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Arthur Foxhake

1982 Mercedes 508d LWB. Going green for the future.

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I am in massive need of another big Merc.

Panel van, or minibus conversion would be acceptable, as long as there's no fibreglass to be seen on the coachbuilding.

Rust is always a problem with these, so im aware of that issue and willing to weld one.

What have you seen?

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Most decent survivors have been exported, and what survivors there are left are Varios. Leeds City Council seemed to stick by em for a while, but they have largely dried up now. Minicoach ops switched to larger coachbuilt Varios years ago such as the Cheetah

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Finding any old van or minibus in the UK is a real pain these days. There is so little pre-1995 about and what there is is often in OMG condition. I am looking for a pre-1998 big petrol van - not much around.

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I am looking for a pre-1998 big petrol van - not much around.

What about a mk3/4/5 Transit with the Di removed and a zetec/ pinto/ essex/ cologne/ RV8 dropped into the hole? Otherwise if you can cope with LHD there are plenty of Yanks about.

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Thanks. Removing an engine a bit too much. But a Yank would do ok. If you see anything at an ok price let me know. Cheers

What sort of price range are you looking at, there was an unregistered Econovan at Dream Cars in Redhill but I don't know how much they're looking for.

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Ummm...for something ok about £3000 but I'd like to get something for less. Its because of the Ultra Low Emission Zone coming to London - soon any old diesel will be banned.

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Finding any old van or minibus in the UK is a real pain these days. There is so little pre-1995 about and what there is is often in OMG condition. I am looking for a pre-1998 big petrol van - not much around.

How big are you looking for?

My 98 Transit minibus will be for sale at the end of summer. Has a 2.0 DOHC petrol engine and is converted to a 2 berth camper.

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How big are you looking for?

My 98 Transit minibus will be for sale at the end of summer. Has a 2.0 DOHC petrol engine and is converted to a 2 berth camper.

3.5 tonne or upwards if possible. I have an old style drivers 78 pass licence so I can drive bigger stuff. Not after a camper. I might have found something that would appeal to me in the S. of France so depending on communications I may go look!

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Am I right in that fairground vehicles don't need an mot ?

Vehicles registered in the showmans catagory are exempted as special vehicles, ie not possible to test at a standard station or unable to meet certain requirements. This exemption also extends to a vehicle used as a showmans living van and vehicles registered as motor tractors (that's not the right name but I can't remember the class) which can haul multiple trailers.

You can also run exempted for various other reasons.

One of my friends was stopped in his living van by the ministry years ago, he was running legitimately on an exemption, they were overjoyed to find this and promptly sent him elsewhere for a 3 hour inspection, the conclusion of which was one rear light was a little dim.

 

Running in convoy or with a ride on the back you would probably be ok as it would be too much hastle to stop everybody.

 

The van above if it's got an organ built into it would probably fall into an specially built exemption catagory.

 

When using anything on an exemption it's vital to keep on top of repairs and maintenance or you will be target no one at a check point or if you are involved in an accident.

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3.5 tonne or upwards if possible. I have an old style drivers 78 pass licence so I can drive bigger stuff. Not after a camper. I might have found something that would appeal to me in the S. of France so depending on communications I may go look!

I can't think of anything modernish that we have in the UK above 3.5t and petrol. Nearest would be a TK Bedford or similar?

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Yes. Otherwise I have to find a diesel pre-72 to not get tangled up in the London Ultra Low Emmission Zone which will effectively ban all old diesels in London. 

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Pretty sure the 709D and one or two others were about the same, possibly small versions of the 811?

I had a 609D 4.0 diesel that wasn’t lightning fast acceleration wise, but would motor past a lot of things when loaded and going some.

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Got it! What you need is a Zil, they're petrol/ multi fuel so if you can get hold of waste cross fuel you should be good to go for cheap* running.

 

They'll probably run on straight kerosene or parafin once warmed up too, for off road use obviously.

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Pretty sure the 709D and one or two others were about the same, possibly small versions of the 811?

I had a 609D 4.0 diesel that wasn’t lightning fast acceleration wise, but would motor past a lot of things when loaded and going some.

IIRC the 811 was the same engine as the 709 but with a turbo.  The 814 in the Vario was a "tuned" version.

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The story Dodgerover quotes about VOSA reminds me of the New Age Travellers in the 90's when they used to get a lot of hassle from the police.

Any shiters from the battle of the bean field era ... my mate recently found some of his pictures from the war zone . Plenty of old vehicles trashed that day apparently

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I'd like to see some pics if he will share them.

I'm too young to have been there but was driving about in convoy a bit in the early 2000s and most police couldn't be arsed with us.

One keen officer did pull us all over once and asked where we were headed.

We told him our destination and he didn't know of any campsite there, there was one, just it was unofficial, a farmer with some fields would take money for a pitch and sell you logs for open fires.

After checking the convoy out, one by one, he decided he didn't have enough hours left in his career to go any further and let us go.

Except the sneaky fecker had phoned ahead and told the army we were on our way, near lulworth cove where they play.

They sprang out of bushes, as the lead vehicle, a bay window VW camper, was spluttering up the steep hill stuck in 3rd, as the selector rod had taken a whack from a rock or something.

Stopped the convoy and told us we could go no further as there was no campsite there and they would not allow us to set up a "site".

We gave them the address of where we were headed and they said they had forgotten about that place and we could continue.

Except we couldn't, because the VW was still in third gear and was now stuck on a hill, at the front.

Cue 10 squaddies pushing the thing up hill as Steff slipped the clutch 'till it eventually kangarooed up the hill under its own steam/smoke.

Happy days.

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