classic car forum header

Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
How To Register     Posting Photographs     Privacy Policy     F/book facebook.com/oldclassiccar

My first van
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration. Forum Index -> Classic lorries, steam vehicles, vans and pickup trucks
Author Message
Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 522
Location: Betws y Coed, North Wales

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: My first van Reply with quote

[img]

The year was 1983 and I needed a van as I was tiring of hiring every time and I had the increasing need for one.
The choice then was Escort, Marina, Astra, Bedford HA or countless others but I had to look in the used market and used commercials, more so then than now were risky purchases.
I had decided on an ex BT Bedford HA, yellow of course which I was sure would be satisfactory once the engine governor was removed - all BT HA's had them fitted. A 1978 S registered HA was around 650 at the time and I was starting to look around until I had a chat with a local elderly lady here in the village one morning.

The conversation turned to the January 1968 Ford Escort 1.1 van she had bought new and had used sparingly for 15 years as a little "day van" for runs out with her recently departed mother. It had done 29000 miles from new and the above photo I took of it reflects accurately it's condition.
"Do you know anybody who would buy it?" she asked. There was only one answer to that.
In November 1983, some three months later I took 150 in cash - she refused to take a penny more than her asking price - and drove it home, taxed and with a new MOT she insisted on providing.
Interestingly she bought one of the very last Mini Clubman Estates with an automatic gearbox and the 1000cc engine with which the post Metro models were fitted.

My first task on getting the Escort van home was to remove the net curtains from the rear van doors and the portable cooker. Carpet covered the unmarked paint on the load area and the van sides and roof were covered with an upholstered "fablon" material. The van had seat covers and an original Ford five push button radio and one speaker beside the steering wheel.

The little Escort served me well for five and a half years but it's 1.1 litre engine - the low compression one - was always petrol thirsty. 30mpg on a run and 25ish in general use.

The sharp eyed among you will note that it was not strictly original. The white roof was her idea after she bought it new and the matt black grille was a replacement following "a little misjudgement" in 1974.

Because it was one of first Escort vans it had a starting handle hole in the (painted) front bumper. This intrigued me because the last car I had started with a starting handle was a Renault 4 many years previously and when the battery ran a little flat one morning I looked forward to re-establishing my prowess with a starting handle.
I carefully inserted the handle through the hole, pushed gently and felt a little resistance and with the strength of youth gave the handle a good shove. I heard a "crunch"" as the handle hit the bottom of the radiator followed by a "clang" as the handle hit the crankcase followed by the sound of gushing water.......
Yes, I'd put the starting handle through the radiator and had I bothered to look at the full service history(with all receipts) I WOULD have seen that a new one had been fitted in 1982 and because the original type with a starting handle recess was "NLA", a standard one without had been substituted .

That explains the reference to the starting handle as part of my " signature" and I didn't tell anybody my story for a long, long time.........

The little van served me until April 1989 and because it had only done 55000 miles by then a local farmer gave me 125 for it with 8 months MOT remaining....

Happy days.

Ellis
_________________
Starting Handle Expert

1964 Jaguar Mark 2 3.4 litre
1962 Land Rover Series 2a SWB
1954 Land Rover Series One 86 inch
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
22900013A



Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 30
Location: Oxfordshire

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice machine, is it still about?
_________________
1-Ton Landrovers
Electricity Board Landrovers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 522
Location: Betws y Coed, North Wales

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

22900013A wrote:
Nice machine, is it still about?


Afraid not.
After only a few months with it's third owner there wasn't a single undented panel on the van. It passed one more MOT but savage abuse led to it's demise shortly afterwards.
The engine lived on in another Mark 1 Escort.
_________________
Starting Handle Expert

1964 Jaguar Mark 2 3.4 litre
1962 Land Rover Series 2a SWB
1954 Land Rover Series One 86 inch
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
22900013A



Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 30
Location: Oxfordshire

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a shame.
When I sold on the first Landrover I owner (which was nothing special or significant, but a nice enough truck with some nice extras) I was sad to find it was on SORN after a year or so and still is so far as I know. I wonder what happeend to it?
_________________
1-Ton Landrovers
Electricity Board Landrovers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration. Forum Index -> Classic lorries, steam vehicles, vans and pickup trucks All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


php BB powered © 2001,2005 php BB Grp.