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2CVGB News article – SPOG March 2017

Recently I seem to be always messing around with batteries, what with fitting relays for Halogen headlight conversion on my 2cv and the tendency for these electrical boxes to malfunction at this time of the year. Nothing worse, particularly when in a hurry, than turning the ignition key first thing in the morning and then only to hear the faintest of click but nothing else. Battery dead … no starter motor … vehicle going nowhere … well not immediately.

And it would seem in my last SPOG article that I was a little vague in my description of battery disconnection during my relay fitting adventure. Indeed I gratefully received valuable feed-back from Joolz who was making absolutely certain I understood the process. And so in his words ….

When disconnecting the battery you should always remove the connection from the negative terminal first; the reason being that if the battery is still earthed (- ve connection left in situ) when you are removing the connection from the positive terminal, you might accidentally cause an electrical short. For example … with one end of the spanner undoing the + ve connector, the other end could simultaneously touch the nearby battery bracket or body-work in the vicinity. If that happens … “Bang!” and watch the sparks fly. Not the best idea!! Likewise to replace the connections, positive first with the negative (earth) last.

A similar procedure for putting on jump leads (flat battery scenario) something else I’ve become familiar with of late. The negative jump lead goes on last and comes off first for the same reason. Many thanks Joolz for your much appreciated advice regarding my trials with auto-electrickery.

Did you know the phrase “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words” first appeared in a 1911 American newspaper article where the Editor Tess Flanders was discussing journalism and publicity? And the more common phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” quickly followed in 1913, again from across the Atlantic. Whatever, my turn now with the introduction of an addition to the SPOG range of goods where photographs simply tell it all.

You’ll remember some time ago that we had a mould taken from the El Cid rhd dash-board we were so kindly given by 2cvGB Member Steve Hill, the original Chair of our Club. This task was undertaken with a view to re-manufacture if so desired. However with only approximately 22 of these UK rhd kit-car look-a-like Meharis ever built/sold, the SPOG order book for this item has not been particularly busy. But this did generate interest for such cars.

With all panels and parts currently available from overseas Traders, one can “do it yourself” and build a left hand drive Mehari. However a rhd version suitable for the UK roads, where the steering wheel is on the right, was not previously an option. That is until now. Using an El Cid dash-board for guidance, a mould was developed that would produce a rhd fibre-glass dash-board that can be fitted to a Mehari.  With help from enthusiast David Murray-Davey and advice from Paul Brice (the Mehari Registrar) the attached photographs finish this story.

SPOG Part Number 242019 Mehari rhd fibre-glass dash-board is available to order costing £360.00 including VAT, SPOG Membership discount terms applying as ever. Once such an order has been received, it will take about six weeks to manufacture this item although probably too fragile for sending in the post afterwards. Collection/personal transfer within the Club advisable.

And as they say in cookery terminology “Here is one I made earlier” you can see from David’s photographs how well this SPOG dash-board fits the Mehari tub. Indeed David has been very accurate/clever with cutting out the necessary holes in this dash-bard for fitting all the relevant instruments etc. However much like 2cv electrics I’m no expert here, and would advise you talk to Paul Brice first before reaching for your cheque book.

Finally the 2cvGB Road Show will be at the Birmingham NEC Restoration extravaganza 31st March to April 2nd, plenty of our cars to admire plus a SPOG presence too for demonstration purposes. If you want to collect a SPOG item from our stand please let me know in advance (no last minute orders though) and I’ll bring whatever down for collection.

David Eden     SPOGman