Cotswold Cortina

Malmesbury Madness by Ann Healy

Today being 7th 1977 we being Lorenzo and I, did some very silly things in a car – namely CYA 944C and got a lot of fun out of it.

After forcing five persons into the back of a car, namely CYA 944C, which the previous night had been booked for parking the wrong way round by the one and only – everybody’s friend – PC Lloyd. Ugh! Boo!! Hiss!!! (this car was made to hold three in the back seat).

We manoeuvred from the parking space and proceeded along many roads at an abominable speed using large quantities of petroleum. (By the way I was taught to write by yes folks PC Lloyd!!!) Boo!! kick him out.

After a nice tour of the Cotswold countryside we arrived back in Malmesbury and released four of our five passengers, who said they enjoyed the ride very much but never wanted to go through with it again, (they said this in a pleading manner whilst kneeling in a wet muddy puddle).

Whilst travelling the streets of Malmesbury, we espied a rather unusual looking vehicle, known commonly as Julian Peel’s car? In the back seat with their faces squashed against the back windscreen, were several rowdy passengers. After a short tour of White Lion Park, we challenged them to a race to Sherston and back, giving them a two minute head start. Being fools they excepted and drove off at an abominable speed.

After pushing the car to get it started we proceeded along the road coming to a sharp bend, we attempted to over take a van at the speed of 80 mph, but misfortunately the wheel fell off SHAME! SHAME!

Deciding that the race was lost, Lorenzo (Italian chauffeur used to Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and spaghetti) repaired the damage and we headed back towards Malmesbury but not before being passed by the Peel Mobile.

After taking the first corner, the wheel decided to come off again much to our annoyance. Whilst repairing it for the second time we were delighted by the sight of (no not again) PC Lloyd over taking us in his pretty blue and white van and not offering us any help.

On returning to Malmesbury we were greatly embarrassed by the fact we had lost the race. So not being bad losers we challenged them to a race on the Santa Pod Raceway of Malmesbury – the by-pass. Not before being entertained by PC Lloyd picking on some poor innocent children namely David Ind, Dominic Hurcombe and Co.

Once at the by-pass and after several false starts by the Peel Mobile, we succeeded in burning them off after covering only half the track and so slowed down thinking the race was over, but they overtook us and reckoned that they had won.

So yet again we challenged them, this time picking up David Ind to make sure the cars were fairly weighted. But to our misfortune we lost the opponents but after a while searching Malmesbury we found them and burnt them off in a fine style leading to an overwhelming victory.

A little bedtime story

Dear Diary, today we had fun, we bought a kitchen sink, it took quarter of an hour to get to Swindon with no clutch! We broke the record player and mended it again. Posted a letter to the optician. Bought a wedding present. Strolled around the shops. Went to a crafts exhibition. Bought a Madeira cake. Moved a bed-sitter and two radiators to Abbey Row Recording Studios. Wrote this rubbish. Until tomorrow, good night, Lorenzo and me.

Cortina 1500 GT © David Forward

Lorenzo’s Note :-

Having recently attempted to drive through the flooded Cutwell Ford in Tetbury and brought to a rapid standstill, water rushing in through the holes in the floor to ankle depth we thought that was it, stuck!

However, there on the side of the road, casually leant on the fence of the causeway, over the tiny bridge was an old man, pipe in mouth, having seen it all before many a time, he slowly removed the pipe from his mouth and called across, put her in fourth gear and turn your starter, he said.

We were slowly pulled out of the flood and thanked the old man, then pushed out all the other remaining rubber bungs in the floor, the carpet having been removed months earlier along with any other items to lighten the vehicle and increase its power to weight ratio.

The flood water had caused considerable damage which was only to make its self clear over the next few weeks as various bits failed due to the rapid cooling of hot parts in the cold waters of the ford.

One of these failures was the bearing that held the half shaft into the rear axle, it had split its casing, whilst in situ it was fine but if the vehicle was turned sharply to the left the half shaft would come out of the differential and all that stopped it and the wheel bolted to it from departing the car was the fact it had Lotus lowering blocks on the rear leaf spring which meant the tire started to rub on the wheel arch holding the wheel and half shaft in the axle just enough not to lose it.

The answer to this little problem when it occurred was to turn the steering sharply to the right at slow speed and stamp sharply on the brakes, this would in turn thump the bearing back into the axle along with its attached wheel and half shaft thus allowing one to gain speed again and continue.