Anything is possible, so long as it costs less than 40 bucks (Canadian)
After repeated horror stories about vehicle maintainence, or lack there-of, some of the Southern OVLR members decided that a representative needed to be dispatched to Ottawa to investigate the maintainence a particular Series II LWB Land Rover reportedly 'kept' by one Mr. Dixon Kenner.
Saturday, 26 April 1997
The trip to Ottawa included a eleventh-hour stop-over at an organizational meeting of the Finger Lakes Rover Club, and lunch with another Empire member Bill Leacock (aka. Limey in Exile , photo at right). After a reasonable lunch, and FLR's distribution of many door prizes (I won an AB t-shirt, but traded it in for a RN mouse pad) we ventured a few miles south of Victor, NY for FLR's on -road course, an uneventful jaunt over a Vermont Divided Highway that would have been much more fun in a Sierra/Merkur XR4.
From there it was back East around the lake and up I-81 to the border. The Ottawan Custom's and Immigration folks were nice enough, and didn't object to the purpose of the trip. Our representative arrived in Ottawa late Saturday, and eventually discovered the location of the hotel.
Sunday, 27 April 1997
Sunday was an opportunity to witness maintainence actually being performed on the vehicle in question. After meeting up with Mr. Kenner, we preceeded in the leaking 109" to Ted's place, where upon the arriving Mr. Kenner presented offerings of Guiness, along with the new* pattern water pump, to Ted. After some ritual movement of vehicles, the 109" was presented, breakfast toward the garage, and work commenced.
Ted proceeded to drain the little fluid which remained, remove the fan, the hoses, and the old, leaking water pump. About this time, Dale arrived with re-inforcements, and these beverages were also presented to Ted. Ted also had other friends arrive, who were in pursuit of getting his roto-tiller to function. Ted worked on both projects. As the afternoon progressed it became evident that Dixon would not be so much as lifting a spanner to maintain this vehicle. Ted cleaned off the gasket surface and added Permatex Aviation Gasket sealer to the surface, then went to fit the pump but was unable to, as the pattern pump interfered with the factory engine lifting loops. The loop was removed and Ted re-fit the new water pump, the fan, the hoses, the fan belt, etc.
At some point Dixon slipped off to the rear of the vehicle with a replacement stop lens and a screwdriver, alleging he, personally, was going to replace the broken stop lamp, but no one present actually observed this, so it cannot be proven he actually did the work (unless the new lamp fails to function by the birthday party, then we'll know he is at fault).
Later in the afternoon, Dixon was being ridiculed about the lame mounting of his bumper. It was held on by two bolts at the top, and just sort of flopped about. Dixon alleged that the it was held on by cap nuts and he was unable to free them. Ted wouldn't have this, and quickly (less than a minute each) removed the bolts. Good odds were given that Dixon would not actually refit the bumper, and then we watched as Dixon placed the bumper in the back of the 109. [Dixon claims that he didn't have the proper bolts to re-fit the bumper - it is a moot point - Dixon would have put the bumper in back anyway. Watch for a bumperless LWB at the birthday party.]
While the bumper was off the vehicle, Dale did a test fit to see if a Series bumper would work on his Range Rover [photos soon].
Monday, 28 April 1997
I met up with Mr. Kenner, and we stopped of at The Beer Store , to re-stock before attending the Newsletter stuffing party. This event, as most, was held at the Shrine of the Galvanized Land Rover . This SWB Series motor is housed in a comfortable [insulated, carpeted floors] surburban Ottawa garage. The fully galvanized chassis, scuttle, seat box & etc. are assembled in a revered way on one side of the garage. Other stations in the shrine are tributes to various components, all of which are carefully laid out, preserved in excellent condition.
In a brief period of time the the garage filled quickly with OVLR members. Most brought offerings of some nature, one brought envelopes, many brought beer tins. The members arranged themselves about a makeshift tabernacle and set about to their tasks, which were related to their postions about the table. The lads set to their tasks of folding, stuffing, labelling, and stamping, while swapping long and short Land Rover stories. A good time was had by all, and afterwards, the keeper of the Galvanized Land Rover, presented unto us a Chez Bob (home-made) pizza, reportedly the best pizza in the North, a statement none in attendance would dispute. We chowed it down, told some more stories and then replaced the table and chairs and left the Shrine of the Galvanized Land Rover .
Through out trip, the Southern OVLR observer did not actually see Dixon working on his Land Rover, but did observe it being maintained by highly skilled mechanics. Thus, because this vehicle is occasionally taken care of properly, (at least when persons other than Mr. Kenner are working on it), it should survive its current keeper.
Dixon himself reports that the bumper has been refitted.
It has begun!
Dale Desprey Reporting
Finally, Dixon has the Land Rover Curse.
15 May 1997
Last night, Dixon was working on HIS Land Rover. Yes Dixon! I do not lie. There were witnesses.
He removed both of his bottom sills, while consuming several barley pop of course. This is remarkable in itself. He has claimed that the plan is to make Big Green Beastie presentable, and more incredible, even safe for use on the road. "First paint then brakes", Dixon spluttered through his beer. So after his 15 minute effort, overcome, we retired to the sanctuary of the basement. Several more ales and Dixon decided it was time to go. Home I mean.
Once in the Big Green Beastie, Dixon reports that the headlights do not come on. "Well they were working. I just can't figure this out!, states Dixon, already for too late to put in an appearance at Sandra's. I am smug, because I KNOW why!
The Big Green Beastie is about to leave its seemingly perpetual winter of disrepair. It is being dragged kicking and screaming into a new spring. By Dixon. It's Aluminum Soul is searching for answers. It wants revenge. It wants Dixon.
Dixon is about to find out what the rest of us have known all along. When you fix something, something else will break. Dixon was able to stave off the inevitable by simply not fixing anything. Well he no longer has that luxury.
A new evil is about to be unleashed. It has awoken. It can't be stopped! (No brakes remember?)
* Dixon's installing a new part deserves further explaination here. Dixon explained that he only purchased the pattern pump " 'cause it was merely CDN $4. more than the repair kit ."
divided highway: [Vermont, New England Rallying] a dirt road which has grass growing between the tire tracks. Canadian Pinstripe [ OVLR ] stripes left in paintwork by tree branches
Ottawa, Ontario, CA
13 May 1997