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The Big Grin

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That big grin is what you have when you take the car out for its first drive… 45 years. Yesterday, the car was at the body shop of Skip McCabe, finally having left the mechanic’s. Skip and I took it out for a brief spin – a road off the main street by the shop has about a one mile length, and back and forth we went.

The car ran very well, surprisingly so. The upholstery wasn’t fully in, the door panels were off, and there were the odd bits, but nothing blew up, no smoke, no flames, and it ran.

There are still things to do, as the loose bits still need to be wrapped up. But it is closer now, and really a car. A couple of weeks from now, and then another spin. Its part of the “first 5 miles, then 50, then 500 miles” routine of breaking a car in reasonably. Skip knows this stretch of road very well – his shop restored an Alfa TZ and did 100 miles just back and forth on this little strip of road.

There was the chance to get some modest, and very preliminary impressions of the 2 liter motor and the s. 2 car. It probably never got over 50 mph, but even with a bit of trailing throttle, once the rear came a bit loose. Good fun.

The lack of weight in the car is noticeable – it just feels more fluid, and less heft to change direction. Finally the 2 liter motor is just a marvel. It revs like a top, very freely, and it even pulled from 1000 RPM in second gear without fuss. It has that magical Lancia quality which is most obvious in Fulvias – pulls down low, and revs freely up high. its not supposed to be able to do that, but it does.  The car has a silkiness on the road. The regular daily stuff of use – door latches, windshield wipers, etc. are all much much better on the later series of B20’s, but the silkiness and smoothness of this engine is pretty special.

This is going to be fun. Big grins, and lots of them.

Written by Geoff

March 27, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Aurelia

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