Pat had to work over Easter at short notice and I went to Alfesta 2000 by plane and rent-a-car. When I arrived at the venue on Thursday afternoon (20 th April) I overheard a conversation about a fellow in Perth (Western Australia) wanting to sell his Berlina 2600 that had been stored for many years. I forgot about this conversation until Alfesta was over on Monday morning and then I started asking the Western Australian Club members about the car. They all gave me a discription of it as it was in 1993, when it was on display at Alfesta in Freemantle.
I found out it had not been used for a long time, it was towed to Alfesta in 1993, and the big problem seemed to be no one had got the carbi plumbing right after doing a rebuild on the motor many years ago. The body sounded quite good with minimal rust, mostly in the side sills, and a bad repair to one front left had guard. Unlike my Sprint, the doors, floor, boot (trunk) and bonnet (hood) were in good condition, and there was a lot of spare and rebuilt parts included with the car. Reconditioned items included a new radiator, rebuilt braking system and a rebuilt steering box. These cars have a problem with the steering box, I may have to have the Sprint one rebuilt before I finish that project.
How could I convince Pat to let me have it, how would I get it back to Adelaide (2,750 Klm) and how much would transporting it cost ?. I obtained the owners name and contact details and as the next couple of days were to be spent with friends in Perth, I forgot about it once again until I got back home the following Thursday.
The first problem was to get Pat to let me have it without a Divorse. I mentioned it to her at dinner time and stressed how rare it was and how well it would fit with the Sprint. Pat seemed ready to give it room at our place if I got rid of some of my other projects, and I tried to get it going without a complete restoration, just fix the carbs and see if it can be made to go. That night I phoned the Trading Post and placed an advertisment for my "spare" Valiants and the "truck load" of Valiant parts I have.
Next day I phoned the owner in Perth and agreeded on a price, phoned a friend in Perth and asked for his help in getting it on a truck, and then I phoned the trucking companies for prices. So far so good, about A$300.00 to get it to Adelaide as a back load, and perhaps A$100.00 to get the spare and rebuilt parts into a box and to me in Adelaide. Another A$50.00 for a tow truck at each end. The Interstate transport firms do not allow loose items to travel with the car, so the new and rebuilt parts that are not back on the car must come over in a box. TNT was not the cheapest quote but their insurance and willingness to load a "dead" car won me over. Some companies just refused, others wanted to load it with a fork lift.
Eric Langdon agreeded to help from the Perth end and so when the deal was done and money transferred from one bank account to another, he phoned TNT to get it onto a truck to Adelaide. To his surprise they informed him they did not transport "dead" cars. After a few more phone calls to people "higher up" in the company, Eric managed to get them to take the car for us, and surprise surprise, it was to be in a container, and the price was a bit cheaper. They said they would tow it into a container with a four-wheel-drive that was also comming to Adelaide and tie it down on its own. It could be towed out when it arrived in Adelaide. Eric had to advise them of a suitable place to attach the tow rope, they are very carefull as the car is fully insured with no excess.
Monday the 8th of May it started its long trip to Adelaide by being taken to the TNT depot by an Alfa Club member who has a tilt tray tow truck, cost about $40.00.
On Thursday the 11th of May I got a phone call from the TNT depot to say the car had arrived and was ready for collection. Another A$40.00 towing fee and by 5PM that day, the car was safely at my place.
The other problem I must solve if I am going to get it on the road with a very quick part restoration (one of Pats conditions in buying it), is the door and side window rubbers. I must find cheap replacements for these to keep the rain and wind out. Got any ideas on this one ?.
|Parts needed for the 2600's||The 2600 Project index||Progress on the Berlina|
Written by and Copyright ©, Phil. Storr, last updated 4th January 2005