I need to write

It’s fair to say I don’t write much on here any more. The main reason is time. The channel has gone from strength to strength, and while I find great joy in making the videos, they eat up a lot of time, especially when it comes to monitoring comments and dealing with the merchandise that has sprung up off the back of it. Especially when there are still day job requirements of editing two magazines to cope with…

In fact, the editing isn’t eating up that much time. I try to only shoot what I need, in a linear manner on one camera, so I can generally assemble a video in under an hour – sometimes under half an hour. I think ten minutes is my record…

Recording them is a strange business though, because I am a writer. You might assume, therefore, that my videos are carefully scripted and planned. Not a bit of it! Though, I think the skills I’ve used to make features happen over the years certainly come in useful. Whether writing or filming, there’s a certain amount of brain churn before you put finger to keyboard or record button. I think that’s one reason I’m sleeping so well at the moment. My brain is getting a pretty decent work out!

It certainly is this month, while I edit two magazines alongside each other. Yet, here I am at 2146hrs at night, typing words into my keyboard for no greater reason than I really, really need to. Typing still give me comfort, even when I’ve spent several days hard editing, which has included writing the best part of 4000 words myself this week. And it’s only Wednesday.

But, that’s the way it goes. This is a part of my brain shuffling through the detritus I hurl at it in terms of car facts, imagery and music. It all sort of tumbles around in there and occasionally my fingers feel the need to fly. The real skill of writing does not come from writing when the mood takes you, it comes from writing when it doesn’t take you – and that’s hard. Sheer panic tends to help there, which is perhaps why I need a deadline right on top of me to do my best.

I guess that’s probably enough waffle, but it is an opportunity to say hello to those who still follow this Blog. I’m sorry 2018 has been a rather quiet year on here, but appreciate your support nonetheless. Who knows. Maybe next year, I’ll actually start writing some interesting stuff on here once more. If that’s something you’d like to see, do let me know.

A quick update – March 2018

Hi folks. The YouTube channel has certainly been keeping me busy in 2018, even more so since I made stickers available! See the Merch option top right. Sadly, demand was severely under-estimated and I sold out of stickers in two days! More are on order, and should be ready to send out by 27th March 2018.

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it already, here is the latest chapter of the Project Invacar story. Getting her on the road is far from the end of the tale, and we have some big adventures planned – perhaps even a trip to Thundersley where she was built!


As if that wasn’t an exciting enough experience, the very next day, I drove 300 miles to the North East of England to sell the Lexus, and buy something else…

I’m also experimenting with new technology – behold Beard Cam! It got used in the Invacar video, and I’ll be doing a Beard Cam review of my new car soon too.

This weekend, I’m at the NEC for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show. When not abusing the free tea facilities in the press office, you’ll probably find me lurking on the 2CVGB stand, though Elly will not be with me this time. Do come and say hello!

2018: YouTube takes off

You’ve probably noticed it’s gone a bit quiet on here. That was entirely planned. I think 31st December 2017 really marked the end of me using this Blog as a platform.

That’s simply because the HubNut YouTube Channel has taken off so well. It has several times the audience on the blog, and frankly,  I’m struggling to keep up with the comments at times.

The ride of the video channel is very rewarding, and represents about four years of my hobby time. From my first drive in an electric car, to the utter failings of an Invacar, there’s a right mix of content, which is just based on whatever I have to hand at the time. There’s no plan, no script and precious little professionalism. It’s just a bloke in a shed.

Latest video, number 183.

The latest video has caused some upset, because of my ineptitude, but I’m not professing to be an expert here, showing people how it’s done. No, I’m recording the exploits of a complete amateur, like many drawn to older cars, just having a go.  People like the realism, which stands as a fine alternative to proper TV.

You see, the problem with TV is that it’s made by TV people, who always have to consider the wider audience. Specialising to the degree of my videos is just not possible. On the internet, people will either watch it or they won’t, so there’s much more freedom. I don’t depend on the income (useful as it has become lately), so it’s not the end of the world if a video doesn’t do well.

As of today, HubNut boasts over 1.6 million views, over 8300 subscribers and an increasingly engaged audience that provides instant feedback. To someone who has worked in magazine publishing for over ten years, this is a new and exciting development!

So, the blog will be retiring, sitting here merely as a placeholder to direct folk towards YouTube. I apologise if that comes as a disappointment, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep on top of absolutely everything. My creative energies are already split between two magazines and the videos.

Thanks to all those who’ve supported HubNut in the long term, going back to the ClassicHub days. It’s that feeling of having an audience, no matter how small, that has kept me going. All the best! Ian.

Invacar latest – running!

Oh dear. I’m not doing very well at keeping the blog going. There’s a simple reason for that. Life is getting in the way. As well as a hectic schedule of magazines to edit, the HubNut video channel on YouTube has also been exceedingly busy. I’ve published over 70 videos this year, and it has to be said, feedback is much more plentiful on my channel than it ever has been on my blog.

Invacar blue three wheeler

2017 has really been a busy year, with some remarkable surprises!

So, I’m going to be toning things down a bit on here. I’m sorry if that’s bad news, but YouTube is where it all seems to be happening at the moment. In fact, I’m struggling to keep up with the comments! I like being able to reply to as many comments as possible. There may come a time when that’s no longer possible either.

So, here’s a video recap of December. Firstly, I did get the Invacar running. It now starts absolutely beautifully, and I’ve fitted a new exhaust today. Bodges to the old one didn’t hold!


Amusingly, having got my 493cc Invacar to fire up, I then couldn’t get the Lexus started after replacing the auxiliary belt tensioner and idler. New spark plugs sorted that out, but I’m still not entirely sure why.


Which allowed me to put together this short Vlog update on the fleet.

Thanks to everyone for their support on Hubnut.org over the years, and in its previous ClassicHub form. As ever, I’m active on Facebook as Ian Seabrook and Twitter as @Dollywobbler, but like I say, the YouTube channel is becoming the best place to stay in touch and see what I’m up to. Visit http://www.youtube.com/HubNut

Lastly, I hope you’ve all had a marvellous Christmas time. Here’s to new and exciting projects and experiences in 2018!

The Invacar pair have landed!

I’m pleased to report that the Invacars are home! I scooped them up with a truck last week, as social media followers will already have seen, and they’re now adding some much needed glamour to my garden. Here’s the spares car, basking in the sun.

Invacar rear parts car

The spares project

There could well be some useful bits to be had from this one – the rear window for a start. Don’t fret though. What I don’t use will be sold on. Apparently, even the damaged body could be in demand from those who know how to repair glassfibre.

TWC, the one I’ll be restoring, sits outside my office window. Perhaps this is why I took time out from my busy day job to give her a wash.

Invacar blue three wheeler

A half-clean Invacar. TWC gets a wash.

AC Model 70s had the blue impregnated in the glassfibre apparently, but TWC is an Invacar Model 70, built in Thundersley, Essex – spot the winged badge on the nose, whereas ACs had a roundel. As you can see, my pressure washer did a good job of removing the muck,  but Invacars were painted, and some paint did come off as well. Mind you, I think that just highlights how poor the paint already was in places – it’s very bad on that front cover you can see, even before I started.

With the muck blasted off, I even got some cutting polish out to reduce that big mark on the front wing. The result?


TWC all scrubbed up!

That’s better! She’s almost presentable now. I’m thrilled with the makeover. The next day, I set about clearing the broken glass out of TWC, as at some point in the past 14 years, something unfortunate had happened to the rear window. Just as I’d finished doing that, the postman arrived with a special package.

I’ve got the key!

Yes, an FS880 key. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but nearly all Invacars have the same ruddy key, which is also shared with machinery as diverse as dump trucks and cash machines on some buses apparently.  Quite how one particular key became so popular, I don’t know, but it fitted the ignition switch and works in both doors – albeit one of the locks has semi-seized and I can’t quite unlock it.

I could unlock the rear engine cover though! What would I find beneath it?

Invacar Model 70 engine bay Steyr-Puch aircooled flat twin

Oooh, an actual engine! May be a little overgrown…

Well, there is an engine at least! I cleared out some of the dead plantlife and one or two cobwebs. I couldn’t turn the crankshaft pulley by hand, so I then whipped out both plugs and squirted in a bit of engine oil. With that done, I then applied a breaker bar gently to the fan, which then applied a turning force to the crank via those twin belts. That replicates the work of the Dynastart, which is housed within that fan. This acts as a starter motor and a generator in one. Clever, a like a lot of two-stroke microcars. I think it’s the first time I’d encountered such a device on a four-stroke engine.

But, I can’t get the engine to complete a full turn. It’s likely that the engine has decoked itself, with large chunks of combustion material in the cylinder head now preventing the piston from achieving full travel. I’ve had this on the 2CV before, when I dragged its spare engine out of my aunt’s damp shed after a decade, and fitted it to the 2CV. That time, I laughed in the face of danger and just started the engine. It’s been fine ever since, but it could also have gone spectacularly wrong, damaging pistons, cylinder head and possibly even crankshaft. So, the sensible thing to do is get the engine out, where it’ll be a lot easier to remove the heads and clean things up.

Probably no bad thing, as the electrics seem entirely dead, even when I connect up a jump pack, so it’s not like I was on the cusp of having it running anyway. The best I’d seen was a very mild flicker from the fuel gauge.

But, working on the car is not really very easy where it is, which was only meant to be a temporary resting place. My neighbours will be happy once I can get TWC rolling, and stash her away in the garage. Elly the 2CV will be happy if she still fits in the garage too…

New tyres and inner tubes are on their way, so hopefully I can achieve some movement before the weekend. It depends how easy it is to free off the brakes. I know the front wheel is turning, but the rears? Not so much…

As for how I got them home, all is revealed in the latest video.


Lexus alternator fix

Well, I’m not sure why I grumbled so much about the Lexus alternator job. Fitting the new one progressed remarkably easily! The full details can be seen in this video.

I still have a broken fan cowling to replace, but I doubt I’ll miss it at this time of year. The good news is that the Lexus has so far covered 260 miles without trouble, though I suspect there’s an exhaust leak on one bank. It’s a bit chuffy at times.

The Lexus rests in Tiverton. No, I couldn’t be bothered to walk outside for a pic.

Still a marvellous way to travel though. It really is very good at eating up the Wales. After whisking us back home tomorrow, I’ll be swapping it for a 7.5 ton truck on Tuesday, in order to collect the Invacars. I suspect that drive won’t be quite so joyous…