Before 1982 passes by I thought I ought to mention the remarkable 1935 Jowett 7 h.p. Kestrel saloon I purchased in Watford exactly 20 years ago. From that day she has been in more or less continuous daily use and averages about 6,000 to 7,000 miles per year. The first owner had done 63,840 miles in her when he died in 1959, when I purchased her there was 70,000 miles on the clock. She has now done 218,000 miles and is still going strong, with the original upholstery and a very original body. When I bought the car for £15, I was I8 years old. The original engine had blown up in a big way. Carrying spares in my father’s car I effected a rebuild in my uncle’s Wembley garage. I picked up my friends in Birmingham and did a tourer/camping holiday in Scotland, covering over 2,000 miles in two weeks. This was the first of several such holidays, each very memorable and a great deal of fun.
I keep two engines for the car and swap them over from time to time. One, which is in the car at the moment, was re-bored to +30 in 1962, has had its pistons changed once, and the main hearing journals are STD with only a 0,001″ taper. From time to time she burns an exhaust valve (usually every three to four years) but otherwise is utterly reliable. The original Lucas coil, horn, cut-out, distributor, dynamo and starter work perfectly and are original, apart from brushes. A very good advert for Lucas.
I have just taken off the original rear axle to give it an overhaul and just replaced the front wheel bearings. As for the future, I suppose my diminishing stock of new valves and pistons could see her become a museum piece in another 20 years time. (I shall be 58!) but that would not be right for the old car. The rubbers for the Layrub universal joints on the propshaft are more likely to cause premature retirement in the next two years if I can’t find a stock. Any suggestions?
My road tax is £57, the third party insurance £10.25 and she does 40 m.p.g. in town and on the open road. The ash frame of the boot lid has just fallen an apart, that is the first body part to go and will be replaced in the next two weeks. Very frequent oil changes have helped the reliability.
Birmingham HAMISH BOWIE