Most of you know that the first step towards my goal was to purchase a lovely Amilcar or other cyclecar. That first step has been accomplished, but it is just the beginning of great adventures, which are yet to come! Every vintage car has its own issues or things that can be improved and so has Amillion (that is the nickname I have given to my Amilcar CGS). To make sure you can hit the road safely and have lots of fun you need to make sure you check the car thoroughly and go for mechanical perfection as far as possible. Later you will probably still find new things that can be improved. This is a part of the journey/adventure and you should enjoy it because it is a great experience to get to know your car.
A while ago I posted a fun tour of the workshop of a true professional near Amsterdam. I know the very nice and relaxed owner of the workshop and his wife from the Bugatti Club Netherlands and decided to bring Amillion to him to get some things fixed, as well as a Dutch license plate. One of the things that needed improvement is the steering, which has too much play. I hope this can be resolved quite easily with some adjustment.
You also need to prepare for the driving experience, well before you join any rallies. I am not very familiar with double clutching, so I needed to to practice and make sure that it becomes a natural thing to me. I already used my modern BMW to practice, but it is a bit too easy. In a Teal, for example, you can tell what double clutching feels like and learn how much to blip the throttle.
So I needed a vintage car that was synchronized to learn on. Luckily my good friend, Hans, was willing to lend me his Teal for that purpose. With some practice I must say it is great fun to do! The handling is not complex at all, but in a stressful situation you need to know what to do, so a new kind of reflex. Same with the accelerator pedal between the clutch (left) and brake (right) pedal. The CGS also has that arrangement which is so common in prewar cars. Most of the time this is not a problem, but in reflex situations you need to handle the right way, automatically… It needs to become your second nature. This is all great to learn and to experience.
As we spiral into winter it is not the best time of the year to go out and practice in a vintage car while there is salt on the roads, etc. So after the winter will be the real start with the CGS and I look forward to do as many great events, tours and rallies as possible. I can’t wait and so does Amillion too! : )
Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos