Sunday, 21 December 2008

Bums on seats

Yesterday I drove Althea up to hackney to collect a rear seat from a V reg Mercedes ambulance I bought on eBay. Alas it's no good for either driver nor passenger seat so it will probably go in the back if I use it at all. It was only £23.50 so no great loss if it doesn't get used.

On the way there a kid on a bike with L plates stopped very suddenly in front of me causing me to do an emergency stop. Althea's brakes are completely manual and take some effort to stamp on but she skidded her 3 tons about 20 feet and missed the bike by about a foot. I hope it was enough to teach the lad a lesson. By the look in his eyes (which were of course all I could see through the helmet) he made a pretty quick decision not to do that kind of thing again.

After Hackney we headed to central London and my place of work to collect the American walnut I salvaged from some building work we are having done. The tourists were predictably delighted by the sight of her trucking through town and though my route didn't take us through Trafalgar Square we came pretty close. Apart from all the usual smiles and nods one woman videoed us as we went by and another was very excited and gave me the biggest grin with a very enthusiastic two thumbs up. I got the feeling she may own one or something similar.

Driving through the city wasn't as difficult as I thought it might have been. It's surprising just how patient people are when there's a slow moving vehicle in front of them if it's something they can enjoy for a few moments I suppose.

So I got the wood and the seat home and today spent the afternoon cutting out the horrible Volvo seat and re attaching the seat belt properly. I have no driver's seat now but there's a bit of folded foam rubber doing the job until I can get something suitable. Hopefully I can find something or have something made. It's such a relief not to have my knee wedged against the wheel at least.

In a few days I'll be heading off up North for the holidays and taking her with me.


Tidy Tom said...

Hi, just found this site from looking at The green LD was for sale on eBay in November 07, and I very nearly bought it, but my girlfriend talked me out of it! Reading your blog has vindicated her view on the matter, but I'm still quite jealous... I've owned a number of ill advised vehicles and I've had some very similar experiences - breaking down in a Commer van two miles from picking it up in Bristol on the way to Hastings; buying a Bedford RL from someone up a mountain in Cumbria and driving it back down south with it getting so hot you could have fried an egg on the engine cover etc. I spoke to a bloke at a festival once who had an LD, he had put the engine from a diesel Montego in his van as it was a straight swap apparently. Doing that is known as a "Dudley Conversion", and is often done to Landrovers. Montegos and Sherpas had a 2.0 litre Perkins diesel engine called a Prima fitted to them, though the car one was a turbo so has a bit more power. Which band were you going to see at Glastonwick - we were hoping to go to that to see Blyth Power but didn't make it in the end. Anyway, good luck with the LDs, Tom.

Tidy Tom said...

Sorry - that should be "Dudleigh Conversion" not Dudley!