Classic Sports Car




The pattern is usually the same: every couple of years we get enough snowfall in the south of England to warrant depressing the fourwheel-drive lever and getting out in the Land-rover; shortly after, something falls off.

This year was no different. The snow fell quickly on a Sunday morning at the end of January, but there was to be no ‘playing’ thanks to the lockdown. Fortunatel­y, Sunday morning usually means a trip to buy groceries, so I chose the longer route to the supermarke­t and took advantage of a deserted country lane to take a couple of quick scenic snaps before stocking up on essentials. Curiously, I saw several other local Land-rovers getting up early in order to hit opening time – funny how it coincided with the fresh fall under tyre, and it’s fair to say that the ‘nods of acknowledg­ement’ were accompanie­d by a knowing wink!

That extra 10 minutes’ drive was enough to put a childish smile on my face, but by the time I returned with full shopping bags the snow had already begun to thaw into slush and the magic was fast disappeari­ng down the drain.

A few days later and I went to get in the Series II to collect the Beetle flywheel that had been refaced by a local engineerin­g firm, and I was, for some reason, inspired to give the exhaust pipe a prod. It was at that point I realised that half of the silencer bracket was missing and that the rusted tailpipe was hanging on by strands of thin steel as opposed to anything substantia­l.

A quick call to Britpart resulted in a replacemen­t arriving the following day. I already had spare gaskets and bolts in the parts bin, so after using a disc cutter to remove the rusted bolts and remaining section of pipe from the vehicle, it was a matter of minutes to hang and connect the new back box.

Trademark ‘rasp’ restored, and a good job, too: with the Beetle still in bits and our eldest having now passed his driving test and commandeer­ing sole use of his own car, the Series II is very much relied upon, even with lockdown in force.

After the cold snap, it was strange to think that just a few weeks later the same Sunday morning grocery run was carried out in shirt sleeves with the doortops removed. It might not have been exactly warm summer temperatur­es, but the sun and low teens were welcomed by both driver and Land-rover.

There is, however, a reluctant admission that the 88in is in need of some overdue TLC. It’s been far too long since the previous oil change, or since I last topped up the diffs, swivel joints, gearbox and transfer box, and I’ve realised how easy it is to become a little complacent when no longer using it for mammoth journeys on a regular basis.

With that in mind, I placed an order for various odds and ends, found some gaskets and seals to sort the leaking hub and have vowed to give the Series II a welldeserv­ed pampering before my neglect really starts to bite.

 ??  ?? A trip to the shops offered an all-too-brief opportunit­y to enjoy the January snow, and to replicate pic by first owner Philip Kohler (top)
A trip to the shops offered an all-too-brief opportunit­y to enjoy the January snow, and to replicate pic by first owner Philip Kohler (top)
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 ??  ?? The tailpipe was about ready to jump ship…
The tailpipe was about ready to jump ship…
 ??  ?? …but was spotted and repaired just in time
…but was spotted and repaired just in time
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