Apart from the obvious, 'Hammer' and 'Spanner' are the nick-names of the backup crew that follow us round some of the Welsh runs that we used to take part in organised by Malcolm Williams of Border Tours. In fact, they only claim to carry a lump-hammer and a tow-rope, so I'm not sure where the spanner bit comes in.

Golden rules:For the fastest restoration in the West see taken from 'The Car's The Star'.

And finally the quote of quotes:

"Al, bent over the wheel, kept shifting eyes from the road to the instrument panel, watching the ammeter needle, which jerked suspiciously, watching the oil gauge and the heat indicator. And his mind was cataloguing weak points about the car. He listened to the whine, which might be the rear end, dry; and he listened to tappets lifting and falling. He kept his hand on the gear lever, feeling the turning gears through it.

"Listen to the motor. Listen to the wheels. Listen with your ears and with your hands on the steering wheel; listen with the palm of your hand on the gearshift lever; listen with your feet on the floorboards. Listen to the pounding old jalopy with all your senses; for a change of tone, what a variation of rhythm might mean. That rattle - that's tappets. Don't hurt a bit. Tappets can rattle till Jesus comes again without no harm. But that thudding as the car moves along - can't hear that - just kind of feel it. Maybe oil isn't gettin' someplace. Maybe a bearing's startin' to go..."

The Grapes Of Wrath
John Steinbeck

It was near life and death for the people Steinbeck was writing about, but does it strike a chord?

February 2013: To bring things right up to date I came across this in a 2011 book about a 5000 mile solo ride through South Africa on a classic British bike by Steve Wilson - "Short Way Up". It was originally written by Peter Egan about bikes, but I think it applies equally well to our cars:

"We call them British, but they aren't British at all. They are Greek, in the classic dramatic sense, like the men and Gods in Homer. Beautiful, spirited, heroic, flawed, and full of fateful games that measure hubris against honour, and seek to test our tenacity and sense of adventure. They are here to see what we are made of, not to be our friends."

The information on these pages has been gleaned from the official factory Workshop Manual, Haynes, Clausager and others plus training and personal experience in electro-mechanical engineering and LBC ownership over many years. It is not intended to reproduce verbatim whole chunks of workshop manuals and other reference sources, more to pull together that wealth of knowledge and experience that comes from actually working on these cars, by others as well as myself, that is rarely in 'official' publications. Also to pull together information that may have been published elsewhere but in several different sources and/or times. E&OE. Which means 'Errors and Omissions Excepted'. Which means I have tried to make it accurate, but cannot be held responsible if it isn't, though do tell me of any errors. There is also no substitute for you owning the relevant manuals yourselves, have a look in my Virtual Bookshop.