For the last year, I have been driving a Mazda Bongo Mk. I, a rarity in the UK. But apart from checking the oil and water levels, I don’t mess around too much with it. It ain’t broke so I am not going to fix it. And anyway, the engine is under the front seats and not too easy to get at.
But I have a couple of other “projects”. I recently acquired two Oxford Allan Scythes. For those who don’t know, these are grass cutters, with reciprocating blades mounted on the front, a pair of 21″ wheels with pneumatic tyres, all powered by a Villiers 147cc 2-stroke engine.
Needless to say, neither machine works – yet.
I have stripped the carburettors (there is more technology in a baked bean tin) and cleaned them, washed out the petrol tanks, and tinkered with the throttles. All that needs to be done now is to check the coils and points, then a quick pull on the starter cord and I will be able to clear my one acre paddock like a knife through hot butter – well, that’s the plan.
But during this last rather wet week, I have not been able to do much, so I looked up the workings of a typical two stroke engine. And it occured to be that if it were attached to another motor, it would make a reasonable water pump.
So, if one of these scythes doesn’t work, guess what the motor is going to be turned into? And if it works, I will be in the market for a few old two-stroke engines in Kenya!
On another tack, looking to the future, I will need a vehicle when I am in Kenya. So I contacted someone there who deals with Japanese imports out there (is there any other sort of vehicle in Kenya?). I want a 4×4 that will climb up a wall if necessary. I was thinking Pajero or Landcruiser. But my contact suggested the Hilux Surf.
Now, I am only guessing, but judging from the name, I guess this is the car version of the indestructable Toyota Hilux. If this is the case, I want one.
I have watched the Top Gear team try to destroy one of these. It has withstood accidents, being submersed in the sea, having a caravan dropped on it, being hit by a demolition ball and parked on top of a tower block that was then demolished. The vehicles looks the worse for wear but the engine started.
These clowns were so impressed that they have ceated a shrine for it.
So, if it is good enough for Clarkson and Co., it’s good enough for me.
I have acquired one here in the UK now. It is comfortable, very comfortable and the immense tyres soak up the bumps, even with the suspension in firm mode.
It’s not very big, no bigger than the average family estate. It is just the tyres that make it look big.