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Series One story


instead. On passing my 65th birthday – with, I must say, a monumental party on New Year’s Eve– it began to look as though I would never get my Sixtieth birthday present.


Austin Seven, and he wasn’t going to be able to carry on with the Land Rover. Was I still interested?


Was I? Of course I was! Barely minutes later I had made contact and virtually done the deal. All he wanted was what he paid for it five years before.


‘Er


indoors couldn’t understand the concept that a fifty-five year old project didn’t lose value if it was now sixty years old and


My second SII Disco had become a bit of a shed at nearly 130,000 hard miles and I had just changed it for yet another. A 53 plate Blue one this time and I immediately put it to use hacking backwards and forwards to Rotterdam, where I was helping to install a new MRI into a mobile trailer. Then, out of the blue, my old drag racing friend phoned. The guy who bought the Land Rover also had several restoration projects, one of them an


that even the same price was a considerable discount! My trips to Rotterdam were getting in the way, but a weekend was agreed upon where I could rent a trailer, do the lift and return it, without paying a weeks rental. My Disco had been a bit sluggish on the way back last time and I had spoken to Catweazle (John) about it while on the A16 south of Antwerpen. He thought maybe an Air Flow Sensor, so I arranged to take it in to Quadratech on the Tuesday.


I had to return to Rotterdam on the Wednesday.


Towing the trailer down the M3 to Southampton got a little strange.


It seemed to


be struggling up the hills, even unloaded. Nearing our destination it was on cruise control set at about 50 mph and I was chatting to my son. Without being aware of it, the auto gearbox had kicked down to maintain speed and when I glanced in the mirror I saw smoke! Looking down, the revs were at 4000 and the smoke was getting thicker. Quickly knocking it out of cruise control, I got the revs down and things back on an even keel. The smoke faded out, but my heart rate had soared. Oddly enough, it actually seemed to be pulling better now.


A mile or two later, we were drifting downhill on the ‘off ramp’ and I touched the brakes …….nothing! The pedal seemed jammed and no matter how hard I pushed, the speed wasn’t going down much. This was very bad news.


[32]


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