LEJoG in a Princess : back home and gallery

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Words: Alexander Boucke Photographs: Alexander Boucke and Karin Lukaszewicz

Welcome back to the continent

After leaving the big ADO16 meet in Gaydon with the trophy for the furthest travelled we spent another day in London before finally heading home. It was all plain sailing and rather relaxed – that starter motor seemingly felt threatened by the replacement in the boot and worked like a charm… Belgium greeted us with heavy rain as so often, but that was just a little distraction as the 1300 purred along. Interestingly the cracked exhaust is not making itself heard on the motorway. After a total of 2759 miles we pulled into our drive and gave the Princess a well deserved rest.

Back home life roped us in quickly with school preparations, work, a slightly overgrown garden and so on. Time to wade through more pictures as the number on the bootlid of the Princess shows was short, so it took a while to prepare a final set for a nice gallery – well here it is at the bottom of this page…

The weather was very kind with us and it was really as good as it looks in the pictures. The repairs done to the sunroof before the journey more than paid off! The engine burned just short of 400 litres of expensive super unleaded and a little more than four litres of oil. At times the Princess’ range of about 250 miles on a good day felt quite short, but this was more due to the case of fuel stops adding to our already regular stops.

Travelling with our children meant that we turned up much later than anyone else at the days final destination on most legs of the trip, but spent more time at attractions along the journey. Tatton Park was a good choice to spend some hours before finally hitting the M6 to the North. So while I drove into the night, the girls on the back seat fell asleep and surely had some nice dreams about all the animals in the farm.

The drive from Bothwell to John o’Groats through the mountains and along the Lochs gave so many different views, that not much additional distraction was needed. Who needs DVD players in the back of a car? Sadly Nessie failed to make an appearance.

Looking back this was a wonderful event, it promised much and did not fall short of the promise. Even now, being back home since slightly more than two weeks, I struggle to single out the most beautiful spot of the whole journey. Instead we have plans for many future holidays – roughly one for each day during the journey. One day we’ll be heading to John o’Groats again, or the Highlands, or Goathland – but not all in one trip! Taking one of the classic cars out again? You bet… A larger boot would be nice, but there is a Maxi and a 3litre in the garage… As long as there is Hydrolastic or Hydragas in the suspension I shall be happy!

 

Alexander Boucke

Based in Aachen, Germany, Alexander has had BMC>ARG cars around him since birth - in fact his earliest childhood memories are from buying a new Landcrab with his family at the age of two. The new cars have aged to classic cars and a few more have joined the family fleet - most of them by now proper classics and many with Hydrolastic or Hydragas suspension. Alexander joined the AROnline team back in 2002 when helping out to get some facts right on the Austin 3 Litre.

7 Comments

  1. A Riley Kestrel in that same turquoise blue as YAC604H used to park in my parent’s street many decades ago. that’s proably when I took a shine to the “Kestrel”.

    All the ADO16’s in this feature look good – Congratulations.

  2. Alexander, what a trip! Maybe a Grandchild will re-live the journey one day with you in the back! The Stone age, I mean ado 16, at Stone henge is a wonderfull shot.

  3. Well done – glad the trip was such as success. Brought back memories of many journeys between Knutsford and Thurso (to the west of John O’Groats) between 1968 & 1972 in our red Morris 1300 estate LED 985F – three kids on the back seat!

  4. @Andrew: Now that’s a plan… Cannot wait for the retirement now!

    @DavidB: Luckily my father had (and still has) an 1800 back when we were three kids. But try that today with 3 bulky child seats – most modern cars would not take them. The kids do love the picnic tables in the Princess!

  5. Alexander, great adventure, love your car was always my favorite version together with the Riley.

    What tires are fitted (excuse my not recognizing) they really look the business and enhance the car.

    You trip reminded me of doing lands End to J o Groats in a Wedgie Princess back in 1978 but yours seems more mechanically uneventful. This is probably not the forum to discuss the merits of a 3 cylinder B engine.

    • 1978 the wedge should have been nearly new… Our 1800 S landcrab has always been reliable and took us around York and Lancaster in that year, with me in the backseat.

      The tyres fitted are 155/80R12 sized, most people tend to use the smaller 145 size though. The only non standard feature about the wheels is the colour: body coloured instead of black.

  6. Thanks Alexander, I guess its the size difference and slight aggresive tread pattern, seems to make a more visually appealing image.

    The Wedge was fairly new 1976/77, I loved that car, roomy like the land crab, my two kids looked lost in the back. I saw it around town for years after I sold it.
    Funny thing my next car was a 1979 Cavalier with Opel engine, that managed 400 mile before a piston broke up. Opel was apparently stunned and had the engine airfreighted back to Germany and actually wrote me. Was a heat treatemnt problem with one piston.

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