Ad of the week: Pennzoil Jaguar

This weeks Ad is a Pennzoil ad that ties their engine oil to the high performance XK engine and its over inflated performance specs.   Still the ad had a great cutaway of the engine and the triple carburettor setup.

Jaguar XKE Engine Pennzoil

Traction engine troubleshooting

Today I started troubleshooting a potential engine issue in my Traction Avant.   When the engine is hot, it will sometimes smoke out of the valve cover and there is a single pulse of black exhaust like it is being caused by one cylinder.

My first test was to check the compression of the engine, quite easy on a traction engine as the spark plugs are easily accessible and there is a starter button in the engine compartment.

I found that #1, #3 and #4 had compression of 90PSI but #2 only had about 65PSI compression.    On a well running engine they should be similar.


Next step was to do a wet test.  This is done by squirting some oil into each cylinder, and if the compression comes back up you know the problem is likely with the rings as the extra oil helps worn or damaged rings seal against the cylinder wall better.

In my case the reading hardly changed, so as I expected the problem is with a valve not closing properly.   My theory is that one of the exhaust valves is not sealing.      Next step will be to check the valve clearances.

Ad of the week: Citroen DS power

This weeks ad is interesting that it tries to take the biggest weakness of the DS – the engine and try and turn it into a strength.   I prefer the other ads that focus on its real strengths like the economy, suspension etc.   In sales trying to turn a weakness into a strength can work well, but not sure if this approach did.

Citroen DS Pul

2016 Shannons Eastern Creek Car Show

Late August means its time again for the big eastern creek car show, which is organized by the CMC and Shannons.   It’s probably the biggest car show in Australia and has a small selection of cars from each club affiliated with the CMC.   Normally the selection is more everyday enthusiast cars rather than high end, but it is nice to see all the niche models that are rarely seen on the road.  They also have vintage fire trucks, police pursuit vehicles and so on.

What was interesting to see was how popular the new classic rego scheme has been in NSW.   Previously the number of cars on classic rego was comparatively few, I would say that more than half of the cars are now on this system.    This is good as it will make it hard for the politicians to take it away again.

All three of the clubs that I am affiliated with (Citroen, Jaguar and Mercedes) had displays at the event.

Please click on the links for photos from the 2015 and 2013 shows.

M272 Balance Shaft Issues – E350

I went to look at an E350 W211 Estate today and had learned on the Topklasse forum that the M272 engine manufactured from 2005-2008 suffers from a potential defect.    From what I understand because this engine is a 90 degree V6, there were additional components required to make it run smoothly and these and the timing gear can suffer from premature wear.     More information can be found here.   The part is called the Balance Shaft.

This was enough to put me off buying a car I would have otherwise bought.   Most likely I’ll be looking for an ’04 or ’08 model instead.   Its a shame as it was a nice car.

Ad of the week: 1955 300SL Gullwing

In 1955 direct fuel injection was a big deal, and I believe the 300SL was the first production car to have it.   It certainly provided fearsome performance out of only 3 liters.   This weeks ad focuses on the 300SL and in particular the direct fuel injection.

Mercedes 300SL Petrol Injection

The Peterson Museum

I had the opportunity for a short visit to the Peterson Museum, after my flight out of Los Angeles was canceled.    I had always wanted to go to see the museum after seeing a few of the cars featured on Jay Leno’s Garage (for example Steve McQueen’s XKSS).

The museum has two parts, the public exhibits over three floors and three basements with cars not in the current collection.    You can do a tour of the basement for an extra charge, although for some reason photography is prohibited.   Despite that, the tour is well worth it and you’ll see a range of really interesting cars from horseless carriages, custom cars, race cars, Saddam Hussein’s W100 600 and so on.   This is also how they can keep the upstairs collections fresh.

The highlight for me was the display of the pre-war French cars, Bugatti, Delahaye, Delage, Voisin etc.   These are some of the most beautiful cars ever manufactured and this is an amazing collection of them under the one roof.

As the museum is near Hollywood they also feature celebrity owned cars, and cars that have been in movies or TV shows.   For example, the De Tomaso Pantera that was shot by Elvis Presley is in the basement.

I only had two and a half hours there which is not really enough, but the museum is well worth it for anyone who has a few hours in the Los Angeles area.

Ad of the week: Jaguar E-Type

This weeks ad is on the E-Type, this time 1964.   Its not clear if it covers the then current 3.8 model or the upcoming 4.2.

Jaguar XKE different breed of cat

Ad of the week: New DS21

This weeks ad covers the launch of the DS21 – still on the 2nd nose.   The introduction of the DS21 started to address the concerns about the lack of power in the DS, the main point of criticism over its 20 year life.    The car was originally supposed to have an air cooled flat six, but that never panned out.

Citroen DS FWD Hydro Syspension

Ad of the week: Mercedes 300SL

This weeks ad covers the 300SL Roadster after it was launched to replace the Gullwing.   The Ad focuses mostly on performance – a strong point for these cars.

Mercedes 300SL Getaway Car