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Author Topic: The GHOST of Dean  (Read 1901 times)
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LanciAlan
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« on: 12 November, 2011, 10:56:59 PM »

As I stood late last night in the misty, moonlit, rain-sodden depths  of the Forest of Dean, negotiating with a wolf while simultaneously, and agonisingly slowly, decanting jerrycans of petrol into my tow-car to ensure my safe return from this dark place (and trying also to keep an eye on the wolf and not turn my back to him) I thought there was already a "BEAST" thread on this forum ... but perhaps I was confusing it with the "THING" thread here: http://www.lancia.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1509.0.

Anyhow, on reflection and in less strained circumstances today, it struck me that my reason for being stood talking to a wolf in the FoD on a dark, wet night was more of a "GHOST" thing than a "BEAST" thing.....

I was there to collect this rather neglected ghostly white 2000 Iniezione from the top of a very steep, narrow and slippery hill, a hill of the kind that demands to be "attacked on sight" if one is to have any chance of cresting it - a gaggle of indolent sheep strung across the road about one-third the way up and a slippery bed of leaves two-thirds up not helping matters either.



Having successfully "crested" with gusto, parked car and trailer at the top and surveyed the situation from the summit with the aid of torches and umbrellas, the 2000 was found to be parked facing downhill in one branch of a Y-junction near the top of the hill. Initial attempts at loading it involved driving the tow-car and trailer a bit down the hill again and reversing uphill into the Y-branch to load it.

This reversing operation was done while leaning out the driver's door with all lights out as the moonlight gave a more general glow whereas the tow-car's interior lights and the various trailer lights distracted from the uphill reversing manoeuver. However with the trailer's overrun braking system locking up as soon as any reverse uphill acceleration was attempted and causing the tow-car's wheels to spin and the back axle to bounce around and generally try to escape its agony,this approach proved to be a case of "one step up the hill and two steps down"  (the down steps being necessary to unlock the trailer brakes). Pretty soon I was almost down in the bed of leaves at basecamp 2 again.

I returned to the bottom of the hill, passing the sheep at basecamp 1 who had no more interest or advice to offer than before, and I once again attacked the hill forwards, this time stopping the car and trailer facing uphill in the second Y-branch (see attached map). Further reconnaissance suggested that a "slingshot" reversing/turning manoeuver from this Y-branch into the other Y-branch (and through a narrowish gateway) might result in the trailer ending up somewhere in line with the 2000 before its brakes locked and/or the tow-car began to spin its wheels on the grassy surface. So I opened the tailgate, closed my eyes, threw the car in gear and hoped for the best....

Attempt number 3 at this approach worked and, with every available car and trailer brake being applied and chocks placed at all wheels, the non-runner 2000 was rolled quite easily down the hill under footbrake control and onto the trailer before being lashed into position. Only afterwards did I realise that getting the 2000 aligned centrally on the trailer was in fact a one-shot chance since, once loaded in the downhill position, it could only be reversed off the trailer and back up the hill under its own steam (of which there is none at present).



Customary jubilation on such achievements ensuing (I seem to be moved to retrieve an old Lancia from the UK approximately once or twice annually for the past ten years or so), and the heavy rain having passed, the usual photographs were taken to mark the occasion. I think the picture above successfully conveys the impression of the car being dragged from a fairly dense thicket (and deep in a forest as aforesaid).

Chocks away and brakes released, I later inched the heavy car+trailer+car combo down Smith's Hill without incident and made my way from the forest with considerable relief.

And the wolf you ask? He came along after my helpers had gone inside to drink tea and chat about Lancias. As I nervously refuelled the tow car he told me that the ghostly white sedan parked outside the house for years had always "spooked" him from approaching the place, thus keeping the occupants safe but that he was now looking forward to eating some of their children and small animals. I suggested he should go talk to the sheep down the hill (knowing that this was a fools errand) and said that I could take or leave the "ghost" sedan but that I would leave it if it meant the family would be safe. He then threatened to eat me on the spot so thinking quickly I agreed to take the sedan away on the condition that he left the kids off the menu and gave any adults a fair chance to talk their way out of being eaten. That was the way we left things and  I went inside where nobody seemed to have noticed I had been gone for nearly 15 minutes.

I know 3 of the previous owners of this car, including the seller and the previous owners in Cornwall (J&S C) and Stroud (MB). It comes with an interesting partial history file which shows that it sold for 1200 on eBay at one stage (having previously sold for 400 then 700) and also containing a detailed letter from its second owner of 20 years who describes some interesting fuel injection system ailments that could have threatened to put it beyond viable use much earlier in life had they not been remedied by some clever and knowledgable means. The car was also worked on by Harry Manning though unsuccessfully as that particular fault recurred.


« Last Edit: 06 December, 2011, 12:00:46 PM by LanciAlan » Logged

Alan Murphy

Lancias that begin with "F" ... and affordable variants beginning with "Z" and "P" ..... and now with added "Y"!
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« Reply #1 on: 13 November, 2011, 12:58:48 PM »

Was it the Ghost of 'The Dean' that spirited it away from Cornwall where it was to be found in 2000, to it's Forest location, did you see any ghosts of the miners with candles stuck on the end of a stick in their mouth? Smiley

Nice to see anoother lost soul going to a good home.
Brian
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Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
1999 Suzuki Wagon R+ GL, now my daughters
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LanciAlan
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« Reply #2 on: 10 March, 2012, 04:11:24 PM »

Returning by daylight last weekend to the scene of the ghostly sighting recounted previously in this thread, David Mirolo and myself, Lancia Hunters extraordinaire, were on the trail of the Beast of Dean of which we had heard tell on our previous visit.

Local Lancia man Darren had dragged the beast from its lair before we arrived and we set to with blunt instruments and bare hands ....



We soon tore out the heart, lungs and main arteries from the corpse and began the delicate work of rendering these to their component parts and extracting the smaller organs ....





Work on the carcasse resumed after a hearty lunch provided by our Forest friends and soon the pile of bits was bigger than seemed possible to load into the back of the Merc with rear seats folded down.





First went in the engine, then the gearbox, power steering assembly and front suspensions. On top were loaded the very nice (and large) stainless steel exhaust manifold, nice green tinted front and rear screens, several boxes of parts and all the tools and equipment we had brought with us, including two jerrycans of fuel to avoid the UK taxman.

Finally there was just enough room for our travel bags and work clothes before setting off for the first  Fulvia 50 working group meeting in Hampshire the following day.

 


A planned visit to a nearby Fulvia parts hoarde had fallen through at the last minute but probably for the better..... so there was just time for a quick visit to Jane Austen's non-Lancia related museum in Chawton instead - note how well the Merc sits with over half a Flavia and half my garage equipment in the boot!.

« Last Edit: 10 March, 2012, 04:58:37 PM by LanciAlan » Logged

Alan Murphy

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« Reply #3 on: 10 March, 2012, 05:33:33 PM »

Speechless of Silsoe Shocked
Brian
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« Reply #4 on: 10 March, 2012, 06:49:25 PM »


Great read - and what a haul !!

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
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Rust , What Rust !! I don't See any rust !!!


« Reply #5 on: 28 March, 2012, 11:07:13 PM »

I engoyed the read Alan, Making trips to the UK to retrieve old ghostly Lancias really improves my Geography. I really had a good time breaking the 2000 , which gives you a great insight into how well Lancias were put together, only for that crappy Russian steel !  Undecided. Darren and family really made us very welcome,and with his assistence helped make the job a lot easier. Anyway roll on the next trip, what's  it going to be, a trip to the Highlands ?  Grin
 
« Last Edit: 28 March, 2012, 11:11:20 PM by HF_Dave » Logged

My Current Cars:
1997 Ypsilon 1.2 16v
2003 Ypsilon 16v
1989 Thema 16v

1977 Beta sedan 2000
1975 Fulvia S3 1.3
1973 Flavia HF 2000 Coupe
1972 Fulvia S2 1.3
1989 Thema 8.32
**Other Makes**
2008 Fiat 500
2006 Fiat Croma
2009 Fiat Ducato160ps,Mu
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« Reply #6 on: 29 March, 2012, 10:29:16 AM »


In ten years time all the trips will be delivering all this stuff back again  Grin

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
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Rust , What Rust !! I don't See any rust !!!


« Reply #7 on: 30 March, 2012, 04:58:35 PM »

We will be hopefully driving the bits back as complete cars, with youy's truly at the wheel. You see coming from a land of spuds and Guinness there were a few lancias around but not many, those that were on the road were driven in to the ground to provide fertiliser for the spuds and hops. So we have to make the crossing to the mainland to retreive the bits to maintain the shrinking fleet. This all sounds a bit mad but to be able to pull a part off the shelf and not have to send away by post and hope be able to get the part is a comfort.  Although i am naturally a hoarder, I tend to keep everything but i will allways help out a fellow lancia man if he is stuck for a part  Grin (written from my hospital bed) 
« Last Edit: 30 March, 2012, 05:05:39 PM by HF_Dave » Logged

My Current Cars:
1997 Ypsilon 1.2 16v
2003 Ypsilon 16v
1989 Thema 16v

1977 Beta sedan 2000
1975 Fulvia S3 1.3
1973 Flavia HF 2000 Coupe
1972 Fulvia S2 1.3
1989 Thema 8.32
**Other Makes**
2008 Fiat 500
2006 Fiat Croma
2009 Fiat Ducato160ps,Mu
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