Now that I was the proud owner of Snoopy, the next conumdrum was getting her the 19 miles from Solihull to Tamworth. On the R3W Reliant forum, Mark and Sue Cropper had previously emailed me to say that if I ever needed help collecting anything I was to give them a call. So I took them up on their kind offer and they gladly said they would pick up Snoopy for me, better than that they dropped everything and said, "How about tomorrow night?". I phoned Terry and checked with him and that was OK and so it was all systems go, I'd meet Mark and Sue at Terry's garage at 7pm.
The day after, Caroline and I were on the way to Terry's house when the phone rang and as I was driving, Caroline answered. It was Terry, he mentioned that the brakes on Snoopy had seized and that he had been trying to push Snoopy out of the garage. I said to Caroline, "Tell him not to struggle and try it on his own, we will soon be there to help."
We arrived at the garage and after greeting Terry I tried to push Snoopy out, yes indeed, the brakes had seized well and truly. I suggested tying Snoopy to the back of my Jaguar and we pull her out though as Terry suggested, My Jaguar would probably just drag the car out rather than turn the wheels. That was a good point, inside Snoopy the brake pedal was solid though the handbrake had some movement in it and was off.
So we set to work, Terry with a rubber mallet and that most magical of solutions - a can of WD40, whilst I took charge of a rather shiny Torque wrench. We took the wheel off, which actually came off surprisingly easy, and tried to prise the brake drum free from the wheel hub. It was stuck with a vengence. The procedure then followed, squirt with WD40, bash (sorry did I say bash, that should be gently tap) with a rubber mallet, squirt with WD40, tap with a rubber mallet. It seemed as though there was some movement but the brake drum still wouldn't budge and the evil forces that live inside rust sat there mocking us.
By this time Mark and Sue had arrived in their Reliant SS1 and we informed them that the rear brakes had seized. This was bit of a problem being as we were towing the car on a dolly, so ideally, the rear wheels needed to go round as they would be on the road.
Without any questions, Sue and Mark immediately armed themselves with a mallet and can of WD40 and they set about the drum as well and still it insisted on not budging. I then thought that perhaps we should try the Jaguar idea and so I pulled up my Jaguar, attached the towing eye and then attached rope around Snoopy's axle. Thankfully the weight of a seized Snoopy was no match for a 3 litre engine and Snoopy slowly inched out of the garage, one wheel, the one we had been working on, started to turn. "Hurray" we all shouted but the wheel on the other side was solid and as Terry suggested, the Jaguar just dragged the car out rather than turn the wheels.
So we took the wheel off on the passenger side and then three men and Caroline stood there debating things that rust as Sue, now hands covered in dirt, rust and WD40 sat on the floor trying to remove the brake drum. For anyone passing by it must have been a strange scene indeed. As Sue weilded the rubber mallet around the brake drum she said, "That's definately moving a bit now". So we figured lets see if getting back in the Jaguar and pulling Snoopy once more helps. Sure enough it did and both rear wheels on Snoopy started to roll, much to our happiness. Infact, Snoopy quite enjoyed moving about and whilst tightening up the wheel bolts we had to hold her still.
Now fully in motion, Snoopy was wheeled round and narrowly missing a garden fence we lifted and dropped her into the dolly. This was then attached to to the back of Mark and Sue's SS1.
By the time we got her fastened down the evening was starting to mature and the light was slowly fading so we thought we should start heading back as soon as we could as we did not have a light board for the back. Terry brought down the V5 document on a rather officious looking clipboard, the paper work was signed and Snoopy was offically handed over. We all thanked Terry again for his overwhelming generosity and then jumped into our cars and we were off. Caroline and I followed behind Mark and Sue to act as rear lights and to collect anything that might accidently fall off.
Thankfully we made it back to Tamworth in one piece and Mark and Sue's 1.8ti SS1 pulled Snoopy along with ease at a steady 50mph, though they had to always watch their speed as the turbo kept kicking in, teasing them to go faster.
At the garage we met my brother Geoff, and we all unloaded Snoopy and pushed her into an empty garage once occupied by Ole Blue. We closed the garage up and chatted to Mark and Sue for a short while. The site of so many "youngsters" must have alerted the local Police as a Police car pulled up a few yards away and pretended to look busy whilst casting an inquisitive eye over us. After thanking Mark and Sue, we all jumped into our cars and passing the Police car, vanished in various directions.
So for June that's it as I shall be going to the North Cape with Geoff for 3 weeks but before I go, I shall buy some diesal and pour some into each cylinder so that whilst we are away the diesal can help to clean and lubricate around the pistons. With Ole Blue we originally just started up the engine after years and years of inactivity and a few weeks later there was a clunking sound as the piston rings decided to go on holiday and visit the oil pump in the sump. Therefore this time we want to make sure everything is not only free moving but well lubricated before we try to breath life into the engine.
Again, thank you to Terry and also thank you to Mark and Sue for doing just what they said they would and help me out in my hour of need. Thank you.
Go to July 2008