Oh yes! I remember that as a child I enjoyed that TV series a lot! (Along with that other magnificent series-The ORIGINAL "Avengers", starring Diana Rigg and Patrick MacNee as Miss Emma Peel and John Steed... unforgettable characters! (as are present day English dramas as good as "Luther" or "Good Cop", that I hope will keep the tradition alive...).
Other magnificent English series of a different kind, was "Supercar" and "Thunderbirds", which I identify myself with waking up my early interest in all things technical, so that, thanks God, I became an Engineer!
Should English cars electrical systems designers in general, have even a fraction of the talent of their TV-Series producers, they would be truly remarkable and reliable.
Together with a "Champion" or other large model of the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, of course! It is a pity they no longer allow it to be carried on commercial airplanes... could make a difference. Amclausssen.
Ah, yes, Joseph Lucas, the "Man that invented Darkness"...
I used to have a soft spot for English cars, but was finally cured of this affliction by Lucas electrics, Smiths gages and Stromberg carburetors...
A high school friend with a '64 Spitfire once installed a cassette deck in his car. Unfamiliar with English cars in general and the concept 'positive earth' in particular, he got quite the surprise upon inserting his first tape and watching the 'magic smoke' escape from the deck!
One of the more entertaining stories I've heard about Lucas 'quality' was printed in Road & Track magazine. In the '90's, many of the automotive manufacturers were vexed by the sale of poor quality counterfeit parts packaged as genuine. A gentleman in Connecticut was making and selling counterfeit Lucas components. These components, however, turned out to be of higher quality than the genuine article, so instead of prosecuting, Lucas hired him as a subcontractor!
My daily driver is a 1978 Spitfire. I have owned two other Spitfires in the past.
I can assure you that the Prince of Darkness IS alive and well. I just lost my Lucas Alternator last week. I see a Delco replacement in my future. Anybody know the most reliable series of Delco alternators available?
This quote has been attributed to Lord Lucas: "A gentleman does not motor around after dark". This has been given as the reason that he was less than enthused about reliability in the electrical products he developed for the infant auto market.
Along with Lucas refrigerators being the reason that the Brits drink beer is a greater fear... Lucas makes pacemakers! Think about that for a moment.
Sorry to be so late; was on vacation with limited Web time! As soon as I saw "MGB" and "engine" in the lede, the magic word "Lucas" popped up, associated with "ignition issues." I've had several vehicles with this plague (and have already posted on my "final solution" for my 1968 River 2000TC). As most of these (and my 1960 Volve PV544) also had SU carbs, I also remember all the hours spent synchronizing the twins; I still have the tools in my "automotive" toolbox!
Yes, I just recently discovered what the WD meant. I've used it for years as a lubricant. It works great partly because the spray can reach places you can't get to with drip oil. I understand the "40" indicates which draft of the product finally met the criteria they were trying to reach.
Many piston aircraft engines still use carburators and almost all have "carb heat" knobs that you pull when you throttle back for a landing. Warmer air being less dense, they will reduce the wide open throttle power output by around 15%. Carb heat is usually checked before takeoff, but usually not recommended for use on the takeoff roll for obvious reasons.
During normal operations in cruise, it is sometimes necessary to use a bit of carb heat on particularly humid days (or when flying IFR in clouds) when the outside air temperature are between just above freezing to as much as 70 degrees F in some extreme situations (though typical temperatures where this happens are around 40 to 50 degrees F).
Retro-TV (available here in Santa Barbara as a secondary program on the digital transmitter of the local ABC affiliate) is currently running daily episodes of the old detective show "The Saint" (starring a young Roger Moore). Simon Templar (the Saint) drives a Volvo P1800 coupe. A very good looking vehicle, which was a cross between the Volvo Amazon sedan and a Lotus undercarriage. I was told by an old friend who once owned one, that in the mix, they unfortunately chose to let Lucas provide most of the electrical system, giving this Swedish sports car all the charm and excitement of its British cousins. My friend also used the "prince of darkness" nickname for Lucas.
Getting a 1963 MG to turn over is a touch and go experience even if it's 70 degrees and sunny out. Rob Lewis's earlier about Lucas electrics is also apropos and should bring a smile to the faces of all English car afficionados.
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