As promised, I will keep you posted about my apprenticeship at ERK. I must admit, every day this work gets more and more fun! We even have a barn find section in the garage, just to relate to yesterday’s article… ; ) The diversity of cars that come in is large, pre- or postwar, patinated like a Brescia, finely restored like a Hispano H6C (the gorgeous H6C with Kellner coachwork shown below is mostly restored by ERK, also the special Chromos bumpers), or sporty like a Lambo GT400, all great to work on.
A job I really enjoyed, was installing the overhaul sets of the 6-double Weber carburetors for the Lambo GT400 V12. When assembling 6-double Webers you soon find out how they are put together and what every part means for the function of the carburetor – fascinating. With an excellent manual, which had every part numbered, it was almost as simple as assembling an Ikea closet… ; ) While dong the job I leaned some about the other carburetor brands, like Solex (of which an early bronze version is going to be fitted to my Amilcar CGS), Zenith (made in different countries), Stromberg, S.U. (Skinners Union, fitted to almost every English marque), Brevettato (the Italian made Webers), etc. Early carburetors, from the 1920s and before, were made of bronze. Later most were cast in Zamac, which is a family of alloys with a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper. Zamac lends itself extremely well to casting complex items like carburetors.
We always have great fun while working as Erik (the owner) is such a relaxed and fun boss. Click here for a nice Lambo engine vid (sorry if the vid is not working yet, please try again later).
I found out that it is very rewarding to restore. Erik gave me a Delahaye 135 engine that needed ‘a bit of’ a clean up. To see the result before and after is just a great thing. I take care of it like it is my best friend and sometimes it becomes my biggest enemy. Like for example the two TR4’s that I had to strip from the inside. I must also tell you that the worst or the most difficult jobs often are the best ones; I just love challenges. I always make sure to check the mirror before I leave the garage, because most of the time I look like I’ve been living in a chimney for the past few years… Especially after sandblasting or polishing parts.
One of the jobs I also really like is courier work. I drive around all of the Netherlands in Erik’s van to pick up or deliver car parts. This is super nice to do, because I get to see some awesome places, mostly workshops and of course I love to cruise around if there are no traffic jams, Stau, or embouteillages, or…
Next challenge: two E-Type engines, which seems to be not at all as easy as assembling an Ikea closet. As you can see I am trying to get to know the inner secrets of the vintage beauties as best as possible. Which is even better than just getting to know your own vintage car very well, especially when having trouble and to understand what tech petrol heads are talking about.
I have something else for you in store as well, a little challenge… Guess what the first photo of our barn find section is showing next to that red devil of a TR4 ; )
Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos