I first saw my 2000 in 1975 when I moved to Prince George in northern
British Columbia. At that time, it was owned by a fellow I worked with.
Quite an office that was - there were 3 roadsters amongst the staff
(Pollution Control Branch, BC Gov't). One of them we used for auto slalom,
etc (an early 1600 that we stripped of just about everything except one
seat). The other was a '66 1600 that just seemed to go and go and go.
Randy, the guy who owned the 2000, bought it because it had enough power to
tow his ski boat, so when I got it I had to remove the tow bar...
Randy moved to a place even farther north (Mckenzie - a logging and pulp
mill town) where there were hardly any roads with pavement, and even less
frost-free days than Prince George (72 per year on average, with an average
temperature of 2.3 Celsius). He finally got the bush buggy itch, and sold
the roadster to me in early 1978. On the day he drove it down to Prince
George to give it to me, it was something like 25 below zero, and he almost
got frostbite. I worked on it outside that winter, wearing gloves all the
time to keep the wrenches from sticking to my fingers (bloody cold).
I drove it across Canada the next year - only problem was some loose wheel
nuts one day somewhere in Quebec that gave me a fright until I figured out
what it was.
It's a Solex original, and is completely stock except for the Aussie
sheepskins covering the seats, the Hitachi electronic ignition (which I
understand was an optional part from the racing catalogue) and stuff like
headlights. It's still got the original air cleaner housing etc although
it's had paint a couple of times - last time was 1986, so the paint on it is
10 years old. As far as I know, the gearbox has never been apart.
I put the car in storage when I moved to Australia in 1979, and resurrect it
every time I return to Canada. It's done lots of miles up in the Rockies,
where not many other cars can match it climbing steep hills, and there sure
are lots of those. It's been to Shasta twice (94 & 97). When we left
Shasta last year, we went further to LA via Modesto (where we were feted
royally by that good crowd), and then back up the coast to BC, with no
problems at all. One day we did 711 miles (LA through SF, ultimately
overnighting in Garberville - a town firmly entrenched in the early '70s),
then the next day, over 400. We did about 5500 miles during that visit.
Last year I did have a problem with an internal leak on one of the carbs -
finally discovered a slightly loose blanking plug (brass, tapered) in a
drillway in the starter circuit, corrected with a firm careful tap with a
punch. This was not before taking apart lots of other stuff, because the
symptom was instant poor running on one cylinder, with clouds of blue smoke
out the back, after years of perfect performance (gave me a fright). Gave
me an excuse to redo the head gasket to stop the oil leak at the back using
the new-style gasket and the little insert for the oilway, where they all
seep oil at some time. That gasket lasted 19 years. In '94 I replaced all
the chains & sprockets & tensioners on the front of the engine, without
removing the head.
The car is again in storage, all covered and prepped for our next trip,
which hopefully will be next year.