New SS1 coming to France

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tanuki
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New SS1 coming to France

Post by tanuki » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:08 am

It's already been one month now ... but I did not have much time for putting down this small report yet :oops:

So here goes the story of another Scimitar that made the trip to come and live near my place :wink:

Following my purchase of the SST last October, my friend Xavier who works at La Vie de l'Auto
- french auto magazine - decided that an SS1 would be perfect for him since he had been looking for
a sporty/odd looking/fun/cheap english convertible :lol:

Xavier owns a few cars but since he had sold his Caterham last year he had been left without a proper
english car and thus was ashamed to come to our meetings in his MX5. Over the past couple of months
I helped him sourcing an SS1 through the forum, FB page and ads in the usual classic mags.
We eventually ran into an ad for a 1800 Ti located in Redhill, south of London.

Xavier's plan was to write yet another import a Scimitar article in his magazine, and it was decided
to make the trip to the UK by car with another Scimitar with three people aboard: Xavier of course,
Jean-Claude Amilhat - the reporter who came with me last year to pickup the SST and who would write
the article - and myself as the translator and driver.

I contacted the owner, a nice chap by the name of Rick Battishill - known here ? - who had owned
the SS1 for nearly 8 years. The trip was organized for Friday 27th of January, so we left home on
Thursday morning 10:00 am in Fontainebleau, picking up Jean-Claude at Orly airport - incoming flight
from Toulouse - and driving peacefully towards Caen in The Flying Sub. Since we had a lot of time
ahead before boarding our ferry, we managed to locate the garage where my SST had been fixed on
our way back from England last year and paid a visit to the mechanic who saved our trip then.
He recognized us and was relieved that we did not come to him with another problem, but merely
for a quick chat over english classic cars, phew ...

The weather was not as cold as it was in October, but since the heating does not work on The Flying Sub
we enjoyed very much getting in the warmth of a restaurant on the waterfront in Ouistreham ...
that was the only good point about the restaurant - I prefer to forget the food which I simply
could not eat - One hour before boarding we started queuing and discovered several interesting
cars being trailed back to England:


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Oh, btw this is the team ... Xavier & Jean-Claude
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... Fred & Jean-Claude
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The Flying Sub - or maybe its passengers ? - must have looked weird since customs stopped us and
scrutinized the back of the car ...
Anyway we managed to make it to our cabin and had a good sleep before reaching Portsmouth.

Friday was one of those days when you keep checking your watch all the time, since we had a
very tight schedule ! Getting off the ferry at 06:45 we headed East on the M27 hoping not to miss
the junction that would bring us further North. Traffic was still OK in the early morning so we
did not get stuck in jams, but ended on a scenic A29 instead or the A24. For a moment we thought
that we'd lost all the benefit of the early departure, when we got lost in Billingshurst ...
but asking our way to a guy - who stared at the Scimitar as if he had not seen one in ages -
we managed to get back on the right track. That was part of the adventure though since we did
not bring any satnav - just a few prints of Google maps - and looking back it a month later we
did enjoy that scenic drive :)

We eventually arrived at Rick's place at 09:15, actually ahead of schedule !
Rick greated us with a warm coffee and home made pastries while getting acquainted,
and it was time to discover the SS1 that was waiting in the garage. One of Rick's friends
who owns a GTC had walked up from his place to meet us there, while Xavier was discovering
his new toy and Jean-Claude was shooting pics for his article. The car started first time
and looked exactly as expected ... so Xavier did not bother at looking at it real close
- he later confessed that this was the first time that he'd buy a car without a thorough
check, he must have been under the charm of the SS1 :P - The tricky part though was that
the car was coming with a hardtop that had been stored in Rick's garage for 7 years ...
so we took down the hood after much fight with one of the nuts, then installed the hardtop
while the hood ended in the back of the Flying Sub.
Rick had offered us before to stay at his place for lunch and it would have been a pleasure
spending a couple extra hours with him, unfortunately a ferry was waiting for us in Dover
so we had to decline and hit the road after completing all the paperwork.

At 10:30 we were back on the road, with Xavier & Jean-Claude in the SS1 ... heading East
on the M20. A bit more traffic by that time, but the Scimitar gang managed to reach Dover
shortly after 12:30 just in time for check-in - the ferry was leaving at 14:00 and we should
be at the terminal before 13:00. Not too bad on the schedule still ... and the rain had stopped
which was appreciated since I had forgotten to put back the passenger wiper on my car before
we left France :( The guy at french customs/police station gave us his feeling at seeing our
cars: while the SE6a was said to be "intriguing body, but nice", the SS1 definitely received
a "ouch, now that's ugly (!)" ... oh well :roll:

Now for a few pics collected while we were waiting for boarding:

Image
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The crossing went fine and fortunately this route is much faster, so we did not waste much time
and the Scimitars were in pole position on the deck ... therefore as soon as we drove off the
boat we were immediately on the motorway - no police or custom checks on this side when one exits
from the ferry. Xavier was obviously getting a little bit familiar with the SS1 since I could
hardly follow him in The Flying Sub ... I decided to let him go and gently cruised at 75 mph ...
I could not miss them anyway if they would have a problem on the roadside :P

30' later I caught up with them at the petrol station ... Xavier was all smile, no doubt that
he enjoyed his first 200 miles in the SS1 :P
However it was 17:00 by then and Jean-Claude was supposed to arrive no later than 19:30 at Orly !
We thus decided that they should go ahead and not bother waiting for me as he would surely miss
his plane. The car was behaving nicely and Xavier was confident that the trip would be fine,
anyway he could rely on the road assistance if necessary. So I kissed goodbye to Jean-Claude,
who settled in the driver's seat in order to test the car himself on the way back to Paris:

Image

We had agreed with Xavier to meet up at his place in the evening and celebrate his purchase
with a nice bottle of wine. I arrived in Fontainebleau at 20:30, a good 30 minutes before him,
and was releaved when he eventually arrived ... it turned out that traffic around Paris was
crazy and that jean-Claude had reached the airport terminal just 5' before checkin closure,
exactly like way back in October with the SST !! that was bloody close :(
Xavier explained that he was worried upon exiting the carpark, when the lights would only
pop out after three or four attempts ... we knew that the lights were not synchronized - one
poping before the other one - but not coming out would have been a serious issue at night.
At least once they are open, they do park in proper position so that the beam is much better
than on my SST :(

Image

As a conclusion to this trip, we were all very happy with how the Scimitars behaved ...
I was particularly pleased with the Flying Sub which managed to take us all the way without
playing any trick ;) The trip was exactly 650 miles on my odometer btw.

On the very next Sunday Xavier and I went to our English Rencart noggin - a special edition
for the yearly member's general meeting - Both the SS1 and SST were warmly welcome, even by
those who find wedges ugly :P

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Also Xavier & Jean-Claude had been putting live comments & pictures on their FB accounts
during this trip ... the number of comments was tremendous - well, they do have a lot of
followers of course given their notoriety - ... the SS1 really made a buzz in the french
community. Xavier is reknowed for his original and stunning MX5 Na - with 430,000 km and
running like almost new - but we foresee that the SS1 is going to be very famous too in
the years to come :P


Now for a little feedback on Xavier's first impressions with the SS1.
First of all he is very much satisfied and relieved that the car was exactly as described
by Rick in his ad ... and that he could bring it back by the road ;)
There will obviously be a few things to take care of, but the car is absolutely in good
mechanical condition. It has successfully passed its MOT (below) and our chief mechanic
has listed the few things that need to be attended in order to make the car 'tip top' ;)

Image

Now about the driving sensations/pleasure ... Xavier told me that the SS1 Ti is probably
among the top 5 cars that he had ever driven - and he has driven a hell of a lot in his career -
He was simply baffled by the handling, the perfect combination of a superb chassis and a
brilliant Nissan engine ! He reckons that it is superior to the MX5 and probably the Elise
- which reminds me of Viv telling me that he would often beat Elises on track days -
He summarizes it in saying " it feels like a Lotus ... with a real engine :P "

Our little trip to the UK will be covered by Jean-Claude's article in AutoRetro in a few months
shortly after the other article about my SST ;) We'll see how the french community reacts to it.

At the moment the SS1 is going to be prepared for the soon to come 'alternative rally'
Touratoto, since I will play the navigator for Xavier on that rally at the end of April ...
I will cover the event in a new thread of course !

Thanks for reading,
Cheers,
Fred
Last edited by tanuki on Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.


now: Scimitar SE5 ('71), Scimitar SE6a ('79), Scimitar SST 1800Ti ('90), Ford Anglia LHD ('61),Ford Consul Capri LHD ('61), TVR Chimaera 400 ('96), Caterham SV ('10), Lexus IS200 ('04)
past: Mitsubishi Celeste ('77), Alfetta Quadrifoglio ('85), Nissan Maxima ('95)

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by peter freeman » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:40 am

Nicely written - is it going to Slice for those who are not on the web.



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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by scimjim » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:58 am

excellent :D

note that the small sports soft top is designed to fit perfectly in the boot for just such eventualities though :-)


Jim King

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), Sabre/MX5 auto (The Flying Broomstick),
1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by Oldconn » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:59 am

Brilliant! Reliants are going to lose their rarity value over here. If you are doing the Touratoto, what's the theme for your costumes? Or is that a secret? Must see if I can get to watch it! :D


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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by tanuki » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:35 pm

peter freeman wrote:Nicely written - is it going to Slice for those who are not on the web.
Thanks Peter !
I owe Terry a few articles indeed for Slice ... I should start with this one,
then the other one about my trip to the UK when I got my SST ...
and probably the article on Dominique Mouton's SE5 taking part in last year's Rallye des Princesses :wink:
scimjim wrote:excellent :D
note that the small sports soft top is designed to fit perfectly in the boot for just such eventualities though :-)
Thanks Jim !
We were not sure about this and it looked easier to pack the hood frame in my SE6a !
Xavier will try to fit it in his boot someday ... for the time being it's stored in the boot of the Capri :lol:
Oldconn wrote:Brilliant! Reliants are going to lose their rarity value over here. If you are doing the Touratoto,
what's the theme for your costumes? Or is that a secret? Must see if I can get to watch it! :D
Reliants are indeed going to be in the spotlights in Xavier's magazine in the near future 8)
that could well mean an increase in interest ... see what happens !
For the Touratoto Xavier will be disguised as Kermit ... you should like that :lol:
Since I do not fancy dressing up as Piggy :? ... that will probably be something a lot more common,
maybe a mexican guerillero - I have been testing a 2-week beard already :wink: -

Cheers :)
Fred


now: Scimitar SE5 ('71), Scimitar SE6a ('79), Scimitar SST 1800Ti ('90), Ford Anglia LHD ('61),Ford Consul Capri LHD ('61), TVR Chimaera 400 ('96), Caterham SV ('10), Lexus IS200 ('04)
past: Mitsubishi Celeste ('77), Alfetta Quadrifoglio ('85), Nissan Maxima ('95)

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by Oldconn » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:52 pm

Let's not have any racist jokes about Green Frogs :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
-but there has to be a joke there somewhere! A Frenchman turns green riding in a Reliant? :mrgreen:


"When I grow up, I want to be me"
-Kermit Weeks
Current: SE6A; 998 Mini.Previous: Morris Minor,Ford8, Cortinas Mk1 &2,MG Midget 1932,Morgan 3W 1934,Lagonda Rapier,Honda S800, Austin Maxi,Citroen GSA, Riley ElfMk2,Peugeot 505,Rover 420 SDI

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by tanuki » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:32 pm

Oldconn wrote:Let's not have any racist jokes about Green Frogs :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
-but there has to be a joke there somewhere! A Frenchman turns green riding in a Reliant? :mrgreen:
Ian, you know what ... Xavier was devastated two months ago when he missed a car
which would have been perfect on the occasion: a shiny green Kitten :shock:
Missed it by just a few hours :twisted:
Nevertheless I am sure that he now prefers to attend the Touratoto with an SS1 Ti rather than a Kitten :lol:

Cheers,
Fred


now: Scimitar SE5 ('71), Scimitar SE6a ('79), Scimitar SST 1800Ti ('90), Ford Anglia LHD ('61),Ford Consul Capri LHD ('61), TVR Chimaera 400 ('96), Caterham SV ('10), Lexus IS200 ('04)
past: Mitsubishi Celeste ('77), Alfetta Quadrifoglio ('85), Nissan Maxima ('95)

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by reliant-reviver » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:46 pm

That was temptingly cheap, not suprised it was snapped up!


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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by tanuki » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:14 pm

Sorry about this Phil ... indeed one more Reliant has crossed the Channel !
Rick told us that he did not have many contacts from potential buyers in the UK, but actually several leads
on the continent, at least another french guy as well as a german who were really interested - he was even
offered more money than the asked price ... but he had promised it to us -
Cheers,
Fred


now: Scimitar SE5 ('71), Scimitar SE6a ('79), Scimitar SST 1800Ti ('90), Ford Anglia LHD ('61),Ford Consul Capri LHD ('61), TVR Chimaera 400 ('96), Caterham SV ('10), Lexus IS200 ('04)
past: Mitsubishi Celeste ('77), Alfetta Quadrifoglio ('85), Nissan Maxima ('95)

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by scimjim » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:55 pm

I know where there's a bright green SS1 Ti for sale :-)


Jim King

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), Sabre/MX5 auto (The Flying Broomstick),
1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:05 pm

As others have said, that's a well-written write-up, which certainly deserves to be in Slice :D

I didn't realise that that car was up for sale - Rick and his friend Phil (the GTC owner) came to a couple of our noggins, back in 2014, and they also attended Southern Classics Chichester show in September 2014, but I hadn't heard from them since. The car did look smart back then, and seems to still be looking good: It'll be interesting to hear how it gets on in France :D

Image

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The GTC is one of the "HOM" series of registrations.


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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by chrisgallacher » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Great write-up Fred, thanks :)

Interesting looking Piper on the trailer in your second pic btw


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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by tanuki » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:51 pm

Thanks Roger for those extra pictures of yours 8)
I will send them to Xavier who sure will be happy to see old pictures of his car :wink:

He would like to trace the history of the car and for this purpose I asked Rick if he could apply for a V888
which he did a few days before our visit - while he was still owning the car - He promised to mail it to Xavier
as soon as he gets back from vacation ... really nice of him :mrgreen:
I will try to feed this thread with more information about the car's new life ... even though it's not mine
I do not mind keeping records here, that's why I finally decided to create the thread under the projects section.
Cheers,
Fred


now: Scimitar SE5 ('71), Scimitar SE6a ('79), Scimitar SST 1800Ti ('90), Ford Anglia LHD ('61),Ford Consul Capri LHD ('61), TVR Chimaera 400 ('96), Caterham SV ('10), Lexus IS200 ('04)
past: Mitsubishi Celeste ('77), Alfetta Quadrifoglio ('85), Nissan Maxima ('95)

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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by DARK STAR » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:27 pm

Well done Fred, great article ...
Now I just need it in French for the 'Road Trip' section on the Scimitar France site :mrgreen:


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Re: New SS1 coming to France

Post by tanuki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:41 am

DARK STAR wrote:Well done Fred, great article ...
Now I just need it in French for the 'Road Trip' section on the Scimitar France site :mrgreen:
Thanks Chris :wink:
Alright, I will try to put down a french version for Scimitar France ...
Btw I sent my text & pictures to Terry if it may fit in a future Slice issue.
Cheers,
Fred


now: Scimitar SE5 ('71), Scimitar SE6a ('79), Scimitar SST 1800Ti ('90), Ford Anglia LHD ('61),Ford Consul Capri LHD ('61), TVR Chimaera 400 ('96), Caterham SV ('10), Lexus IS200 ('04)
past: Mitsubishi Celeste ('77), Alfetta Quadrifoglio ('85), Nissan Maxima ('95)

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