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F R A N K

M O T O R I N G

A love affair

The restoration of Big Red

by Photojournalist Lara Platman

T

ravelling at 55 mph down a hill is quite a thrill these days, especially as I am now driving Big Red, my 1964 Series IIA Land Rover. Three years ago, I completed an extensive nut and bolt restoration taking one year and nine months, the same time as an elephant takes to give birth I believe. She doesn’t feel like an elephant though, although she has remembered quite a considerable amount of her interesting reactions and noises as she trundles along. Big Red as you may have noticed, is indeed now Mid Grey, a fact that after many sleepless nights I came to decide upon to be her new and actual original factory colour. I purchased her as Red… well almost, and slightly mouldy green, albeit with these fascinating colours on her body. I fell instantly in love with her in the rain and in the dark one cold winters evening and ordered a pick-up truck to bring her home, only to discover that although she was straight and her engine was in good order, she wasn’t quite red and her chassis was two inches longer on the right side than the left. Oh and it was missing rather a lot of reinforcement material – such as most of the actual chassis unfortunately. However, with a change of a clutch master cylinder and a simple service, she passed her MOT within a week, and we set off for our love affair, the first stop being Goodwood Revival. Shabby chic I liked to call her as we parked up next to the Bentleys and Aston Martins outside Goodwood House after the now infamous Revival cricket match. I had given Jochen Mass, a lift from the cricket pitch to the house, and when I mentioned that my car had a horrific rattle underneath the seat box, the ex-Formula 1 driver replied, “Well when the rattle stops then you have a problem.” Another admirer commented on how relaxed she looked parked up next to a Pre-War Bentley, which I suppose was a kind reminder that I had ought to run over and turn her wheels or put her brakes on (more) as she was rolling into over a million pounds worth of his metal.

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FRANK Oct Nov 2020  

Hello autumn and hello to you all. The summer has flown by even with all its challenges and now we look forward to colourful walks and cosy...

FRANK Oct Nov 2020  

Hello autumn and hello to you all. The summer has flown by even with all its challenges and now we look forward to colourful walks and cosy...

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