Re­tired fire en­gine be­ing given a new lease of life in the United States... as a camper­van

Caernarfon Herald - - BOOK SHELF -

A SUR­PLUS emer­gency re­sponse ve­hi­cle which has logged thou­sands of miles at­tend­ing fires and crashes across North Wales is be­ing shipped out to Canada for a quiet re­tire­ment – as a camper­van.

The 1995 plate Mercedes 1120 In­ci­dent Re­sponse Ve­hi­cle, pre­vi­ously owned by North Wales Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, was bought at an auc­tion in Merthyr and is now be­ing shipped across the At­lantic for new owner Ryan Evans from Ore­gon – who is plan­ning to con­vert it into a fam­ily mo­torhome.

Ryan, a me­chan­i­cal engi­neer, said: “We just pulled the trig­ger on the MB 1120 4x4 In­ci­dent Re­sponse Ve­hi­cle with the in­ten­tion to turn it into a mo­torhome for an ad­ven­tur­ing fam­ily.

“We have named it Lowly the Lorry after chil­dren’s book char­ac­ter Lowly the Worm.”

Lowly the Lorry is be­ing shipped to Hal­i­fax in Nova Sco­tia by in­ter­na­tional ship­ping spe­cial­ists Au­to­ship­pers.

And Ryan can’t wait for it to ar­rive.

He ex­plained: “I hope to write a blog to record the up­com­ing mad­ness for the ben­e­fit of those who are cu­ri­ous at just how many prob­lems a scheme like this can pro­duce.

“For one thing the truck was made in 1995, so we weren’t al­lowed to im­port it into the United States for an­other two and a quar­ter years – hence the di­ver­sion to Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia.

“Get­ting the truck mod­i­fied might be the eas­i­est part of this whole wacky scheme.”

A com­pany based in Bri­tish Columbia spe­cialises in cus­tom ve­hi­cle cabin man­u­fac­tur­ing.

He is hop­ing there is enough head­room to stow drop-down bunks so the cab area can serve as suit­able ac­com­mo­da­tions for the kids and leave more liv­ing space in the camper.

“I’ll be the first to ad­mit that it may not ul­ti­mately suc­ceed I fig­ure it is worth a try to cre­ate some me­mories.”

Ryan said he had to jump through the hoops of trans­fer­ring money, ob­tain­ing in­sur­ance, lo­cat­ing a park­ing/stor­age fa­cil­ity and re­lo­cat­ing the ve­hi­cle from the auc­tion house prop­erty to stor­age – all via email and an eight-hour time dif­fer­ence.

“Luck­ily, Au­to­ship­pers has stacks of ex­pe­ri­ence do­ing this sort of thing and have helped with hints and sug­ges­tions, not to men­tion get­ting Lowly over to Canada in the first place.”

Ryan added: “Au­to­ship­pers were able to ar­range for in­coun­try trans­port from its stor­age lo­ca­tion to the port of Bris­tol.

“Orig­i­nally it was go­ing to get loaded at Southamp­ton but Au­to­ship­pers be­lieved Bris­tol was bet­ter suited for this size of truck.

“They wanted to doc­u­ment the pro­ceed­ings first hand as Lowly is not a typ­i­cal job for them.”

Adam Lim­er­ick from Au­to­ship­pers said the sur­plus fire ten­der was typ­i­cal of the offthe-wall projects they had dealt with dur­ing the last 20 years.

“We have shipped ice cream vans, for­mer po­lice mo­tor­cy­cles, retro and vin­tage ve­hi­cles all over the World – but Ryan looks de­ter­mined to trump the lot of them with his camper­van plan.

“We’re al­ways on the look­out for any unique ship­ments that might spark the in­ter­est of mo­tor en­thu­si­asts out there as they tend to share their ex­pe­ri­ences far and wide.”

Au­to­ship­pers re­cently shipped a rare AC Buck­land Tourer out to a fan in Hous­ton Texas.

“They also shipped a brace of True Brit ice cream vans to an ex-pat in Cal­i­for­nia and air­freighted a fully re­stored 1976 Jensen In­ter­cep­tor in the hold of world’s big­gest pas­sen­ger air­craft to an­other ex-pat with an eye for vin­tage cars.

● Ryan Evans from Ore­gon is plan­ning to con­vert this North Wales fire en­gine into a fam­ily mo­torhome

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.