The end of an era finally came yesterday when Layla Land-Rover set off for a trip across the sea to Ireland.
Layla (who got her name because she had a British Leyland badge on the grille when she arrived – soon removed!) came from the brother of our neighbour Rob about ten years ago – can’t remember exactly as the paperwork went with her on the truck. Over the years she’s done less and less annual mileage and it seemed crazy to keep a vehicle for less than 1000 miles a year, what with MOTs, and insurance – at least the road tax was free.
Built in 1972, Layla was an early example of the Series 3 (or possibly a late example of the Series 2a) and had started life with a petrol engine. Somewhere along the line this was substituted for a diesel, which made it more economical but a lot noisier!
Over the years I replaced the driver’s door, added a thick sound-deadening mat to the front, a capstan winch (which was both authentic and useful), better headlamps so I could see in the dark and a few other bits and pieces.
I decided in December that as soon as she’d been MOT’d for another year I’d sell her. An ad on the Land Rover Owner website, brought 3 replies in the space of as many days. The first came from Ireland – well at least the buyer was from Ireland but he was in the Canaries at the time! – so he had first option. I discussed the sale with his son on the phone and a deal was done. The money came through before Christmas and then I sat and waited for a collection date.
In early January a call came though to ask if it could be collected “in a couple of hours”. This was 7pm so I suggested the following morning may be better especially as his truck would be too large to get up our road easily. 8.30 the following morning I rolled into Llanfihangel and there was the transporter. The driver looked a bit unsure, and lo and behold, with the roofrack Layla was too high to fit on. So back she came.
It was then another month before a similar phone call, but this time with a smaller transporter. Once again the roofrack was a potential problem, but with a bit of careful manoeuvring, on she went.
A quick cuppa later, she was on her way to a new life in Ireland.
A quick e-mail to the buyer enclosing this photo and the relevant part of the V5 into the post at last to the DVLA and that should have been the end of it.
Then the phone rang at about 7.30. It was the Police at the port. “Are you aware that a Land-Rover registered to you is about to leave the country?” Well, yes I was of course aware, but it was good to know that the forces of law and order were on their toes and alert to any Land-rover smuggling.
Today we woke to snow on the ground and falling, but hopefully the replacemnt Subaru will take it in it’s stride.
Postscript: Just after Layla went Smudge wandered into the shed to take up his favourite place – lying in the spare wheel cover on the bonnet. Not finding it, he stalked back outside giving me a ‘not happy’ look. However a couple of days later he is happy again. The accessory tray from the Subaru is both wheel-shaped, warm and nicely positioned on top of the trailer – good, warm, views all round. Result!!