So you are enjoying running around in your classic car, the way other drivers let you out, the smiles you elicit on the faces of the pedestrians and small children as you drive past. The weather is perfect and the sun is shining but there is that niggling feeling in the back of your mind.
This feeling is not one you share with your passengers, they are happy and do not need to know your dark inner demons, those thoughts that just simmer in the back of your mind trying their hardest to take the shine off your day out. Is today too hot? When we arrive at the next town will there be heavy crawling traffic? If I tap the temp gauge will my passengers notice?
We have all been there and all experienced this deep rooted dread.
Personally I drive a 1961 Mark 2 Jaguar with a larger 4.2 engine, triple SU carbs, uprated headers and electrical system and modern air-con Even with all the work done to this car those thoughts never go away and being that we live in southern Spain where summer temps can regularly hit 40 deg C those thoughts were beginning to spoil days out.
Our car (named Gloria by the way) has never overheated in these temperatures but that temp gauge has been right up at the 100 mark and the heat haze coming from the louvered bonnet had to be seen to be believed but how to get piece of mind?
Evans Waterless Coolant
There are many forum threads about Evans Classic Cool product but after a good search I could not find a definitive answer that it worked or was a colossal waste of money.
At about £350 for enough to do our car and included the prep fluid it is a very expensive product. My decision to try it was based around this question, If someone said “give me £350 and you will never even think about hitting heavy traffic on a hot day again” would I would jump at the chance? Yes.
So it seemed there was nothing left to do but buy the stuff and find out for myself if it works. I thought it would prove useful for you if you are searching for advice before you buy to see a real world application and results.
With this in mind understand that this post will never be a finished item. In order for it to be of use we must allow the post to grow over time as the car is used and the summer temps have a chance to ruin my fun, or not whichever might be the case.
So the big box of Evans Waterless Coolant arrived. Sounds like a simple enough statement right? Wrong. Even before we received it we had headaches as the shipment went walkabout throughout Europe and then spent 2 weeks sitting in a depot. Had the package sprung a leak? Had the shippers decided it was chemicals and stopped it? To this day we do not know as it suddenly moved again and then arrived.
I tell you this as a precautionary tale so when or if you order yours be sure to check the shipping company know it is liquids as many state in their FAQ’s liquid is a prohibited item.
So we have our (very) heavy box of coolant and now its off to our trusted mechanic. Mike is old school and always has a selection of classic Jags and other wonders in various states of restoration. With this in mind I had printed out all the various steps involved with making the swap from water to Evans, using the prep fluid etc. Only to arrive and discover a race prepped TR6 in the workshop that he had just finished changing to Evans.
Who said you cannot treat an old dog new tricks?
Now for those of you that have your mouse over the “Buy Now” button on a suppliers website this is where I have to disappoint you. Did it work? Is it the wonder product you think? Well we cannot say as it is not in the car yet!
If you own a classic car then you will understand how the following conversation with Mike progressed. I mentioned to him that 3 times (and I mean 3 times ever!) I had been going uphill in third gear and for just a second the engine had coughed. A change down a gear cured it or a quick lift off the throttle seemed to do it. We had quite a lot of work done on the car the year before at JD Classics in London and after settling an eye watering bill was told by the race shop manager that they had set the car up to only use 90% of the throttle as the fuel pump would not keep up with the engine and triple carbs at full throttle.
He said that should I want to race the car (after paying that bill!!) I would need to fit twin fuel pumps. So this is where my conversation with Mike was heading. As we were chatting I am getting the feeling that I am losing the car for a while so brought up the smoke that blasts out the back sometimes and combined with my dislike for having to carry an unleaded fuel additive maybe we should convert the head to unleaded?
Any of this sounding familiar? Only went in for a fluid change and now changing fuel pumps and having the head rebuilt. So after listing a couple of other small issues as he had a pad out and was making a list, I left.
I suddenly seemed to come round in a taxi on the way home and thought “what just happened?”.
So there we were with a simple fluid change now looking at 6 weeks of work, Mike has his own pace but his work is fantastic so I never ever rush him. The next hurdle was explaining to my wife why I was in a taxi and why spending all this money was actually a good thing. Not sure how we do it but all classic car owners seem to develop this ability.
There is more to this little tale but I think you have read enough (and I have typed enough) for now so the story will be continued. Check back and see if we ever get the Evans Waterless Coolant added and if indeed it ever works. Or you can sign up for our newsletter at the top and I will share the next episode with you as it happens.
Have a great day and remember…. Everything else is just transport!