Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Althea takes the lead again

Sorry for the long wait I've been on holiday and there hasn't been much to report until now. I visited Donna last week. She's now got brakes and a prop shaft. The engine turns over and she's ben driven but not far. The bad news is that her wiring is a complete mess and will need a huge amount of work. I got an estimate of around £1000 so am looking around for a cheaper one. I will probably end up doing it myself but that will take a long time.

Althea is getting another new engine and gearbox. The one she got wasn't right and Kevin has sourced another. He called me yesterday to say that it's quite likely I should be going down to Wales at the weekend to help him with the last few bits and pieces before we put her in for her MOT. I'm expecting her to fail first time but then at least we'll know what needs doing and get it done.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Seat backs and stretcher for Donna

I just won a stretcher with seat backs on eBay. They aren't from an LD at all but they will fit and the seat backs are the right colour. This will give me four seats with belts in the back and a stretcher to play with.

Monday, 7 July 2008

New Hope

Dom, Toby and I had a great time at Glastonwick. There'll be some photos soon. It was a taster of what it will be like when Althea and Donna are on the road. The lights and sound system were good and attracted a lot of the right kind of attention. When on the second night the members of our favourite band of the festival turned up we were all delighted.

The shuttle bus was a beautifully restored 1956 Metro Cammel 39 seater bus which I fell completely in love with. The guy who owned it was a smashing bloke and we talked restoration for a while. He let me sit in the drivers seat and I had some pictures taken. I loved the sound, smell and smoke of the 6.9 litre engine starting up "mmmm carbon footprint". Photos to follow.

If we'd had the ambulances instead of a rented Citroen Berlingo it would have been ten times better and a lot more comfortable. The weather made sleeping in and dismantling the tents very unconfortable. But I wouldn't have missed Toby's yell of "Fuck off weather!" on the Sunday morning, for all the rain and wind. So for one or two people we use one and for a whole bunch of us we'll take both.

The so called "heavy duty gazebo" crumbled in a mild breeze so I'm starting money back proceedings. I'm thinking about tarpaulins and scoffold poles now. Forget these toy things they advertise on QVC.

Anyway the new hope is due to all the required parts and people all being in the required places with the time and space to do the job. I am once again hopeful that by the end of the week or sooner I will have two working ambulances and can start organising their collection.

I saw a souped up VW Beetle the other day with a black metalic paint job with flakes that split the spectrum in a rainbow like way. I'm thinking about Althea's paint job and the idea of having her in an interesting subtle metalic green but doing the go faster stripes in something stunning is really appealing to me now. I'm thinking of having "nee naaw nee naaw nee naaw" very vaguely written into the stripes. Maybe it can be done by somehow controlling the way the flakes lie in the laquer?

I've seen little eyelids for morris minor car headlamps and am betting those lamps are the same as the ambulances. Going to go out with a tape measure and find a morris minor.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Extremely unimpressed

At 9:30 pm I got a call from Kevin saying that the steel plate required to fit the new engine still hasn't been made. I wonder how it can take weeks to do a three hour job. I am seriously reconsidering my options. I'll give Kevin a few more days and then if there's still zero progress I'll act.

Neither ambulance will be ready for the weekend. I'm going to hire a van tomorrow.

Donna is back in the race!

It's hotting up now. I published the previous post saying Donna was out of the race then I called a number I had for the bell housing and they had one. It's the right one and it's on its way to John. Though the prop shaft is looking a bit tricky now so I'll have to chase one of those up now too. All bets are still on!

Althea gets a new engine, Donna is out of the race

It's one day to the deadline and Donna is out of the race. The bell housing she needs is proving quite elusive.

Althea on the other hand is striding ahead with the finish line in view. Kevin tells me she will get her new engine this afternoon and go off to be MOT tested tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

I'll post another update when I hear anything more.