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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 22/03 - More Fiddly Bodywork Tidying


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#1231 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:14 PM

This afternoon. I had a bit of a push to get this finished, and am glad to report that save for needing to refit the curtain rail and source a shower curtain, the bathroom is now done.

Oh...and find some brown screw caps as the white ones stick out way too much against the generally warm decor.

Doesn't look too bad for an entirely home brew job though I reckon?

IMG_20190318_190137.jpg

IMG_20190318_190143.jpg

IMG_20190318_190209.jpg

IMG_20190318_190232.jpg

Just need to make a blanking plate to sit in the shower tray when it's not in use, re-fit the rail for the shower curtain and we should be done. Oh, and stick some water in the tank so I can confirm the taps don't leak before discovering that's an issue at the far end of the country.
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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1232 ONLINE   Tickman

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:32 PM

Doesn't look too bad for an entirely home brew job though I reckon?

 

 

Looks bloody excellent


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#1233 OFFLINE   Broadsword

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:07 AM

That is one hell of a list. Quite exciting to see you are thinking of respraying the Xantia. It would look awesome and given it’s so special, it deserves fresh paint. How long did it take to chew through a set of tyres? :D
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#1234 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:18 AM

That is one hell of a list. Quite exciting to see you are thinking of respraying the Xantia. It would look awesome and given it’s so special, it deserves fresh paint. How long did it take to chew through a set of tyres? :D


My lists are always a bit like that - I like itemising things so I can keep track of them. A lot of the stuff on there is really quick stuff I just need to find time to do.

I'd love to get it resprayed, current front contender is a proper bright "Ferrari red" as was used on the BX. I've never seen a proper bright red Xantia. Sadly I know full well that getting it done to the level I would really like would be unlikely to give me much change from three or four grand...three to four times the value of the car!

I'd had it a year in October, though I've no idea how many miles the tyres had on when I got it. The rears are still fine tread wise, but are old enough that they're getting due a change anyway as they're just starting to perish a bit. She was on 129K miles when I got her, showing 137K now.
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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1235 OFFLINE   timolloyd

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:39 AM

That bathroom is a perfect match for the recently reformed countries of East and West Germany.

#1236 OFFLINE   Ben_O

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 06:21 PM

Id go as far as to say the bathroom looks swanky!


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#1237 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 12:27 AM

Hardly any time to look at the cars today, so was just able to get a little bit of system testing done on the van.

 

Threw some water in the fresh water tank and set the pump running.

 

Soon enough we had water in the kitchen...

 

IMG_20190319_182012.jpg

 

The odd arrangement at the base of the tap is my temporary solution to the problem presented by the emphatically not camper/caravan grade worktop being thicker than the threaded section of the tap is long.  The worktop will be getting binned for something more appropriate as soon as I get around to sourcing something suitable.  See also my previous comments about whoever started to "upgrade" this van having zero concept of the idea that unnecessary weight isn't your friend.

 

Bathroom sink had water through soon enough as well, taps work properly and don't leak which is nice - even though I do have a spare if there turned out to be any issues with the bodies.

 

IMG_20190319_175919.jpg

 

One thing I was curious to see was whether it would be possible to actually get a useful amount of flow from the shower at an acceptably high temperature for it to actually be useful.

 

The water heater I have always eyed with slight suspicion given the fact that it did a good impression of a fountain the first time that I supplied water to it due to perished O-rings in several locations.  Thankfully my replacements seem to be holding up just fine, and aside from making unreasonably loud gurgling noises for the first few seconds, it behaved.  Yes, I did remember to close the drain down valve before turning the pump on.

 

Once switched on, it fired up as soon as the hot water tap was turned on, just as it should.  I don't have a combustion tester, but the flame looks healthy to me.

 

IMG_20190319_181818.jpg

 

Adjusting the shower controls to giving what feels a sensible temperature seems to be at a flow rate that's on par with any electrically heated shower I've used before.  Not a power shower that's going to knock you over when you turn it on, but it's absolutely fine for taking a quick shower and to wash your hair with.

 

IMG_20190319_175537.jpg

 

So I'm calling it done on the bathroom and plumbing in general for a bit.  I still need to fit a shower curtain, finish off a few bits of silicone sealant and to fit a few pipe clips in the utility cupboard, but that's all just simple stuff.  Next main target is going to be the kitchen.

 

What I need to do in there:

 

[] Rip out those poorly fitted household worktops (they're not even close to level for one thing) and install something that weighs less than a Mini.

[] Reconstruct the partitions below the worktops, including the gas cabinet and the support framework for the drawers.

[] Replace the crudely hacked off gas pipework to the oven and cabin heater.  Really wish they had disconnected stuff rather than just snip the pipes off with a pair of side cutters.  Need to confirm for definite if the manifold I have is a long obsolete size for with it's hard to get fittings for or not, and if so just buy a new one.  If not, pick up the missing fittings so I can connect stuff up properly.  I'm very, very aware that the current setup is absolutely NOT getting used beyond the one weekend away - and even then the gas was only on when we actively needed the oven or hot water.

[] Properly reattach the heat shielding around the oven - I'm absolutely certain that my current configuration isn't right as none of the holes in it line up properly.  This is one of those situations where it would be really useful to be able to have a look at one of these vans in standard form so I could see how it was originally put together.

[] Once all of this is done, obviously re-route the plumbing as necessary.  At least being flexible lines that's hardly an issue.

 

[] Finally, sort out the peeling wallpaper around that general area.  I've pretty much decided at this point that the brown mosaic pattern from the bathroom will be continued around the rear window and across the worktop splash back, finishing where the cabinet for the water heater is.  It should help make things look more seamless and professional I think, and be a lot easier to keep clean around the kitchen than the wallpaper.

 

First though, I think I need to have a bit of a tidy up.  I have made quite a ridiculous amount of mess while working on the bathroom...

 

IMG_20190319_180146.jpg

 

Some of the foam core board I didn't end up using in the bathroom will be retained though, I'm going to use that to line the floor before the cabinet bases are put down as a bit of extra insulation.  It weighs nothing so no reason not to use it that I can see.  Being honest though, given how foul it was outside a few days back when I was working in the van it seems pretty well insulated really.  I've never actually even tested the gas fired heater yet other than establishing that the fan runs...

 

We're booked in for a weekend away in May - so that's my deadline to get the thing MOT'd and the kitchen into a serviceable state.


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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1238 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 07:41 PM

The offside rear corner is the only place on the van I've had any signs of active water ingress.  As is standard for a van like this (or a coach), trying to actually match up where the rain is getting in with where it is appearing is tricky.  

 

There was no sign of dampness anywhere above the height of the worktop (the wallpaper is peeling more because it hasn't been applied properly than due to damp.  As such my guess was that it was finding a point of entry below the height of the work surface but above the floor.  There is a bodywork join there and as such that has to be a favourite.  No obvious issues present there other than that the infill strips were all missing.  This could be to blame, especially bearing in mind that due to the slope of our driveway about 90% of all water coming off the roof of the van pours down that corner at the back.

 

Well I got a huge bundle of new infill strip with the van...

 

IMG_20190321_154109.jpg

 

 

...So no reason not to get it and the missing end caps (which meant open screw holes!) back in place.  This is the point at which I discovered something really rather annoying.

 

When whoever it was last had these strips off, they refitted them with screws rather than the original staples.

 

IMG_20190321_163305.jpg

 

Fair enough, I would have done the same.  The issue however is that what they had not done was countersink the holes in the aluminium trim.  The result of this being the screws sitting just proud of the surface enough to prevent me from fitting the infill strip.

 

Cue me having to remove each screw, drill the hole out slightly and refit it.  For Every...bloody...single...sodding...screw.

 

We got there in the end though - after several hours.

 

IMG_20190321_180904.jpg

 

The only bit I still need to do here is the nearside corner, though I need to dig the old silicone out of the groove there first.

 

Oh...and the spare wheel retaining bolt has been greased...I had to use an uncomfortably large amount of force to remove it given the lack of structural metalwork that the carrier is attached to.

 

Hopefully having got a bit more sealant involved and having replaced all the infill that corner will stay dry now...guess we will see next time it rains.


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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1239 OFFLINE   PhilA

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:06 PM

That looks really very good as a suitable home away from home.

Having driven one of these severely overloaded (box van version) I can attest that in this instance I will thoroughly agree with Chapman and say that large weight, particularly high up, is your enemy.

Keep up the good work. What's missing from the back on either side there?

Phil
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#1240 ONLINE   busmansholiday

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:11 PM

You've doing a grand job on that camper, makes the fucking small fortune I paid for the Autotrail look like I was robbed blind!

#1241 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:56 PM

That looks really very good as a suitable home away from home.

Having driven one of these severely overloaded (box van version) I can attest that in this instance I will thoroughly agree with Chapman and say that large weight, particularly high up, is your enemy.

Keep up the good work. What's missing from the back on either side there?

Phil

She actually handles reasonably well, especially for all the weight on board - including the household worktops in the kitchen which have to go, originally laminate flooring in the bathroom (which was seriously so heavy that it was dragged out rather than carried). Not sure if they made any changes to the stock suspension spring rates on the assumption that there would always be a moderately heavy body attached.

Hoping that I'll be able to shed a bit more before I'm done. Having had it off today the spare wheel springs to mind too - it weighs a bloody tonne. I'm hardly about to swap a wheel on this thing teetering on its tiny bottle jack at the side of the road anyway...tempted to ditch the wheel and swap it for a can of foam and a compressor. Two caveats there - one being that I'll be checking with my breakdown cover to see if they insist on vehicles original equipped with a spare having one, and B: finding a 12V compressor which can actually get the tyres up to pressure - 60psi or thereabouts...my current one just isn't up to it.

The rear panel was originally fitted with a pair of high level tail lights duplicating the normal clusters that are at bumper height. I would have liked to reinstate them (I have them in a box) but the previous previous keeper has removed all the wiring to them, so it would be quite a bit of work to do. I may come back to it later if my OCD insists...
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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1242 OFFLINE   PhilA

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 09:14 PM

You should put stock US lights there, confuse people.

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#1243 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 09:26 PM

You should put stock US lights there, confuse people.

Phil

 

 

They're actually the right size and shape...

 

IMG_20190321_212342.jpg


Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1244 OFFLINE   PhilA

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 09:43 PM

Far too much orange.

I was thinking these
042899738343.jpg

Or perhaps these
132127676110-0__83199.1494448927.jpg?c=2

Phil
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#1245 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:53 PM

Was the older version of the lower type there I was seeing a similarity to.

Afraid I'll not be going for anything that is going to require anything resembling a brain cell to understand...the average driver seems confused enough by the act of driving a car anyway these days!

I do like the idea of the additional lighting though, anything which makes brake lights or indicators more visible to other drivers can only be a good thing...

Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1246 OFFLINE   PhilA

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 11:37 PM

That is the older version! It's hard to not find the LED variant here these days.

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#1247 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:20 PM

Didn't have any time for car stuff today really, but did manage to spend fifteen minutes refitting the two main side rubbing strips.  Thankfully unlike the smaller infill ones this didn't involve re-drilling three thousand holes, just slipped straight in.
 
IMG_20190322_174303_1.jpg
 
I stuffed a good blob of non-setting seam sealer under the end caps so there's no chance of water getting into the panel through the screw holes.
 
IMG_20190322_182329.jpg
 
Does help make the van look a lot less generally scruffy, though I really need to do something about the bumper sitting at an angle.  That's going to be a bigger job though as the entire structure under it has been subject to quite major alteration by previous owners 
 
I do have a new mains power socket ready to fit as the one on there currently has a broken hinge.  This definitely needs to be done before we go anywhere again as it flaps around anywhere above 40mph and if the window is open all I can hear is click-click-click-click...
 
The nearside rubbing strip really will need to come off to redo the whole lot as the sealant under it is an absolute mess and it looks horrible.
 
IMG_20190322_182306.jpg
 
What was a bag full of bits when I got the van has now been reduced to this.
 
IMG_20190322_182504.jpg
 
The white circular thing is the cover for the keyhole on the toilet access door.  The last four metal bits are for the lower strip behind the rear wheels.  Those will need the screw holes re-drilled before I can refit the infill though.
 
Aside from the obvious impact on helping keep the van weather tight, I'm glad to be getting stuff like this done as I always like to turn up for an MOT in a vehicle that even if old looks to be well looked after.
 
Speaking of a car looking well looked after...I was feeling really guilty about the state the poor Xantia was in, so finally dropped by one of our local hand car washes and got her a mini valet.
 
IMG_20190322_161229_1.jpg
 
IMG_20190322_161239_1.jpg
 
IMG_20190322_161314_1.jpg
 
IMG_20190322_161301_1.jpg
 
Looking a bit more respectable now at least.

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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1248 ONLINE   LightBulbFun

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:27 PM

Awesome work on the ol camper :)

 

also thats one seriously shiny Citroen :) (even if it does highlight the bonnet respray)

 

(Id like to think now that if anyone tries tail gates you at night with full beams that they would be reflected off your car and back into the drivers eyes  :mrgreen: )



#1249 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:38 PM

Not that shiny! Could really do with a good polish and wax - though given the clearcoat peel issues that tends to be a bit demoralising. Funny how much cleaner the whole car always seems once the wheels are clean.

Funnily enough I don't tend to have much trouble with people tailgating me around MK in the Activa... anybody doing so usually seems to disappear after a roundabout or two...
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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1250 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted Yesterday, 11:44 PM

One of the things I always tended to do my best to avoid when helping out with preserved buses was the fiddly bits of bodywork...oily bits I'm good with, but the bodywork is something which I always find it takes a massive amount of time for little visible gain.
 
However with it being my own vehicle that's less of an option as I can't delegate it to the new guy!
 
So it is a day of "annoying fiddly bits."
 
First up, the last two bits of infill that were missing.  
 
Offside...
 
IMG_20190323_151050.jpg
 
That whole lower panel skin is in pretty poor state with quite a few tiny holes in, so I may need to think about changing it at some point.  For now I've just touched them in with seam sealer to keep the elements out.
 
Nearside...
 
IMG_20190323_162217.jpg
 
That was the nice easy bit done.  Just wanted those done first as it meant that I could get rid of another bag from the box of bits of van as all the trim is now actually attached to it again.
 
Next up was replacing the missing upright infill from the nearside rear corner.  As this runs all the way to the front of the van, I'm not doing it all right now.  Just the last couple of feet.  However before I could do that I first needed to dig the silicone sealant out of the channel.  This must have taken me the best part of an hour.  Turns out that it sticks really quite well to tarnished old aluminium.
 
Eventually though I managed to clear enough of it out of the channel that it was possible to get the strip in.
 
IMG_20190323_161431.jpg
 
The strip directly above the passenger door on the cab I noticed a couple of days ago had come away from the cab and was just barely hanging on by a couple of threads on two screws.  Was a quick matter to pull that off, clean it up, stick a new mastic strip to the back of it and slap it back in place.  I used slightly larger screws to help take up the slack and then put a new infill in there.
 
IMG_20190323_163723.jpg
 
Getting the infill in was a bit of a chore purely because it was done teetering on the door step.  Funny how jobs like this make you appreciate how much bigger the thing is than a car.
 
This had been on my radar since the day I bought the van.
 
IMG_20190323_181908.jpg
 
In fact I bought a new hookup unit about a week into owning it... replacement of this definitely needed to happen, as aside from just looking awful it also insistently would flap around going click-click-click-click-click-click anywhere north of 40mph.
 
Ten minutes later...
 
IMG_20190323_165625.jpg
 
Much better.  It actually latches closed as well so hopefully won't drive me demented next time I'm on the open road.
 
This was the point at which I spotted two (blindingly obvious afterwards!) bits of infill I had missed.  These were on the surround of the gas locker and luggage compartment doors.
 
You can see how it just fits into a groove around the edge here.
 
IMG_20190323_181951.jpg
 
Now this was a task which I went into thinking it would be a ten minute thing to finish the day off with.  Yeeeeaahh...About an hour later I had both doors done.
 
IMG_20190323_182007.jpg
 
One of those jobs that is just incredibly fiddly and time consuming.  Does help make the van tidier though as a whole bunch less screws heads are on show how.
 
IMG_20190323_182104.jpg
 
Getting there bit by bit.
 
Really do need to get some decent wheel trims though and bin the bargain bin specials currently on there as it drags the whole thing down.

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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1251 OFFLINE   PhilA

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Posted Today, 12:38 AM

The funny thing is, those trims aren't far off what Winnebago use.

As godawful as they are, they don't actually spill the look of it from the distance you too that picture from.

Phil
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#1252 ONLINE   LightBulbFun

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Posted Today, 10:04 AM

thats one thing iv been meaning to say about the wheel trims, as cheesy as they look

 

its always what I see on camper vans for some reason, so they "complete" the stereotypical camper van look :)

 

(not sure if thats a good thing or an insult  :mrgreen: )

 

 

im guessing its steelies under the wheel trims? I wonder how some polished trim rings would look while you search for better wheel trims :)

 

(or get some of those green pointy things like an arrivia bus LOL)



#1253 ONLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted Today, 04:03 PM

It should have a metal trim covering the central portion of the wheel. The same trims were used on quite a few Mercs in the 70s I believe, usually painted body colour, only difference was that the ones used on commercials were usually left unpainted. I'd ideally like to find some of those. Not sure if I would leave them plain (though finding a plain set is likely to be a challenge), paint them white or metallic blue to match the detailing.

AutoTrail fitted a set of plastic trims I believe, these look from the photos I've seen to be a very generic smooth type which were fairly common in the late 80s to mid 90s.

I'd be less bothered about these if they didn't have a "chrome" finish round the outer edge and if the finish wasn't flaking off everywhere. If they were just satin silver they would be somewhat less objectionable I think.

Definitely a long way down the priority list though...
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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.





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