More laning, and more work coming up

Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a little green laning, and a lot of normal everyday use, and a bit of preparing for the next round of work. Although obviously not completed, I think Marmalade is looking quite fine in this photo (on Porters Way, near Longstowe, Cambridgeshire):

On Porter's Way, a green lane

On Porter’s Way, a green lane in Cambridgeshire

I’m looking forward to having the winch bumper painted, the winch installed, and the tent cover properly supported rather than tied on at a jaunty angle.

Here’s a picture of more “everyday” use (coming into town on Sunday morning for church). This road is quite narrow to manouevre such a long vehicle into, with an awkward turn at the entrance.

Parked in a city street

Parked in a city street

He does turn out to be quite usable in town, although not really what you’d call a “town car”.

I’ve also driven my backup car, a Citroen Xantia, a couple of times, but that’s really boring, and hardly seems like driving at all now I’m normally back to Marmalade. I think I will still want a smaller car as a companion to Marmalade, but I’d like something with more character — I’m thinking of a Bond Bug, or, if I can’t get a Bug at a reasonable price, a Reliant Robin. Of course, I’m already thinking about how to make a docking mechanism that will allow me to tow the small car behind Marmalade… and to dock and un-dock while Marmalade is in motion! (I don’t think there’s specifically a law against this, although I’d check carefully before doing it on the public road.)

Thinking about Land Rovers and about three-wheelers together gave me an idea for another Land Rover project, going the other way from my rebuild of Marmalade: to cut an old Defender off behind the transfer box and front seats, put a crossmember across the chassis there, and mount a swinging arm (like a giant version of a motorbike rear suspension) and a single, centrally mounted, tractor wheel. I don’t know if I’ll ever get round to doing this, but it sounds like a fun idea.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing more metalwork with the welding guys, and then this coming week taking all the additional metalwork for galvanizing. When I get it back, there’ll be quite a bit of painting to do, before I can bolt it all into place. Then I’ll have to improve the rear wheelarches, and after that it’ll be time for some really nice photos!



  1. Posted 2013/06/15 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    Marmalade looks lovely in those photos. So nice to see the vehicle in a natural setting at last rather than in the workshop.

    My wife and I were in stitches reading the ‘Docking mechanism’ comment, visions of nightrider or similar spring to mind 😉

    • Posted 2013/06/16 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

      Thanks! Yesterday’s metalwork session was very productive; we finished the modifications to the roofrack and front bumper and various other bits, and I’ve got some bits of spannering and drilling to do this afternoon, then will head for Acrow Galvanizing tomorrow morning.

      If I do go for a three-wheeled assistant car for Marmalade, I’m serious about the docking 🙂 I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit: at first I was thinking of something like a “monocle lift” i.e. a single-wheel version of a spectacle lift, but that won’t work in motion; then some arrangements of rollers on pivoting arms, but that would be complicated and I decided grabbing a moving wheel was too dangerous; I’m now thinking of picking up the front chassis member directly on a pivoting pair of arms. I love designing stuff like this!

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