The Land Rover Owners Ex Wife

……becoming me again

Introducing Bonnie

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Bonnie, our Series 1, Land Rover, 80"

Bonnie, our Series 1, Land Rover, 80″

Well here she is, the latest addition to our Land Rover fleet and she is a Series one, 80 inch. Eldest Mudlets’ reaction to the picture emailed to her was “I hope somebody paid you to take her away” but to be fair to this poor battered little car, she has been used as a trialler and, as a result, has a few more dings and dents than you would expect. However Mud is confident that a few gentle taps here and there with a mallet will straighten out the worst of them, although the rear tub will need a touch more work, as it is currently in two halves.

Looking at these pictures you may be forgiven for thinking that her name is a touch optimistic but having seen the transformation in both Annie and Ciggy over the last few years, I have every confidence that when I set off for my first ever shopping trip in Bonnie (predicted to be some 4 years down the line ), she will be looking a lot prettier than she does now. Mind you, Mud and I aren’t ones for over restoring these old workhorses and so she will never be a concours specimen, with a highly polished, mirror finish paint job. No, Bonnie, as is the case with the other two, will be mechanically sound but her panels will still have the echos of her former life as testimony to her history, they’ll just be Atlantic green panels instead of Banana yellow.

My first sight of our tiny new acquisition

My first sight of our tiny new acquisition

With the panels only loosely bolted on for the journey home, the first job yesterday, in between the downpours and thunderstorms, was to remove all of these into the back garden for safe storage. The remaining chassis, engine and roll cage were then covered with a tarpaulin.

“Tomorrow,” Mud announced, “We’re going to have a production line in operation, to strip and store the panels.”

You would think that after 20 years or so of Land Rover ownership and restoration, Mud would have a better feel for how long jobs on these old cars take, or how easy they are. His unusual optimism is always quite refreshing but generally short lived, soon to be replaced with exasperated utterances about contortionist Land Rover assembly line workers, sadistic design engineers, or previous owner botch ups. Yesterday was no exception.

Having removed the body panels with relative ease, although a couple of the bolts and rivets proved a little stubborn, he outlined his plant for the storing of the panels.

  • I would pass him the panel;
  • He would strip the panel; and  then
  • The panel would then go into storage!

Sounds simple but as with all things Land Rover it wasn’t going to be so easy.

Nothing a few taps with a Mallet won't solve

Nothing a few taps with a Mallet won’t solve

Keen to get on with something, yesterday evening Mud decided to make a start on removing the paint from the bonnet. Applying a liberal amount of Nitromors paint stripper he waited for it to do its’ thing. Having used this chemical on Ciggys panels a couple of years ago, he knew how potent and fast acting it was and so literally sat back and waited ….. and waited ……. and waited.

“For crying out loud,” he said a short while later (actually, to be honest that wasn’t what he said but it will do for the purposes of this post), “It’s not touching this paint!”

It would appear that Bonnie hasn’t been painted in a normal Coach Enamel paint and as a result, her banana paint work is proving a lot tougher to remove than anticipated, in fact even after three or four coatings of the Nitromors, the bonnet still has lots of large patches of thick yellow paint on it. Muds optimistic plan for a relatively fast moving production line has now sizzled out and has been replaced with a slower, messier and noisier realisation that the electric sander is the way forward …..

….. but then that’s old Land Rovers for you.






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