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Standard Register Rally

1921 Model SLO goes to the 2009 Register Rally

Lineup of the cars at the Great Central Railway, Dennis Brown's Selby to the fore

The Weekend of 7th, 8th and 9th August was the annual Register Rally held this year at Scalford Hall, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.  This event is for pre 1931 Standards.

The event started somewhat earlier for your webmaster, For 10 years now, I have had a 1921 Standard SLO laid up in a lock-up garage. I decided that it was high time it saw the light of day and that I would take it to the event rather than its elder sister, our 1919 Model SLS. So I purchased a battery, wheeled out the car, primed the petrol and oil pump and pulled hopefully on the starter cable. It was a great surprise and relief that the car sprang into life! So, the task was on to get the car ready for an MoT.

Over the next few days I purchased a new spare tyre ( nearly £200 with inner tube and valve and fitting), cleaned out the 10 year old "waxy" petrol from the carburettor, Autovac and fuel tank  and changed the oil in the engine, gearbox and back axle and greased all the grease "cups". There are brakes on the rear drums only, plus a transmission brake which clamps on the prop shaft, all these were adjusted and were soon working fine.

But the biggest problem was getting the car to hold water: There is a small expansion pipe on the top of the block, I replaced the pipe, but the fitting was reluctant to seal. I also found that water was pouring out of the water outlet on the front of the engine block, this is an aluminium casting and I found that it had gone porous over the years, so the water came out as fast as I could add it. Unbolting the casting caused it fall disasterously into three pieces......

I therefore set to work on repairing the casting as best I could using sheet steel , epoxy metal, cork gasket material and Red Hermatite. The resultant casting was good enough, not perfect, as there was still a tiny leak from the finished item. So off we go to the MoT station, its thursday afternoon by now and we are due to set off to Melton  Mowbray on Friday morning. The car passes with Flying colours (and no advisories) It's a source of great amusement to the young mechanics employed by the garage. They can't believe the bell-crank system that indicates "safe" oil pressure on the dashboard!

Friday dawns and the water casting is leaking again, so I disassemble it once more and add more gasket sealer to stem the flow. I say goodbye to Lynda (she fully expects she's unlikely to ever see me again, like I'm going away to war!) and she promises to follow behind later to pick up the pieces. 

My route takes me through the centre of Luton and then through the centre of Bedford, following the old A6. Roadmenders lean on their shovels to watch me pass by, but I am smiling broadly, the sun is shining, and the SLO is purring along nicely.  About 10 miles north of Bedford  I come across the "Falcon", advertising itself as a fine riverside  pub and eating house. And so it proves to be, I phone Lynda, the SLO is going so well that she has been unable to catch me up. Twenty minutes later she arrives and we have lunch. The car has cooled down, I add about 2 litres of water and set off again. The route takes me through Kettering, then over some surprisingly stiff Leicestershire hills to Oakham, were I stop and add more water.

Its just a relatively short run to Melton then and I roll into the hotel carpark just gone 5pm, the odometer says 100 miles but I am informed that the straight line distance is only 75 miles - still far enough in a 88 year old car that hasn't turned a wheel in ten years.

You can click on any of the thumbprints below to see an enlargement:

The Open Road, as viewed from Steve Smeltzer's V4

John and Kate Condor's Model SLS

Model S Rhyl

I ought to tell you something about the Event! My casting repair has disintegrated and refuses to seal even after the application of more sealer. We volunteer to navigate for other owners on the Rally. On Saturday we tour rural Leicestershire and pass through two of the most famous Stilton Villages, Long Clawson and Colston Bassett, The third of the famous trio, Cropwell Preedy is just a couple of miles down the road! We lunch at Stonegate farm centre (on pork pies and Stilton, of course) The return journey takes in the Great Central Railway which has steam engines to satisfy the train twitchers amongst us. We bump into an Ensign owner and try to persuade him to join the Club. I can confirm that he has done the sensible thing and joined online today!

Clive and James Watson brought the oldest car at the event, the 1913 Model 6M, Brighton Torpedo

The Paddocks in their Big Nine

Lynda hitches a ride in Steve O'hara's Teignmouth

Sunday morning is the Brewery Tour at Old Dalby. The Belvoir Brewery is conveniently situated at the end of David Groom's road. We all went through a complicated pretence of being interested in the brewing process then at 12 o'clock noon sharp we repaired to the tasting room for more serious business.

So there we have it: Stilton, Pork Pies, Beer and Classic Cars. I think I have died, gone to heaven and don't want to go home!

One of the dinner tables on Saturday evening

Paul Newsome's Charlecote

Line up outside the Belvoir Brewery

But all good things have to come to an end. The SLO is loaded onto a Footman James Recovery wagon and thanks to their excellent service I arrive home 20 minutes before Lynda in her "modern".

Three of the only seven surviving Standard Model SLO's are photographed together at Scalford Hall

Thanks must go to the organisers, first to Len Barr, (for his second Rallyof the summer) and secondly to David Groom for the Roadruns. We were also blessed with warm sunny weather, a great hotel and good food.

The SLO will be repaired and back on the road shortly.

Report and photos by Phil Homer

Another report appears here on the Register Website.

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