Rally of the Incas 2016

November 13 - December 9, 2016


NOVEMBER 23, 2016

Vina del Mar - Rest Day

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

Like the African savannah or the Amazonian jungles of Brazil, the garage on a rest day can be a dangerous place where many fear to tread, wary no doubt, of unleashing some beast of a problem that has lain dormant, and indeed may still lie dormant, for many miles.

Today however, goaded into action by his fellow competitors, we saw the lesser spotted Beardshaw down on his knees next to his venerable and it must be said, generally reliable Sunbeam Tiger. Gingerly, Alan opened up his shiny new tool-roll and began his spanner work. First he checked his nuts - a good start - and thankfully all were present, correct and just where he’d left them. Next he jacked the car up and continued with his inspection while David Roberts and Keith Ashworth, themselves more than familiar with freshly unleashed ‘rest day beasts’ kept a lookout for him.

Paul Kirkham’s ‘Ford called Sheila’ has had a slight radiator issue for a couple of days and he and mechanical marvel, Tony Jones, set to work stripping it out for repair. When they finally got it away from the car, Marielle was dispatched to the welders with the offending part while Paul set to with the rest of the car. They know we’re heading into the hills now so they want the best cooling possible.

Over in Bentley corner we saw Anton Gonnissen tinkering and checking. He has swapped his tyres around this morning as he’s unhappy with the wear rate of the new rubber, after only 4000 km they’re pretty much worn out. He’s got four new ones on order but was looking enviously at the Blockleys on Robert and Mark Wilkinson’s Bentley parked the next bay.

Robert and Mark themselves were making some running repairs to their 1926 Bentley Speed Six. They slid into a ditch yesterday and have damaged the steering control rods. It’s nothing that can’t be sorted with a bit of judicious tapping and straightening though.

Graham and Marina Goodwin meanwhile are pretty pleased with the way that things have been going for them. Their own Super Sports has been carrying them along in fine style and they’re already looking to the next adventure, which will most likely to be Peking to Paris they think.

Richard Everingham was under his 1953 - Bentley R Type. Yesterday the half shaft slipped causing two wheel studs to shear and damaged the rim to boot. Today he’s fitted new studs and is using oversized nuts to secure the wheel. Other than that it’s all fine and he’s looking forward to an afternoon off.

Their fellow South African Bentley crew, Hesther and Leon Bothma, were fashioning a gasket for their radiator cap. There’s been a bit of cross threading here and as a result the seal isn’t quite as good as it should be any more. Hopefully this little rubbery disc will do the trick.

Dennis Varni who first visited this area twenty years ago was one of several crews changing their jets for the long climb tomorrow and the altitude we are about to start dealing with. The grunty 1961 Ford Falcon GT however is otherwise performing faultlessly.

Chuck Lyford’s Fangio (aka Fang) has had the battery mounting plate come loose so he was busy this morning rigging up a solution. Ideally he says the battery would be inboard but luggage requirements meant that the cabin couldn’t accommodate it.

Joost van Cauwenberge has had an intermittent issue with his trip meter but obviously there’s still nothing wrong with his throttle. Hermann Frye-Hammelmann and Jamie Turner were busy under the bonnet of the 1963 - Mercedes Benz 300SE looking to see if they could sort a minor fuel pressure issue.

Andrea Hammelmann and Paul Henschel are back with us after arriving late last night. Their 1964 - Jaguar MkII is all sorted. Ronald Vetters and Ann Puts are also back in the fold, albeit in a rental car. Their 1967 - Chevrolet Camaro gave up the ghost on day two and despite several attempts at engine rebuilds along the way and playing a heroic game of catch up they’ve decided to ship it home and just enjoy the rest of the journey.

Brian and Colin Shields meanwhile drew a blank with the Buick Club of Chile who were hoping to engineer a solution to their problem. They’ve decided to ship ‘Benson’ home and continue in a hire car. Similarly Peter Thornton and David Garrett have thrown in the towel and are boxing up their 1939 - Ford Coupe to concentrate on just enjoying the journey.

Tomorrow we start climbing again, through the Andes and back into Argentina. Rest assured we’ll be having a high old time.

Syd Stelvio



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