Why do I worry myself sick over things I cannot control with motors? I don’t do it with motorbikes if they break I fix them and go on again then the ludicrous thing is if a car breaks I fix and drive away again but for some strange reason cars worry me. They worry me in the way that I think they are always “about to” break and after thousands of faultless miles they eventually do and I think to myself “see there it’s broken it’s let me down!” without thinking about all the trouble free motoring it’s done.
So with that in mind can you imagine what I was like this morning before setting off in the Landy? I have NEVER driven it further than six feet forwards or backwards in a straight line so I was worrying about whether the steering would fall off when I went around a corner? (I know stupid right) would the engine run ok under load? (even though I have revved the nuts off of it on a regular basis on the driveway) would the gearbox collapse? (why would it?) are the propshafts straight? Oh my God is the tracking ok enough or will it pull me up the neighbours driveway as soon as I leave? (I am working myself up into a frenzy now) it was at this point my body said to my head “time out now you are going to stop pacing and sit down for a bit”.
I didn’t faint or pass out but as I sat on the toilet in a smell that quite frankly made me feel sick even though it was my own I attempted to take some deep breathes quickly put that down to a bad idea due to the stench and got my mind back under control.
Test time had arrived so with a new found stoicism I jumped into the drivers seat prayed it would start which of course it did and set to taking the project for it’s first proper drive in 16 years. It drove as it should in a nice straight line with soup bowl gear changes rattling away nicely and being generally very very loud. After the first two corners and a roundabout I had forearms like Popeye (if you don’t know who Popeye is Google it then think yourself lucky you are still very young) teh brakes needed a second pump to grip really well as they settled in and the temp gauge sat at normal. Two miles and a stomach churning 5 minute drive later we arrived at the test centre to the owners remark of “I thought you had rebuilt mate” Funny bugger…
I should point out at this point if you are registering a motor after it’s MOT like me take all the paperwork you have to the testing station with you because it makes these guys a lot easier when entering the details. The most essential info was the proof of date of build letter I had that info was like gold when setting up the test itself.
Time to go into grown up bloke mode and not show the panic in my eyes as they took it inside the doors. I stood pacing up and down like an expectant Father in fact I don’t recall being that worried when the kids were being born but I suppose I was really doing the work then eh I had already done my bit! It was now over a pit….
They left the engine running longer than it has ever run before and much to my surprise it didn’t dump it’s coolant everywhere at any point! They were extremely thorough though in fact I thought they were far more thorough than I had ever been on my driveway during the rebuild but that was just doubt talking.
These guys were knowledgeable as well they knew that it was not a “handbrake” but a transmission brake and to test them off they set with the tester thing (forgot to ask what it was called so forgive me but I was far too busy worrying to remember everything!) you put in the passenger floor well when driving to make sure the brakes are good enough. Off they went with MY Landy for a spin and were gone for hours and hours…ok they were gone less than five minutes but by the time they returned I had developed a pair of new stomach ulcers and they had very straight faces.
They got out and walked over to that little room that all MOT stations have and disappeared inside. One walked out empty handed followed quite some time later by the other who had a bit of white paper in hos hand. I liked the old MOT’s because you could see the different colour and knew you had passed but these bloody new ones are white the same as the fail sheet so I stood there trying to look cool calm and unconcerned of the outcome from this hour and five minute grilling of a test they had put my project and I through when the chap burst into a big grin and told me IT HAD ONLY BLOODY PASSED!!!
The relief was overwhelming along with the beaming grin I now donned like a kid after he just got the best present ever! There were three advisories and he run me through these and even pointed out where on the Landy they were and what best to do with them which not many places take the time to do these days and it was much appreciated. So at this point I am going to say thanks to the guys at Nottingham Car Care Ltd and say to anyone who has a classic these guys are well worth a visit because they are a rare breed of folk who understand how they work…
The Advisories? Ok then they were as follows:-
1. Offside lower leaf spring bush has slight wear.
2. Evidence of offside front tyre fouling.
3. Slight fluid weep from offside swivel joint.
Nothing there too bad considering the rebuild that has been done so far and these bits can be sorted while I await a registration number.
It was a much more enjoyable drive home as I took a bit more notice of the Landy and got to know it a bit noting the bangs groans and clanks he made as he drove on. It was pointed out to me the Landy is running very lean so I need to sort that as it did feel a little underpowered even for a heavy old lump.
Soon enough we were back on the driveway and with some reluctance I switched off the engine because I know it will be at least a few weeks before I get to drive it again but now I have all of the paperwork needed for the DVLA well apart from the tax man but DVLA who I spoke to today told me to send it all in now anyway because as I have said before in an earlier post they might not check for import duty and even if they do it’s with the Tax man directly so a crossover should happen in paperwork. Hell who am I to argue I will send them the forms and see what happens!
So the worst is done. I bought an old wreck and now I have my first Land Rover complete with an MOT. It is elating to look at it and think “I did that” There are a few more bits to do but those bits are now at my leisure and more in the way to personalise and make it mine. There will be more updates this is not the end and I am already considering the next project in the back of my mind but without further ado folks I would like to introduce you all to “Mator” my Land Rover…