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Series One story

About thirty years ago, back when I was only a CT scanner engineer and MR scanners were purely experimental, I was introduced to a rather sad looking, tatty old maroon Land Rover. I didn’t know what sort of Land Rover it was, only that it wasn’t a Series IIa, because I had owned one of those before I got married.

The Landy in question belonged to a friend and work colleague – one of our support engineers – and he had used it, many years before and rather bizarrely, to tow his record breaking dragster from time to time! My friend is a permanent fixture in the RACMSA record book, as the first man to break 200mph in the quarter mile in the UK. He was and still is, one of the best engineers I’ve ever met.

The day I met LYE 406, it was waiting in the yard of a lock up garage, for myself and a small team of colleagues to manoeuvre it

onto a low loader trailer.

It was

necessary to move it from one lock up in Langley, to another one in Uxbridge, but either the brakes or the transmission were binding and it was a real pain to shift it at all. After pushing, spitting, shoving and cursing, as you do, it was secured to the trailer and the tow car – a V8 Rover SD1 – coupled up.

My old Trial car partner and I were detailed to go ahead to Uxbridge and wait for the unloading. An hour later, the SD1 turned up – without the trailer. Two tyres on one side of the hired (or borrowed) trailer had burst going up the West bound ‘on ramp’ to an evening traffic packed M4 motorway. Apparently it had picked up the SD1, swung it through 360 degrees without, miraculously, hitting anything and then slid backwards down the embankment. My friend and another work colleague had abandoned the trailer –

it was safe enough down there – to go and find tyres, but first they wanted us to return to the scene and babysit. Remember this was all in the days before mobile phones.

Puzzlingly, when we got there the trailer, with the Land Rover, were now on the hard shoulder in lonely splendour. A little while later, a Police Rover P6 arrived in a flurry of blue lights, screeching tyres and steam. They had thrashed that thing from Hammersmith to Langley so hard, they had burst a top or bottom hose and they were not happy. A few minutes later, the owner arrived with several suitable wheels and tyres. The Motorway Plod, having satisfied themselves by issuing a serious tongue lashing about leaving the


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