Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail…

Not doing a lot of work on bowtie6 this weekend since the Mrs and I decided to take a little road trip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  Since I am a fan of good bourbon I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about it.. What a trip this has been!!

We won’t have a chance to stop by all the distilleries along the way, but we did take the time to check out some of the ones I really like.  We started at Maker’s Mark – a smaller operation but nevertheless very impressive.  Actually had a chance to see where “46” is made – if you haven’t had a chance to try it, do yourself a favour and get some.  In the gift shop there, they had quite a nice selection and among the items not available except at the shop:  the Maker’s Mark Mint Julep had been highly recommended.  They also had “white dog” (the spirit before being aged) for sale in clear bottles.  We had a taste at the tasting station and it was extremely good – I reckon this will burn with a blue flame and indeed it had plenty of “bubbles”.  Yes, this was good “moonshine”.

Next on the list of visits was the Jim Beam distillery.  This was a much larger scale facility and in addition to Jim Beam, they make smaller production batches of among other things, Knob Creek.  Since they don’t rotate the barrels in their warehouses, the “good stuff” is found towards the middle to top of the racks of the warehouses.  And by good stuff, they are not joking! In those select racks they choose the barrels that will become such items as Knob Creek Single Barrel (unique to the gift shop), Basil Hayden, Baker’s and Booker’s.  We had a chance to taste Booker’s and that stuff is amazing:  it is 129 proof!!

Well needless to say, when on such trips one never knows what one might see.  At Maker’s Mark I spotted a fellow with a shirt with the Automobile Magazine logo embroidered on it…  Well, in the parking lot was this:

I have seen this bad boy in several magazines and indeed this is the new Mini Cooper coupe.  It is strictly a two seater.  As it turns out, the fellow with the Automobile Magazine shirt is one of the web editors, and of course I had to start a conversation!  This thing would be some serious fun.  He said it was quick indeed and it performed as good as it looks.  Here are some more shots…

That is a wing on the roof and it is trick!

So, if you are reading this post Mr Automobile Magazine Web Editor, it sure was nice chatting with you today!


bowtie6 Back Together

Labour day has come and gone.  bowtie6 is back together.  Yeah!

We spent pretty much all day yesterday fitting body panels.  This is a challenge.  TR6’s don’t quite “fit” very well even with a perfectly plumb frame.  So we had to do quite a bit of fitment, shims and spacers to make things line up.  Suffice to say, after a long day yesterday all fenders are finally bolted on, the bonnet lined up quite well and the boot lid is in place.  Quite a day.

Sorry, no pictures but I promise a full set the next time I get to work on bowtie6.

On a side note, today’s post marks a bit of a milestone:  this is the 50th post since I started this blog.  I’ve been able to track hits via Google Analytics and so far, I have a pretty much global audience.

Just for the hell of it, if you happen to be reading this post – please, make a quick entry and just say where you are reading my blog from.  Just curious…

Pictures will be posted soon…

bowtie6 Reassembly – With Pictures –

Hi folks.  Sitting here tonight, with a about 2 finger’s worth of Maker’s Mark 46 in a jelly glass.  If you haven’t tried this, I highly recommend it.  At any rate, here are a few recent pics of bowtie6 finally coming together.

Today is special actually.  We put the wheels back on and dropped the car on the ground after doing the initial body tub fitment.  Since the car has been on jackstands for so long, I had forgotten how damn low to the ground this thing really is.  Take a look and you will see what I mean.

I’m sure you are wondering what type wheels/tyres are fitted.  Answer:

  • Wheels – Panasport sixteen by seven inchers.  These are the Triumph bolt pattern and yes, they are Panasport.  Not cheap, but these are the real deal.
  • Tyres – The rears are 215/55-16; the fronts are 205/55-16’s.  215’s are a bit too wide for the front.

I know the pictures of the engine might be a bit overkill.  After all, there are plenty plastered on my website.  However, these are different…

  • Check out the hand made aluminium intake.  The plenum has been made to fit a GM Performance Parts intake flange.  The flange has been made by the good folks at GM and it fits perfectly the intake runners on the head.  Of course, all you get is a high pressure water-cut flange, the rest is all magic my cousin Jim made.  You can see the electronic throttle body as well as the intake tube where the MAF and IAT sensors mount while on the bottom of the intake plenum is the MAP sensor.
  • The headers are also hand-made and also attached to a GMPP exhaust flange.  The flange actually is special because the size of the openings is much larger than the one on the stock exhaust.  You get the idea.
  • The Griffin aluminium radiator is fully bolted in and plumbed.  Ecotec’s are special regarding plumbing.  If you don’t get this dead nuts, the engine will overheat.
  • The fuse box holds the ECM, fuses, relays, and electric fan controller.  Yes it is a little crowded in there but there will be a cover for all this and when we get that bolted on, it will really look nice.
  • Yes, those are Euro spec front turn signal lenses.
  • Finally, the rear picture of bowtie6 shows the back fenders bolted back on.  At the bottom you can see the exhaust peeking through.  Those ends are not finished yet:  that is where the Supertrapp baffles are bolted on.  I am a big fan of Supertrapp mufflers and they not only give an awesome sound but are also very low restriction.  I’ll have a writeup on this later, when I get all that bolted on.

I’m sure the question will be brought up:  that engine is really pushed back towards the firewall.  Why push it back so far back?  Well the answer is simple:  weight distribution.  We don’t have numbers yet, but I’m hoping to have a near 50-50 distribution.  My cousin’s TR4 is actually fairly close to this – don’t believe me?  Then you need to check out my writeup on weight distribution.

So here are the pictures in no particular order:

bowtie6 Reassembly

Labour day.  This summer has flown by.  Finally, the end of summer and heat.

A great deal of progress has been made and quite a bit is left to do.  However, today we decided to start putting body panels back together.  No pictures, there is nothing glamorous about bolting doors and fenders back on.  You get the idea.  Actually this is a major pain in the ass for many reasons:

  • Much attention has to be paid to avoid damaging expensive red paint.
  • A great deal of time has to be spent in order to get all body panels to line up properly (not easy to do on a British car).
  • Since we have a new frame, the body must be shimmed in order to make things line up properly.
  • Don’t scratch the painted body panels!!

This is especially hard work because we strive to get body panel gaps as close as possible.  This is not easy on a TR6.  These things are notorious for bad body gaps, especially the distance between the doors and the rear fenders.  This is where “purists” have a cow because in order to solve this problem shims must be placed under the body shell and this allows the gaps to be cleared.

Since we have a much more “true” frame to begin with, it will take some work to determine the appropriate shims and most important, where to place the shims to get the correction required to get the body gaps “just right”.

The plan is to get the bowtie6 back together so I can bring it back home.  Then  I will finish up all the wiring.  Once we get that done, new carpet can be installed (yes, new carpet) as well as many other small details.  I’ll have pictures soon.

Stay tuned…