by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos
First of all let me tell you that I had planned to follow the Mille Miglia. Sadly my BMW spent those wonderful days at the dealers because of a delay with the delivery of a new clutch/flywheel. Not surprising that after more than 350.000 km the flywheel needed a replacement. But soon I will post loads of wonderful photos and possibly even a nice report of the 2016 Mille Miglia, with the help of a friend who participated. I lend him a wheel-nut from my CGS, which allowed him to participate with his Amilcar CGSs plus a bit of extra luck, so he owes me something now…
But let’s get back to Amillion. After several months I get to know my CGS better bit by bit, and this is a nice adventure. Of course Amillion has far fewer kilometers on it than my BMW.
Sometimes it is a bit frustrating when you do a rally and can’t finish it. Most of us have experienced this as well with their prewar or postwar car. So each time I drive her a bit, I discover new things that need to be fixed or just small but useful modifications.
The very first time Amillion came home, you can guess it… I wanted to start the engine directly! However enthusiastic I was, it didn’t happen that day. The engine did not start, as was also the case before in Austria and later on at the workshop of ERK. I knew I had to be careful not to start until the battery would be dead, so the next day a new chance. The next day a couple of friends came over, and they had a little trick. While starting we sprayed a bit of start pilot into the carburetor and Amillion immediately burst into life. My dad and I jumped thru the roof of the garage, we were so happy to finally hear the little monster running. That sound was so wonderful to hear and so brutal, especially with the exhaust pipe wide open.
I jumped into the car and immediately set off on my very first drive, which gave me a wonderful feeling, as if I had driven my CGS before. The throttle in the middle and break on the right did not feel strange at all, and the double clutching was easy as well. What a great experience to tour around in a 91 year old car, EPIC! After 2 nice laps I wanted to do a hundred more, but I put her back to sleep before long. Next day wanted to start the engine again and drive and drive and drive. Sadly there was only a lone ‘click’ from the engine compartment and that was it… nothing more happened. Even my dad could not figure out what was going on. We tried to analyse the situation and the difficulty to take out the starter motor (this required quite a lot of dismantling) we eventually decided to take the car back our friend near Amsterdam again. He is such a nice and relaxed man so he agreed to take on the CGS again. Soon we got a call from him saying that it was not the starter motor, but that the ring gear had come off the flywheel! I understood from another Amilcarist that this is not an uncommon issue with Amilcars. The ring gear is only held in position on the flywheel with four bolts and no extra studs, so when those bolts loosen up somehow the gear comes off. Actually this is quite unpleasant and could cause serious damage to the engine, clutch and possibly even the gearbox. So Amilcarists… check the flywheel/ring gear on your car (as well as the wheel hubs…)!
When the engine was taken out for repair it appeared that the sump contained a significant amount of sludge, another surprise. This may have been caused by the fact that the CGS had barely been driven before I became the new owner. Since the car would not return home soon we made up a list of other things to do at the same time, including cosmetic improvements…
Next time we continue with this adventure and I promise you, it will be VERY adventurous!