Monday, 29 December 2008

Lost in France.

It’s been a pleasantly uneventful run down through France, but tonight, in Valence we stumbled across a bar near the station with a barmaid who resembled Pocha Hontas. Several beers later Kevin and I ducked out leaving Ian and Steve to finish off the many beers. The photos show; a line up of us four somewhere in France, a meal (quite good from memory) some bread and water, as our budget is smaller than last year, and our new mate in Chalons en Champagne who photographed us pumping up tyres. This is the build up to real adventure.... it says here. This is Toby Savage for 1943 Jeep Rebuild Blog 29th December 2008. Just.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Oily Rag.

I know it’s really sad blogging on Christmas Day, but I was so moved by this picture my Mum made a card from that I had to share it. This was a Jaguar XK140 fixed head coupe my pal John and I ‘did up’ back in 1970. We bought it for £1000 and sold it for £2000 after fitting a replacement engine and respraying it. The engine came from a 3.4 Mk 11 scapper and we transferred the ‘C Type’ head from the knackered engine. She was sweet. It also had J.A. Pierce mag alloy wheels and Jag XJ6 tyres. John is bent double sanding with a pneumatic sander and I am sporting a flat cap sanding manually on the left. It looks as though we were flatting down the first coat of primer. It was a lovely car. Happy Christmas.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Red tape.

I’m going to hijack my own blog to bring live coverage of this years folly to Libya. There are a few dust filled internet cafes in Libya and if I can get to them it should work. The trip involves my Land Rover, so there is a vague Jeep link.

On Monday, I went to ‘dat’ London. I had to go, to present myself, in person, at The Libyan Embassy, the only shabby building in Knightsbridge, to apply for a visa. This is a change to previous years when it was all done by remote control. In a tit for tat retaliation against our own immigration, who make it very difficult for any Libyan to enter Britain, the Libyan’s have made it pretty tricky for us. 12 of our team of Geographers and Archaeologists pitched up at 9.30 to start the process. Each application had to be accompanied by air, or ferry tickets, a bank statement, and an invitation from Libya. Then our application would be considered. In-Sh-Allah we may get the passports back in about ten days. My ticket proved I was sailing from Marseilles to Tunis on 30th December, but this was accepted in a marvellous piece of North African logic. We then were led, one by one, into a back room to have our fingerprints scanned to add ‘biometric details’ to our passports. Whilst there we picked up the passports of those members of the group who had been through the same procedure two weeks ago. No sign of any ‘biometric details’ in their passports. The whole lot will be filled away on a CD somewhere and left on a London Bus.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Homeward bound.

And so, the day arrived when I drove the Jeep home from Matlock to Leicester. Saturday 6th December. We had been camping up in Edale for the weekend and swung by Matlock on the way back to pick the Jeep up. By 6.00 pm it was a little chilly so I opted to wear ALL my clothes. This would be the biggest journey the Jeep had done in 5, 10, 20, 30 years. Anybody’s guess. Jo was able to drive the Land Rover and act as back up. A tall order as she had not driven it in over a year, but she managed. I chose the M1 route, out of simplicity. We set off at a cracking pace with Matt following for a short distance. Within a couple of miles he sped by, stopped me, and said the rear lights weren’t on. My fault. Funny military switch. Once on the Motorway we settled into a steady 50 mph cruising speed and yes, I was a bit chilly, but I thought of all the young soldiers who had frozen driving identical Jeeps in the War. I had nothing to complain about and the risk of being shot at was minimal. Though I was shot at on the M69 once! The Jeep ran very well, its new engine feeling powerful and no alarming noises. It was great fun! We made it back in good time. Tucked it up in the garage, where it will probably remain until the Spring.