Built in suspension jacks

Yesterday i conducted my annual pilgrimage to the Beaulieu International Auto-jumble. Whilst this is a huge event with people attending from all round the world, it can be a bit of a mixed bag. This time there were a lot of 60’s items but I was looking for vintage parts so not quite so great. There isn’t really anything on my must have list, but i do have a vision of what i want the car to look like – the type of lights, the type of number plate, the type of wheel guards etc. I know I want twin spare wheels so i need to find a hub that i can bolt to a fabricated frame etc. I also need 2 more 18″ wheels or preferably a set of six 19″.

But i didnt find any of what i was looking for… what i did find was the special handle that operates the built in jacks on the rear suspension (at sometime in history a previous owner had removed the front one(s) and a pre WW2 flying helmet. The jack handle was pretty exciting to find, i have only ever seen one in pictures so with fingers crossed that the jacks actually worked and were not seized solid, i passed over £15 and the rather rare item was mine…

I actually stumbled across three genuine old flying hats, two looked like they were made for children so either people had small heads in the 30’s or children were allowed to fly aircraft… but the last one was perfect, it is a very close fit but i suspect being leather it will shape itself to my head over time. Now i need to find a genuine pair of flying goggles although I may actually buy a new pair at some point (or a birthday/Christmas present perhaps)

Thats it – thats all i bought, apart from a Cornish pasties and a pint of old thumper 🙂

Naturally – i drove all the way home in the flying helmet… and with a slight trepidation, tried the jack handle on the rear suspension. It took me a few moments to work out how to use it.. i soon discovered that it extended given you  a lever of about half a meter but the part of the end seemed to rotate when you pushed or pulled the handle. OK so not a ratchet – so how did it work? after a bit of head scratching, i put a spanner on the end by the handle and pulled on the handle without allowing the spanner to rotate – there was a squeal from the jack but i saw it move! lifting the handle up meant it went loose but rotating the spanner very lightly meant it re-gripped the jack, pushing the handle down again (whilst holding the spanner) and the jack opened some more. Aha! copious amounts of releasing fluid later and i had another go… yep that’s it… that’s how it works and the jack wound down, albeit reluctantly and…up went the suspension lifting the wheel with it. Hurrah! Luckily the jack for the other side was the same – reluctant but working. I suspect there is a special handle that is supposed to fit to the end of the jack, probably with a nice oak knob that you hold and turn.

IMG_2444  IMG_2445


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