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  1. Last week my two ex Royal Artillery Land Rovers did a cheeky little 1000 mile road trip from Cambridge to their new home in Prague. I thought I should share a couple of pictures. It was not an uneventful trip but both wagons made it the full distance under their own steam. You can do it in a Land Rover The runners and riders. 43GF59, 1975 1/2 ton FFR ex 100 Regt RA(V) driven by my chum Gary, an American ex-GI who has never before driven on the left side of the car or the right side of the road. 61KB78, 1983 109' FFR ex RSA Larkhill with a very believable 27k on the clock, driven by your correspondent. Both these vehicles are new acquisitions for me and I only had a couple of days to prepare and do some shake-out trips to see what was what. One of many issues was the passenger door latch not lining up on the 1/2 ton which was in part due to a bent door hinge. I fixed it quite handsomely with the tool, door-hinge, fine-adjusting, pictured here. It was something of a leap of faith, departing at 6 am on the Thursday. Problems, we had a few... My wagon had the only working petrol gauge which was only connected to one tank. My water temperature gauge read the bottom of the red when at normal temperature and the wire had broken off the sender for the Oil Temp gauge. I also established early on that my ignition timing was a bit too advanced and it was pinking at 50 mph on the flat or anything above 30 up a hill. I would have happily adjusted it except that, of course, there is no micro adjuster on the FFR type distributor and the distributor has locked solid in its clamp (probably hasn't been moved in 30 years) therefore I had to get used to the fact that my max speed for the journey was 48 MPH. A bit of light modification was needed during our overnight stop in Bruges, once I established that the splines on the forward prop shaft of my wagon were shot. Whilst in Bruges, doing first parade maintenance at the start of day two I noticed that the connector had fallen off the Generator No.9 Mk-3 in the 1/2 ton. I was properly confused as to how something so substantial could just unscrew itself like that but it soon became apparent why. When I tried to put it back on I got about 4 threads down before it got very tight. I got a bit of oil off the dip-stick and that did the trick to get it to screw all the way down. Apparently whoever had last attached the plug had got to 4 threads down and just given up, hence it was able to rattle itself free during day one. Soon after we departed I got some bad news over the radio when Gary reported the cabin filing with smoke. When we pulled over we found battery acid dripping from the drain hole in the battery tray and the batteries simmering at a high heat. Knowing how much I don't yet know of the FFR generating system I figured the best course of action was to press on and do the Top Gear-Special trick of using the other vehicle to charge the batteries and regularly swap them. Here is just one of the 6 battery changes. I was getting pretty slick at it by the end. Plan A was to get to Leipzig by close of day two but our various problems at the start of the day meant we only got as far as Kassel. Therefore, fairly early on day three we turned off the 7 and onto the 38 just East of Kassel and rolled over the Warsaw pact boarder (into enemy territory). Other moments of interest included the closed tunnel on the Autobahn. The Germans automatically pull over to the sides of the road in a jam so that the emergency vehicles can get down the middle. Why don't all countries do that? Long story short we made it home at 6 pm on day 3. Once we'd got used to the restrictions of our respective vehicles we all settled down and day 3 went very well. Now they are here in Prague I can look forward to setting about them properly but first, a few days rest for both vehicles and drivers.
  2. I have just acquired 61KB78 which is a 1983 vintage FFR 109. The B card tells me that it had a pampered life with the Equipment Officer at the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill. To this day it still only has 27k miles on the clock. I notice that it comes with the taller '1 ton' spring shackles and a lack of sill panels. Is this 'as issued' or has it been played with?
  3. This is the object of my desires. As you can see it is a bit of a doer-upper, though my grandfather-in-law, who used to work on them in the MT section of the Czechoslovak Army, tells me they are very easy to work on and the engine goes forever. I guess it is a standard box body of the period. The chassis is dated 1956 whereas the box is dated 1973. Most of the innards are still there although the chap who showed me round said that it used to have even the tools in the draws, an anvil and a forge, which have seemingly been recently liberated. If you like seeing Pragas come to Prague. Here, they are still running round by the bucket load, used a lot in civvy spec with things like cranes on the back of them and even the Prague Municipal Transport uses them as mobile repair shops for the tram lines. This chap has got 7 Pragas in his compound all in a line. He also does a nice line in T72, T80 and BRDM2 amongst many other interesting bits.
  4. Hi, I'm Hugo, a British expat in Prague, Czech Rep. I've got a 1970 Series 2a and 1975 Series 3 Lightweight (54GF42) Land Rover. I'm currently also contemplating the financial, spacial and marital issues surrounding the idea of rescuing a Praga V3S mobile tank repair metalwork shop which is currently languishing in a disposals yard just outside Prague. I got the Lightweight a year ago. One or more previous owners had done a fair amount of, sometimes less than beautiful work, converting it into a trialer. Most significant of which is a Rover 3.9 V8 conversion. I'm now in the process of undoing as much of it as I can, though I must admit I'm in no rush to change out the engine. It is slow going but it is getting there. The S2 manages to be both more dull and more interesting at the same time. ON the dull side it is nothing much more than an almost completely standard civvy spec late series 2a. Where it gets more interesting is that it spent its first 10 years belonging to the Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, which I hope counts as sufficiently military to be of interest here. The bonus is that it has been in our family ownership ever since it was de-mobbed so I know every single change that's been made to it since 1980. It has had a few 'sympathetic' modifications, for example Range Rover Diffs, a Weber carb and a hand throttle, but it also retains (almost) all of the military-esque modifications that were, I guess, done by the local MT shop. These include a NATO trailer socket, a military 'upside down' fire extinguisher and Queen's crown emblems on the doors. It had a new coat of paint a few years ago but the colour scheme is original with the yellow upper surfaces so that it could be seen from the air. Google maps proves that it is still very effective: https://www.google.cz/maps/@50.144557,14.5657088,163m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&authuser=0 Sadly it is not a show queen, it still has to work for a living. Currently it pulls the gang mowers around Prague's first ever cricket ground.
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