Plus Ça Change………

When I wrote the last post back in January I was busy rebuilding my old Land Rover and I’m pleased to say the work is now finished and the vehicle has been back on the road three weeks.

I say it is finished, but in fact that is not quite true as I am still waiting for the manufacturers to supply the decal which goes on the driver’s door. The one originally supplied back in February, although part of a set, did not match up with the rest and appeared to have been printed on a slant, or cut out of line. When we reported this the main dealer supplied another complete set the following day, but it too was badly printed and would not line up and I am still waiting for the replacement. After about two weeks we were told that the entire batch had been removed from sale and would have to be reprinted. I suppose Land Rover are far more interested in selling new Range Rovers than supplying me with the necessary part for my old Defender so I will have to be patient as they are the only supplier, but I find it very frustrating.

The rebuild has taken about ten weeks altogether and I’m very pleased with the finished article. Dunstan Greenbank at DPG Defenders has done a brilliant job and has also produced a brief video about it which you can see here. I spent a lot of those weeks working alongside him stripping parts, cleaning, wire brushing, and painting, but learned a lot during the process. The vehicle was completely stripped down and all components were shotblasted and painted or replaced with new as necessary before being built up again on a new galvanised chassis. Along the way we incorporated a few “sympathetic improvements” including a heated windscreen and heated seats for those frosty mornings, remote locking, rather a lot of sound insulation and carpeting, and a number of security measures. Some body panels including all three doors (which were badly corroded) were replaced and Rob Leng has made a fantastic job of repainting them all so that now we have put them back together it really does look like a brand new vehicle straight out of the factory.

Now that this project is finished, and my garden brought up to date I’m at a loose end again and so will be going back to the Gambia shortly for a brief stay as a volunteer at MyFarm, a Norwegian educational charity which I wrote about following a visit there last December.

I’m looking forward to seeing the friends I made during my previous placement in Gambia with VSO, and to having more experiences which will give me cause to write rather more frequently while I’m there than I have done recently.

I hope you will join me…….