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Shep Shepherd

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  1. Did the longest run in my driving career so far yesterday: Chelmsford-Exeter-Plymouth-Merthyr Tydfil (achievement unlocked: International Truck Driver). Here's the mighty Merc parked up for the night on a remote Welsh industrial estate after collecting a load of medical equipment bound for the States: I did the return trip this morning in just under four and a half hours, leaving me a bit of time to do some local work. I really like long distance work and don't mind nights out at all, as I'm single, I like my own company and I get paid £30 tax free per night out; I've done two this week Fun fact: Driving a truck over the nearly traffic-free Prince of Wales Bridge at 0500 just as the dawn is breaking while listening to the full length version of Autobahn by Kraftwerk is a pretty thrilling experience, or at least it was to me ^^
  2. I saw that very truck on the A11 a few weeks ago, when I was returning to Essex after doing a delivery in Norfolk; I paced it from just outside Mildenhall to the A14 interchange. Its driver was really going for it
  3. I love seeing that company's Fodens when I'm out and about. In fact, I love seeing any Foden truck which is still working for a living. The same goes for ERFs and Seddon Atkinsons, although sightings of the latter are rare these days.
  4. I recall a car dealer in Deal having a dark green VN Calais for sale for ages and ages in the late 1990s. The advert for it in the local paper described it as an 'Australian Vauxhall Senator', which it obviously wasn't. I subsequently saw it on the road a few times in the area around 2001.
  5. I found a pristine 'stubby' Snap On 13mm combination spanner in the middle of the approach road to my former workplace a few years back. No idea how it came to be there, but it came in very handy when I removed and refitted The Aero's sump in December 2019
  6. IIRC, the Torslanda was a way for Volvo to use up its stock of 240 parts such as alloy wheels and black exterior trim on a DL-based special edition. The idea that it was a 'cold weather' edition is a red herring perpetuated by motoring journalists who ought to know better. Nice car, though, but nowhere near as nice as some of the run-out special editions in non-UK markets, such as the Super Polar (Italy) and the Tack (Japan).
  7. To drive: Volvo 740 estate. To look at: NSU Ro80. To work on: a 'project car' version of either of the above. In reserve: Ford Granada mark 2 estate and Citroen CX GTi Turbo.
  8. To be honest, I've never had any major problems in towns and cities, even in truck-hostile places like central London (people there forget that almost everything around them was brought to the city in a truck), even though other road users, pedestrians and the general layout of roads and junctions don't make things easy a lot of the time. I much prefer the open road.
  9. It's not the greatest on inclines, especially when fully laden, but it's a nice truck nonetheless. Here's a rare shot of me actually driving the thing, taken last month by a Cambridgeshire-based friend of mine whom I visited while on a driving break: Check out the overhang! It's not actually noticeable when I'm driving, though.
  10. The truck I've been driving for the past three months, a 2017 M-B Antos, pictured earlier this week near Oxford: A giant leap from the 2015 DAF CF I drove before I took voluntary redundancy from my previous job last summer, and probably the best truck I've ever driven. Probably the best job I've ever had, too
  11. Here's mine. A £995 eBay bargain in 2016: Scruffy but sound and going strong as a daily driver at 193,000 miles and counting
  12. The 1977 Volvo 244 DLS commands pretty high four-figure sums in Volvo circles these days, as although it wasn't all that different to a standard 244 DL, apart from having the 264 GL's bonnet, headlights and front grille fitted, it has an interesting backstory. It was limited to 1000 examples, all of which were sold in the former German Democratic Republic, and was only available to the very few citizens with enough money to pay for them outright and to favoured people such as scientists, actors, musicians, sportspeople and the like. Many were very well looked after, so their survival rate is quite high. Rumour has it that Volvo were paid for the cars in East German lager as opposed to cash. At least they got paid for them, unlike the 144s the company sold to North Korea in the early 1970s
  13. The idea of an MG Ambassador really appeals to me.
  14. In my opinion, the pre-1985 Federal Escort looks pretty rank, due to all of the chrome and its recessed headlights, but the 1985-1990 version is quite a good-looking car, a bit like a scaled-up mark 3.
  15. If you're careful and patient, the individual switches can be dismantled, cleaned and reassembled, thus restoring their operation Also, bending the dashboard illumination bulb holder's contacts slightly so that they bear down harder on the relevant areas of the PCB works wonders, as does cleaning said areas of the PCB.
  16. Like the Avantime, I love the Vel Satis simply because it exists. Last week, there was a silver one on the forecourt of the Renault specialist on the industrial estate opposite where I work in Chelmsford; I hadn't seen one for years until then. I presume that it was a customer's car, but it could very well have been a courtesy car. Great fun if you're lent it while your Clio 1.2 is in for servicing I got a 1996 Safrane 2.5 Executive as a courtesy car from a Volvo/Renault specialist who did some work on The Volvo in 2004, so anything's possible.
  17. The blue SE estate? That would make for a really good rolling restoration/preservation project.
  18. The Volvo's clean and tidy, structurally sound and in pretty good working order, but it will never be a show car, mainly due to the fact that the paint's buggered due to age and excessive polishing; if MAACO-type 'in & out' bodywork places existed here, it would have had a cheap and quick respray long ago. Looking at some of the lower priced 740s on that website, I reckon it would be a bargain at £805, however.
  19. I often wonder how much The Volvo is worth. I paid £805 for it in 2003, and I reckon that nowadays I could get at least that amount back if I sold it, which I have no intention of doing, not least because I've just spent £300 on a replacement catalytic convertor and lambda sensor in order to get the car through another MOT. Such are the bizarre economics of old Volvo ownership. An estate in a state, this evening: 13/10 WUD RECOMEND
  20. Your car has the cupholder centre armrest, which is/was a desirable accessory. I fitted one from a scrapped 960 to The Volvo back in the mid-2000s. A couple of years later, I sold it on eBay for quite a bit more than I paid for it
  21. 1988 Volvo 240 GL saloon; a falsely-described, terminally rotten and terminally neglected eBay purchase in late 2002. Good job I only paid £200 for it. Luckily, it didn't put me off Volvos.
  22. Haha! I too would very often select the wrong cassette due to the way they fitted into the holder. The arrangement was still better than having to store cassettes in the centre console box or in the glovebox like I had/have to do with The Volvo, though.
  23. The Volvo's acceleration is leisurely (more so due to it being an auto), and it's the sort of car in which you have to plan overtaking manoeuvres well in advance, even on the motorway, but it's a quiet and comfortable long distance cruiser. Not only that, it's a great car for moving big and heavy stuff around, although I wouldn't want to tow anything with it
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