Saturday, 15 September 2012

The David Shepherd Hillman Imp and Elephant picture

This painting was spotted by me some years back, I and other Imp Club members tried really hard to find out if David Shepherd had painted it, we needed to add his name if we published it. In the end we discovered nothing and published anyway.

I had supplied the Imp Club the picture for a possible entry in the clubs magazine Impressions.
The editor of The Imp Club did not publish the picture I sent him for some while, copywrite etc, then when we drew a blank all around, did publish the picture and with a mention we thought the picture was Davids?

Once the Impression magazine was published and with Davids picture in it, an Imp Club member told us the story as to why and how the picture was posted by him on his web site.

It seems he had seen an auction brochure and on the front cover was a small print of the paint and the notice it was for sale. (it remained unsold) the club members wife knew her husband liked the picture and contacted the auction house and asked
for a copy of the brochure. From that she had a copy made and when framed gave it to her husband for his birthday.

Its all incorrect I know but the picture was very well received within the club and many members were talking about it once published, where is the picture now?

This mail came in today, 14th September 2012

Dear Roy

Whilst recently searching online for information about this painting done by David Shepherd many years ago, I came across your blog from last December making enquiries into how the painting came about. Unfortunately the person who you contacted (if you contacted them via the website) thinking they were David’s agent/administrator, is not in fact anything to do with David. He just happens to have the “ website” address and is an independent agent selling David’s prints.

A painting done by David Shepherd for the Rootes Group calender.

However, if you are interested, this is what David has to say about the painting:

“Seeing this painting again has revived many happy memories I have of the Hillman Imp. I received a commission from the Rootes Group to paint a painting of the Imp in Africa for their calendar; it certainly made an exciting picture. To achieve this I photographed the Imp at the factory and then added my own material for the elephant and baobab tree. I then painted the painting from the photographs and my existing material.”

I hope this answers your questions, if somewhat belatedly!



Sue Smith

PA to Avril and David Shepherd CBE, FRSA, FRGS

Tel: 01342 302480

Note, we are now suspecting that if this picture was used in a Rootes Car Co, calender, it was the 1963 or 1965 issue as we have members with a copy of the 1964 and 1967 issues and its not in those. Does anyone have a Rootes calender with the Elephant picture in it?

A member has since found a framed and signed picture of the Imp and Elephant, is it a print, is it the original, we are trying to find out!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Muriels Munchies choose Fluid Film rust preventitive

I was in the Hout Bay harbour yesterday and Walter of Muriels Munchies asked me about Fluid Film rust preventitive. He has a specific need for it due to the fact he is on the waters edge and his buildings are all steel containers, the locks and hinges take a lot of abuse.

Walter with his spray can of Fluid Film, each can has a long tube applicator, that will be perfect for access to small holes and hinges. I showed Walter the engine bonnet on my Ford Bantam truck four years back it started to rust on the front edge lip, I sprayed the inside edges of the bonnet where the metal frames are, that was it, no rusting since!

Muriels Munchies has been established for many years, the service and food are well known for good quality. They are well postioned and only a short walk from the beach which is behind them, the HBYC and marina are right there too.


Note, we have two cans only left in stock at the old price.

Saturday, after a sudden rush to buy, we have sold out on the cans, some 500mm units still in stock as fluid you can apply with a cloth or brush.

Fluid Films spray cans have as much as an 80% rust preventitive content while other brands can have as low as a 20% content.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Didi 26 as a sport boat

Below is a reply from Dudley Dix to a perspective customer for one of our Didi 26 kits, the question being how does the boat perform?

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your interest in our designs.
Have you visited the Didi 26 section of our website? It is at and has links to build photos and other information as well as layout and rig images. Follow the Builders Notes link for many pages of photos and links to other websites with more info.

Ake Unander sailing "Butterfly" on Lake V├Ątten in Sweden (my thanks for the use of his picture)
  The Didi 26 is a high performance boat with excellent handling qualities. Read the owner's report on Photo page 4 ( ) about racing her very hard in strong and gusty conditions in New Zealand. An owner in UK reported that his one is as fast as a J35 downwind in 25 knots, despite having a slightly smaller rig that came off his previous boat.

Dudley Dix

Dudley Dix Yacht Design

1340-1272 N Great Neck Rd #343

Virginia Beach, VA 23454, USA

Tel (757)962-9273 Fax (888)505-6820



Mobile website


Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once

I make them all the time!


Andrews Hartley 37 build of the decks

It is always nice to be able to report on a boat we have supplied a kit or materials to, the strike rate on the boat by folk buying from us and being launched is remarkably high by the way, some take weeks, some take years but as a general rule they all seem to splash in the end.

From Andrew Rogers:

I have now fitted the Deck Carlines and am busy with planing them down to

the correct position as well as planing the sheer in order to fit the side
decks. The piece of timber which I cut the carlines from had a curve, which
I left, as it saved having to shape the carlines to take the curve of the
deck. Note the bulkhead which was temporarily in place has been removed in
order to fit the Carlines.

On Monday I took delivery of my final batch of Marine plywood from Roy and
Jean at CKD Boats. This will hopefully be all that I need by way of plywood
in order to complete construction.

Andrew designed and made a very nifty rack with built in clamps that allows him to move sheets of plys on his road trailer, click on the picture for a better view.    

Wooden boats really can progress very quickly when you get into the build process. Its really a matter of various repeat tasks, in the end you find you have built yourself a boat!

Check the link for Andrews build and ideas. The words below are from it and I will watch with interest how Andrew develops his power plant.

TIDIDI is a Hartley designed Cape Otway, plywood yacht which I am currently building in my spare time and as cash flow allows (all donations welcome). It is therfore a long term project and is ultimately for my retirement.
She has a length of 37 foot and a beam of 11 foot, with a 6 foot draught. She will have a sloop rig and an electric auxiliary, much to the concern of some people who seem to prefer the smell and mess that comes with Diesel, not to mention the weight and space requirement.  I intend to make her as green and eco friendly as possible.

All pictures are the property of Andrew Rogers.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Dave and Wendy launch their Didi Mini Transat

Hi Mates,

We launched our boat today!

We have named her Dog Year. Photos are on the website:

Thanks for all your help and support.

Dave & Wendy

Well done Dave and Wendy, thats a fine looking standard of finish on your boat!

Dave and Wendy placed an order for his Didi Mini Transat kit with us a few years ago, we then packed it and shipped to them in Arizona, USA. The shipping cost was very reasonable, in fact, it was under R4000? thats only U$487 at todays exchange rates. Dave did his own collection from the port, which we do recommend to all our kit buyers if at all possible.

With this kit order we also supplied the black epoxy coated alloy pulpit, pushpits and deck stantions, the lead hot pour ballast as well.  check the web site for a stage by stage trip through all the various stages  of building this boat.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Found In Hout Bay, a rare British Anzani outboard!

British Anzani models (1957)

(Based on a 1957 advertisement) taken from the British Seagull Spares site, many thanks.

Keen edged performance is the quality that outboard enthusiasts look for... and it is just this that puts BRITISH ANZANI ahead in the world of outboards.

More than that... effortless starting, low fuel consumption, smooth running and simplicity of operation are consistent throughout the British Anzani range - from the 1 1/2 h.p. 'Pilot' for canoes and rowboats, to the 15 h.p. 'Unitwin' for runabouts, etc., and of course the 'B' Class Competition Motors.

Petrol is now off the ration... but the ever-present need for fuel economy underlines the wisdom of choosing BRITISH ANZANI.

Sets the PACE... provides the POWER!

Seen in the harbour today.

I think this is whats named a Super Single which weighs 48 pounds.

This is Paul, aka Blue Bottle, named after his inflateable boat we see him touring the harbour with. I had always thought he used a British Seagull engine, it turns out to be the British Anzani with a Seagull fuel tank fitted.

Pauls Blue Bottle and wheels ready to go.

As you can see, our winter is over and its now a nice spring day in the cape.

Paul with his classic 55 year old British Anzani outboard engine.
Roy copy and paste the link to see the boat in action.

News on the motor has just come in from John of S.O.S in Essex, England.

Hi Roy, just back from a sunny stay in hot climes!  UK actually warmish and sunny today!

Re spares for this beast, sadly none have been available for 50 years or so, they are museum pieces these days only parts are from other scrap motors and not sure if there is anyone specializing in them here, never found anyone and always asked...... Italian motors really, The Marine side just a small part of Anzani.


Brum is a Toylander

Seen here and specially labled for Ben, our six year grandson, Brum looks out on the future.

The car is easy to build from one of our ockume marine plywood kits, we can even supply the laminated bonnet and two curves to the front wings!


Monday, 10 September 2012

The SKF Speedi-Sleeve

SKF SPEEDI-SLEEVE (they are simply too expensive!)

A refurbished Hillman Imp lower crank pully, note the Speedi-Sleeve that is pressed onto the shaft.

SKF SPEEDI-SLEEVE is a well-proven solution to fix worn shafts within minutes, providing an excellent sealing surface without having to disassemble the shaft or change the seal dimensions.

A Hillman Imp transaxle output shaft, note the groove in the shaft, this needs a 1.25" Speedi-Sleeve fitting.

The sleeve combined with an SKF radial shaft seal provides an enhanced sealing system, resulting in a consistent and increased operating durability. This improved service life predictability assists with maintenance planning. For large shafts, SKF can also offer wear sleeves for heavy industrial applications.

The shaft has a deep groove where the old lip seal was fitted, the Speedi-Sleeve will cover this and make the part like new again.

I will update this with a picture when SKF reply to my email asking for stocks and prices.


Stocks are in Johannesburg and the order has been placed.

The asking price for one was around R601.00 plus Vat, so R685, or U$83.55 each and then delivery, they offered me a miserable 5% trade discount only, I canceled my order and went to an engineer I use when in need.

The original and damaged shaft is the one in front, the engineer made his own sleeve and turned it down to the required 1.25 inch size, the price was just R125! plus vat, so R142.50 only, thats all of 75% less than SKF can sell a sleeve at, I think they are way
over priced now.

See the quality!

You can use your own judgement on a quality job and good local prices at our machine shop.


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Oils for older petrol engines (revisited)

I had discussions with two classic car drivers yesterday, one was Colin with his 1952 Bradford Utility which became his Jowett Special, its a good read as the book he wrote and published named Myra (some copies may still be available)

Colin Davies with a copy of his book named Myra, he is standing next to our 1967 Singer Chamois.

This car is now some sixty (60) years old, its supercharged and was a succesfull entrant in the Lands End Trials in England, Colin tells me that as far as he knows, only one other Jowett exists in South Africa? The front suspensions are of interest to my self, the uprights and the steering rack are pure Hillman Imp!

The other asking for information was Terence and up in Johannesburg, he has just fitted some new piston rings I supplied him for his race Imp. The engine is in his  Imp and was suffering from smoke, thought to be caused by faulty piston rings? I mentioned to Colin and Terence that the oils we are offered today are very different to those sold when our cars engines were designed. (he has been using Shells 40 grade diesel oil, I have no idea if this is a good idea or not?)

Dudley Dix in the USA found an item on the Lotus Europa Forum about this subject, its based on the fact that older oils had more solids in them than modern oils.

Interesting and controversial stuff. There was a lengthy discussion about oils and additives on the Europa Forum a few weeks ago. From that I understand that oils of a few decades ago contained much more zinc, boron and sulphur and that those minerals were needed by the engines of the time. Modern engines are made from much harder alloys and they don't need as much of those minerals, so modern oils have much less in the interests of lower emissions. That leaves the classic cars out in the cold, with modern oils inadequate for their engine needs. This applies particularly to motors with flat tappets, which wear badly without enough sulphur. They need either additives or oils that contain more of those minerals than standard. I will research the database before I fill up my motor after rebuild but I think that the outcome was that there are some racing oils that do have what is needed but most of the off-the-shelf oils don't.


You will find this information in the link below,its very good reading!

I use both of these makes and to good effect, the Singer uses no oil at all with the Shell HX5, its the same with the 1966 Jaguar 3.8S type and with Castrol GTX for older engines, no noticable oil use at all.


PS, you need to read this blog to get a better idea on the subject.

Note, the oil I mentioned as being our normal Imp 998cc race engine choice was Duckhams Q20, that was a 20-50 grade and the race Imp ran very well on that oil, do Castrol now own Duckhams?

This blog covers Shells new offering and is not the oil I am using in my older car engines.