by Stu Brennan
Those of you who have the “bicycle brake cable” style of hood latch release, may have looked in envy at the “solid rod” type releases on earlier Sunbeams. I know that I was always concerned that the cable might fail and leave me with the prospect of cutting metal to open the hood.
If you have ever thought of converting, you will be glad to know that the rod type release from earlier cars is a bolt on replacement for the cable setup. I found an older release, complete with the slotted adapter (important to have) that connects the rod to the arm of the latch, at a parts swap. It bolted right in to my ’67 Mk I A Tiger, using the same mounting holes as the original assembly, with no clearance or travel problems.
If you can’t find an old release, then it might be possible to fabricate something on your own. A piece of coat hanger could be used as a model to get the bends and lengths right before you fabricate the actual rod. The portion of the rod hidden in the heater plenum is perfectly straight, and there are only two other bends. Copy the slotted adapter from an existing setup.
The rod could be shaped to provide a hidden release, out of sight, just behind the dashboard. Or, if you are feeling even more inventive, I’ll bet there is a way to cut down the old release cable, and have it pull on the end of a solid rod that comes through the firewall. That way, if the cable broke, you could still reach up under the dash and pull on the rod.