Steve and I have met up three times now to practice driving Regularities along a given route at fixed speeds, as well as generally shaking the car down as well. We’ve chosen deepest Wiltshire for this, given it’s halfway between the two of us and there’s a great selection of country lanes to choose from.
One of the issues is that the office space in the Sabre is pretty limited. It’s all very cramped and has no door pockets, glove box or other oddments storage at all as standard:
Soon after I bought the car I made up a simple cubby box which doubles as an arm rest which has been very successful. It just sits over the transmission tunnel and I wouldn’t want to be without it, but it does have a habit of collecting all the cr*p you don’t have anywhere else to put. So after eating the ice cream I adopted this high-tech solution for somewhere additional for pencils, spare stopwatch, compass etc which was readily to hand:
Other than that, there’s a Brantz RetroTrip dual tripmeter calibrated accurately to 0.01 mile and a time-of-day stopwatch and that’s it.
One of the things I’ve learned from previous rallies is that those annoying little faults you put up with around town just won’t do on a rally. We’re going to be driving over 500 motorway miles return plus ragging the car round the event itself, and I was getting an annoying transmission vibration over 60mph. So it was out with the propshaft which I had balanced by Propshaft Services in Feltham:
It was fine at the front but the rear took a couple of balance weights, and things are much more relaxed at motorway speeds now:
It’s very worthwhile doing some decent local shakedown, and sure enough driving home from one session in Wiltshire a couple of weeks ago the overdrive stopped working. My Sabre has a standard SE6a gearbox with J-type overdrive, but with the original Sabre/S6 Coupe Reliant aluminium remote change mechanism thing which sits on top of the gearbox (and which actually gives a very nice change IMHO). This incorporates a normally-open overdrive inhibit switch which closes in 3rd/4th, and I’ve had this problem before where the cable detaches from the switch screw terminal. The problem is that access is difficult with the transmission tunnel moulding in place, and in turn it’s a pain to move that without first removing the seats… Anyway, with a bit of fiddling I managed to do everything up nice and securely and full overdrive operation was restored. You can just see the offending inhibit switch inside the transmission tunnel, to the left of the gearlever. The toggle switch on the tunnel itself is the overdrive in/out switch; this is where the original pull-handle actuator for the quirky Borg-Warner type freewheeling overdrive was, but my car lost this long before I bought it.