Thursday, 13 November 2008

What my scrap buddy has been up to

I was near Andover at the weekend with my neighbour and tractor man Andrew. We dropped in on my scrap buddy, Rob Robinson-Collins who has a weakness for Allards. Here are Rob and Andrew in Rob and Tina's back garden. If ever Rob rings me up to tell me that he has discovered another Allard, or parts thereof, I don't dissuade him. I encourage him. I'm happy to say that he is rarely in any doubt about the desirability of any Allard or Allard parts so it is not difficult for him to follow my advice to, "Buy it!" We both realise that this is not really what having a scrap buddy is all about. What should happen, is that one of us says to the other, "Look, what you really want is just one car and one motorbike and that's it." Sometimes, one of us might actually say this but it is quickly ignored. Very often, this sentence is not uttered at all.

Here, Rob is explaining the niceties of shortening an Allard chassis to Andrew's boots. You may have noticed that the Allard chassis tapers so once the side rails have been shortened, all were cross members have had to either be narrowed or widened, depending on where they are in the new chassis layout. It's not a job to be undertaken lightly but, fortunately, Rob has done this all before. Unfortunately, he had to move house and sell the chassis that he had shortened but now he has two chassis is to play with and he's cracking with both.

At the moment, Rob doesn't really have anywhere to work on either of his Allards. This doesn't stop of course. He has created a portable folding garage and this is the green thing that you can see in the background.

What we should have done was enticed Tina outside for a photograph. Her presence would certainly have brightened the photographs up a bit. Tina puts up with a lot but shares Rob's enthusiasm for Allards.

Robert and Tina have a garage but it's full of parts and more of a storage area than a workshop. There are at least three motorbikes in this photograph and the second of Rob's Allard chassis, to say nothing of various gearboxes and engines. Rob's plan is to buy Tina a new garden shed but all this stuff in his garage will have to come out while Rob builds a new bigger and better structure. the only place all this stuff can possibly go is Tina's new garden shed.

As Tina said to me, "I don't honestly know who he is deluding more - me or himself - but he always has the best intentions."

That's my scrap buddy!

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