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Area Report - Windscreen June Issue 148
Our first event of the season, the Crank Up took place on the 19th April in York. Chris Smyth organises this, and has done so for a very long time. He was delighted to see that members turned out in force and a record 85 vehicles, 4 motorbikes and 2 push bikes squeezed onto and around the circle of grass between Clifford’s Tower and the Museum. Luckily the weather was kind so that the mingling and socialising could take place in relative comfort.
I learned that quite a gang are off to support Hugo Hunter in Utrecht at the beginning of May in memory of his late father, who was in 49th ( West Riding ) Division’s Recce. I hope to be able to report more on that in the next issue, but in the meantime you can see photos and a report elsewhere in this issue of the Crank Up.

Brian Slingsby’s Jeep has been laid up after a persistent overheating problem, and it's been using coolant. He says “Unfortunately having had the head checked and pressure tested we found two small hairline cracks in no3 combustion chamber! This was a surprise, but a good job I had it checked. 

I almost didn’t as it looked fine to the naked eye when I cleaned it up. But it was a real mixture of good and bad news when the engineering shop phoned me, bad in that my head was scrap and I would have to get a new one, but good in that finally we had found something that was the cause of the problems, and it could be rebuilt with some confidence”.

I had a call from Jack Ford at the end of March about a stuck clutch as Denis Matthewman thought I’d had the same problem. He and Tony Boyle were working on their Bedford MW to make it ready for the season. Alex Rippingham, my guru on all things WW2 Bedford, said it was a common problem after winter and should free itself when the engine had warmed up.

There seems to be plenty of dialogue on the Bedford MW group on Facebook and something I did not know came up in a discussion about Contract plates. On some Bedfords, and no doubt other makes, there is also a brass square plate with a Letter T alongside indicating that the vehicle had been prepared for the Tropics. Now you know!

A trip to the Practical Classics show at the NEC was very useful for finding companies who supply trim and all manner of useful bits as well as being able to browse more brightly coloured vehicles that other folks spend their hard earned cash on.

A 1944 Morris Quad with No5 body came up in a farm auction in Malton in March. Graham Golder had been to view and photograph it and e-mailed details to Denis who in turn contacted fellow Morris Quad enthusiasts.

The upshot was Mel Bean bought it with the aid of Jack Ford bidding on his behalf. No5 bodied Quads have 4 doors, a high rear load area and full canvas roof when finished!

Graham tells me that he has 2 Land Rover 90’s for sale, a 1993 and a 1994 2.5 diesels with low mileage. So if you are interested ring him on 01723 890964.

Another new project to the Area is a 1941 Austin K30 truck. Production of these started in 1939 as open cab 30 cwts, but most of these were lost when the BEF pulled out of France. Production continued until 1941, but by then the powers that be had decided on a full cab. This K30 was made under Contract V3903 for 1000 vehicles, 300 of which were to be ambulances for the RASC with 50% each going to Feltham and Tewkesbury.

It had sat under a car port alongside the owner’s bungalow for over 30 years awaiting restoration. It has, shall we say a certain patina, but is remarkably complete. It was winched out of hibernation and onto the back of a 7.5 ton transporter for the long journey to its new home. The engine is now out and the radiator has been fitted with a new core. Research would seem to indicate that this is a really rare beast with, to date, only two others known and they are both in the same ownership in the Czech Republic. If anyone knows of any others please let me know.

Mike Humphreys.