Smoke in the Wires February 2017


February 2016 Volume 5 #1

Front Cover: Land Rover Defender 110 by Marc Cherry

Flyleaf: Lotus Exige at Pensacola Cars and Coffee by Marc Cherry

Back Cover: PBCA Spinner by Marc Cherry

Smoke in the Wires is a publication of the Panhandle British Car Association

Contact Marc Cherry for questions or submissions


From the Editor 3

Letter to the Editor 4

Upcoming Events 5

Greetings From the New President 6

Missing the Marque 7

Atmore Rally 8

Trophy Project 10

Brits on the Bay Volunteer List 15

Feature Car 18

Tool of the Month 21

Mod Twist to the Old Fashioned 24

Brits on the Bay Registration Form 25

Brits on the Bay Sponsorship Form 26

PBCA Facebook 27

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Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire!

Marc Cherry


Yes, the Smoke is back. It turns out the fire wasn’t completely out on our newsletter. Clearly we’ve had

a busy year in our club. We officially brought 2016 to a close at our Christmas party and moved on to

next year with the installation of new officers. Now things are about to get even busier as we head in

to the new year and our 25 th anniversary car show.

Before we surge ahead to the future and our show, it’s important to first look back and hit a couple of

highlights. Thank you to Taber Tomkins for his service as our president for the past two years. He’s

done a tremendous service for us and has left office with the club fully poised to host a brilliant

anniversary show. He has overseen a challenging effort to update our longstanding bylaws and

overseen major changes in our event venues and activities. Paul Salm now moves up to the presidency.

Paul has done a lot of behind the scenes work and is probably the sole reason the Pensacola Euro Show

came off this past year, as he worked hard to preserve the advances we made hosting the show in

2015 before handing it off to a young and very informally-organized host club for 2016. We’re joined

on the executive committee by Tim Maynard for 2017. Tim has been a regular volunteer for many of

our events. We are extremely pleased to add a fresh face to the executive committee.

For those who missed our Christmas party at the Seville Quarter, it was a fabulous time and turned out

to be a great venue for our club. We had plenty of space, good food and were extremely well cared for

by the host staff. Thank you to Bob Manske, Liz Maynard, Tim Maynard and Paul Salm for organizing

the party. Bob asked for a special thanks to Liz, who prepared all the worksheets on budget items,

made all the centerpieces for the tables, and took on the building of options and tracking of expenses.

We are already set to return next year with several improvements already in the works.

Now looking toward our 25 th anniversary show in April, we have a lot of changes from previous shows

that we need to plan out. Our venue has changed to an outstanding, well-appointed new location. We

have also improved our goodie bags by several orders of magnitude. Finally, our trophies will be

entirely new and unique to PBCA and our 25 th anniversary. What hasn’t changed? Our volunteerism,

that’s what. We’ve already reconfirmed the vast majority of our volunteer army from last year. We’re

counting on the expertise of our volunteers to carry the day despite a sea of changes. The most current

volunteer list is on page 15. Please let me know if you cannot do the same job you had last year. I’ll be

talking to everyone to confirm your spot or to help you out if you’d like to do something different this


This show is larger than any event we’ve held. We need your help in planning through members

registering their cars as early as possible. The more cars we know are attending in advance, the better

we will be able to accommodate them. We also need sponsorship to put on an event of this size. Talk

to your friends and local businesses and ask for the $40 donations that promote this show. Look at the

back of this issue for the entry and sponsor forms.

Probably the single biggest change is the venue. This year we will be in Seville Square in downtown

Pensacola. It is a great location and closer to the Commerce Museum where we hold our Friday red

beans and rice welcome party. While the Seville Square location has a lot more amenities, it also has a

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couple of issues we’ll need to plan for. This is a tight venue for us, so check-in, photos, driving corridors

and parking will need to be well-planned to make efficient, enjoyable, and safe use of the space. A

carefully-planned parking plan, executed by a motivated parking crew, will transform this into an

outstanding event. We’ll be doing our major site planning in March that will likely end in a simulated

war game where we move pieces around a table to test our plan. Professionals will recognize this as

military-style war gaming. Our wives and casual observers will only see grown men playing with Hot

Wheels cars.

Letters to the Editor:


I think you should consider adding a brief article about our seriously crazy club member, Henry Hensel.

This is the car we winched into my trailer and hauled to his house on Turkey Road in Pensacola. It is

the pitiful remains of a 1952 MG TD roadster.

I thought Franz had me tow some nasty cars, but Hensel win the prize. Most of the car fell apart and

was placed in the trailer by hand.

He may be able to explain just what he was thinking when he decided to get this car. He told me that

he had tried to buy it 20 years ago but the owner wouldn’t sell.

Now the owner gave it to him for free!! I have two more pictures of the car, but this one is best.

Bob Manske

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March and April

All PBCA Monthly Meetings will be 6:00 pm Dinner/7:00 pm Meeting at Sonny’s Bar-B-Que, Navy

Blvd at US Hwy 98, Pensacola and will feature a Program, Door Prizes, 50/50 drawing until further

notice by email, website and Telephone Tree.

*All Executive and Show Committee Lunch Meetings are always open to the entire membership and

participation is encouraged. For new members it is a good way to meet active members and get

involved in either a small or larger way. Be a part of the club. You will be enthusiastically welcomed.

Event details will be emailed and posted on the PBCA Website:

(PBCA Sponsored Events, Club Activities and Meetings in Bold type)


Sat 4

Tues 7

Wed 15

Sat 18

Mon 20

Sat 25

Fri 31

Panama City British Car Show, Panama City, FL Details TBA

First Tuesday Breakfast, Grand Hotel, 10:00 am

PBCA Exec Comm Mtg 12:00 Noon, Grand Hotel

Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, Time TBA

PBCA Monthly Meeting Sonny's BBQ, 6/7 pm

New Orleans British Car Show

Fancy Friday Dinner On the Town, Location TBA


Tues 4 First Tuesday Breakfast, Grand Hotel, 10:00 am

Tues 4 Brits on the Bay Show Comm Mtg, 11:00 am, Grand Hotel

Sat 8 Trophy Assembly Party, Marc Cherry residence, details TBA

Sun 9 Picnic, Lunch, Spit and Shine Show Detailing, 11:00 am until ?

Wed 12 PBCA Exec Comm Mtg 12:00 Noon, Grand Hotel

Mon 17 PBCA Mtg., Show Goody Bag Stuffing, 6/7 pm Sonny's BBQ

Fri 21 Brits on the Bay Welcome Party, 5:00 pm, Museum of Commerce

Sat 22 Brits on the Bay Car Show, Seville Square, 9 am to 4 pm

Sat 29 Brits on the Bay Wrap Up Mtg, Show Comm and other Principals

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Greetings from your “new” President:

I must begin by saying that I had (in my mind at least) entertained the ambitious idea of calling each of you

before the end of the year to introduce myself and ask what I can do to spur a renewed interest and

participation in club activities. As is obvious, we are already into the new year, no calls were made, and I

have accepted the bitter consequence of attempting this task with pen (or more accurately, laptop) at

hand. While this letter will go out to every PBCA member, I would prefer and will make every effort to

personally meet each of you before the end of my first year. Our monthly meetings would be a good

starting point. Failing that, at any club event, you would have no problem recognizing me, as I would be the

one with no LBC by his side. Contrary to some rumblings, I do actually own one.

As your new president, I am excited, humbled, and especially honored to be at the 'helm' (darn, how I hate

nautical terms) for the next two years. I continue to be impressed by the support, cooperation and genuine

friendship shared by the members of the PBCA and all who love British cars. After all, isn't ownership of a

British automobile a constant test of one's faith and inner strength?

Moving on to more important concerns, my new position gives me the added privilege of presiding over a

significant event in our club's history. This year, "Brits on the Bay" celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Under

the leadership of Tom Schmitz, we are expending enormous effort to make it as memorable and successful

as befits the milestone that it is. With this in mind, I am asking for every member's personal support to

help meet the added 25th Anniversary costs associated with the event.

A considerable portion of the show expense is covered by selling sponsorships. These can be in the form of

a standard $40 Class Sponsor or a "Major" sponsorship, starting at $100 and above. While we'd love to

have everyone sell a major, we also recognize that many of our patrons are not able to afford that amount,

nor would we expect everyone to push for that level. In my own case, I have sold to those businesses with

whom I have dealt for routine services over the years. They include vets, tire stores, and even some

doctors and dentists. So, for each of you, if you have become a 'regular' customer over the years, why not

make a casual pitch for the show? Who knows, you may get one or two with little or no effort. If you are

not comfortable doing this, which is understandable you might consider becoming a sponsor. Just one class

sponsor per member would contribute greatly to its success.

For the record, and in the off chance that not all members are aware of this, all proceeds from the show,

after expenses, enable your PBCA to provide the year's calendar of events, with very few exceptions, at no

cost to you. All the more reason to become a sponsor. In any case, as a volunteer, you can take pride in

the fruits of your labor, enjoy the festivities at the show, buy some raffle tickets on the always unique and

often 'gotta have' items donated by our talented members, and give me a chance to meet you personally.

I look forward to your support.



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March The British Line submission for The Marque by Richard Lewis

…and to the Point All meetings are closer

than they appear in the rear view mirror, and

the gala event of the car show season, the

April 21-22 “Brits on the Bay” Welcoming

Party and Car Show, is rapidly wending its

way, soon to be upon us, and will strike like

viper if we are not all ready and, most

importantly, if you are not there.

This is the 25th Anniversary Show, and PBCA

is making every effort to make it an

immemorial show that you can tell your

grandchildren about.

We, the Show Committee and many others,

started work about October, and have been

working assiduously, with a minimum of

monthly meetings and several call meetings.

Those of you who have been part of putting on

a car show know the multiple tasks, small and

large, that must be attended to. We faced an

especially challenging one when the near-bay

front site we have used for several years, free

of charge due to the generosity and courtesy of

the Mouton family, became unavailable.

Regrettably for us and wonderful for them,

they recently sold this beautiful several-acres,

old oak tree-adorned wonderland, so we

became vagabonds, searching for a place to

put down our roots. Fortunately, through help

from many, especially PBCA member Bill

Weeks, we were able to rent the city-owned

Seville Square, an equally tree-lined venue.

The expense was considerable, but it neatly

meets our needs, albeit a smaller site. This

reduction of size called for some skillful and

successful planning, led by member Marc

Cherry. Members who are interested in

volunteering for the show date are encouraged

to contact Marc at

The festivities start with the Welcoming Party,

beginning at 6 p.m. at the Museum of

Commerce, 201 E. Zaragoza Street in

Pensacola. Many hands are working on this

event, led ably by Bob Manske and Liz

Maynard. The food and drink will be

voluminous, the friendship warm, and the

entertainment marginal. All our friends from

nearby clubs, out of town visitors, sponsors

are welcome with open arms.

The “Brits on the Bay” Show registration

opens at 8:30 a.m. at Seville Square and for

the public at 10 a.m. While one can never be

sure of attendance, over the past few years we

have averaged about 130-150 cars and a large

crowd of visitors. We hope to exceed that in

2017. One can pre-register (forms available at

website or on site. The web

site also has information on hotel registration

as well. We have planned our early morning

car wash at all the hotel sites listed, our

special goody bags for the event and have

included our mainstays, the “Not Quite Fab”

Beatles homage band, our terrific silent

auction and 50/50 and an array of beautiful

British cars that we all take such pride in.

Due to city regulations, we will not be selling

our great food from the PBCA Café, but are

fortunate to have several restaurants available

across from Seville Square.

But all this comes to naught if you are not

there, so please mark your calendar with

those dates, April 21-22, and don’t be among

the missing come Friday and Saturday. See

you there.

Until next time, it’s not a good idea to mix

starter fluid and a cigarette.

Smoke in the Wires February 2017 Page 7

Twelfth Annual Pensacola-Atmore

Road Rally

Saturday Feb. 4, 2017

By Bill Moseley

On a beautiful day, the rally course ran 49 miles from North Pensacola over nicely paved

two-lane “Roads Seldom Travelled” and ended at David’s Catfish House in Atmore,

Alabama. Many people saw some of the roads for the first time. The Rally day was simple:

You registered, got a rally course sheet, and left at your convenience. There is never an entry

fee to participate.

The rally is sponsored by Panhandle Cruisers, Warren Peacock, President and Pensacola

Austin-Healey Club, Bill Moseley, Rallymaster

Over 130 cars and members of 18-plus clubs participated. They capped off the rally with a

fine meal at David’s Catfish House. David’s was reserved for us and the whole David’s crew

turned out. Rob Faircloth, owner, wrote that this was their single biggest day, ever!!

The main objective of the rally is to have a driving event for people from all car clubs of all

makes to drive in and socialize together. As you can see in the pictures, everybody walked

around, saw the very diverse cars and had good conversations about them.

Most of the “no club” participants joined a club. This event showed that car clubs are for

cars and the people who love to drive them.

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Smoke in the Wires February 2017 Page 9

Brits on the Bay Trophies

By Marc Cherry

For our upcoming 25 th anniversary car show, everyone on the show committee

wanted to see us upgrade the trophies that we present to the winners. We

were inspired by the glorious plates, sculptures and crystal vases presented at

the major concours events. We had champagne dreams and a Budweiser

budget; still, they had to look good and be distinctly PBCA.

I thought we could deliver something in metal, at least for our top trophies

covering the major awards. Silver and black are a classic combination and

exactly right for a silver anniversary. Nothing is more classically British than the

two-eared spinners that adorn so many of our cars regardless of marque. We

decided to roll all of those elements up into one for our trophy theme—silver

spinners on a piano-black plinth. I did the work mainly using my computernumerically-controlled

(CNC) mill and design software. I cut out replicas of the

large-style spinners found on ‘big’ British cars, into which I then detailed our

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PBCA logo. As we needed five metal spinners for our top trophies as well as

similar trophies for the classes, we unfortunately couldn’t afford the time, metal

or labor to do the class

trophies in the same

manner. So the rest of the

trophies have been cast

from resin.

The final plan required five

aluminum spinners

machined from billet with

one that was used to make

The original wooden test piece

a mold for resin casting all of

the other first-in-class awards. For the second and third place trophies, I cut

our logo into the tops of worn original spinners and used those to make molds

for casting.

The first aluminum piece comes off of the mill

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To do this all in my garage, I first designed a full-sized, two-eared spinner using

my computer assisted design (CAD) software. I converted this into a 3D model

and exported it into my computer Aided Machining (CAM) software. Here, the

real work began as I developed a cutting plan. I converted artwork from our

First and second place trophies ready for pouring the rubber molds

club logo into an engraving

machining operation. This cutting

plan was transferred to the mill

control software and metal began to

fly. I cut out five aluminum spinners

from chunks of billet aluminum

donated by Al DeWeese. I used a

different attachment to engrave the

club logo into the face of the spinner

replicas. Each spinner required

between seven and nine hours of

machining time to complete. From

there, Taber Tomkins and Paul Salm

Third place trophy ready to be molded

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sanded and polished them to gleaming perfection. Similarly, for the second and

third place trophies, I cut our logo into the tops of smaller, two-eared and

earless spinners donated by Franz Bachmann and Bill Weeks.

Weighing catalyst and mixing the mold rubber

Next I purchased a gallon of specialty silicone rubber called Smooth-On 25 to

make the molds. The trophy masters were placed in water-tight containers for

this process. As the Smooth-On is rather expensive, I filled each mold with

water first and measured exactly how much rubber I would need. The molds

need to be at least 3/8 inch thick in all dimensions, so it did take some careful

planning to set up. Smooth-On is very particular about how it is catalyzed—

strictly by weight. Fortunately, I had a postal scale available. The catalyst was

stirred in slowly to avoid introducing bubbles. Once mixed, the silicone was

poured over the masters. The rubber-covered surfaces of the masters were

brushed to release any air bubbles that may be stuck to the surface. Twentyfour

hours later, the molds were ready.

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All molds poured and ready to remove and begin casting the class trophies

It turns out that casting resin is also expensive, so I made my own using less

expensive fiberglass resin and glass micro-balloons. The micro-balloons

thicken the resin and add volume on a 1:1 basis. I prefer to mix in about 40%

micro-balloons by volume, stir, and then add the catalyst. Getting the right

amount without wasting or falling short of enough material was important. It

turned out that a microwave Chinese noodle dish holds exactly the volume

needed for a set of first, second and third place casts. Once catalyzed, I

poured it into the mold, brushed the surfaces to remove air bubbles and waited

four to eight hours for the casts to be ready, depending on the temperature and

amount of catalyst used.

Now that all of the casts are built, I have to clean them up for painting. You’ll

have to wait for the April Smoke to see them come together.

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Brits on the Bay Volunteer List

April 21-22, 2017

Thanks to everyone who has already confirmed their volunteer slot for the 2017 Brits on the Bay.

We are way ahead of the game this year on volunteers. I already have 101 out of 122 spots

confirmed. As you look through this list, I have highlighted the few people I still need to hear from.

Please send me an e-mail at to confirm. We really appreciate your enthusiastic

participation and look forward to an outstanding 25 th anniversary show!

Chair: Tom Schmitz

Tom Matsoukas, Marc Cherry

Site Preparation: Friday-Saturday

Bill Weeks, chair, Paul Salm, Tom Matsoukas, Marc Cherry

Porta-Potty Rental: Bob Henson , chair


Marc Cherry, chair, Bill Weeks, Richard Lewis, Rich Willows, Al Deweese, Gus Fell, Tim Maynard,

Tabor Tompkins, Jack Rowles, Jason Court, Paul Salm, Joe Stephens

Reception/Registration Area:

Tom Schmitz, chair, Midge Derby, Curt Derby, Risa Manske, Tom Matsoukas, Rich Willows,

Darla Willows, Al Deweese, , Karlyn Cherry, Risa Manske, One Volunteer Needed


Tom Schmitz, Chair, Gail Sanders, Donna Weeks, Rise Manske, Liz Maynard, Midge Derby, Karlyn



Tom Schmitz, chair, Marc Cherry

Specialty Awards:

Rolling Sculpture Award--Bill Silhan

Special Category Trophies--Marc Cherry

Best in Show-judges--Mike Darby with Larry Norton and Bill Gillson of Peachtree MG

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T Shirts

Artwork: Curt Derby, Rich Willows

Production: Tom Schmitz, Curt Derby

Show Sales: Mickey Kay, chair, Kay Kay, Ann Fell, John Malone One Volunteer Needed


Curt Derby, chair

Goody Bags

Tom Schmitz, chair, Darla Willows, Rich Willows, Al Deweese

Sound System:

Bob Manske, chair, Bill Weeks, Tom Matsoukas, Keith Sanders, Marc Cherry

Show Promotions:

Bill Weeks, chair, Keith Sanders, Curt Derby, Tom Schmitz, Bob Manske

Awards Presentation:

Tom Schmitz, chair, Marc Cherry, Tim Maynard, Paul Salm


Mike Japp, chair and web site manager, Bill Moseley, Cam Leonard & Richard Lewis

Motor Homes:

Gus Fell, Bill Weeks

Friday Day Activities:

Tom Matsoukas, chair, Henry Hensel, Ingrid Candelaria, Richard Lewis

Friday Night Reception:

Bob Manske, chair

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Set Up: Marc Cherry, Tom Matsoukas, Liza Maynard, Tim Maynard, Monica Bachmann,

Franz Bachmann, Marie Olive, Jeff Olive, Jack Rowles, Jerry Rowles, Jason Court, Stacie


Food Arrangement and Serving: Jeff Olive, Marie Olive

Guest Welcome: Marc Cherry, Melissa Silhan, Bill Silhan

Post Event Clean Up (10-11:30 pm): Monica Bachmann, Franz Bachmann, Jack Rowles, Jerry

Rowles, Jeff Olive, Marie Olive

Major Prize Raffle:

Jeff Olive, Judy Huber, Paul Salm, Jerry Rowles

Car Wash:

Franz Bachmann, chair


Ted Oster

Major Prize Donations

Richard Lewis (basket), chair, Joan Clemons (quilt), Jerry Rowles (basket), Carol Stewart (basket),

Jeff Olive (wood bowl), Tom Matsoukas (tools), Rich Willows (painting and framed print),

Curt Derby (2 paintings), Dom Hambrick (Enamel Badge), United Bank (silver necklace)

Smoke in the Wires February 2017 Page 17

Featured Car

1991 Land Rover Defender 110

Grant Bucks

Words and Photos by Marc Cherry

As we contemplate the 25 th anniversary of the Brits on the Bay car show, I thought we might feature a car

that is also 25 years old. This month’s feature car is a truck. Our featured 1991 Land Rover Defender 110 is

not only new to this area, it is new to this continent. Lt Col Grant Bucks was lucky enough to be stationed in

the United Kingdom for the past few years. While living there, he got bit by the British car bug and decided

he had to have an old Land Rover to bring back to the States.

Knowing that the vehicle had to be at least 25 years old to come into the US legally, he sought out an old

Land Rover Defender 110. After a lengthy search, he secured what he thought was the perfect 1991 vintage

vehicle and began to upgrade it and prepare it for the trip across the Atlantic. The biggest issue was the

engine. A previous owner had swapped it for an engine from a different Landie. Our DOT requires that an

import vehicle be equipped with its original type engine. With some difficulty, Grant sourced a running

engine, serviced it and restored the Defender to its original mechanical specifications.

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He also set out to modernize the

vehicle by replacing most of the

interior with newer components. The

vehicle ended up safer, too. Out went

the shorty rear seats and tired cloth

front seats in favor of newer, heated

leather seating, three-point harnesses,

modern instrumentation and a stereo/CD

with USB inputs. Uprated LED fixtures

replaced almost all of the interior and

exterior lighting.

Just as Grant had most of the work finished,

the unthinkable happened. Thieves broke

into the Defender, popped it into neutral

and loaded it onto a flatbed. England might

be famous for Scotland Yard, but none of

those skills or ambition seemed at work

amongst the Ipswich constabulary. Upon

Grant reporting the crime, the police

promised to send a car. After a couple hours,

he called again. After learning that the

stolen vehicle was a classic Land Rover, they

informed him that “You’ll never see that

thing again.” In fact, they wouldn’t bother to

send a car as the Land Rover was likely

already parted out or in another country.

A couple of weeks passed until the owner of

a nearby Christmas tree farm saw a glint of

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ed from the back of his farm. The thieves, expecting no traffic through a tree farm immediately after

Christmas, had stashed it until they could dispose of it. Incredibly, the vehicle was almost completely

undamaged. Everything was still in the car from the night it was stolen.

Although the Defender was returned, Grant’s struggle to get it to the United States was not over. With a

planned return to the US in the early summer of 2016, Grant duly

tried to ship his vehicle over. In doing so, he learned that the restriction was not by model year, but by

assembly date. With an October 1991 build date, the Defender wouldn’t be travelling to the US with Grant

and his family. In fact, it couldn’t even leave the UK port until past the 25 th anniversary of its build date. He

left it with a friend to be shipped in the fall.

Fast forward through a long wait to start the shipment, a long ocean crossing and a long customs process

before the Land Rover finally arrived at the Atlanta debarkation yard in late January 2017. The family made

a two day outing to go retrieve their long-awaited Land Rover. It was a lengthy journey, but certainly worth

the wait.

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Rarely has there been this kind of opportunity to perform hobby work and look so focused and

professional while you are at it. No one will mess with you while you are geared up and hard at work with

this month’s feature tool, the UV Leak Detection Kit. Anyone who walks into your garage will instantly

know that serious science is underway and you are not to be bothered by trivial matters.

Smoke in the Wires February 2017 Page 21

I have to confess, I’ve always wanted one of

these. The full kit has options to test any system

based on oil, water or refrigerant. Anyone who

has spent hours trying to chase a slow leak

around a dirty engine probably could have

justified this kit on hours saved alone. I have lost

sleep wondering whether my fresh E-Type engine

had a leaky rear main seal demanding a

heartbreaking engine removal and disassembly or

merely a weepy banjo bolt to the cam that could

be cinched up without even having to set down

your freshly-mixed old fashioned. Good news, it

was the banjo, in the garage with the old

fashioned! While I won’t share my UV Leak

Detection Kit because it was pretty spendy at

$104, you can find my old fashioned recipe at the

end of this article.

The tools you use say a lot about you. Walking

around with a Mighty-Vac brake bleed kit just tells

the world that you have no friends (to help you

bleed brakes) and that you are easily duped into

buying under-performing tools. Showing up with a

complete UV test kit (all three options, naturally)

instantly makes you the most interesting man in the

garage. I’m not really a $125 an hour mechanic

(that’s what the BMW shop wanted last week!), but

I could play one on TV. The stylish and glossy amber

goggles that come with the kit instantly convey a

Smoke in the Wires February 2017 Page 22

sense of detached professionalism. My car may be mid-century modern, but my diagnostic gear is allbusiness,

21 st century business at that.

So what do you get in this kit besides the stylish goggles? While the original elements were earth wind

and fire, in the automotive world they are oil water and refrigerant. The complete kit comes with three

containers of marker dye for petroleum-based liquids, water-based liquids and refrigerant dye. With the

oil dye, you can test gas and diesel fuel systems, oil

systems, brake circuits, transmissions and power

steering systems for leaks. The water dye lets you test

cooling systems and even windshield washer systems.

Finally, the refrigerant dye helps determine whether it

will take hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix the air

conditioner. NAPA’s scientists have not left British cars

out in the cold with respect to their unique leaks. Their

new liquid smoke dye is almost consumer ready and

will surely help us quickly isolate where the smoke is

escaping from the wires. In addition to these items, a

super-cool anodized aluminum UV flashlight is the

central tool to actually finding the leak.

How does it work? Just select the bottle with the dye

for the type of fluid you are testing and pour it into the

system. Start the vehicle and run it up to temperature

or even drive it for a couple of days if you are chasing a

really slow leak. When you are ready for the

examination, find some shade, don your goggles and

start shining the UV flashlight around the engine bay.

You’ll know when you find the leak, the leak will light

up the color of a yellow highlighter marker. The dye

lasts for months, so it will help find subsequent leaks

as well. Once applied, you don’t need to remove the dye from your system; just change your oil, coolant

or whatever fluid on its regular maintenance cycle.

There are noteworthy alternative uses for elements of this kit. The UV flashlight is useful for hunting

scorpions as they also glow in UV light. Similarly, most body fluids fluoresce as well, so the flashlight can

track down a misbehaving pet’s dirty deeds. For your sanity, I don’t recommend using the light in the next

hotel room you stay in. Some things are better unknown. The dye itself can be used in testing drain

systems or for pranks. I won’t say how I know this, but a tiny bit spilled in a shoe will create a lasting

green foot. Telephone earpieces and eyeglass nosepieces are also good candidates, as well. The

possibilities are endless! Or, you could stick with auto repair.

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Divertissements: Mod Twist to the Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned but never out of style. This is my take on a venerable classic that

began as a rye drink between the wars and evolved into a bourbon drink by the

atomic age. Yes, Old and Mod Fashioneds use maraschino cherries. The trick is

to find the good ones without syrups and dyes to avoid turning a serious cocktail

into a boat drink. Tonight's mix features a single cask Kentucky Bourbon from

the 1792 Distillery. Start with a few small bits of orange or clementine peel in

the bottom of a glass. Add a wedge of the same orange or clementine, a dash of

lemon juice, 1 tbsp of brown sugar and 3 dashes of bitters. Muddle the whole

thing well. Add ice, a maraschino cherry, 1 oz of bourbon and a half oz of sweet

vermouth. Top up with sparkling water and stir gently but thoroughly to avoid

flattening the water. Enjoy!

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Join the Panhandle British Car Association on

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