Thursday 28 April 2011

Thursday Pitch

Start Me Up

I find some mechanical rituals fascinating. Particularly starting classics.

My '77 Fairlane would only start if you flicked the key twice to let the electric fuel pump prime the carb, pumped the throttle once to let the accelerator pump squirt a bit of juice in to the manifold and swore a little bit as you hit the key. Anything but this and you'd crank the battery flat without so much as a cough.

I knew a triple-carb six cylinder Valiant that took two people to start on a cold morning - one to hold their hand over the middle carb as a choke and the other to turn the key. It'd try to drag your hand down the Weber, then fire on two cylinders. The rest would chime in a moment later. Magic.

Anyone who has had a kickstart motorbike knows about finding top dead centre and jumping on the leg, trying to hold the throttle and your tongue just right.

What's your ritual?



  1. Your father's Morgan Plus 8 turned me into a clutch start expert. Does that count?

  2. Usually, Pump the Accelerator Twice, let it out, then Crank the Engine.

    Unless it has been sitting for more than 2 Weeks in which case you need to Pump a few more times.


  3. I used to have a Ford Telstar where if you didn't remove the fusible links for the headlights before you started it, the car would catch fire.

  4. One good pump on the loud pedal, crank her over, wait for it to catch (and then die again half a second later), just touch the throttle enough to open the primaries a crack and kick her in the guts again... we have ignition...

  5. I'm glad someone has said "kick her in the guts (Barry)" after this pitch. Pity your Gal doesn't s..s..suck nitro!

    Car movies... Possible Thursday pitch?