Specialty Engineering - Bentley race/rally preparation

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Car as it arrived fresh off the boat to Specialty Engineering

The car arrived from England in a container where it sat for 14 days as it made it's way to Montreal from England by ship then by train to Vancouver. It rolled off the container smelling like a pungent spice rack, most particulairly onion or stale garlic. The odor was SO intense and foul that the bonded wharehouse where it sat had to leave it outdoors and in the farthest corner of the storage area, to keep the wharehouse staff from jumping ship or claiming Workman's Comp. Remarkably this smell showed no signs of waning after a few weeks. After completing the paperwork I drove the car directly to Andy Pearson' s workshop in Delta BC just south of Vancouver. Windows fully open  and taking breaths in short shallow gulps.

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We had aleady discussed  the short 'must do' list that outlined the added modifications and improvements which either the Rally Association required or common sense demanded we put in place. At the top of this list was a sturdy underbody skid plate that should run the length of the car and protect whatever was dangling and vulnerable to damage. We need to plan for giant potholes, washed out roads, fording streams and rivers where necessary in the unpredicatable Mongolian terrian and Alti Mountains. 

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good look at the armour plating from the the right underside.

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Diesel fuel filter fitted for it's ability to both filter dirty fuel (lots in Mongolia) and filter out water contamination which is a common problem.

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Andy trying out the inflatable bladder that we are carrying  instead of a traditional jack. It runs off the exhaust fumes. A flexible pipe from the air bag is pushed over the exhaust pipe (motor running) and the exhaust gases inflate the bag and lift the car 20" vertically

Andy began with the 3/16 thick steel plate under tray. Commonly called a 'bash' plate we vowed we would instead call it a skid plate as bashing was not what we intended to do with this device. A great deal of work went into fitting and welding the various component. The final assembly included dozens upon dozens of high tensile bolts to secure. Andy folowed up with a TIG welded stainless steel front grill/light protector that looked good enough to be original equipment.

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There followed a good deal of detail work, some done my Andy and when time allowed me. Interior fittings , electrical preparation of the rally computers and GPS locators, new batteries, cutoff switches etc…Lots of practice replacing inner tubes and tires, starting the car with the hand crank, testing the fuel tank capacity (20 gallons !!). 

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Steel plating extending the length of the underside of the car between the chassis rails

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TA-DA !! …Andy wondering if we're done yet

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© Anthony Strelzow 2013