23 August 10

Picture 2 The Cosco Korea arrived in Beijing this afternoon !

Julie and I follow in just 10 days !

16 August 10

visas Caught sight of my passport briefly last week, whilst at the Iranian Consulate – very impressive array of full page visas !

Just waiting on the last visa now from Turkmenistan, all the important invitation number were issued today

Should have the passport back later this week – it will then be locked in the safe, can’t go without it !!!

05 August 10

Starting to feel too real ! – Looked at the diary this morning just three full weeks left ! The last week is made up of a Bank Holiday Monday, two final days in the office, Thursday off, fly to Beijing on Friday (4th Sept) Unbelievable how two years has just evaporated, just 35 days until the start. It has alwaysroute book seemed such a long way off and the preparation of the car so intense, the rally itself was never actually in mind and feels slightly surreal. Another reality check arrived in the post this week, three thick route books together with a map book, the pages are not laminated like they were for the Scotsman and each book must contain 80+ pages. Very little to do in terms of prep now, we need to pick up a few final personal items and have a good look through the route books and annotate them with Julie’s code to make sure we don’t miss hazards or get caught out by two tulips that are very close together. Travcour have completed all our visas except Turkmenistan, which they hope to do next week and we have an appointment next week at the Iranian Embassy for finger-printing etc to get the Iranian visa. Once we get the passports back, we’ll make copies of all the visas and lock them in the safe as without them we can’t go !!!

20 July 10

Gone ! – Cosco Korea sailed from Felixstowe on Monday 19th JulyCOSCO_KOREA

15 July 10

DSCN1440Ready for Loading – Last sight of Benson and the Model A standing in line ready to be loaded into a container. They were behind a slightly more upmarket pair of cars, a Bentley and a truly beautiful 39 Alfa Romeo 6C – can’t help thinking that this beauty will not look quite so sexy in Paris.

We are fairly sure that the Model A and the Buick will load into the same container, they sail on the Cosco Korea, leaving Felixstowe 19th July and scheduled in to Beijing 24th August.

15 July 10

Delivery for Shipping – Looking at the weather forecast I decided to take the car up to CARS UK a day early. So I went down toDSCN1435 the workshop and collected the car, drove back to London and met up with Chris – we then drove up to Suffolk together. A relatively uneventful drive, Benson blew the horn/indicator fuse again – something is shorting out somewhere and the throttle stuck open because a spring on the carb broke. DSCN1429

The good news was that watching the temp gauge like a hawk, it stayed where it should. The car was running at about 80-85 degrees on the motorway and 70-75 on A roads.

13 July 10

Monday 13th July 2010 @ 1937DSCN1422

Car declared finished and ready for shipping

12 July 10

Sunday - JuDSCN1399lie joined me and we spent a few hours packing and cataloging everything going into the DSCN1400car. This inventory serves two purposes, it will be the packing list for Chinese Customs clearance on arrival in Beijing and we will also use it to make sure we can find things quickly. Inside the rear lockers we are using Festool modular tool boxes for storage, they are strong and easy to remove and fit the space perfectly. Once we had finished packing we had 30 minutes tent practise – pitching it and putting it away.

11 July 10

Marathon Four Days – I took Friday and Monday off work to have a final blitz on getting the car DSCN1398done. Friday the first job was the refitting of the relined brake bands, this is already a painful job, but was made more painful by the marks I had put on the bands to ensure they went back on the same wheel being shotblasted off by the company that relined the bands ! The refitting and adjusting of the brake bands took most of the day and come the evening I drove the car out of the workshop to see how the brakes worked and discovered that the pedal just went down to the floor and the brakes did not come on at all – so Saturday morning was spent re-adjusting and test driving several times until they were working – very pleased to move on to the next job.

DSCN1411The running board box was next on the list, the carcass was constructed from 9mm marine ply by Aussie Dave, I had to fit the dividers, hardware and paint. Once finished it was fitted to the car with bolts going down to the running board brackets that come off the chassis. This box is great, it takes all the wheel changing equipment and removes a load of weight from the locker area.

Next was the new fuel gauge for the original tank – having “stolen” its slot to split the temp/pressureDSCN1395 twin gauge into two separate gauges. Really tight on space and in the end I put into a pod on the steering column – I can’t actually see it without leaning forwards, but I don’t need to look at it too often and Julie can see it clearly. DSCN1404Then I moved onto the tonneau cover, this needed some poppers fitting and will help keep the weather out overnight – we hope to do the rally with the roof down.

05 July 10

kyrgyzstan_map21Route Changed – With the recent problems in Kyrgyzstan the Rally Office have been forced to make a difficult decision and change the route. Regrettably, one of the most stunning countries on the route has had to be removed – we will now stay two more days in Kazakhstan with an additional rest day in Almaty, then traveling to Shymkent before crossing into Uzbekistan.

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