Heidi Hetzer Driving Tour - Update #6

Ich sprengte die Kupplung!

Well some bad news from Baku, Azerbaijan. Again we apologize regarding the literal translation of Heidi's posts to report the story, but from what we can tell, there were still some problems with Patrik's visa forcing him to fly back out of Iran until all was corrected. It also seems that he has been flying in and back out of several countries along the way, but we don't really know why. With spotty Internet coverage, some of the details are getting backed up. Marla, who is in Germany, posted a just received message that was over two weeks old.

YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF GERMANY, BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE GERMAN OUT OF THE GIRL

Impatient Heidi and Hudo went ahead, but justifiably not just for her impatience, as her visa was about to expire. This pretty much forced her to continue on. Attempting to make the most of her time, she ventured out on foot to capture as much of the local atmosphere as possible.
TO THE GATES of HELL and BACK

Heidi apparently drove off in the Hudo to some place she calls "The Gates of Hell". Not enough information to narrow down the location. All we know is there was a lot of sand, Hudo got stuck and she burned up the clutch attempting to get free. Somehow Patrik appeared on the scene, grabbed a cab, rode to where ever the Hudo was stuck and convinced the cab driver to tow the car to a repair shop. How it got from some sand dune to the road remains unknown. 

In a note from Patrik there was a concern about the clutch, which began to surface about 10 days earlier. He mentioned the clutch engagement was nearing the "top of the pedal". Anyone familiar with a stick shift knows what that means...KAPUT!
 "POPPING the CORK"

In the event you ever buy a car from the 20's or 30's, there's a possibility the clutch friction material is nothing more than cork. At least it is on the Hudson. We don't know how you might feel about this, but if we were multimillionaires heading out on a 2 year long world tour while driving an 80 year old car, we'd be darn sure we had brakes and a clutch that were as modern as possible. 

If you had the opportunity to watch the videos posted by a German TV station (go back a few updates to get the link), you would have seen the Hudo retro fitted with a pair of Recarro bucket seats. That makes us scratch our heads as to why Heidi placed the need for those ahead of a decent cooling system, brakes that work longer than 50 feet and a clutch designed for rigorous mountain driving on unpaved roads. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20. We've all been there, seen it and done that.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Especially if that's all you have. The only description of the repair are these photos. We can't tell if the cork "buttons" were replacement items or if had to be crafted from the remains of wine bottles. The photo shows three "corks" (upper right) which may have been part of the source material. Can you say Bordeaux and Pinot?
This second photo appears to show the "buttons" were "hand shaved" for some level of consistency. 
Thank goodness for mechanics who can do more than "remove and replace". When was the last time you saw someone attempting to resurface the pressure plate (maybe the flywheel as well) with a hand stone...or even think of it?

Until next time, we wish Heidi, Patrik and the Hudo the best of luck and hope the next update brings good news.

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