As if destiny was pushing us to make this happen, the day after my meeting
with Salim and Niklas, I found an ad on a brittish car trading website,
announcing the sale of an expedition prepared Land Rover 110, to a very
affordable price. We had been monitoring this site for months looking
for a car for our journey but until then everything so far had been either
out of our price range or not very suitable for a trip like this. A quick
call to the owner confirmed that the car was fully prepared for a trip
like ours and it was still for sale. Another very convincing fact was
that it was standing in Chelmsford, only a half hour away from Stansted,
the airport where I was having a stop-over on my flight back to Düsseldorf
two days later.
(For clarity: I am currently living in Düsseldorf, Germany and I
was back in Sweden, my home country, to meet up with Salim Mohammed from
Kenya who at this time was visiting Sweden.)
rescheduelled my flights to give me some extra time in England, went over
to meet Dave Scott and his wife Penny who recently came back from a trip
just like ours. They were extremely friendly and helpful and the car turned
out to be everything that we hoped for, so after a 5 minute conference
with Frank over the phone, we decided to make a deal.
Buying a car in England turned out to be not so easy when you're not living
there and I must give a big Thank you to Dave's entire family who not
only put me up for the night but basically involved everyone they knew
who could help me in retrieving the right paperwork in order to export
the car. I wish that more people could have this attitude towards strangers
in need. I also want thank my sister Åse who played a big part in
this rather unusual car deal.
Even with the best help in the world, my timespan of 24 hours was not
enough to get all the necessary paperwork done so I had to leave England
without the car but having paid a deposit and a promise to come back and
pick it up a week later with all the papers in order. Those 24 hours probably
shortened my life with about a year or so but at least I can now say that
I know what it takes to export a car from England...
week I was back in Chelmsford to pick it up and this time we had done
our homework and everything went according to plan. There were tears in
Dave's eyes when he handed over the keys and I had to promise to take
good care of the car. It's always a good sign for a car deal when you
have to pull the keys from the previous owners hand. Maybe I'm exaggurating
a little bit, but I know that Dave will be missing his Landy.
A quick trip to my sister Åse in Leicester and then heading for
the white cliffs of Dover and the continent. It was a great promising
feeling to steer our "Ship of Discovery" to its new home.
On the way back to Germany I learned a few things about Land Rovers. They
may be the ideal vehicle to cross Africa but they are not the ultimate
autobahn cruisers. At a total average speed of 70 km/h and a sound level
equal to a low flying jet fighter, you arrive pretty tired at home after
a 12 hour drive. The lack of speed is something that we can live with
but the need for an intercom system in the car has to be eliminated.
I also learned that the U-joints in the propshafts of a Land Rover sometimes
give up and that this creates a sound and a driving experience as if the
whole transmission is about to collapse. I also learned that this is very
easy and cheap to fix and that until you have the possibilty to do so
you can just unscrew the whole propshaft and drive around with only 2wd.
I guess these are all things we have to get used to as new Land Rover