I had also heard that the octane rating of fuels was that low at the time - roughly the same as the old "tractor vapourising oil" (TVO) that's not available any more either. Apparently, if you're really keen to run on authentic vintage petrol, there is an exemption in the UK that allows owners to legally run their vintage cars on the road with a mix of petrol and duty-exempt heating oil to bring the octane rating down (and the cost of the fuel can be less than half), but I wouldn't want to try it!
Paul hasn't mentioned what the issues were that led him to think that there are problems with the ignition timing (which seems unlikely) - maybe it's something we can help with?
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