The Vusky.

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The Vusky.

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:16 pm

Ive decided to post this lot on here - it was put on farsebook years ago but thought you lot might like to see the Vuskys rise and fall and rise as some of you arnt on there .
Heres the first brief instalment .
Part 1 .
Late 1990 Id just split up from a long term relationship and was feeling a tad miserable to say the least .
I consoled myself with trips out and about and on one such trip stumbled across a knackered non running Commer van at a local scrapyard , this was in Dec 1990 .
A deal was struck / haggled and 50 notes later it was mine - we craned a car off the roof and dragged its sorry arse to a place in the yard I could work on it safely - i also managed to cadge a deal on another engine and anything else needed to get the rot box running again , The engine fitted was royally borked . Number one conrod had made a rather successful bit for freedom removing the oil filter housing in the process - . That wasnt going to run again thats for sure .
Here it is as found in a local breakers yard circa 1991 having finally got it home . :)
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:17 pm

Part two
So then on closer inspection the Imp van seemed to have had a front end whack at some point and a bodge-up repair .
Bonnet didnt line up nor did the front wing
No option but to hack it all off and start again
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:18 pm

Part three
Where was I , Ahh yes the frontless Imp van bought for 50 notes ,
In 91 these were worth - well 50 notes and not much more , a lot were scrapped just to get the uprated driveshafts , trailing arms and crossmember to fit on saloons for racing .
This and my overall budget of almost zilch meant spending a wadge of dosh on it was a no go .
I managed to cut the front of a scrap Sunbeam Stiletto which cost me a fiver and bought a new front wing for a crisp £10 note and after a fair bit of hitting things , swearing , welding and a tin or two of rattle can primer it looked like this , headlights bowls came with the front panel but another scrapyard trip was needed for the headlights
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:19 pm

Part four
So the Imp van was finally on the road , cost about £150 in total including purchase price , The borked original engine was probably the reason for scrappage but the breakers yard had a few Imps there so an engine from a 63 Imp was shoved in along with a transaxle from a 74 Imp . I bought a few rattle cans in the fetching shade of caribbean blue it was resprayed in and sploshed a thin coat on the front, I say resprayed but spray didnt spring to mind , more of " applied carefully using a yard brush " , the roof was especially bad , so much so that greenery was sprouting in the paint grooves .
The other car i had , a 65 Chamois voiced its jealousy at the new toy by packing up yet again so the van was pressed into daily service almost at once . I did 8000 miles in the first 6 months hooning to work and back and the odd pleasure trip ( if driving this could be called a pleasure :lol: ) , it had anaphylactic shock at anything that resembled a slight incline but flooring it in second kind of got you up the hill eventually.
Here is how it looked .
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:20 pm

Part 5
Back again , the Imp van saga continues .
Well the 8000 miles driven in 6 months in 1991 turned into 13,000 that year , i stuck it in for an MOT in Jan 92 expecting its last rights to be read but it passed :)
92 and 93 saw another load of miles banged on but by this time things were looking dodgy for the old bus .
Id been patching the thing up as and when. At the time Imps were ten a penny so if the door had a rot hole i changed it , saves welding for one thing , same with all bolt on panels so consequently it looked terrible , at one point it had a brown passenger door , an oxford blue bonnet , drivers door was white i think and the tailgate was in grey primer , the original was more filler than metal but i picked up one at a breakers in primer C/W factory part number label for 15 notes .
Interior was no better , a red rear seat ( by Restall as it turned out ) a black drivers seat and poo brown passengers seat - all different patterns just to add insult and no carpet due to the tea bag like water tightness of the bodywork.
I did rattle can most of it in that hideous Caribbean blue some baffoon had troweled on but ran out of mojo when i got to the tailgate .
In fact by this time anything that was supposed to hold any kind of liquid like engine oil ,transaxle oil , coolant and brakes became totally incontinent and poured out like a fountain , such was the oil loss i used S/H oil of my dad he kept for painting the shed in as you did back then .
Mid 94 was crunch time and it was touch and go if the old thing was to survive much longer .
Pic taken early 94 at the Valley of Rocks near Lynton , lady is my long suffering wife





Part 6
So its mid 94 and the Imp van is poorly , very poorly in fact , not only does it look like a bad excuse for a harlequin its running really bad,
The 63 engine put in at the breakers has now covered 36,000 miles since fitting , in 93 i never bothered changing the oil as it drank so much it had an oil change every few months by default .
I blew a driveshaft coupling , electrical stuff just gave up , first the wipers then the indicators wouldnt stay on , something to do with a fried holding coil in the switch and It still leaked when it rained ,
Anyway this engine seemed to be morphing into a two stroke such was the smog produced , it stopped rattling and seemed to just moan .
Compression tests revealed there wasnt much left , all four cylinders combined produced less than half of the engines original C/R , In fact only one was above 100PSI :(
The final nail came one wet evening in rush hour where i tried to pull out in a small gap in rush hour traffic --- there was noise - ( there was always noise ) , there was smoke - ( there was always smoke ) - there was a short jerky lunge forward then a loud bang and then just tickover ( and of course the smoke ) .
I seemed to have busted something major in my rush to get home and now im going nowhere .
In fact the last dying act of the engines remaining 30HP ( being optimistic ) blew the diff pin in the transaxle .
Pic shows my friend Steve holding up the now fitted front panel
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:23 pm

Imp van Part 7.
Well things were fairly terminal mid 94 , the spooned on Caribbean blue paint job looked hideous , engine lost more oil than the Tori Canyon , burnt whatever was left and the transaxle was now borked.
Help was at hand in the form of someone offering me a 74 Super that ran lovely with a good transaxle for the heady sum of 40 notes , car looked better cosmetically but was designed by the Fred Flintstone flooring Co Ltd . Its engine and box were soon hoofed out and stuck in the Van.
IT LIVES :) :) .
Bodywork still looked terrible though.
More help came in the form of Bruce , an Imp club member who happened to have a compressor and spray gun for the use off , he even delivered it and helped me no end.
Van was stripped as best i could and sanded down , dents were kind of smoothed out and finally spraying commenced in the original colour of Bermuda blue .
All done outside though and on a final budget of £150 - wallet crushing as the whole thing only cost 50 notes to buy .
Rear panel turned out to be rotten so it was still two colours but getting better , XR2 seats , again from a breakers were shoved in the front for added comfort .
Things were finally on the up for the old heap however this was only to last a short while before disaster struck
Heres some pics
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:24 pm

Imp Van part 8 as im on a roll.
Well all was great for a while , engine and box worked superbly , we drove to St Andrews in 98 ( live in Somerset ) , we toured the Lake District and even got up the Wrynose and Hardnott passes , I continued with general tidying up by changing the now rusty bonnet ( more odd colours again) and as a daily driver it coped well with the 11,000 odd miles that year well.
Then DISASTER !!
On our way to Bournemouth one November evening we were side swiped by a hit and run driver on the wrong side of the road with no lights on , the car was red and thats all I know .
Smashed in the OSR wing and the door , punched the inner arch inwards 4 inches and even busted the rear alloy wheel which is why its now turned red .
It looked like curtains for the old girl
Attachments
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:25 pm

mp van part 9 ,
Anyone actually keeping up ;)
Anyway we now had the small issue of a smashed in drivers side , The door part was an easy fit - just get another door .
The rear wing however was going to be tricky , as you might imagine rear wings for these arnt available at your local factors , Asda or even Tesco .
I initially thought seriously about scrapping it as finding a wing was not going well and the original was just too damaged to fix , swage lines all gone , and the rear was pushed in so much it hit the inner wing and squashed the heater pipe , i was offered a S/H part of one which i collected from Bournemouth but there wasnt enough of it to do much good .
Anyway back in 92 i did go to a breakers in Shaftesbury , well i say breakers but it was closed down for environmental reasons in the late 70s but the owner just left everything as it was and shut the gates for good , there was an Imp van in there at that time .
I wonder !!!!.
Drove to Shaftesbury in the only vehicle i had that could fit a van rear wing in- the van itself and low and behold the van was still there - for the princely sum of £5 a wing and a days work with hammer and cold chisel the remains of two rear wings were mine , i only needed the drivers side but for a fiver extra it seemed silly not to get both , OK there was no arch or bottom on either but the basic shape was all there .
Maybe - just maybe I can pull this off.
First pic is the donor minus its rear wings , second is the rear wing as cut off
Attachments
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:28 pm

Imp van part 10 .
At the time of the side whacking i had no garage but my parents said i could use theirs so as long as i was capable of doing the job it looked like i might be able to save the old fart after all.
In the end it took four months to sort out , with a lot of work the old wing was cut off - not all of it as there was a lot missing from the new one , i fitted a new arch in , joggled all the various bits of wing for a good fit , seam welded and even lead loaded the joints . Took ages to push the inner arch back out but i got there in the end.
I kept the rear light part of the original wing along with the bottom by the door on the car and fitted the replacement using this , wing ended up as four separate panels welded together.
Sorry some of the pics are rubbish , Kodac disc cameras were crap - well thats my excuse and im sticking to it .
Various crap pics
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:35 pm

Imp Van part 11 , almost the end now , just one more after this .
So the OSR rear wing and door were now fixed , this was 2001 /2 .
Yet again paintwork became an issue as id none of the Bermuda Blue left from the first spray job - it was Feb 2002 and too cold for a proper paint job but a local factors was closing down and i picked up 6 large rattle cans of Rover Lipari blue which was close if you squinted though dark glasses at night looking the other way .
Over the next few years she went well . A few years was spent with a towball fitted and a trailer i made from a few dead car bits and she really did work very hard for me.
Some time around 2006 The passenger side front wheelarch got a bit frilly but id bought a NOS genuine wing for a tenner years before , no pics of this being fitted for some reason , anyway it was fitted and an arch repair on the NSR was also done , I finally got a rot free bonnet for £50 so she was finally solid and rot free .
In August 2009 or 10 , i really cant remember now I gave it a full respray the correct colour yet again , i bought an electric sprayer from a car boot sale and did the lot myself outside .
New wheels were purchased and the interior got a make-over ( will be in the last part )
Final waffle to follow
Attachments
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:38 pm

Imp Van part 12 - the end - fin - epilogue - theres no more.
With it fully resprayed and looking reasonable I did the interior , I bought a pair of Huntmaster period seats for 99p on ebay and had them professionally covered locally , i rewired the whole car fitting 20 fuses in the process . Sorted god only knows what as and when required.
The 74 engine i fitted in 94 finally wore out and i threw a temporary lump in whilst i fully rebuilt it with a rebore +30 , new pistons , main and big end bearings etc etc etc .
This engine now runs twin SUs from a spitfire ( thats the Triumph not the plane ;) ) , the transaxle from that car is still fitted but the diff is a bit slack and clunky now .
Total mileage must be over 400,000 judging by previous owners have said and what ive added on .
So there you have it.
Thanks for reading and i hope you all all still sane after this lot .
Attachments
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by The Nun » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:42 pm

There's not many family cars that have been around the world over 16 times and are still going though, there won't be many modern cars capable of lasting 50 years and doing the same either I'm pretty sure of that. :D
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by ImpManiac » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:28 pm

That is a brilliant tale, Dave! 8) One worthy of Impressions, I would say. :wink:

As Peter said above, not many modern cars would be capable of what your Vusky has gone through. Indeed, not many would engender the affection needed to persuade the owner that it was worth all the effort! :idea:

The key for me is that you kept it on the road almost all the time you have owned the car. That is (probably) where I have gone wrong with my own old motors - Stag and Chamois.

Keep up the great work! The Vusky is truly a credit to you. :wink:

IM 8)
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by AnonymousUser » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:09 pm

***
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Lars Hagermark » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:22 pm

Now, if there ever was a story worth telling this is the one. :)
Thanks for writing and sharing it. :D
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by moose » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:57 am

Nice one Noddy that should be printed in impressions mate, new career there, jalopy journalist. i am now late for work as i had to read it all.
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by The Nun » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:00 pm

I wonder now, 1 million miles by National 2030? 8)
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by bazzateer » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:01 pm

Great write up Dave!
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by John Simister » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:27 pm

This should be in Practical Classics. I'll suggest it to them if you like.
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by InfraZA » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:35 pm

You sure were a man with a mission.....

Fascinating account, Dave, well-described and most enjoyably read!

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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:49 pm

Thank you all for the kind words :D
Things ive found out since writing this .
The car that destroyed its front end was an Austin 1100 , this was done in 1974 In Trowbridge apparently - it killed the Austin in the process and both were scrapped off but the Commer was bought back by the previous owner ( the one who killed it )
and bodged back to life - hence the ill fitting front end it had .
I was bought new in Basingstoke by someone i cant trace .
Restall did the conversion themselves in Birmingham but for which owner ive no idea but most likely the first owner in Basingstoke .
Its lived in ---
Basingstoke
Trowbridge
Corsham
Bampton
Tiverton
Exeter ( two addresses )
Silverton
Paignton
Yeovil
Halstock
Then back to Yeovil.
The reason it went from Corsham to Bampton was the transaxle exploded on the M5 , It was recovered to Bampton where it was sold for £70 so the then owners could get a train / bus / Donkey home. I have a letter from them as proof.
I guess the garage that recovered it fixed it and flogged it on to the Tiverton owner.
The woman owner in Tiverton nicnamed it the " Chicken Chaser " :lol:
The woman owner in Yeovil fed Horses out the back of it , she put a bail of hay in the back - parked it in the field with the tailgate open and left it there every day so the horses had dry hay.
The Guy in Halstock blew it up towing his dead Hillman Avenger home - hed used it to drive from Halstock to Oxford two times a week for work .
I guess as im keeping it going the saga continues ever on.
THE END :)
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:04 pm

John Simister wrote:This should be in Practical Classics. I'll suggest it to them if you like.
I doubt they would be interested TBH , Its not an MGB , Mini or Escort .
You could try but wether id ever do another mag article is in the balance - see what they say is all i can say at the moment :)
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Epilogue added

Post by pmcg » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:18 pm

.
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Epilogue added

Post by RoyBlunt » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:50 pm

Excellent story Dave - one of the best I've heard. Should have been in Impressions - far too good for most of the regular mags!
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Epilogue added

Post by 617sqn » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:53 pm

Brilliant :D I'm gonna read it again tomorrow 8)

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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel .

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:01 pm

Thought I might as well add a prequel as its not been posted on here before and only a few know this part.
I actually knew of the van in late 87 / early 1988 ( cant remember exactly ) .
I was offered some Imp parts by a chap in Halstock who accosted me whilst out in the ex girlfriends R reg Super ( PJT 334R ) - it was a common thing back then for Imp owners to offer parts to imp drivers they see around .
Anyway we agreed to go out to his house to scavenge for some bits , there he had the Commer parked outside plus what i can only describe as a Balmoral grey like coloured Stiletto with the OSF stoved in and an Oxford blue MK2 Chamois in a barn .
Never took much notice of any of these as he informed us they werent for sale .
We popped over there a fair few times buying bits and pieces of him - its when he told the story of how the Commer had not long blown up towing his dead Avenger and the 25,000 miles plus he did in it a year hooning back and forth to Oxford every week - that is until the Avenger moment kind of stopped it in its tracks . he acquired it in April 85 .
He said hed pinched the whole of the clutch pipe from front to back off the Commer and fitted it into the Stiletto which he then promptly wopped into a wall :o , the Chamois was never mentioned nor did it ever move.
We had a phone call one day in late 88 from him saying all three Imps had been sold and were taken to the midlands by the buyer on a small transporter but there were some bits left we could have , sure enough the cars were gone but we collected his remaining parts and said our goodbuys .
I though no more about it until I spotted said Commer in the scrapyard not more than 20 miles from Halstock in Dec 90 , it turned up there in Nov 90 according to the owner arriving on a beaver tailed Transit , I never have found out where it had sat between Dec 88 and Nov 90 or why it never went to the midlands as the owner had said it had . I t certainly wasnt used as the clutch pipe was still missing .
It was still registered to the previous owner in Halstock so the buyer did nothing - presumably to all three of them .
I had a message a few years later about a grey Stiletto sat in a garage in Yeovil with the front stoved in but have never managed to find it , The Chamois hasnt been seen or heard of since.
So there you have it , the whole sorry tale of whats now known as --- THE VUSKY :) :)
Last edited by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane on Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:31 pm

A few pics from years ago
Attachments
IMG_3661.JPG
YES - We did take it up Hardnott pass :)
vusky 96.jpg
National 1996 - at least that what the pic says
vusky 96.jpg (34.02 KiB) Viewed 13857 times
vuskysinger 2.jpg
parents drive 1992
Last edited by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane on Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:37 pm

Some more
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IMG_3663.JPG
St Andrews national - 1998 I think
IMG_3669.JPG
Channel islands but where or when ive no idea
vuskysinger2.jpg
parents drive - 1992
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by Peter Hurst » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:14 pm

Dave ' Linwood ' Lane wrote: engine fitted had a con rod poking out where it shouldnt , number one cylinders con rod had left the engine removing the oil filter housing in its bid for freedom . That wasnt going to run again thats for sure .
That funny I bought my 64 Chamois for £50 as a non-runner back in '85. They thought the head gasket had gone but a quick look revealed exactly the same, no oil filter and a gapping hole in the block. Car had only done around 30,000 miles
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by jetmech » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:27 pm

A great tale Dave. Thank you for sharing.
Some cars certainly defy the odds to survive!

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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by rhydian_mason » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:33 pm

Love it. Great to know the back story.
"an aversion to corners and a tendency to spin at the slightest provocation"
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by walshste » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:17 pm

Dave, great story. Well done. It's great to think of people using a car for many many years. Nowadays it appears cars are disposable. Used for up to 10 years, becoming too expensive to fix and with all the "great" finance deals available sure you can jump in to a new car so why would you bother! I can't see how this approach is environmentally favourable. Dave's approach must certainly is. Smashing read.
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by 617sqn » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:00 am

One of my more elderly mates has had his Rover Sd1 2300 from six months old, and still runs it occasionally. He has a brand new VW Pole for everyday. He's 81 ! :D

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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by The Nun » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:10 am

617sqn wrote:He has a brand new VW Pole for everyday. He's 81 ! :D

Andy G
One of them there dancer blokes eh? :?
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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- Prequel now added.

Post by 617sqn » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:05 pm

Haha ! Blimmin predictive text :lol:

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Re: The Vusky - history of a wreck- new plates

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:47 pm

Im going to run this as a separate thread for the Vusky from now on as nods news is just bonkers long now :roll:

Courtesy of Roger Gill the Vusky has finally got its proper Commer headed info plate c/w bonkers tyre pressure difference , load plate and seperate chassis number plates back at last .
Front was drilled for both plates so it now has the number on the front twice :lol:
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17760245_10212797099101967_2972762963926239455_n.jpg
17760142_10212797099341973_3454201018303462120_n.jpg
17757576_10212797099661981_5468699907813236871_n.jpg
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Re: The Vusky- - newness shiny bits added

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:34 pm

Vusky needs some love really as its not been washed this year or polished for at least three and its going semi matt , its clean inside though as ive got to sit in it :lol:
Attachments
17523547_10212798128127692_3851886874818582665_n.jpg
Currently i cant see out the rear window
17796650_10212798110967263_9167672071093890527_n.jpg
I did clean the lights though - its a start
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Re: The Vusky- - newness shiny bits added + some dirt

Post by 617sqn » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:18 pm

Good stuff, Dave. Although I think having individual chassis plates Illuminated is a bit anorak :lol:

Whatever next ? :roll: :D

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Re: The Vusky- - newness shiny bits added + some dirt

Post by Pog » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:27 am

Wonderful story! The Vusky has gone through some incredible transformations. And it always amazes me at how it's all done by you! Everything from paint to electrics, is there anything you can't do! A real inspiration to us all.

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Re: The Vusky- - newness shiny bits added + some dirt

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:08 am

Pog wrote:Wonderful story! The Vusky has gone through some incredible transformations. And it always amazes me at how it's all done by you! Everything from paint to electrics, is there anything you can't do! A real inspiration to us all.

Pog
Thanks Pog - its been a bit of work keeping the old thing going thats for sure - it passed the MOT last week :D
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