In the evening I filled the forms in, which of course don't match the sample ones that Westfield sent me, and jammed the whole lot in an envelope.

November 10th

Sent off the letter to the VRO.

In the evening I modified the seat belt mountings so that all of the mountings are now positioned on the main cross-beam of the chassis, rather than having the inner ones on the turrets in the middle. I now know how high they should be positioned due to the SVA so it should be safe and looks rather neater.

This is starting to get frustrating. The car's all ready to go and I'm blocked on a bit of bureaucracy.

November 11th

Terry Hill at the VRO phoned me. (See, I even found out his first name.) He said the paperwork "seemed to be in order" and I arranged to go there on Monday (exactly a week after the SVA) for the VRO inspection. Rumour has it that this is just a check that the chassis number and engine numbers on the form actually match those written on the car.

At least this is will mean another trip in the car and will hopefully result in the acquisition of a registration number at last. I'll have to be careful on the way as there is a bit of 4 lanes in each direction road that is a favourite for getting stopped for speeding. (It's really wide and open and consequently difficult to keep at 70 mph.) A colleague has just lost his licence after a bit of over-exuberance there. What's more, Terry actually mentioned this to me and told me to be careful.

November 12th

Had a go at fixing the rear fog light by bending the contacts for the bulb. It seems OK at the moment but I have very little hope that it's fixed in any meaningful manner.

November 13th

In order to see why the car's engine seems to have trouble keeping up to temperature, I drained all the coolant and took out the thermostat. This is supposed to open at 88° and some testing with a saucepan full of water showed that it opened at about the right temperature. Rats. I suppose I'm going to have to try blanking the radiator slightly.

It's concerned me for a while that the ignition amplifiers were mounted in front of the scuttle. Whenever any water gets there it tends to pool around the amplifiers which doesn't seem very healthy. So, I moved them to the front of the scuttle, as in the photo. I mounted them on a piece of aluminium, using some heatsick compound under them, so as to assist in any heat dissipation.

November 14th

Tomorrow is the day I have to drive up to Peterborough to get the car registered. As an experiment I blanked off about half of the radiator with some cardboard. (I think it was the wrapping from the cycle wings!) It doesn't look very pretty but it'll be interesting to see if it does anything to the running temperature.

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