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My Former WC51 "Flying Control Dodge" - A New Chapter


Jessie The Jeep

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'Locomotion' NRM Shildon Classic Car Show - October 4th

While I've had a Jeep at Shildon before, I think this was my first visit to their classic car show. The weather made a huge improvement over the previous day, and we had sun on and off throughout the day. It must have been really frustrating for the people at Fishburn having suffered the fog the day before. There were only a small number of older classics, with the vast majority being from the 1970's and 80's, however, there were a few nice unusual exhibits, and a few that had been at Fishburn the day before. The Railway museum had also had a bit of a shuffle since my last visit, and "Green Arrow" was a new exhibit.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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My Dodge was the only MV there.

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The Dodge has now gone back into storage, and that's it for events for the Dodge this year. I'll no doubt be giving it a few runs around the block every month until the really bad weather comes, when I'll take the battery out and let it hibernate until the weather warms again.

Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 1 month later...

I took the Dodge for a last short drive today, before the winter sets in properly. It's been a couple of months since the Fishburn and Shildon events, and I wanted to exercise the mechanics before hibernation through the coldest of the weather. I also wanted to move it to avoid flat spots on the tyres from sitting for months without moving. The engine was a bit lumpy when cold and damp, but soon warmed through to give good temperature and oil pressure.

 

The shelter still leaks a bit, even after some silicone in the roof joints last winter, so the Dodge is still covered with a plastic tarp inside. In the Spring, I really need to get some corrugated sheeting and roof over the existing laminate board. I could probably do with making some doors too, as the canvas drop down door has suffered a bit with wind and damp and is torn along the bottom.

 

The Dodge mileage now reads 17950 miles, making 3359 miles of driving since I got the truck in September 2010.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What was the problem with the Jeep ? Great that you got it sorted out, hope is was minor.

 

 

Moisture may have had something to do with the initial problems.

Difficult to start and skipping a cilinder the first few miles of driving.

So new sparkplugs, rotor and leads were installed.

The watertight stuff, its a Hotchkiss.

Then it got even worse.

 

But it turned out the rotor was damaged.

It was new one but probably got damaged installing it.

 

Another rotor and it starts right up without problems, a big relief.

Edited by Enigma
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  • 4 months later...

May 6~8th

With a dry weekend forecast for early May, I brought the Dodge home for its springtime service. Overall it was in good condition from its five months of hibernation over the winter. A couple of areas that did need sorting was one stuck brake piston and a leaking axle oil seal. Fortunately both fairly easy jobs. No other issues were noted and a short test drive was made the following weekend. The Dodge is now ready for Blyth Battery next weekend, its first event of the season.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 2 weeks later...

Blyth Battery Goes to War - May 21/22nd

The weather forecast wasn't looking kind for the Blyth Battery event a few days before the show, so I opted to travel each day rather than camp. The predicted showers never really materialised other than enough to put a few spots on the windows, but nothing more. Saturday was warm, sunny and quite windy, but the Battery had around 6000 people through the doors and so they were very pleased with the turnout for day one.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Sunday was bright and sunny again, although all of my pictures seemed to be taken in the moments the clouds came through! The wind dropped off quite a bit and the pleasant conditions brought lots more public down to the coast. In addition to my Dodge, there was a hard cab GMC, Bedford in civvy colours, a Ferret, a German Opel ( I think ), a couple of Champs, and about half a dozen each of Jeeps and Land Rovers, plus some big trucks from the present day Army. There were also a number of re-enactors camps with numerous weapons and small items on display. There was a battle on the beach both days, but I didn't see either due to watching over my own stuff.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 2 weeks later...

June 6th - D-Day, was an appropriate day to visit the Dodge. The Dodge was originally kept in a barn until the site was due to be cleared for open cast mining, forcing a move in January 2014. The truck was moved a couple of hundred yards to a new site, and in February '14, a roof was built between two containers making a shelter. It was ok, but never 100% watertight, and I always had to cover the truck with a plastic sheet.

In late May 2016, I got the chance at a cheap retired shipping container. Checking the dimensions, it was going to be a tight fit, and the dome would have to be unclipped, but it would be a little more secure and weather proof than the old shelter.

So this morning, I headed over to the yard, and arrived as it was being unloaded. I reversed in, as I figured that would give better access to the engine, but with only about 3 inches clearance each side, it was a challenge. Next time, I'll try going in forwards, and climb out through the rear doors.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 3 weeks later...

Barnard Castle 1940's Weekend - June 25/26th

This was the first 1940's event held at Barnard Castle, and the support for the event was fairly good. There were around a dozen vehicles parked along the main road through the town, several re-enactor displays on the grassed area next to the castle, and also displays in local church halls and council buildings. I ended up moving the Dodge on the first day, both to spread out the vehicles and also to turn it so the forecast rain would drain off the back of the roof. Day one was bright and sunny until about mid afternoon, when a heavy downpour sent everyone running for the coffee shops!

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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In one of the other displays, I found a 1940's picture of the market place. Co-incidentally, only a few minutes before, I'd taken a picture of the same scene with the military vehicles parked up.

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Next to the Austin K2 Ambulance, my daughter did a little Royalty re-enacting.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 1 month later...

Croft Nostalgia - August 4th ~ 8th

For the 2016 show, I decided to take all three vehicles on display. The show began for me on Thursday 4th, collecting the Dodge from storage in the morning, and bringing it home. Because Lynne was working in Richmond, I was able to take the GPW to Croft on Thursday afternoon, and be collected on her way home. Because of roadworks, the 36 mile trip to Croft took 90 minutes, but it was only 4:30pm, so plenty of time to park up in the Croft Engineering shed, with the Circuit Jeep and a couple of other vehicles.

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On Friday morning, we then drove the M201 and Dodge to Croft, but traffic through the roadworks was much lighter, and it only took 75 minutes. It then took about three hours to set up the tent and the display of vehicles, before going on duty marshalling MV's arrivals.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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We had a number of visiting aircraft over the weekend. The first was a Pitts Special on Friday evening, followed by a Bucker Bestmann and de Havilland Chipmunk on Saturday morning about 9am. I took the photo opportunity for some more 'Follow Me' duty, leading the Bestmann and Chipmunk to the display area.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Back on the aviation theme, we had a rare Bristol Hercules aero engine which was running at regular intervals across the weekend. It made a nice change from the 'Merlin' and 'Griffon' engines often seen at airshows. The team operating it are restoring four into running condition.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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I started packing away small display items about 3pm on Sunday, and later, by the time most other vehicles had gone, I got my three vehicles together for a quick photo-shoot. Shortly after, I took the Ford to the Croft Engineering workshop to be locked up for the night. I would return first thing in the morning to drive that home, followed by taking the Dodge to its storage yard. It was a busy, long weekend, but an excellent show.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • Jessie The Jeep changed the title to My Former WC51 "Flying Control Dodge" - A New Chapter

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