Let­ters

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS - Richard Gwynne-evans, Guernsey

Your chance to have a say about life in the clas­sic world.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Ian Creese on his restora­tion of his Austin Apache (PC, Sept 2018). On my trips to South Africa I still see a few of them be­ing driven around in Cape Town. Although rust is still a prob­lem, es­pe­cially near the coast, in­land is much kin­der to the body­work due to a dry cli­mate (most of the time) and of course the salt-free roads!

In the early Sev­en­ties I was work­ing at Robb Mo­tors in Cape Town when the ve­hi­cle was first launched in Novem­ber 1971. At the time the main work­shop was in Paar­den Ei­land; ly­ing about four miles from the CBD, it was one of the largest and most high-tech fa­cil­i­ties in Africa. The cars ar­rived from the Leykor (Ley­land South Africa) plant in Black­heath, some 19 miles away. Most of the new cars for the var­i­ous branches in the Cape Provence had their PDIS and any other rec­ti­fi­ca­tions done there.

I can well re­mem­ber look­ing at the first Apache to ar­rive, com­plete with its front and boot look­ing like a minia­ture Tri­umph 2000, although it was an 1100/1300 in the mid­dle. The boot

was a good idea, with much more space than the 1100. Ideal for go­ing out for a braai for the day with coils of bore­wors and chops! But it gave so many prob­lems with water leaks and I think also dust. Some poor sod was shut in the boot (shades of the Krays) with a torch, while a hosepipe was sprayed from all sides and un­der­neath, look­ing for the en­try point. I seem to re­mem­ber that the rear lights were one of the cul­prits, along with a seam and pos­si­bly also the side vents.

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