Classic Sports Car - - Our Classics - RUN BY Martin Port OWNED SINCE Septem­ber 2016 PRE­VI­OUS RE­PORT Dec 2018

One minute I was throw­ing the Se­ries II around the lo­cal roads, en­joy­ing the au­tumn sun and rev­el­ling in the fact that 267 HYP was run­ning won­der­fully since I had re-gapped the points; the next I was nurs­ing the Land-rover the last half a mile back home.

With a cough and a splut­ter, the 88in had sud­denly lost power and there was a se­ri­ous hes­i­ta­tion in the run­ning, but, with a flight to Hol­land to catch early the next morn­ing, there was no time for in­ves­ti­ga­tion – just a case of dump­ing it on the drive­way.

Hav­ing spent three days catas­trophis­ing about what could be wrong, I de­cided that the first course of ac­tion was to put in some fuel. It had been a lit­tle low, but as we lurched away from the petrol sta­tion I re­signed my­self to it be­ing more than just that, and it felt as if air was be­ing sucked in.

I popped into the shop to buy a pint of milk and pre­pared my­self to get an­noyed when the man in the van next to me nudged the side of the Land-rover with his door – a re­ac­tion that sub­sided when he asked if I’d be in­ter­ested in some spare parts for the Se­ries II.

So I fol­lowed him home, hop­ing that the Landie would make it. Amaz­ingly, from that point on it ran per­fectly and five min­utes later I was sort­ing through the chap’s Land-rover grave­yard.

The af­ford­able 80in Se­ries One project might not have been there, but I shook on a deal that in­volved the Se­ries II be­ing loaded with two wind­screens (com­plete with three early Lu­cas wiper mo­tors), an early seat­box and trans­mis­sion tun­nel, a front ra­di­a­tor panel – in­clud­ing grille and Lu­cas head­lights – and a set of five wheels.

The trans­mis­sion tun­nel is a find: the plan is to fit a good over­drive when I find one, but I didn’t want to cut the orig­i­nal tun­nel for the lever. The ‘new’ early grey one will act as a tem­po­rary re­place­ment that I’m happy to cut and means the orig­i­nal stays in­tact in the garage.

With the run­ning still hold­ing, I de­cided that the ul­ti­mate test would be a com­mute; 110 miles and four hours later all was fine, so maybe it was just fuel after all? Ei­ther way, per­haps now is a good time to fi­nally get the orig­i­nal Solex car­bu­ret­tor re­con­di­tioned – my con­fi­dence that the run­ning is­sue won’t make a reap­pear­ance soon is al­ready wan­ing.

The Se­ries II as seen in its nat­u­ral habi­tat, and away from the dan­gers of petrol sta­tions

“I only popped out for a pint of milk, hon­est!”

The dog still isn’t a fan of rid­ing in the SII

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