austin 8

As some of our regular readers may already know, the Shopland Collection has a number of civilian cars and lorries not listed on the website.  The Austin 8 tourer pictured above is one such vehicle although it does have a military pedigree, having been demobbed in 1947 after service in the RAF.  The Collection acquired the Austin in 2008 and it has been troublesome to start ever since.  Last month the decision was made to remove the engine as there was no compression on two cylinders.
austin 8 engineBy comparison to the Bedford and AEC lorries the Austin engine is but a toy, however being a side valve unit I am sure it will throw up its own set of problems along the way.  Removing the engine will also give us the opportunity to paint the engine bay.  The Collection also has a 1939 Austin 8 tourer that has never been restored and is still in it's Micky Mouse camouflage but that is a story for another day!

m-shed2On Wednesday the 13th August the Beach Master joined other vehicle from the Western Area of the Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society at Bristol Docks. The 'Wimps' met at M-shed and then took the vehicles for a short road run through the centre of Bristol ending up at the Dovecote pub near Ashton Gate.  Blessed with fine weather the group had a very pleasant evening.

On a very wet and overcast evening we collected our next project from Stafford Armouries.  The 5.5" Gun had been on our wants list for a little while as every sensible Matador owner should have one.  This particular gun was in danger of heading to the scrap furnace so we thought we had better act quick.  The only problem now is that we need to find the missing parts!

55 coming home

Currently the restoration work has come to a halt as we try our hardest to keep the vehicles on the road for the summer.  It is our intention to re-organise the workshop so the gun can be worked on over the Winter alongside the Staghound.

If anyone has a manual or parts list for a 5.5" please contact us.

Despite weeks of heavy rain the War and Peace Show went ahead as usual, when many other events had been cancelled.  Having heard the early reports we decided to leave the Skania at home and take the 4x4s. The faith full old Bedford RL made the 360 mile round trip without missing a beat; the Jeep had a slightly easier ride on the back of a trailer.

war and mud

As always we had a great time at the show meeting many old friends and making new ones.  For me the highlight of the event had to be driving a Staghound armoured car and then firing off a few blanks in the arena.  All in all a very fun week despite the weather's best efforts to dampen things.  When I have time I will post some more pictures in the events gallery.

war and mud2