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A tricky decision

A tricky decision

Wednesday 18th February 2015

As the years go by, spare parts for my cars are becoming increasingly difficult to find. The Vintage Austin Register is a club for owners and enthusiasts and it is a good source of spares. They arrange the manufacture of many of the most commonly needed items and this has worked well for many years. Until now, such items have been relatively mundane and modestly-priced. However, the technical experts on the committee have identified a critical shortage of useable cylinder blocks, which are large, heavy lumps of cast iron without which the car is fit only for the scrap heap. The problem is that the original moulds have long-since been thrown away and the technical drawings were destroyed in a fire many years ago, making the re-manufacture of these complex castings a very tricky process, requiring many hours of work by skilled engineers.

The costs involved are substantial and the club has asked its members to make a difficult decision. We can each commit to spending almost £3,000, or we do nothing, cross our fingers and hope our cars never need a new cylinder block. I am quite fortunate in having two spare cylinder blocks tucked away in my garden shed but my instinct is to bite the bullet and throw £3,000 into the pot. I just hope enough members share my thoughts otherwise our cars are facing an uncertain future.