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The LRO Show at Stoneleigh Park

by Takeo De Meter

On Thursday, Sept 6th 2001, I left for Stoneleigh Park,Warwickshire. The Rangie I was travelling in is LPG only, since the gasoline injection is shot (and so are the rear shock absorbers and window lifter switches). The windscreen looks as if had been bought second hand in Bosnia.

The SuperseaCat left Oostende at 0800 hrs continental time and brought me to Dover in just 2 hours, where I had implemented some interesting exercises in driving on the wrong side of the road.

Fuel consumption is a nice 45 litres per 100 Km, (tank is 80 litres) so I stopped in Maidstone to top up the LPG. Shell station in Snodland had LPG but no filling adaptor. Haynes in Maidstone did have an adaptor so they filled our tank and directed me to a company in Canterbury who sold adaptors. So I drove back to Cantebury to buy an adaptor from FuelTech. Then I was back on my way.

I drove from filling station to filling station towards Coventry since no list of LPG selling points seems to exist in the UK. We arrived at Stoneleigh Park around 2000 hrs local time, not bad for a 160 mile trip. (I did NOT stop underway for lunch or drinks or anything - only driving and seeking LPG filling stations).

At Stoneleigh, I found out that the organizers had not kept any records of e-mail orders (ask Yvette) and I did not figure on their lists. A few well-chosen Teutonic words convinced them that I had not previously traveled to the UK to steal our 5-day camp pass from their offices and they let me in. I set up camp in the dark, had a couple of cans of Coke and hit the hay.

The next morning I woke up in the brightest of sunshines, brewed me some coffee and commenced a recon tour of the premises.

The whole affair was a huge trade fair, so I kept my camera in my pocket since there will be enough of that in the LRO magazine.

Later in the day I met Sébastien and Eric, 2 French and very sympathetic nutcases who had stripped the hood off their 110 V8 and had come all the way from Reims and Normandy with their windscreen down. They set up camp (inflatable tent and all) next to me and they invited me to share a very nice Navarin d'Agneau (prepared by Eric at home) for supper, accompanied with a couple of bottles of good French wine. I contributed Belgian coffee and Scotch whisky to round off the meal.

On Saturday afternoon, we took Sébastien's 110 to the off-road run. Disappointing terrain - a few beginner's slopes and a shallow water bath, nothing to write home about. We were allowed 2 tours for our £ 10.--. Never bothered about the central diff since the trail had been filled with rocks and building debris, making it no challenge of any kind at all, except for fighting boredom. So we took a tour of the trade fair, got back to camp, cooked me an extensive meal à la française and ended the day in the good company of a nice bottle. Sébastien and Eric had left for France in the late afternoon.

Sunday: Dave Crook from A&D Auto Gas Conversions sold me 2 LPG evaporators at a decent price and Rimmer Bros. sold me an intake manifold with SU carbs, K&N filters, a fuel pump and a couple of rocker cover gaskets, also at a very reasonable price.
So that is all there is about it: an expensive way to go visit a trade fair.

Note to LRO: either clean up your act and call it the LRO Commercial Show or find us a nice swamp to play in.

Takeo de Meter <