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Need Urgent Saracen Inspection in Telford UK

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Hi all,

 

Have found a very interesting Saracen located in Telford UK. Plan was to purchase it and overhaul it in UK before exporting it to US, where I live. But, Seller will not sell unless buyer inspects and the shops I was thinking about doing the overhaul are pretty far away. Seller emailed me today, saying another buyer is doing inspection this Sunday, so if I want it, to inspect it quickly. The other buyer apparently offered more, so I also have to deal with prospect of bidding war.

 

Does anyone know someone that can do a prepurchase inspection? The vehicle is owned by a company and the guy with whom I am dealing has no idea about its history or anything. He's just trying to please the bosses and get best deal. The company bought it for promo use and now want the space it's taking.

 

I think this is a nice vehicle, so I'm inclined to fight for it. I don't think they will entertain any higher offer from me unless it's inspected and I don't feel a higher offer is warranted without inspection.

 

Anyone can post referral here would be a huge help!

 

Gary

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Hi all,

 

Have found a very interesting Saracen located in Telford UK. Plan was to purchase it and overhaul it in UK before exporting it to US, where I live. But, Seller will not sell unless buyer inspects and the shops I was thinking about doing the overhaul are pretty far away. Seller emailed me today, saying another buyer is doing inspection this Sunday, so if I want it, to inspect it quickly. The other buyer apparently offered more, so I also have to deal with prospect of bidding war.

 

Does anyone know someone that can do a prepurchase inspection? The vehicle is owned by a company and the guy with whom I am dealing has no idea about its history or anything. He's just trying to please the bosses and get best deal. The company bought it for promo use and now want the space it's taking.

 

I think this is a nice vehicle, so I'm inclined to fight for it. I don't think they will entertain any higher offer from me unless it's inspected and I don't feel a higher offer is warranted without inspection.

 

Anyone can post referral here would be a huge help!

 

Gary

 

Hi Gary,....

 

Ive owned a Saracen for the last 10 years, so I know a fair amount about them, including all the pitfalls/problem areas, as I've done a fair amount on mine when I restored it....

I'm in Birmingham, which is only a short drive from Telford, over the weekend, and could take a look/maybe a test drive for you.....?

... If you aren't successful on this one, or it turns out to be not a viable proposition, I have another one to look at in London, which could be suitable for you...

 

My email is:

 

oilyboy68@hotmail.co.uk

 

kind regards,

 

Matt

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Thank you guys. I have actually emailed back and forth with Sammy, and considering also his Fox and Ferret offerings. I had asked him just today if he would overhaul third party vehicles or only his own inventory. I suspect he'd prefer to buy beaters, overhaul them and sell them vs. allowing customers to bring in their own stuff, b/c the margins are better that way. But maybe I'm wrong.

 

I should know by Monday if the pricing from the other buyer has gone stratospheric and whether my prospects are still viable. If I'm able to offer the highest price, I will probably have to scramble for a desperate inspection. Plan would be to wire payment and hope whoever inspects will also overhaul... that way they might be able to trailer it back to the shop in one visit.

 

Probably 100 things wrong with this plan, but I'm sitting here on a Friday night, having drank a few nice Bavarian Beers, so I'm allowing myself to indulge in some fantasy.

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Hi Gary,....

 

Ive owned a Saracen for the last 10 years, so I know a fair amount about them, including all the pitfalls/problem areas, as I've done a fair amount on mine when I restored it....

I'm in Birmingham, which is only a short drive from Telford, over the weekend, and could take a look/maybe a test drive for you.....?

... If you aren't successful on this one, or it turns out to be not a viable proposition, I have another one to look at in London, which could be suitable for you...

 

My email is:

 

oilyboy68@hotmail.co.uk

 

kind regards,

 

Matt

 

Matt, thanks very much for your kind offer. Did you do the restoration all yourself? I'm wondering how many man hours of labor such a process involves. I realize it depends on myriad of factors, biggest two being starting condition and restorer's obsessiveness, but maybe you might have a range. Also, if you have a sense on prices and wouldn't mind sharing some wisdom, at what price is an unrestored vehicle a "steal" and at what price should I walk? The one I am looking at is missing the gun, the turret seat and a lot of the kit, but it's been stored inside and doesn't appear abused. The guy at the company said there may be an "oil leak" but he can't differentiate between a steering wheel and road wheel, so I've got to assume worst case scenario financially speaking.

I offered 5,500 pounds but have already been told the other buyer (strangely also from US) is higher, so I'm sure they're angling for a bidding war. I would love to be on the "steal" side, but have to know when to walk. And shocked to admit, I don't know the prices well enough:nut:

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Thank you guys. I have actually emailed back and forth with Sammy, and considering also his Fox and Ferret offerings. I had asked him just today if he would overhaul third party vehicles or only his own inventory. I suspect he'd prefer to buy beaters, overhaul them and sell them vs. allowing customers to bring in their own stuff, b/c the margins are better that way. But maybe I'm wrong.

 

I should know by Monday if the pricing from the other buyer has gone stratospheric and whether my prospects are still viable. If I'm able to offer the highest price, I will probably have to scramble for a desperate inspection. Plan would be to wire payment and hope whoever inspects will also overhaul... that way they might be able to trailer it back to the shop in one visit.

 

Probably 100 things wrong with this plan, but I'm sitting here on a Friday night, having drank a few nice Bavarian Beers, so I'm allowing myself to indulge in some fantasy.

 

Hi Gary

I am sure Sammy would do it all for you, its what he does, and he does it well !

 

I am sure you know well, but I would advise that whoever carries out any overhaul that you are in total agreement before it starts what exactly is required. And at what cost! All to often the result may be too good at too high a cost or not good enough, all down to misunderstandings. ;)

 

All the best

Iain

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Seems a good price as armour is getting expensive I have a CVRT Fox two mk 2/3 Ferrets and two Austin Champs .The cost of armour is outstripping the rise in price of other vehicles . Good luck with importing as it can be stressful

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Is that the Mk 6, advertised as a Mk 1? It looks to be a pretty reasonable vehicle.

 

Cheers,

Terry

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Hi Gary,....

I did all the restoration work required on my particular Saracen, myself with my (now, sadly departed) father watching as I

removed the engine using a forklift to replace the Fluid Flywheel, then I had a mate help me to shove the engine back onto the transmission, after having done the flywheel.

I had new rigid hydraulic pipes made up to replace the rusted-out ones under the floor/transmission.

I had to cut open the fuel tank, to make some repairs where it was rusted. Following this was a complete bare-metal repaint, brake overhaul, followed by some running/adjusting of the gearchange mechanism.... That was likely the most mind-numbing part as it has to be driven, to warm the transmission up, then adjust the 'throw' of a link rod connected to the gear change pedal, to ensure the internal mechanism works correctly. It now drives beautifully, and has done for over 1000 miles.

Referring to your other points, a 'steal' would be anything from £0... Since even scrap they are worth a fair bit, but it is SUCH a shame when these fine vehicles are scrapped, since even a 'range-wreck' can provide much needed parts to keep others going.

A scruffy one which runs/drives/stops is worth more than one that's simply tarted-up with a fresh paint job, sometimes done to draw the customers eye from a myriad of annoyingly awkward faults to attend to.

Generally due to the physical size of them they tend to be stored outside, unless the owner is lucky enough to own a big enough shed.... Saracens are NOT water-tight, and if stored outside, uncovered they will let rainwater dribble in through where the turret top-hatch hinge is... Causing ugly rusty streaky stains to appear inside on the usually silver-painted interior...As for oil-leaks, pretty much every armoured vehicle of this era tend to 'leave their mark', where parked, also the engines oil-breather pipe exits down the side of the engine, about 4-5 " off the engine-bay floor... an oily film will naturally build up on the hull floor, and if left indefinitely will eventually form a slick of oil sloshing around in the hull.... In the base of the hull there are several access points to drain oil from various internal components, so any surplus oil will likely drip from these. Normal practice is to periodically swill-out the majority of this so as not to leak oil every time it's driven... Personally I leave my access panels off, and it allows virtually all oily deposits/rainwater to drain away safely.

The Rolls Royce B Series engines were designed not long after the end of WWII, so are of the type that wer designed to consume/use a little of their oil in normal running, if all the oil seals are in good condition, oil loss is fairly minimal, dependant on mileage. The vehicles will deteriorate if not used, as seals dry-out, or get used to being in one position, then when used after a long period of storage will start to leak, sometimes catastrophically, as happened to my fluid-flywheel main seal.... No amount of leak-stopper fluid will sort this as the pressure in it when operating is so high...so it's quite an involved job to sort that particular nightmare out... The engine is almost half a ton by itself, and the armoured radiator grill and top-plates are not exactly light either....

As for prices, well, its a buyers market, if a buyer is really set on one, they'll usually pay whatever the asking price is, but generally a scruffy runner with no mechanical faults you are likely looking at between £4k and £6.5k depending on its 'completeness', -sometimes things like headlights, light fittings, the horn, (oddly VERY expensive to buy and difficult to find cheap....-I've just found one after looking for 9 years!!!, I found one for £8.00, but have seen them sold for £258.00!!!!!, yet you can buy a pair of rear doors for £180!!

An immaculate runner, all up together, road registered, fully serviced ,complete with all its C.E.S. and radios etc would likely change hands for £9.5k +

Once you have one, it's still not all plain-sailing.... Maintenance is quite full-on, and physically demanding.... For example every 5-6000 miles the circumference of the tyres must be measured, compared, and the wheels swapped about to even out the wear, sometimes even between two or more similar vehicles!,... The front and centre tyres wear quite quickly!, especially if you do a lot of Tarmac-miles, not so bad if it's raining, as it allows a little bit of 'give', as there's only one differential, so transmission 'wind-up' can cause problems... They need a bit of loose/dirt running fairly frequently....

The thirst for petrol is in the region of up to 3 mpg off-road, around town etc about 4-5mpg, while on a decent run, where you can get momentum on your side you CAN get 8-9, MAYBE even 10mpg if all your roads are flat.....

the other problem is the tyres again.... They are VERY hard to find here in the UK, as Dunlop sold the moulds to Simex Tyres, who, while the can produce new ones, they won't sell to EU countries as the tyres are not 'E' marked.

Useable tyres here, when they do turn up are £350 +, new £500+..... and you can't just put one new tyre on, for reasons already mentioned above.... (I was unbelievably lucky and won a full set, on wheels, on eBay for £650...-mainly because someone spelt 'saracen' wrong as far as I can make out, as I was the only bidder!)

 

let eat me know if you want me to look at this 'Telford' one or any others...- as I said I'm going to look at another one needing some work in London very soon, too.

 

Hopefully some of the above is some help to you

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Is that the Mk 6, advertised as a Mk 1? It looks to be a pretty reasonable vehicle.

 

Cheers,

Terry

I believe it could be a Mk2, as I'm sure Mk 2's had RFC too,

I've not looked at the photos close enough yet though....

It looks ok from what I can see, but the seller mentions an oil leak,...-which from personal experience can mean a lot of heavy time-consuming work!....

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We are only just down the road so to speak (30 miles) in Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire and we have a Saracen ourselves

and I must admit to not hearing of a Saracen for sale locally I must ask is this a kosher deal have you checked the seller out

there is so many scammers nowadays you have to be careful

Commander

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We are only just down the road so to speak (30 miles) in Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire and we have a Saracen ourselves

and I must admit to not hearing of a Saracen for sale locally I must ask is this a kosher deal have you checked the seller out

there is so many scammers nowadays you have to be careful

Commander

Thanks for the heads up. Assuming it's a legit company that is selling, I think it makes the deal somewhat safe. But you are right, it's never a bad idea to be extra vigilant.

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Is that the Mk 6, advertised as a Mk 1? It looks to be a pretty reasonable vehicle.

 

Cheers,

Terry

Terry, what makes it distinguishable as an MK6? The photo doesn't show slats on the grill, but I am not knowledgeable enough to know the various differences. Would like to learn though.

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Hi Gary,....

I did all the restoration work required on my particular Saracen, myself with my (now, sadly departed) father watching as I

removed the engine using a forklift to replace the Fluid Flywheel, then I had a mate help me to shove the engine back onto the transmission, after having done the flywheel.

I had new rigid hydraulic pipes made up to replace the rusted-out ones under the floor/transmission.

I had to cut open the fuel tank, to make some repairs where it was rusted. Following this was a complete bare-metal repaint, brake overhaul, followed by some running/adjusting of the gearchange mechanism.... That was likely the most mind-numbing part as it has to be driven, to warm the transmission up, then adjust the 'throw' of a link rod connected to the gear change pedal, to ensure the internal mechanism works correctly. It now drives beautifully, and has done for over 1000 miles.

Referring to your other points, a 'steal' would be anything from £0... Since even scrap they are worth a fair bit, but it is SUCH a shame when these fine vehicles are scrapped, since even a 'range-wreck' can provide much needed parts to keep others going.

A scruffy one which runs/drives/stops is worth more than one that's simply tarted-up with a fresh paint job, sometimes done to draw the customers eye from a myriad of annoyingly awkward faults to attend to.

Generally due to the physical size of them they tend to be stored outside, unless the owner is lucky enough to own a big enough shed.... Saracens are NOT water-tight, and if stored outside, uncovered they will let rainwater dribble in through where the turret top-hatch hinge is... Causing ugly rusty streaky stains to appear inside on the usually silver-painted interior...As for oil-leaks, pretty much every armoured vehicle of this era tend to 'leave their mark', where parked, also the engines oil-breather pipe exits down the side of the engine, about 4-5 " off the engine-bay floor... an oily film will naturally build up on the hull floor, and if left indefinitely will eventually form a slick of oil sloshing around in the hull.... In the base of the hull there are several access points to drain oil from various internal components, so any surplus oil will likely drip from these. Normal practice is to periodically swill-out the majority of this so as not to leak oil every time it's driven... Personally I leave my access panels off, and it allows virtually all oily deposits/rainwater to drain away safely.

The Rolls Royce B Series engines were designed not long after the end of WWII, so are of the type that wer designed to consume/use a little of their oil in normal running, if all the oil seals are in good condition, oil loss is fairly minimal, dependant on mileage. The vehicles will deteriorate if not used, as seals dry-out, or get used to being in one position, then when used after a long period of storage will start to leak, sometimes catastrophically, as happened to my fluid-flywheel main seal.... No amount of leak-stopper fluid will sort this as the pressure in it when operating is so high...so it's quite an involved job to sort that particular nightmare out... The engine is almost half a ton by itself, and the armoured radiator grill and top-plates are not exactly light either....

As for prices, well, its a buyers market, if a buyer is really set on one, they'll usually pay whatever the asking price is, but generally a scruffy runner with no mechanical faults you are likely looking at between £4k and £6.5k depending on its 'completeness', -sometimes things like headlights, light fittings, the horn, (oddly VERY expensive to buy and difficult to find cheap....-I've just found one after looking for 9 years!!!, I found one for £8.00, but have seen them sold for £258.00!!!!!, yet you can buy a pair of rear doors for £180!!

An immaculate runner, all up together, road registered, fully serviced ,complete with all its C.E.S. and radios etc would likely change hands for £9.5k +

Once you have one, it's still not all plain-sailing.... Maintenance is quite full-on, and physically demanding.... For example every 5-6000 miles the circumference of the tyres must be measured, compared, and the wheels swapped about to even out the wear, sometimes even between two or more similar vehicles!,... The front and centre tyres wear quite quickly!, especially if you do a lot of Tarmac-miles, not so bad if it's raining, as it allows a little bit of 'give', as there's only one differential, so transmission 'wind-up' can cause problems... They need a bit of loose/dirt running fairly frequently....

The thirst for petrol is in the region of up to 3 mpg off-road, around town etc about 4-5mpg, while on a decent run, where you can get momentum on your side you CAN get 8-9, MAYBE even 10mpg if all your roads are flat.....

the other problem is the tyres again.... They are VERY hard to find here in the UK, as Dunlop sold the moulds to Simex Tyres, who, while the can produce new ones, they won't sell to EU countries as the tyres are not 'E' marked.

Useable tyres here, when they do turn up are £350 +, new £500+..... and you can't just put one new tyre on, for reasons already mentioned above.... (I was unbelievably lucky and won a full set, on wheels, on eBay for £650...-mainly because someone spelt 'saracen' wrong as far as I can make out, as I was the only bidder!)

 

let eat me know if you want me to look at this 'Telford' one or any others...- as I said I'm going to look at another one needing some work in London very soon, too.

 

Hopefully some of the above is some help to you

Lots of great info, thanks for educating me. Clear to me that it's best to get an "immaculate runner" right off the bat. Do they exist?? Other than milweb, is there a place to look? I've tried ebay and craigslist but nothing at all ever pops. And I was completely oblivioius that tires are at all an issue. I figured I'd just order something from tirerack.com when I need replacements...

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I actually prepared something similar for someone local, who was asking the same question:

 

FYI, all Saracens started out as a Mk 1, 2 or 3 and were upgraded or changed over the course of their careers. Ours, being Hong Kong Saracens were in service for about 40 years. A lot can happen in that time and there were a lot of other modifications and upgrades to them as well (EMERs).

 

Mk 1 - Original version. Has a smaller turret with 3 doors (the back is split like a barn door and opens to the sides). Early ones have some major mechanical differences.

Mk 2 - Slightly larger 2 door turret. The back now folds down to form a seat.

Mk 3 - Essentially a Mk 2 with reverse flow cooling for hot climates.

Mk 4 - Did not enter service officially, but may be the official designation of the Saracen 88 sold to South Africa during the apartheid era.

Mk 5 - Essentially a Mk 2 with more armour and bigger wheels. Many other differences.

Mk 6 - Essentially a Mk 5 with reverse flow cooling.

 

There are many differences between the different versions, but the following are the obvious ones.

 

Saracen Identification.jpg

 

Green - Things that identify a Saracen as a Mk. 1-3 or a 5-6:

 

  • Turret mounted smoke grenade launcher. Present on Mk 5 and 6, not on others.
  • Vent covers. Square on Mk 5 and 6, round “mushrooms” on others.
  • Fuel filler. Square on Mk 5 and 6, round on others.
  • Escape hatches. Heavy plates with bolts on Mk 5 and 6, dished with a lip around it on others.
  • Drivers vision. Vision blocks (bulletproof glass) on Mk 5 and 6, Side hatches do not open. Periscopes on others, side hatches open.
  • Front mounted smoke grenade launcher. 4 barrels on Mk 5 and 6; 3 on others. Not a reliable indication as some Mk 5 and 6 have the earlier styled ones fitted.

 

 

Blue - Things that identify a Saracen as a Mk 3 or 6 (Reverse Flow Cooling (RFC)).

 

  • Rear vent pipes. Not present on RFC.
  • Vent “trunks” under side windows. Not present on RFC.
  • Rear engine covers. Raised “beehives” on RFC. Flat on others.
  • Grille. Shrouded on RFC. Exposed on others.

 

 

Cheers,

Terry

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As for tyres, it's fairly easy to find new tyres in the right size. It's difficult to find the period correct run-flat tyres.

 

Cheers,

Terry

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I actually prepared something similar for someone local, who was asking the same question:

 

FYI, all Saracens started out as a Mk 1, 2 or 3 and were upgraded or changed over the course of their careers. Ours, being Hong Kong Saracens were in service for about 40 years. A lot can happen in that time and there were a lot of other modifications and upgrades to them as well (EMERs).

 

Mk 1 - Original version. Has a smaller turret with 3 doors (the back is split like a barn door and opens to the sides). Early ones have some major mechanical differences.

Mk 2 - Slightly larger 2 door turret. The back now folds down to form a seat.

Mk 3 - Essentially a Mk 2 with reverse flow cooling for hot climates.

Mk 4 - Did not enter service officially, but may be the official designation of the Saracen 88 sold to South Africa during the apartheid era.

Mk 5 - Essentially a Mk 2 with more armour and bigger wheels. Many other differences.

Mk 6 - Essentially a Mk 5 with reverse flow cooling.

 

There are many differences between the different versions, but the following are the obvious ones.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]101646[/ATTACH]

 

Green - Things that identify a Saracen as a Mk. 1-3 or a 5-6:

 

  • Turret mounted smoke grenade launcher. Present on Mk 5 and 6, not on others.

  • Vent covers. Square on Mk 5 and 6, round “mushrooms” on others.

  • Fuel filler. Square on Mk 5 and 6, round on others.

  • Escape hatches. Heavy plates with bolts on Mk 5 and 6, dished with a lip around it on others.

  • Drivers vision. Vision blocks (bulletproof glass) on Mk 5 and 6, Side hatches do not open. Periscopes on others, side hatches open.

  • Front mounted smoke grenade launcher. 4 barrels on Mk 5 and 6; 3 on others. Not a reliable indication as some Mk 5 and 6 have the earlier styled ones fitted.

 

 

Blue - Things that identify a Saracen as a Mk 3 or 6 (Reverse Flow Cooling (RFC)).

 

  • Rear vent pipes. Not present on RFC.

  • Vent “trunks” under side windows. Not present on RFC.

  • Rear engine covers. Raised “beehives” on RFC. Flat on others.

  • Grille. Shrouded on RFC. Exposed on others.

 

 

Cheers,

Terry

Very cool, Terry, I now feel like I can bluff my way through any Saracen inspection, LOL. Actually, I like the color coding, made it much easier to tell what you are explaining. I take it the unit in the photo is MK6??

 

Is RFC more advantageous or less so? And is any type more valuable, rare or desirable than the other? I presume MK6 would be worth more because it's the "latest and greatest"?

Edited by datadawg

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Very cool, Terry, I now feel like I can bluff my way through any Saracen inspection, LOL. Actually, I like the color coding, made it much easier to tell what you are explaining. I take it the unit in the photo is MK6??

 

Is RFC more advantageous or less so? And is any type more valuable, rare or desirable than the other? I presume MK6 would be worth more because it's the "latest and greatest"?

 

I'll preface this by stating that I'm no expert.

 

The photo is indeed a Mk 6. The Mk 2 and 3 are of the same vintage and are about the same value; the same goes for the 5 and 6 - the only difference being RFC. RFC has some plusses and minuses, but in a temperate climate it doesn't make much difference. Some people don't like the look of the shroud and remove it. You see a few that have had this done, but then they have terrible overheating issues in all but the coldest locations.

 

From what I've seen (in Australia mind you), some people prefer the Mk 1-3, others the 5 and 6, and they all fetch about the same price, determined more by condition than variant. The earlier marks are lighter, faster and slightly better on fuel. Have better visibility and are a bit simpler.

 

I like the Mk 5, but I'd slightly have preferred a Mk 6; especially in a 40 degree day ;)

 

Cheers,

Terry

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Thanks everyone for their help. I was invited to put in a bid exceeding the other bidder, which I did, but the seller insisted on giving the other bidder last look. I now learned the other bidder bumped up my bid and was awarded the Saracen. So it wasn't meant to be, though I sure feel used.

 

I will keep hunting...

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Don't worry mate, the right one will come along eventually, although it's strange that you weren't given the opportunity to up your offer again.

 

I personally would like a Saladin to go with my Saracen :D

 

Cheers,

Terry

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Don't worry mate, the right one will come along eventually, although it's strange that you weren't given the opportunity to up your offer again.

 

I personally would like a Saladin to go with my Saracen :D

 

Cheers,

Terry

The guy selling said he did not want a bidding war, so only one shot from me, but he'd give the other guy last look. Wasn't really fair, but complaining only would have alienated him.

He was just an employee of the company that owned it, and they had bought it for promo use, so no one there really cared. Oh well, life goes on...

Hopefully whoever got it is on this forum, at least it'll go to the brotherhood.

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