June 10th

The day's finally arrived. (I feel a bit like Christmas. Anthea has accused me of sorting out the garage in the same sort of manner in which I sorted out the bedroom that our daughter was going to use as soon as she was born. Except that that was a little matter of 17 years ago.)

I had hired a van from a place in Cambridge which turned out to be a patch of scruffy ground behind the sewage works. We drove away in our 96000 mile diesel transit and headed North.

I don't think I'd realised quite how slow such a vehicle was until driving it. All you had to do was sit with your right foot flat to the floor all the time. We saw an indicated 75 mph once, but most of the time 50 was all we could manage. Still at least Denis bore up under the strain, here he is. The van also had this horrible noise, reminiscent of something scraping against the propshaft. Still, it got us there.

Apart, that is, from the fact that I got lost, again. This is now the third time I have been to the factory and the third time that I've got lost.

So, somewhat late, we arrived at the factory and several people got stuck into stacking our car in the van. I was pleased to see that they really were expecting us. They were so expert at it that they must have been getting some practice.

The chassis being rolled out.

I was somewhat surprised by the amount of work that had been done to the chassis itself, including mounting the pedals and installing the loom. I'm a bit miffed about the pedals as I had planned on doing what I could to increase the leg room in this department. Still, I can always take it to bits again.

I later discovered the reason why the bodywork is on the chassis here. Essentially it is so floppy without the chassis that this is the only way to have it. The problem is that I now have to store it somewhere which is not particularly easy. (See later.)

Inside the truck; all the heavy bits are in the cardboard boxes in the right corner.

Finally we set off back to sunny Cambridge via the local B&Q to buy a padlock so that we could go and have some lunch without worrying about someone nicking the contents of the van. Mind you, I'm not entirely sure what someone would do with the contents of several cardboard boxes and a lot of welded steel.

On the way home one of the lights on the dashboard came on. We couldn't work out what it meant so we phoned the owners. "Oh, it's that one. Don't worry, Ford just put it there to worry us, just ignore it." the chap said. So we did. Apparently it was something to do with moisture in the diesel. I can't admit to being knowledgeable about diesel engines, and I hate the fuel, so I was able to forget about it.

However, this all meant that we got home rather later than planned, which screwed up several arrangements.

Eventually we did get there and called up some more help (in this case my TVR driving friend Dean, who also works with me) to lift out the chassis. We put it up on the stands, climbed in and thought how small it was, and had a Chinese takeaway for tea.

Having a good look round later, I'm not sure I am fond of the positioning of a couple of pipes under the driver's bum, but as this is still above the lowest point on the chassis perhaps it's OK.

Brake pipe and fuel pipe under the floor. Notice that I've had to put the car on a couple of blocks on the stand so as to avoid crushing these pipes.

The final problem is the bodywork. Westfield supply the complete bodywork with the first bit of any of their kits. This is all very well but it creates a real storage problem, as well as worries about looking after the gelcoat finish. In may case the latter was compounded by the Westfield people using packaging tape to hold together bits of bodywork for transport in our van. This was all very well but when we came to remove it half of the tape (and its glue) was left behind like this:

I got this sorted out with a lot of elbow grease but it wasn't fun. It's probably possible to use some magic potion to remove the residue but I was worried about damaging the finish.

Later on, it turned out that I hadn't cleaned it all off. I will have to ask the factory what I can do. I can't admit to being too chuffed about this, unless it was a duff reel of tape, I suppose.

The other issue was what to do with the bodywork. I finally solved this by hanging it from the ceiling of the garage. It looks rather bizarre but it isn't in the way any more.

The problem is, it blocks off some of the carefully installed light!

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