Raiding the piggy bank
Just back from a trip to meet up with my mate Wally Kohler who lives in New Mexico and stores my bikes and general stuff needed for racing, and had a great time talking land speed stuff.
The trip also allowed me to purchase some of the last items needed, as it's much cheaper in the USA and avoids VAT and import taxes.
The biggest purchase was the drag race fire suit, a 6 layer nomex suit that should withstand fire for long enough for me to escape the bike, i am sure there is a standard time required, but the rule book states an SFI 3.2a 15 standard, so im guessing 15 minutes, and it costs even in the US, just under £800! ( In the UK it was going to be a special import by UK agent and then over £1200) Tried to find a used set but like the proverbial.
So had them sent to Wally's address so i could check sizing. In an ideal world i would have liked to avoid black as Bonneville is very hot, usually over 40 degrees C on the salt and overheating is an issue, but nearly all suits black. Managed to get a blue top and black trousers, as blue being discontinued, thankfully it fitted well with a good fit but not too tight.
I left the suit with Wally, as the maximum allowance for bringing goods back to the UK is £390 and didn't fancy getting stopped at customs and being made to pay VAT and import duty!!
Now sometimes you strike lucky and find a UK based supplier, who just can't do enough for you, is completely on board with what you need and goes out of their way to make it happen.
Step up, Ross from McGills Motorsport of Kirkcaldy.
Yet again, being a streamliner i needed a special harness, designed for drag racing and with 7, yes 7 straps. So 2 shoulder straps, 2 lap straps, 2 leg straps and finally a crotch strap to stop you submarining in your reclined laying down position.
This is special order in the UK, but available in the US, again to special order, even Summit racing one of the biggest suppliers to motorsport had nothing in stock.
Ross at McGills spoke to Simpson racing, told then my time window of when i was in the states, as i wanted to bring it back in my luggage to finalise cockpit layout.
Specification was agreed and Ross convinced them to prioritise my belts and get them shipped so that i could indeed bring them back in my luggage.
The belts are of the highest quality, and when its potentially your life at stake its worth buying the best. Nobody else in either the UK or the USA could guarantee to get the belts to me during my window.
I would like to publicly thank Ross for his hard work making this happen, and would encourage any UK based readers to check out his website, listed here
So 2 more items off the list, fire extinguishers will be bought in the US, as exporting pressure vessels is fun and the activating mechanism in the US is much more space efficient.