Friday, 11 November 2011

Mike Maltin

I remember Chris and I had tried to sort out the intermittent miss fire on Dan Margulies Porsche 911 which sometimes appeared out of nowhere in the middle of a rally? Chris had told me he could not spare any more time on this problem, so he arranged for me to take Dan’s car over to his father’s house in Maidenhead and to see if we could sort it out together.
I knew Mike Maltin reasonable well and he was also to become another influence in my life. Mike had been a fighter and bomber pilot in World War 2, flying Spitfire and Lancaster aircraft. He grew up around early radar and electronic systems and took a strong interest in the development of such technologies. After he left the RAF, he flew for what became BOAC operating Sunderland flying boats to the Middle and Far East and later went on to fly VC-10 jet aircraft until he retired.
I remember asking him at the Porsche Club meeting one evening, “Mike are you going to fly these new Boeing 747 Jumbo” jets” and he answered, “It would be like getting out of your Porsche and driving a truck”! Apparently the VC-10 was in a league of its own, a real pilot’s plane to fly, but very limited space for passengers compared to a Boeing 747.
Upon arriving with Dan’s Porsche 911, Mike asked me the history and what the problem was? Mike then proceeded to measure TDC (top dead centre) by putting a dial gauge down to spark plug hole of cylinder number one and checking the pulley marks on the crankshaft pulley were in the correct places. When I questioned him, he said, “We should not assume anything, even if Porsche had made it,” so my time with him opened my eyes to not only doing things, but also doing things properly.
Mike’s day-to-day transport at that time was a short wheelbase Land Rover which he used to park at Heathrow whilst away on his flying trips, but his real pride and joy with his 1960 Porsche 356B with a Super 90 engine in it, but I will come on to that car later as this car holds a very special place in my heart.  

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