Not feeling well enough to do any proper work I thought I’d tidy up the shed and get rid of some discarded parts. So I gathered together the old bumper, rusty front panel, Discovery radiator and other parts, took some photos and advertised them on ‘Gumtree’ all at very reasonable prices to be sure of selling. By the end of the weekend everything had been taken away and I was delighted to be holding £100 in cash.
The cash gained was to be reinvested so I put in an offer of £40 on a razor-edge bonnet I’d seen advertised as ‘buy it now’ on eBay, and the offer was accepted.
My existing bonnet is the ‘deluxe’ model with a recess for the spare wheel. Although opening the bonnet showers the engine in rust it is definitely salvageable but would need a little welding to the frame and to do a proper job the skin would have to be removed and riveted on again.
Although the bonnet-mounted spare wheel looks the part, that’s where my enthusiasm ends. Left in place, the wheel makes the bonnet heavy, and of course to open it ‘all the way’ to the windscreen, by removing the split-pin from the strut, the wheel has to come off. Although I am a lanky sort of bloke, ‘grandma’, who will occasionally drive, is a short person and the spare wheel does obscure the front of the vehicle whilst parking etc. But the single biggest gripe for me is the amount of rainwater that collects in the recess. It drips all over the engine to the point where I have to cover it with polythene, and then raising the bonnet dumps the remainder down the back.
The owner of my new bonnet also lives in Norfolk, albeit an hour away, so next evening I took a leisurely drive over to his place out on The Broads. It was an interesting visit, a sort of farmyard-engineering playground where he and his best mate work on their vehicles together in the back yard. I met the ferocious guard dog, and ferret (which I found more scary than the German Shepherd). They gave me a guided tour of their current projects. I particularly liked their engine hoist, a turfer arrangement coupled with a sturdy tree.
The bonnet came off a Series 2 and I understand it will fit a Series 3 using the latter’s hinges. I was delighted at the condition, perfectly straight, a good solid frame with no penetrating rust, much better than the existing one.
The hinges of the Series 2 model have 4 holes each, the Series 3 has just 3, but it appears that those three holes line up. Fingers crossed, it should just be a case of filling one redundant hole each side. I have stored the bonnet until I’m well enough to rub it down and paint it. Hopefully the old one will bring in some money too.
Meanwhile I will source a bracket on which to mount the spare in the rear tub on the rear bulkhead.
Razor-edge bonnet, top
Razor-edge bonnet, underside
So I am very happy with my dealings of the weekend and I think this bonnet will look great.
Thanks for reading.