Nearly a century and a quarter since it was originally built, it is perhaps rather unsurprising that this lovely MMC has trouble keeping cool during modern driving conditions. The car has been subject to a substantial amount of restoration and preservation over the last couple of years, including ensuring that it is mechanically in outstanding order, the cooling was the last aspect to address.
There was no conventional radiator fitted when the car was created, instead it relied upon a reservoir of approximately 15 gallons of increasingly warm water to prevent the car from boiling. Unfortunately this no longer cuts the mustard.
Total originality is obviously wonderful to retain, but if it means sacrificing the ability to use a vehicle as intended then some compromise is required. Our solution was to design and sympathetically install an in-keeping radiator under the floor. Configured to interrupt the front-to-rear water pipework between the water pump and the rear mounted tank, the custom made radiator is discretely positioned so not to be visible without laying on your back under the car. The mountings were planned so as to only use existing fixing positions ensuring that no extra holes had to be created and the installation can be completely removed without trace in the future if required.
Starting with six rows of copper tube, over 500 handmade pressed steel fins, and two ash mounting blocks, a radiator gradually took shape. Four mounting stays were forged to pick up on existing chassis mountings and suspend the new supplementary radiator assembly. A little applied patina to match the beautiful original condition of the car and the installation was complete.
With everything in position the only thing left to do was to test out the installation. On a warm June afternoon we were very pleased when the car performed faultlessly, up long hills, steadily cruising (at a heady 16-18 mph!), and after a prolonged period at idle in the sun. No sign of overheating, of coolant loss, or of the radiator itself without knowing where to look!