Tasman Revival – D-Type Jaguar

On my first day in Sydney I was invited to attend the Tasman Revival Race meeting. This meeting is an annual event marking the races that took place in the 1960’s and in particular the period when Jack Brabham was at the peak of his racing career.

There were many excellent cars both on display and racing but for me the piece de resistance was not one, but two genuine D-Type Jaguars. There are only 54 known surviving models of this classic racing car and they are worth in the order of £2Million each.

The next day as Bridget was not running well I, with the able assistance of Lindsay Trevitt the President of the Sydney MG Car Club, removed the petrol tank and checked it for blockages. It appeared to be fine, but later in the day she stopped running altogether and left me standing at the side of the road. After half an hour things seemed to settle down again and she started up and took me home perfectly.

On Tuesday I did the official tourist bit visiting the city centre (CBT) and sites such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and several other locations. The city doesn’t appear to have quite as many colonial buildings as some other cities but there are several old churches, Government House, St Mary’s Cathedral and the Chelsea Barracks building amongst others. There is a definite vibrancy about Sydney and it’s positively exciting.

Bridget continues to have running problems and with the help of Stuart Ratcliff, owner of the MG Centre of Sydney the SU carburettors have been checked again, the new fuel pump has been replaced with another and re-sited to the rear of the car close to the petrol tank and replacement fuel lines installed. There is definitely a problem with the fuel level stopping completely from time to time and it left us to consider the petrol tank once again. It was then that Stuart suggested that the damage received when we were driven off the road in India could be to blame. The severe dent received was right on the well area where the fuel pick-up was and it might well be damaged causing intermittent blockages to occur. A new tank will be sourced on Monday.

Stuart also discovered that the compression of cylinders 1 and 4 is considerably higher than 2 and 3 which could be indicative of early head gasket failure. I will have to consider replacing it when we get to the Gold Coast.

On Sunday I was invited to join the Sydney MG Car Club Christmas breakfast run. This took us to Mittagong some 50km’s south of Sydney and afterwards Lindsay showed me some of the forest and countryside areas around Fitzroy Falls before going down to Nowra.

Bridget’s fuel supply problem has now been fixed. It was caused by the narrow bore of the copper feed pipe and foreign bodies in the tank, both of which have now been replaced. We drove north to Woy Woy as a check on everything and although the engine has been smoother in the past it should be fine for the drive to Gold Coast. We stopped briefly at Kariong to check the fuel flow and within two minutes a 4×4 had stopped beside us to chat. The occupants were a charming couple visiting from the Brisbane area and after hearing what I was doing they made an impromptu donation to UNICEF.

On the way back to Sydney I saw a car, just a short distance ahead of us, suddenly pull into the side of the highway and stop. As we drew alongside I could see it was a young lady and her car clearly had a puncture. I steered Bridget in front of her car, stopped and offered to help. It transpired that the lady had only bought the car a week earlier and when we looked in the boot there was no jack or wheel brace. We borrowed Bridget’s tools and changed the wheel, although well outside Formula One’s standard eight second time for a pit stop. It was nice to be able to pay back some of the assistance proffered to us by all the MG clubs in this country.

The last day of our stay in Sydney and I took Bridget to see the iconic Bondi Beach. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had received varying reports about the place and I am glad my expectations were not too high. The suburb of Bondi is not as vibrant and exciting as St Kilda in Melbourne but it has to be said that the bay is superb. Nowhere near as big as I had imagined, it’s about the same size as the beach at Weymouth in the UK, but the colour of the sea and the ‘rollers’ are quite spectacular. Also of course it is in very close proximity Sydney City Centre.

Next we head off towards the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

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