Preparing Bridget

The early responses from Midget owners keen to join the “Into Africa” adventure had me worried. Several times during that week I went to the front door of my house to check that the doorbell still actually worked! It was devilishly quiet. Still it takes time for word to spread with something like this.

I am making good use of my time however and have started preparation work on Bridget. Her original wheels, she had Minilites on for the world drive, have been sat out in the elements for almost three years and so I have cleaned them, removed all traces of rust and repainted them. Steel wheels are far more suitable for African roads, I am told.

I have also fitted an upgraded anti-role bar on her steering and this week fitted Spax telescopic dampers to her rear suspension. Both of these things have improved her handling and should assist the rear springs to cope with the additional weight we carry on these journeys. I took her out for a test drive down to Wantage using the minor country roads of Oxfordshire there and the main arterial roads back. Before departing I made a number of checks because the last trip out she was misfiring at the higher revs. I found the spark plugs were sooted-up and leaned off the carburettors one and a half flats.

Bridget ran beautifully, no sign of any misfire but I need to consider fitting upgraded springs to the front suspension. It’s starting to sound as if I actually understand the technical bits! Whenever she hits a pothole or large drain the steering column shudders and the front end jumps.

I have now received no less than two requests from potential adventurers, making three cars including Bridget. That is enough to make the project happen although I will continue to try to recruit more.

I will keep you updated on our progress leading up to the start of the adventure and please spread the word that I am looking for volunteers. Also I need a cameraman/woman to join the expedition so if you know anyone that enjoys safaris please pass on the word.

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