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Garden Find

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:20 pm
by jwhouk
Because of this: Garden Find, we have the following...


Eric Whitemore hated Boxing Day, but not for any reason you'd think about that would be associated with the holiday.

Boxing Day, for the Whitemore family, meant going up to Birmingham on the Chiltern. And then, a long drive up the Birmingham Road to his grandmother's house.

And then, having to deal with her in her dotage. And, of course, the rest of his family.

He'd taken solace on occasion that his one uncle, Horace, would be there to allow him to talk some shop. He was an old assembly-line worker, like his dad before him at Solihull. They shared stories about how working for AHI UK was similar to life on the lines at JLR. Da' had included him in on the "big boy" talk about cars and such as he was growing up, and he loved it.

It definitely beat having to hear the rantings from Gran about the Tories.

The train pulled in to Kidderminster – thankfully, they were running a morning train on the line, despite the holiday – and Eric stepped off the pacer, scanning the station platform. Amid the mass of people exiting the train was a familiar face: his cousin Selene.

"Oi, Eric, over here!" she called, and he ambled over to her after adjusting his shoulder bag and positioning his case behind him. Hugs and greetings were exchanged, and the two went off to the car park where her Discovery sat.

"Gran's gettin' the goose ready, even as we speak," she said as they drove off towards Birmingham. Selene gave him the rundown on the latest with her job – working in ticket sales for West Brom Albion. "Sitting in relegation land, sadly. Seen too many draws as of late. Still hopeful they'll pull it out."

"Part of the job, innit?" Eric joked.

"Have to; selling tickets to a relegated team isn't easy, even for diehards." The two discussed the weather – rainy, as usual, but it had let up as of late – until the turnoff for their gran's home came up.

"How she still chooses to live here is beyond me," Eric commented as the Discovery wound its way across the rutted drive that led through the countryside outside of Kidderminster.

"Uncle Horace has taken over as a bit of a caretaker, I'm told," she replied as the Land Rover slogged through the semi-frozen mud. "Since grandad passed, he's looked after gran, and the estate. Personally, 'tween your da and me mum, I think she picked the right one to do it."

"I wouldn't argue that," he said as the home came into sight. "Heh, now I remember why that drive seemed so familiar," he mentioned to himself.

"What drive?" Selene asked as she navigated the Rover through the hedges into the estate.

"Oh, happened to go pick up a 130 from a little place up in Campbeltown," he remarked offhandedly.

"Ah, something for ye masters back in the states, eh?"

"Yeh. Little place called High Park Farms. Some old git lives up there, wantin' to get rid of his old Rover."

She pulled the car next to others that were parked by the home. It wasn't until they both had disembarked that it finally hit her what he'd said.

"Wait a minute, High Park Farms?" He just smiled in reply. "You mean Macca's place?" He pulled out his case from the back seat as she came around to his side. "You met Paul McCartney???"

"All in a day's work for Alexander Harvesters," he said with a smile. "Tell you about it later."

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:43 pm
by jwhouk

"So, there I am, checkin' the hood on this Velar, and this wheel comes rollin' down the line behind us. An' Charlie asks me what that was. An' I tell 'im, 'That's the new self-drivin' system they're puttin' in these things.'"

Both Eric and his uncle Horace laughed at the incident as they walked to the back door of the Whitemore family home. His uncle turned to him just as they reached the back door. "The guy who lost control of tha' wheel got docked a day's pay fer it. Anyhoo – need ta get some more ale out in the shed."

"You using the old shed, now?" Eric asked. "Granpa's old workshop? Last I remember 'twas a mess."

"Yeah, still was when I moved in here wit' gran," was the reply as the elder Whitmore opened the back door. "Found an old fridge he had in there. Store extra beer and ale back there."

"And here I thought I was the Americanized one," Eric chuckled.

They walked down the pat to the shed, which was more what those on the other side of the pond would call a garage. Eric's grandfather had been a bit on the eccentric side when he'd built it, with a grandiose plan that he'd service Rovers after years of working on the line at Solihull. The problem was that, though he'd built it big enough to house several cars, he didn't have the wherewithal to hire anyone to help him – and as a result, it never came to more than a tinkerer's shop.

"Ye ever check the conditions of these old autos granda' had in here?" Eric asked as they entered the old shed. His uncle fumbled a bit for the light switch, which lit up the fluorescent fixture hanging over the small area that was a work bench.

"I got a good idea on a couple of 'em," he replied as he walked over to the fridge in the corner. "There's two in back that I haven't been able to get to – that old Series I is in the way of 'em. You know how me da' loved those things." He motioned over toward the back of the shop where a handful of Rovers sat. "If ye got some time, we could have a look over on 'em."

"I'm off this whole week – one of the perks of working for AHI," he commented. "Ya think any of them are in running condition?"

"Only tha one in the front, there," he commented. "Tis the newest of them. Think he had a couple he was plannin' on restorin' – but he never had the time."

Eric sighed at that. His grandad had died of a heart attack a few years earlier – and had left the family home to gran, but had been specific about having one of his sons take over the role of "caretaker" of the place. That was left to Uncle Horace, as he was the oldest of the family – and his dad had absolutely no interest in running the place.

The issue was grandad's organization skills – or lack of them. By all reports he had been fastidious when he was at work – but at home, it was another matter.

They knew that he had three Series I models – in various states of disrepair – along with two Series II's that were his daily drivers. Only thing was, the "daily drivers" hadn't been driven daily by him in years. He'd made sure the fluids were set and the batteries held charge – but the only place they'd driven was into town to post a letter.

Eric snapped on a light in the garage area – a couple of overhead fixtures with single bulbs in them. He looked over at the cars in the back corner, and saw one in the back that had a large canvas over it. Grandad had never let the youngsters go back in the corner, mostly for concern over sharp edges and whatnot.

"Yanno, I think I can get over there, if I can get these tyres and boxes out of the way," he told his uncle. He moved one of the tires – which was rather flat, making it hard to roll off to the side. Persevering, he got the stack off to the side, even sticking one in the open back of the marginally-running IIB that was closest. The boxes were just a few various spares, and he easily made his way over to the far side of the shed.

"Huh," Horace said in a note of surprise. "Looks like he was actually over here a bit more than he ever let on." He motioned to what looked like a copy of the Sun – dated only a few months prior to when grandad had died.

"Doesn't look like he did much on this thing, though – paint's peeling like a bad sunburn." He considered the tail gate, as it was the only thing showing from under the tarp. He looked up; it appeared that the area was set up intentionally to be "sectioned off" from the rest of the shop. "Also looks like he didn't want anyone seeing this thing… wonder why?"

Horace could only shrug.

Eric motioned to his uncle. "Help me with the canvas. Wanna see what's under all this." With a tug, he could tell the canvas was only draped over the vehicle. Carefully, watching for snags on corners, the two pulled the cover off the ancient Rover.

"Definitely a Series I," Horace commented. "Much older than I thought, though – I think the serial plate's under the bonnet by the radiator." He motioned to the front of the vehicle. "Should tell us just how old."

Carefully, with assistance from Eric, the pair undid the latches and gingerly lifted the bonnet, which screeched from the lack of use.

"Gonna need to oil that," Eric said before looking down at the plate. His uncle pushed the window and the hood back to vertical, so the lid would not close down on them. "Hmmm… got a rag? And a torch," he added.

Horace made his way back to the main work area, then returned with both. Eric clicked on the light, then started to wipe away at the layer of grime on the frame.

"Wait a minute…" He looked down at the plate. "Where were the serial plates on this thing, again?"

"Should be right there on the frame, behind the wheel – if you can reach it. Should be here in the cockpit, too…"

Eric shone the torch toward the frame – which he couldn't see. "I'd have to get under this fender," he stated.

"Oh my…" was all he heard from his uncle. "Come here."

A bit concerned, he came up to the driver's side of the vehicle – where his uncle pointed underneath the center console.

"That's where the plate's supposed to be," he said. "There's nothing there."

The frame on the inside had only the mounting rails for the driver's and passenger's seat. Eric spied the worn leather portfolio up against the tailgate. "That the paperwork on this thing?"

"Possibly," his uncle told him. He went over, picking it up and opening it by the clasp. "Yep, definitely papers here… let's go back to the workbench; light's better."

The two made their way back to the entrance to the shed. His uncle turned on a desk lamp attached to the bench and pulled out his reading glasses. He slowly scanned over the paperwork.

Frowning at first, he flipped through the papers. As he studied them, he noted, "these things are older than I am."

"That shouldn't surprise you, considering, right?" Eric replied, taking one of the papers that his uncle had set on the bench.

"Nah," Horace said. "But this does." He showed him the registration papers for the vehicle. "It didn't have plates on it, but this thing says its registration number ends with a '003'. I know enough of Rover history to know what that means."

The realization suddenly came to Eric. "Is this thing… older than Huey?"

"No… but I think it might be damned close."

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:13 am
by Just Old Al
PM sent.

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:15 am
by jwhouk
Land Rover Celebrates 70 Years with Restoration of 1948 Series I
Pre-production launch vehicle was a garden-find

By: Billy Rehbock January 10, 2018

This 1948 Land Rover was the first of the pre-production run that promoted the launch of the now-iconic Series I. This specific example, shown at the Amsterdam Motor Show that same year, went missing in the 1950s before resurfacing in 2016 when spotted in a garden in Birmingham in the U.K.

Land Rover is taking advantage of the chance to bring the discovered classic back to life as the first project of its 70-year anniversary celebration. The Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry is leading the charge on the restoration.

JLR plans to preserve the vehicle while also maintaining the natural patina it developed over the 63 years it fell off Land Rover’s radar.

Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hannig said in a statement, “This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history and is as historically important as ‘Huey’, the first pre-production Land Rover. Beginning its sympathetic restoration here at Classic Works, where we can ensure it’s put back together precisely as it’s meant to be, is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year.”

Hannig also said that this would be the same time of the year that the pre-production Series I would have been in final stages of preparation before it made its debut in Amsterdam.

“Huey” is actually a higher spec than the production cars that would follow with thicker aluminum bodywork, a galvanized chassis, and a removable rear tub. Land Rover says the Lime Green paint will also be kept as part of the completed project.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works will host previous owners during the restoration so they can see the Series I while it’s in the shop and give some insight into its history after it went missing.

Expect to see more from this Series I at the end of the year, when Land Rover will show off the finished product, which should be in driving shape by the conclusion of 2018.

Billy Rehbock

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:37 am
by DinkyInky
So wait, they're completely ignoring Huey(HUE 166)?

Seems off that they'd make this claim again when they already did this a decade ago. I could see them say they found and are restoring another of the "first 48", but not that this find is the first one. That would irritate a lot of the LR folks, because this is not the proper way to market the brand.

Copy/pasta here for you in case source doesn't work:
Land Rover: The sands of time

By Kevin Hackett12:01AM GMT 28 Mar 2008
As Tata Motors takes control of Land Rover, Kevin Hackett drives the oldest survivor in Anglesey, where the marque was born.

This year Land Rover celebrates its 60th anniversary in the hands of its new Indian owner, Tata. The subject of multi-billion dollar takeovers, employing many thousands of workers, with agents right across the globe, Land Rover is an internationally recognised brand now but this is where it all started, with this very car. HUE 166 (Huey) is the world's oldest Land Rover and I'm driving it in the place of, if not its birth, then at least its conception, 60 years ago, at Red Wharf Bay on the north Wales island of Anglesey. For it was here in the summer of 1947 that Maurice Wilks (then technical chief of Rover) came up with the idea of a world-conquering vehicle to kick-start exports for the ailing Rover car company.
Climbing aboard Huey after having spent a morning cossetted inside a luxurious, supercharged Range Rover V8 is nothing short of a culture shock. Without power assisted anything, no soundproofing, plush upholstery or creature comforts, this is motoring from a bygone era and it's not easy. There are rudimentary instruments in the centre of what barely passes for a dashboard, a couple of levers protruding from the bare metal floor, a measly, leatherette seat cushion between my bottom and the fuel tank and that's about it. It's slow off the mark, as you might expect from a 50bhp car built in 1948, and it's noisy. You can hear the transmission whine and practically every valve, piston and lever doing its stuff. Change gear and you can feel the ker-thunk as metal meets metal and the next ratio is engaged.
It's not ideal transport for shopping trips, romantic assignations or the school run, but Huey positively oozes charisma. History squeezes its way through every one of his enormous panel gaps and you have to think back to those austere post-war years to appreciate the revolution Huey represents.
After the Second World War, steel was in short supply and Rover needed it to build cars. However, the government demanded guarantees of overseas sales to boost the country's battered economy before supplies would be forthcoming. Wilks envisiged a "stopgap model", one that appealed to foreign markets and would fill the company coffers. He and his brother Spencer (Rover's managing director) owned a farm on Anglesey where their families would holiday. Here they used a war-surplus Willys Jeep, but they soon found weaknesses in its design and Maurice reasoned they could do better.
While some work was going on at the farmhouse, the Wilks family stayed in a hamlet called Wern-y-Wylan, where a single-lane track takes visitors down to the vast sands of Red Wharf Bay. Maurice and Spencer walked out towards the ocean, talking about the idea and sketched a basic design for a new vehicle in the damp sand. It would offer the benefits of a tractor with on-road useability. It would be a Rover for the land. A Land Rover.
They bought another Jeep and fitted it with a Rover engine and gearbox. It worked. Then they commissioned a prototype known as the "Centre Steer" due to its centrally mounted steering column. This was far too complex so the idea was shelved and the car dismantled. The drawing in the sand was the design used for the Centre Steer but subtle changes were brought in for the next prototype - the car seen here.
Much debate rages about Huey's provenance. Some claim he's actually the first "production" car, built after an initial batch of 48 prototypes, but Land Rover's technical communications manager, Roger Crathorne, is adamant. "Huey is the first of the prototypes, no doubt," he tells me. "His chassis number is LR1 and the comprehensive records we hold tell the whole story. HUE 166 rolled out of the factory on March 11, 1948." Roger joined Land Rover as an engineer in 1963 and has never left, so if anyone should know…
Chassis number three was the one that impressed visitors to the Amsterdam motor show on April 30, 1948. It was innovative in that it offered permanent four-wheel drive, a power take-off (PTO) at the rear to run farm equipment and it had three front seats. It was a practical, genuine all-rounder, the like of which hadn't been seen before.
Production commenced in June, with Rover still viewing the £450 model as nothing but a short-term fix. Bert Gosling, 85, was there at the beginning and recalls the early days with great fondness: "The only tools we had were those on the shop floor: hammers, saws, simple folding presses. The designs were all sketched on scraps of paper - they didn't even have measurements on them and we were told to make what we could but without press tools. We made them up as we went along and none of those first cars was identical."
Ironically, given that the Land Rover was born from a desire to secure supplies of steel, the car was (and still is) mostly made from aluminium alloy - a metal plentiful in supply thanks to its use in aircraft manufacture during the war. The Land Rover's bulkhead was made from steel for strength, as was its chassis, but the rest was aluminium alloy - no doubt the reason why so many old Land Rovers have survived to this day.
Within a month of building the vehicles for paying customers, it was obvious Rover had a major hit on its hands and production was ramped up from 100 vehicles a week to 500. Since then almost two million of these "stopgap" models have been built and sold, with an estimated 65 per cent of all examples still in use.
The reason for its success, reckons Crathorne, is obvious: "A Land Rover, unlike any other vehicle, gives its occupants a sense of adventure. You really do feel as though you could go anywhere. It's a classless vehicle, too," he adds, "and is equally at home in the urban jungle or in the wilds of Borneo. Land Rovers give their occupants an enormous sense of well-being."
Another reason for Land Rover's success is that while the brand has diversified with a range of vehicles from the humble Defender and Freelander to the ubiquitous Discovery and the upmarket Range Rover, the marque produced vehicles that defined a class. None has ever been compromised when it comes to off-road ability - something that cannot be said for their rivals.
Any Land Rover is now recognised across the globe and over time the original has proved to be the most versatile of all vehicles - you name it and a Land Rover has probably done it, but this Anglesey beach is where it all began, with a drawing in the sand 61 years ago.

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:41 am
by Dave
Well, it sounds as if the universe is having its little bit of fun.

Huey? ok. Why not.

Left out in the weather, in a garden for years? That would be Dewy.

The next thing you know, they'll find one in a forgotten garage in the city corporation yard, tucked around back behind the sewage treatment facility. That would be Looie.

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:20 pm
by DinkyInky
Dave wrote:Well, it sounds as if the universe is having its little bit of fun.

Huey? ok. Why not.

Left out in the weather, in a garden for years? That would be Dewy.

The next thing you know, they'll find one in a forgotten garage in the city corporation yard, tucked around back behind the sewage treatment facility. That would be Looie.
Yes, this.

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:25 pm
by FreeFlier
You never know when an early model will turn up . . . in the 1970s, Kenworth traced Gersix #1 to Michigan, then couldn't find any more trail . . . a couple of years later, a guy a few miles up the road from Seattle (Washington - the state, not Sodom-on-Potomoc) - more than a thousand miles from the last known location - wandered in looking for parts for a restoration . . .


Re: Garden Find

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:30 pm
by Just Old Al
Dave wrote:Well, it sounds as if the universe is having its little bit of fun.

Huey? ok. Why not.

Left out in the weather, in a garden for years? That would be Dewy.

The next thing you know, they'll find one in a forgotten garage in the city corporation yard, tucked around back behind the sewage treatment facility. That would be Looie.
Yes, but the one at the sewag treatment plant would be unmodified - as in bog standard.

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:32 pm
by Dave
Just Old Al wrote:Yes, but the one at the sewag treatment plant would be unmodified - as in bog standard.

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:38 pm
by Bookworm
Just Old Al wrote: Yes, but the one at the sewag treatment plant would be unmodified - as in bog standard.
So, was that pun intentional, or not?

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:53 pm
by Just Old Al
Bookworm wrote:
Just Old Al wrote: Yes, but the one at the sewage treatment plant would be unmodified - as in bog standard.
So, was that pun intentional, or not?
Bookworm, need ask? :)

OF COURSE it was.

The Pun Jar has given up trying to collect and is putting out contracts on Dave and I...

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:35 pm
by Dave
Just Old Al wrote:The Pun Jar has given up trying to collect and is putting out contracts on Dave and I...
And it just isn't fair. All of us are supposed to be able to cash in the occasional "No Pun Intended" credit token, aren't we?

The last few times I tried to use one, I was told that they "simply weren't believable". I find that hard to accept... I know they're good... Sgt. Greg made them for us himself on his forge, and Glytchmeister plated them heavily with some obscure metal whose name I'm afraid to even think, let alone write down.

Al, are you having any better luck passing yours when you need them?

Re: Garden Find

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:22 am
by Just Old Al
Dave wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:35 pm
Al, are you having any better luck passing yours when you need them?
No...they pass about as well as a kidney stone.