goes on the Ford Y & C Model Registers Tour of Holland
In addition to his Trialling
and Racing exploits Neil Bray is also a fan of pre-war Fords and has
restored both a 1935 Model C and a 1937 Model Y. Neil like to give these
cars a good annual work out on the Ford Y and C Registers Annual adventure,
which in 2006 was a tour of Holland. Even Neil can't drive two cars at
once and I was thrilled when he asked me to join him and drive the C.
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Friday 2nd June
The C outside Michael's house on Friday night. Will it start in the
Neil came picked me up in the evening to take me round to his place to
collect the C. I had only driven it once before when we took the cars to
The Enfield Pageant. The wandering steering was familiar to me, just like
my Dellow, but the low powered engine and three speed box were all new
experiences (my Dellow is a trials car with a Kent engine, Rocket Box and
Saturday 3rd June
It did start and it was a
trouble-free run down to Harwich, with time for breakfast on the way
where we met up with another Y.
In the queue for the ferry. Y's and
C's on the left, Motorhomes on the right!
The lads on little deck at the back,
the only place you could get outside.
We're there, lets remember to drive
on the right!
Off at 5.30 to meet Neil at Baldock
Services at 06.00. I was very concerned the C would start. It needed full
choke, no throttle and all 6 volts burst strain to turn the little engine
over. It took a couple of goes but away we went. Down to Harwich on the
A120, with very little traffic to bother us we had time to have breakfast
in a transport cafe just outside the port. Even then we were in the queue
for the Stenna Discovery in good time. Stenna call it a HSS (High Speed
Ship). Its a Catamaran with four gas turbines powering water jets for
propulsion. A mere three and a half hours later we were driving off in the
company of a dozen or more cars from the register.
Not to many problems with driving on
the right and we soon got used to acknowledging the waves of the
bystanders. The line got broken up when we came to the first set of
traffic lights and it didn't take long for us to get separated from Neil.
We weren't too badly off as I had printed directions to the hotel from the
Internet. Neil had been depending on his Tom-Tom which had gone on the
blink, so he was trying to stay on the bumper of the car in front.
All of this meant we were at the
hotel in Voorschoten first. Other cars arrived in dribs and drabs but no Neil. A quick
phone call revealed he was broken down in a Motorway Tunnel with no hard
shoulder and finally arrived on a tow rope behind an 8hp Y. In the hotel
car park it soon became obvious that the Y's 12v Luminition had gone on
the blink and had to be replaced with a conventional distributor.
Sunday 4th June
John Argent helping Neil get the Y's
timing right after the Luminition failed and had to be replaced by a
How do you fertilize tomatoes? Just
buy a box of bees.
Michael and Neil enjoying their raw
Off at 08.30 for our first full day. Back to the
Hook of Holland for a guided tour of The
Atlantic Wall Museum, all about the defence system built by the
Germans to keep us out during the 2nd World War. Then a boat trip around
the canals of the Westland and a tour of a modern commercial greenhouse.
We were off in convoy at 8.30 but
only got a few hundred yards up the road when Neil pulled off as the Y
was not running properly. Adjustments to the points and timing with help
from John and Jim ot things running properly and we were away. We had a
brush with the law on the way, being urged on by a motorcycle policeman as
we weren't going fast enough on the motorway. Our hosts
at the museum did us proud and I think our cars parked outside attracted
a lot of attention for their museum.
In the afternoon it was off in a
suitably old restored boat to tour a commercial greenhouse where they grew
and packed tomatoes for supermarkets all over Europe.
Back at the hotel we checked the cars
over and noticed the C's fan belt wasn't very tight. Further investigation
revealed that the dynamo pulley was loose and about to burst through the
radiator. Tightening the nut did no good and we discovered that the centre
hole in the aluminium pulley had enlarged and the movement had damaged the
shaft as well. Graham Miles kindly donated his spare dynamo but it had a
different fixing. The only solution was to take the old and new units
apart and build Grahams parts into Neil's case. With Grahams help this was
accomplished just in time for dinner.
Monday 5 June
Queuing for the ferry with a couple
of BMW outfits that had drive to the sidecar wheel.
Following Graham Miles in his Tourer
along the coast road. Those wind turbines had plenty of fuel
One of the many ferries.
with one of the exhibits at the private museum we visited in the
We had a long drive south today, down
to the delta region to see the sea defences on the artificial island of
Neeltje Jans. We didn't start to well as we followed our part of the
convoy led by John and Jim the wrong way up A4. We regrouped at the ferry
across the entrance to Rotterdam harbour and it was here the problems with
starting the Model C when it was hot began. We finally got it going using
maximum choke but it popped and banged as it kangarooed up the road for a
mile or so before it cleared its throat. Neil felt it was down on
compression on one cylinder, but that didn't account for the hot starting
problem. The battery charge cut out was also playing up, the points
sometimes stuck together necessitating a quick pit stop to flick them
Neeltje Jans was very windy but it
was interesting to see the tremendous effort the Dutch have to make to
keep their feet dry. The original idea had been to provide a permanent
barrage to keep the sea out. However, this would have meant the water in
the Delta would have changed from salt water to fresh water, changing the
ecology. So the barrage at Neeltje Jans is only closed when the sea
reaches a certain level.
There was a lot more traffic on the
way back to the hotel with some long delays where we kept the engine
running, keeping a careful eye on the water temperature. We had to switch
it off on the ferry though and this time it wouldn't start until Jim and
John bump started it for us.
Back at the hotel Neil changed the
points, condenser and plugs and we hoped it would be better tomorrow.
First there was an early dinner before a trip in a wonderful old bus to a
private museum in Schipluiden belonging to Mr van Vliet. It was mostly
commercial vehicles but there were some cars and bikes as well, including
a Beetle police car and a Karman Ghia.
Tuesday 6 June
Our guide at the Ford Museum in
The C refused to start coming off
the ferry to Westzaan. After holding everyone up for an hour and
changing almost everything again, we found the problem was the coil.
When we got to the hotel there was a
couple of hours before dinner so Neil decided to take the axle out of
this Dutch Model Y and replace the UJ
We checked out of our hotel as we
were to spend the next two nights near Volendam. The Model C
started fine in the morning, although getting it going
from cold had never been a problem. Our Dutch hosts had arranged a private
visit to the Ford Museum at Hillegom. This private venture is the largest
collection of pre-war Fords in the world. All the exhibits were American,
ranging from a 1896 Quadricycle to Bonne and Clyde style V8's. We had a
wonderfully entertaining guide and it was a thoroughly entertaining time.
There was one European interloper, an Eifel, tucked away in a back room.
It was available for sale and Jim and Graham had a good look at it,
returning a week later to clinch the deal.
The C was running very well, or so we
thought. But the engine had to be switched off for the ferry to
Westzaan and absolutely refused to restart. We had
plenty of help and, after an hour of swapping bits and pieces leant to us
from other drivers, we found the problem was the coil. Once it was changed
away we went. Although it was clear we had little compression on one of
the cylinders starting was no longer a problem. One of the Dutch Model Y's
was having problems as well, with all sorts of horrible noises coming from
the transmission. It was diagnosed as the UJ on the back of the gear box
and a team led by Neil fell upon the poor little car to change it in the
hotel car park. As the model Y has a torque tube this involves partially
removing and pulling back the back axle so it wasn't a quick job. It was
done just before dinner, but a test run revealed the problem lied
elsewhere, so then car went home on a truck the next day.
Wednesday 7 June
today. off to Amsterdam by bus to enjoy the cafe culture.
With no TomTom Neil had to resort to
a map and phone to find the red light district.
was boring. We went by bus to Amsterdam so the cars didn't break down!
While some of the group indulged in a cultural tour of the museums Neil
and I concentrated on enjoying the cafe culture and Red Light district!
When we got back to the hotel we
visited a sort of farm shop next door where we tagged along with a Spanish
Tour group to see Cheese and Clog making, after which we bought some of
each! We enjoyed our last dinner with the group, during which I said I
hoped to join them again next year, perhaps in a car of my own!
Thursday 8 June
The rest of the group getting ready
to set off. We were on our way home as it was Lydden on Saturday and
the Capri had to be collected from Manchester first.
Time for a quick Ice Cream and
These two Citroens were parked next
to the filling station.
Our transport across the North Sea.
HSS Stenna Discovery.
After breakfast we waved the group,
away. They were off to see the gardens at Appeltern and the National War
and Resistance Museum before going home on Saturday. We made for the Hook
of Holland as we had to collect Neil's Capri from Manchester then next
day, ready for racing at Lydden on Saturday.
Apart from un-sticking the battery
regulator a few times the C behaved, although its increasing lack
of compression made it down on power. We got a bit lost a few times but
managed to find the Westzaan ferry again and diverted
by the Zandvoort racing circuit. Later we got totally lost in The Hague
and finally stumbled across signs to The Hook of Holland purely by
accident, arriving at the Ferry terminal about an hour and a half early.
We were parked right up against the berth and got a marvellous view of the
Stemma HSS Discovery approaching and berthing.
We had the buffet dinner on the boat
and arrived home about ten in the evening. No rest for the wicked though
as it was 4am start to Manchester in the morning. But that's another
Many thanks to The Model Y and C
Register for making us so welcome. Please feel free to let me know if I
have made any mistakes by emailing
email@example.com - Michael
Atlantic Wall Museum at The Hook of Holland
Page added 19 June 2006. updated 26
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