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Old 23rd August 2009, 11:12   #31
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The best conversation ever...

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My wife saw him and a short and sweet conversation ensued, which went something like this:

Wife, ‘Why has Nair(the driver) come?’
Self, ‘Um, aah, he’ll follow us, in case something goes wrong.’
Wife, ‘Whatever for? I thought you were the world’s greatest adventurer, mechanic and restorer rolled into one. (menacingly) I don’t want him to chaperone us.’
Self, ‘Gulp! OK.’
Wife, ‘(Wickedly) Moreover, how can we romance each other if Nair is going to breathe down our necks? (to Nair), you can go home.’
And so it was just the three of us, and Swami, of course.
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Old 23rd August 2009, 17:57   #32
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Hi Mr. Tonrag, after reading the interesting Austin 7 travels, we would love to hear more from your Morris Minor tales and how about your other cars and experience. Please do share with us.

Late Mr. K.C.Aswath also used to have similar Austin-7 (Maroon) in Bangalore.

Regards,
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Old 23rd August 2009, 18:05   #33
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Wow, Wonderful narration. I read it again from the start and was really speechless. Wonderful pics. I once had breakfast at the same Saravana Bhavan @ Bhavani in Mar,07. I guess it was the same then as well. not much changes.

I am glued to this thread. Bring the return journey soon.

OT: Your wife resembled Benazir bhutto in one of the pic.

Abhi
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Old 23rd August 2009, 22:17   #34
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Woohoo! My wife looks like Benazir!? I always thought she looked like Indira Gandhi! All I know is that her bad temper has subcontinental proportions. Actually, both she and my son have been wonderful partners in long drives in old cars, though she reckons she's clocked more miles pushing my cars than riding in them!
I've been unsuccessfully trying to upload a video of the drive. Shall try and post it shortly.

Yes, Mr. Ashwath has been an old friend of two decades. His Austin was an earlier model than mine, it was smaller and had a magneto electrical system. His passing away last year has left a big void in my life. I still miss him, his practical jokes, his immense knowledge of old cars and his tremendous patience with scratchuilding cosmetic parts for cars.
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Old 24th August 2009, 00:05   #35
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Originally Posted by vintagepoint5 View Post
Late Mr. K.C.Aswath also used to have similar Austin-7 (Maroon) in Bangalore.
Yes its such a cute car, and my friend also owns one Austin-7, which sadly remains in his office unrestored.

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Yes, Mr. Ashwath has been an old friend of two decades. His Austin was an earlier model than mine, it was smaller and had a magneto electrical system. His passing away last year has left a big void in my life. I still miss him, his practical jokes, his immense knowledge of old cars and his tremendous patience with scratchuilding cosmetic parts for cars.
Good people are remembered for their best deeds sir, I too am a fan of Mr Ashwath, My beetle was maintained by him for long time when it was with its erstwhile owner way back in the 1980's .

And a great travelogue from you, show's the bonding between you and the old cars.

Keep some more such interesting travelogues and experiences coming here sir.
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Old 25th August 2009, 07:41   #36
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Good people are remembered for their best deeds
Well said, Pavan! For me, the gurus were Mr. Ganesh Rao, C. Ravikumar and Mr. Aswath. The three were quite different personalities. Mr. Ganesh Rao was full of old world grace and patient with a novice like me. Ravi was full of the most fascinating stories about the cars that he got and those that got away. Mr. Aswath was raffish, filled with a childish humour that belied his years. All brimmed with knowledge; now all have gone.

Sorry folks! I'll resume the posts of photos today. I wasn't able to convert the video from a .dat file to a .flv file, which can be posted on youtube.
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Old 25th August 2009, 08:24   #37
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.......though she reckons she's clocked more miles pushing my cars than riding in them!
So go ahead and reward her "more miles" bonus....

Waiting for the videos.
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:34   #38
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Such an amazing journey, such anamazing experience, the feeling of being in a world of your own in midst of the daily humdrum.

What comes out from the write up is the perseverance of slowly chugging along the distance, when the rest of the world is passing by.

Your son will have a fantastic memory of this. I know as I was once a little accomplice of my Dad driving a, then, 22yr old Fiat from Calcutta to Nagpur and back. But then, this is in a different league of its own.

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Old 25th August 2009, 18:54   #39
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Siigh !! Reminds me of our 1971 Ambi. Was a kid, attention was drawn more towards the new kids on the block. Cheers Tonrag !!!
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:40   #40
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As it turned out, the wedding drive went off perfectly. Here is a photo of the car, just before we set off. Luckily, the traffic in Thiruvananathapuram was sparse. We were preceded by a Maruti Van, with the rear open and an intrepid photographer recording our drive. Software illiteracy prevents me from uploading the file on Youtube, but I hope to sort that out soon.
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:43   #41
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Return journey: 11 May 2001; Trivandrum to Cochin.

At Trivandrum, we had a chance to give the once over to the car before we set off on our return jourey. So far, we had not suffered any major problem, other than the clattering fan. Things kept dropping off the car, particularly on a bad stretch of road. For instance, a shackle pin holding the front Hartford friction damper to the front axle has dropped off near Mettur and we got a bolt from a roadside mechanic, which did the job equally well. Later, a door handle fell off in Trivandrum when we were out on a night drive; but my wife, powerful torch in hand, discovered it on the road. The brakes had felt a bit bumpy throughout the journey, but I reckoned that since they had been re-shoed, they still needed time to adjust to the drums. A check of the brakes at Trivandrum revealed that the rear right side brake had a tendency to jam. A check of the front brakes also revealed that the left side brake drum was standing a little proud of the hub, possibly due to a wider wheel bearing than the standard fitting. This meant that only 75 percent of the brake shoe was bearing on the drum. With a chill, I reckoned that we’d travelled 700 plus kilometers with only two brakes acting at full strength, with the other two only working at about 60 percent of their standard effectiveness. And yet, I had not detected anything untoward while driving, and I did not need to adopt anything more that the normal defensive driving techniques that any Austin driver would adopt. I realised that if all the brakes were set up correctly and the play removed from the various pivots and cams, they would be quite adequate. My respect for the Austin went up another notch. I also cleaned the brushes in the dynamo and the points in the cut out.

When we started up the engine a day before we left, we heard a frightful thumping inside it I feared the worst, probably it could be a bearing or a con rod knock. But just when I despaired of ever getting the thing right, the noise stopped, just as mysteriously as it had started. It was then I noticed a little bubbling around the studs holding down the head gasket. Unmistakable signs of a blown head gasket. Yet strangely, the compression was just fine, and there was no more knocking or missing in any cylinder. I remembered that Austin engines were of such low compression, that their lack of power very often turned out to their advantage, making them tolerant of all except the most extreme failures Moreover, throughout our entire journey, strange noises would emanate from the car, promising the worst and just as strangely, disappear. Call it foolhardiness or trust in the car; I took a deep breath and decided to ignore the whole thing, I decided that since the wedding drive went off perfectly, we could probably drive the car back to Bangalore again.

An early morning start saw us running into some pre-monsoon rain. There can be no better experience than driving in the rain in an old car. Our wipers didn’t work – I did not have the vacuum operated wiper unit on my car – I still don’t have it; but it did not matter much as we kept a sedate pace. I looked forward to driving in cooler weather, but the rain was just an isolated patch of cloud.
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:45   #42
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The head descended upon us, but the car behaved like a breeze, enough for us to take detours to see some of the other sights of Cochin. I knew the roads well; I was born and brought up there. We took a detour to fort Cochin. Crossing the old British built bailey bridge, with the centre span that could be raised, provided some excellent photo opportunities. I wondered when was the last time an Austin Seven had crossed that bridge!
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:46   #43
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At Cochin, we went to the lip of land that separates the sea from the Vembanad lake and next to the Chinese nets, we paused for a while to see the ships set off to sea.
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:47   #44
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A short distance away, I saw a most interesting bunk; it had a diesel pump that could service both trucks as well as fishing boats and trawlers, that pulled up on the jetty alongside!
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:49   #45
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The Austin reveled in the narrow streets of Jew town and negotiated them like a nimble Auto. We were also relieved by the cooler shaded lanes. The house painted yellow was built in the 18th century.
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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 26th August 2009 at 09:47. Reason: Removing tags
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