Wednesday, 26 November 2008
The process of registering the Jeep has now taken two months. Firstly I had to join the Military Vehicle Trust (£30), then they sent a chap to verify the age of the Jeep, which I know to be 1943. (His travel expenses £45). Then I had to swap my old Land Rover insurance cover over to the Jeep. (£20). Finally, today, armed with; The Californian log book, the importation document, the M.O.T., the insurance cover note, the MVT Age verification, two forms of identification and the Vehicle Licence Application Form V55/5, I drove to the nearest DVLA office, Nottingham! I was expecting a wait of about half an hour following a tip off from my mate, ‘Wet Paint’ Tony, so took a flask of coffee and the Daily Telegraph. I took a seat in a waiting room with about 5 other people and was called to the desk within about 3 minutes. Things were looking good. I was seen by Phil, a man of a certain age, who looked like he still lived with his Mum and had an unhealthy interest in train sets. Within ten minutes I was back in the car heading for Leicester. Job done. Within 72 hours I should have an allocated registration number and a zero rated tax disk. What could possibly go wrong?
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
It all started off as a pretty normal Monday. Work not quite kicked in for the week and the gentle fall of drizzle outside. I try to fill quiet days with Landy activity and am starting the lengthy process of preparing my Carawagon for a trip to Libya in Jan ‘09. Rather than leave things to the last minute I try and get the truck well sorted at least a month beforehand. There has been a slight rumble in the back axle for years and it has been fine for the last few Sahara trips, but I found a ‘new, old stock’ one on the internet at a main dealers in Chester. We did a deal over the phone and I set off. I noticed the old girl seemed a bit lacking in power, but would plod along at 50 and got me there okay. On the return journey though it got progressively worse. A call to Landy supremo - eldest son Matt, suggested a failing fuel pump. In rush hour traffic on the A51 I was becoming a liability so, 20 miles south of Chester I pulled into the car park of The Old Barbridge Inn and called Matt for assistance. Poor chap was already running around taking the boys to football/rugby practise, but he was up for it later. Not a problem. I went in the pub and had two lovely pints and a 10 oz Ribeye steak with all the trimmings, then fell asleep in the back of the truck until he arrived at 10.15. It was actually quite easy getting the Land Rover back to his place in Matlock. Up over the Peak District, black roads, no traffic and no sign of any coppers. I seem to have ended up with his Land Cruiser and the relieve that the breakdown was here and not there.