Monday, 26 February 2007

4 J-Typers Meet

On Sunday I drove south in pouring rain to Truman's garage as I had promised to try and sort out a dent for him on his van. The only metalwork I have ever done has been on my own projects and I can cope with making a hash of those but it is a huge responsibility tackling someone else's, so I was pretty apprehensive. Truman's dent was just under the swageline, and the main difficulty was that ideally I would have bumped it from inside the van, but the dent is just behind one of the van's vertical bracing struts. Now, I'd have been very tempted to cut a 6inch length of the strut out with a thin cutting grinder and then butt-weld it back after tapping the dent out. In the end, however (as we didn't have power and my welder there.....and possibly not quite enough nerve either), Truman (above) slid the narrowest dolly behind the strut and I eased the dent out from the outside. I think we did a pretty decent job for now; the best in the circumstances, I think.
Then we had the treat of seeing Chris and Ilana draw up in their absolutely gorgeous Royal Mail van. This was the first van I had actually seen moving since I saw Harvey's at Gaydon two or three years ago (and that was the only one before). While Chris and Truman caught up, Ilana and I admired YLH 789. She showed me the various features of the van, particularly those which differ from non-mail or GPO detailed in Truman's blog recently. Then all four of us stood around chatting, comparing notes and posing for each other's photos........the ones of me are largely unpublishable but highlight the need for a diet! Here are some of the shots of the van.

Afterwards, we went in convoy to Truman's, where we met his family and had coffee and talked J-Type. Truman very kindly let me have some parts he had spare and when we all left, Chris and Ilana left first so that we could enjoy watching their van's departure. I got a poor film on my phone and Truman got a far better couple on his camera, which you must see.
All in all, a terrific day.....and it wasn't over because that evening I won an ebay auction for a 1964 Mk1 mini (one careful owner from new! - and with full MOT) to try and make one of my girlfriend's dreams come true (can't afford an E Type!). Her first car was a B-reg mini, so this is one project we can really share this summer. We will take the Prefect and Mini on runs...and I will probably sell the Prefect at the end of the things are starting to get out of hand!!! What is it about classics? Once you have one, they quickly accumulate!

See Truman's account (25th Feb), including his terrific films of the van in action.

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