… was what I was thinking of putting as a title. So, having run the car in the garage yesterday for about 10 mins I decided to do an ‘essentials’ shop out to Costco today and it wouldn’t start. Some power still but just a click when hitting the engine start button.
I am getting mighty pissed off with how unreliable the car has become.
Gosh! Never mind the impending world doom of Corvid-19, the real tragedy of 2020 is that the Mantis still hasn’t moved since it died on Christmas day. Well… that’s not strictly true, as it was pushed out of the garage (thank you Tilly & Sam!) to allow a thorough inspection of the fuse box, then pushed back in again. From which, dear readers, you will have correctly assumed that the root cause of the electrics failure is still not found.
Sooo… what’s next? There is obviously some kind of electrical fault but I don’t know of anyone local who I am confident would fix it. Options would appear to therefore by taking the car to Joe at Redline, or Jay at Chariots to get the wiring checked out (it cannot be a coincidence that everything stopped after a good soaking when the car was being thoroughly cleaned!). \neither one is local so that is going to be hard on the trailer costs. On the other hand… I have saved two months of fuel so far! Checking the fuses has also made me realise the pedal box really needs a refurb & the fuse box needs replacing. The heat dissipation from the LS3 has never really been resolved & I am mindful of Guru Chivers comment last year that the factory saw a 10 degree reduction in engine temperature with no mesh fitted to the front bonnet vents, so I am also minded to get a less dense mesh fitted. Finally… do I swap the fast road cam for a standard cam to get better mpg & get the ECU remapped to a more normal config (less extreme advance etc). OK so this would drop the car from the magic 500 plus BHP (530 BHP) to a slightly-more-modest 480 BHP, but I have come to the conclusion that I can live without the bragging rights.
I am also going to hand over the reins of the North West club organiser to the Morrisons. Uncertainly about job, the car off the road so much, the end of Marcos at Tatton Park & so on have meant I am no longer as enthusiastic as I used to be & the other owners need someone with more Va-Va-Voom. After around 20 years there is a good case to be made for new blood, & the Morrisons are both extremely passionate about the marque & all round ‘good people’!
Christmas day. House full of someone else’s family. Time to hit the road in the Mantis!
Three hours of random driving round Cheshire, through Macclesfield , past the (sadly closed) Cat & Fiddle over to Buxton in thick fog. Around the Derbyshire Dales, past Chatsworth, past Mam Tor through New Mills. A bit of cruising, a bit of festive overtaking… a bit of grinning!
When I got back home, the car was a bit grotty with some go-faster speed smears over the front of the bonnet so I decided to give it a quick wash. Half an hour later everything is shiny & time to drive the car a few yards into the garage. Nothing. Nil point. El zero. Even the second hand has stopped on the clock. My initial thought is fuse (but… everything?!?) however I can’t get into the fusebox because the special spring-loaded screws won’t unlock.
Not how I wanted to finish 2019 but the drive was great fun. Let’s hope I can have another one before too long, eh?!
I was sorry to miss the last 60th anniversary event of the year, the Historic Cup at Castle Combe. Although I had tickets, family reasons meant I was unable to attend, but the pictures & video on Facebook looked great & the weather held for everyone. 👍🌞.
Now I am cycling to work (Doctor’s orders… 😔) the Mantis is not getting used much. The autumnal temperature is perfect for me though so I will probably succumb in the near future! 🤣
A beautiful morning in Manchester & with the missing trim having now arrived with National Windscreens, another go at fitting the new screen.
The crack has been sneaking down the current windscreen (since October last year I think? 🤔) so this is good timing before taking the car to the Gold Cup at Oulton Park on Sunday.
“Before”… The poorly screen
Once again the National Windscreens team were first class, talking through the fitting in detail and checking over the car.
Went to National Windscreens this morning to have the cracked screen replaced. New screen was there but no sign of the rubber T-piece trim so the installation was cancelled. Seem like a nice bunch at the Trafford depot of National Windscreens, & happy to take their time to do a proper job which suits me! 👍
Moreton’s, the company who bought the Tatton Park car shows from the original owners, have reneged on their ‘guarantee’ of a stand at the August ‘Passion for Power’ show. Again, allegedly due to a lack of space (see previous post for the completely empty stand they had in June) & that Marcos only wanted a stand for one of the two days. This was never a problem for the original organisers in over 25 years. It seems Moreton’s aren’t interested in low volume sports cars like Marcos who cannot put out row after row of vehicles. The general consensus amongst the very loyal group of owners who have attended Tatton Park over the years is that we should look elsewhere for a new venue in the Northwest. I also need to be able to trust the show organisers when they make a commitment, which I don’t feel able to do. Unfortunately that looks like the end of the road for Marcos showing at Tatton Park as a club, which we have done almost since it started in the mid 90s.
Finally it is the weekend of the 60th Anniversary celebrations down at Wroxall Abbey (https://maps.app.goo.gl/k7KJdXmUVSB2QG7p6). The weather isn’t quite as nice as during the week (Spanish plume… where are you?! 🙄🤣) but could be worse. Slightly more frustrating perhaps is that the Mantis is dead as a… er… dead thing. Unfortunately my DB Power Li-ion jump starter is also discharged so as I write the battery is trickle charging away. Heigh ho! Hoping to get there in time for the dinner tonight, otherwise tomorrow’s part of the event. (although I am not sure quite what that is).Tick tock, tick tock! 🙄
Just picked the car up after the cooling fans stopped working again. Unfortunately the contact in the junction block fitted last week by the auto electrician was not a good one, & the resultant power surges melted the Fan relay holder. In the absence of a spare relay holder which fits into the existing modular block, the relay has been wired direct which gets the car back on the road. Something to revisit at a later date however.
It’s been nine weeks since I contacted National Windscreens for a replacement screen as the crack in mine is slowly getting bigger. No outlook on when it may arrive so getting worried it may not be done before the 60th Anniversary at Wroxall in July. The supplier of course could only be Marcos Heritage Spares, so I phoned Rory who explained that Pilkington had moved their manufacturing out to Finland & were having logistics problems. Mine is one of 12 screens he is waiting for from up to four months ago, which is not great! Fingers crossed….