What? no HDC, ABS, TC, Air Suspension, Air bags, Aircon or even a Radio? You’re nuts! Just bog standard 1940’s technology… Hot, Noisy, Dusty and they Leak.
CMB 920 MP – Trevor’s Series 1
Chassis No. R8664866
A 1949 Export Model, rolled off the production line on 2nd May 1949 and shipped to Johannesburg on the 9th. Found in a sad state in 1988, bought and re-built between 1988 and 1998.
- 2.0 litre Side Valve Petrol engine from 1955. Original 1.6L never found
- 4 Speed, non-synchro ring-pull gearbox with over-run freewheel unit. High and Low Range.
- 45L fuel tank
- 3 seats
- Original 12v electric system, Generator/Voltage regulator.
- EXTRAS: Rear PTO, Front Capstan Winch.
- Top Speed: 80kph, downhill, tailwind. 0-60kph (2 mins).
CCG 278 MP – Simon’s Series 1
Chassis no. 57173555
A 1955 86′ Basic Model, rescued from the family farm in Zimbabwe and imported into SA in 2001. Has undergone a full restoration over the past 5+ years.
- 2.25l Land Rover petrol engine. Original 2.0l Side valve being rebuilt.
- 4 speed non-syncro gearbox, High and Low range
- 3 seats
- Canvas tilt
- 50l petrol tank
- Top speed 100kph, tailwind, level road. 0 – 60kph ( 68 sec).
- Extras: none.
Land Rover nuts both of them, Simon thinks he’s seen the light and now owns a Toyota Land Cruiser. Trevor is still a die-hard and spends a lot of money fixing 7 different Land Rovers. Simon owns 2 series one’s – a 1949 80′ which he claims is the oldest in SA and a 1955 86′ he’s taking on this trip….and a Brockhouse Trailer. Trevor has his 1949 80′ which he claims is the most complete in working condition, a 101 Forward Control and a 88′ FFR Lightweight. Scores about equal.
Both are 58 years old and in the prime of life. With a few ailments. Both are pilots.
Good mates for many years, this is just another plan hatched late one night after too much good wine and whizzo.
“It’s a dangerous thing, old age. Not only for vehicles, but for people too.
At only marginally fewer years than our nearly 70 year old vehicles, and with marginally fewer than that number of whiskies under our belts, grand thoughts of adventure and daring do start percolating in our addled brains.
“So when are we leaving” Trev asked me in a business related telecon a week later.
“Leaving what?” I gawped,
“Wives, home, sanity, “What?
Apparently we had enthusiastically agreed to pilot our creaking old Landrovers, and bodies to the spot where the British had sent the first batch of them to be used in a grandiose scheme to plant groundnuts in the early 1950’s.
As this was a lot further away (Tanzania) than it had seemed through amber liquid tinted vision earlier, I shrugged my chum Trev off with a snort
And that was that, except that it wasn’t.
He returned to the topic a few weeks later, and not being one to puncture a pal’s fantasies, and having known Trev for many years, I had come to understand that he had only a tenuous grip on reality. He inhabited a planet where physical impediments were not worthy of consideration. Where vehicles dismissed by almost everyone with an IQ high enough to enable them to speak were considered good fun, but only that.
So to humour my manic chum, I once again nodded vaguely and agreed that it was indeed a splendid idea, and that we should give it some careful thought, and secretly hoped to never hear of this headlong dash into a world of broken bodies, mechanical and physical.
Trev, though,may well have been a pitbull terrier in a previous life, as just when I was starting to relax again, the subject recurred, like Nightmare on Elm street.”
– Simon Bell