Visit to Pilgrim

7th August 2004

This month, I have mostly been...on holiday, thus things haven't progressed very far in the past 4 weeks (I hope this isn't sign of things to come!), but a couple of developments have occured.

The first of these is that I've managed to sort a garage out. When I spoke again to the estate agents about the garages up the road I discovered to my delight that one pair is actually a double garage inside. Not only that, they are far enough away from nearby houses that having a generator running outside shouldn't be a problem. I have decided to take them for the cost of £200 per quarter. A little bit more than I wanted to spend, but I won't find a better location and the size is perfect. The downside is that opening the door revealed a scene from Arachnophobia. 3 hours of extensive broom work later and the place is habitable again (my other half would also like her efforts whitewashing one of the walls credited - consider it duly noted). Just need to buy some strip lights and fit some shelves/workbenches.

The big news is that today I went to visit the Pilgrim factory and had a look at the cars in the flesh (or should that be fibreglass?). Tony Holmes (owner of Pilgrim) showed me round the factory and answered my assortment of questions. My thanks to him for an extremely friendly and helpful time. He showed me C20 BRA, their demonstrator, which met with a slippery end 4 weeks ago involving heavy rain and a diesel covered road, followed by a ditch and then a tree. The car is mostly intact, but the front end is smashed up pretty badly. It's a good testament to the strength of the chassis, but it meant I couldn't actually have a drive in a Sumo.

Instead I settled for having a sit in a part build car that was being worked on for a customer. Despite not actually moving anywhere, it was fantastic. I can't wait to build mine now! I was really surprised by the quality of the car. Despite being made almost entirely of fibreglass it felt really solid and the doors had a weight and sturdiness that I wasn't expecting.

One thing that came out of the visit was Tony recommended I use a Granada donor rather than a Sierra because the components were stronger and better suited to a V8 engine. He also told me that Pilgrim do a "starter pack" which includes everything you need for the rolling chassis, apart from the engine/gearbox and donor car bits, for £2,800. I think it's a great idea, it'll save me working out what I need to order and I'll have all the bits delivered at once. I resisted the tempation to whip out the credit card there and then and plumped instead for a build manual and some time to double check the budget figures. All in all, a successful morning.

In other news, I have registered on the Cobra Club site (hello to anyone who's found this site via my signature link). I've also decided to sell my car to help finance the kit, so I'm looking for something cheap and cheerful to replace it as well as a donor car.

The Pilgrim factory

Factory built Sumo. This one is very near completion

Sumo chassis pile waiting for delivery/collection

The bible!!