Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Contained excitement.

In the final chapter of the first stage in our Expedition it is time to say some thank you’s.

This Monday, 5th March, Matt and I drove down to Felixstowe to drop the Jeeps off at the docks ready for shipping. The trip went well and is documented, with route, here, using the Spot Location device.

We left Matlock fully loaded with the Willy’s MB in ‘knock down’ form in the back of the Land Rover 101 and the Ford GPW on Matt’s trailer. We had not tried out the trailer idea with a fully loaded 101, but it pulled well, cruising at 50 - 55 mph. Approaching Felixstowe the sky turned from sunny blue to heavy black clouds at the coast. We have made the decision to off load the Willy’s that afternoon to avoid doing it in an unknown yard in Felixstowe the next morning. It takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

As we pulled into the car park in Aldeburgh it really lashed it down with rain, pushed by a strong wind. In the cab of the 101 we formed a plan - Ford off trailer, trailer off 101, roof off 101, Willy’s out of 101 (the long bit of the operation - 1 hour) trailer back on 101 and Willy’s onto trailer ‘dock ready’. The wind and rain made this very difficult and after an hour we were cold and wet, but we carried on getting the whole process completed in a record 1 hr 40 minutes. Fortunately the Hotel was only 100 yards away and soon we were warm and enjoying a pint of Adnams Bitter!

Tuesday morning the rain had stopped and we made good the bits of packing rushed the evening before and set off for Felixstowe, 40 minutes away. Having found Pentalver’s yard the process could not have been simpler. Within half an hour both Jeeps were secure in a 40 foot container and should set sail for Alexandria in the good ship Moranto on 12th March.

We have not had any special deals from anybody really, but many have been more helpful than they needed to be.

A big thanks to:

My son, Matt Savage, who along with Barry and Andy, build both Jeeps retaining much of the original 1943 steel. And young Edward Savage - chief test driver!

‘Wet Paint’ Tony Sinclair at All Drive UK for mechanical help and MOT’s on both Jeeps and the 101.

The friendship and support of John Carroll and Sam Watson. The three of us shared this dream about 3 years ago.

Jason Paterniti, Bob Attwater, Karl-Gunnar Noren, Mike Van Pelt and Rick Pewe for sharing the same idea. Mahmoud Maria for making arrangements in Cairo.

Mike and Anthony Deacon at AMD 4 Wheel Drive who sold me the Jeeps originally. Just what I wanted and at a reasonable price.

Jeeparts in Shrewsbury for having all the parts needed and if not, getting them to Matt’s the next day. Great service.

Jason Woodward for convincing me I really needed his Land Rover 101 and organic milk. Then agreeing to store the 101 at his farm when I didn’t need it.

Paul Cordle at Michelin tyres for help in supplying tyres for the Ford Jeep and the 101. Great tyres!

Andrew Graham at AlliSport for fitting a double sized intercooler to the 101 and making it pull like a train!

The test drivers on two weekends last Autumn: Matt Savage, Will Savage, John Carroll, Karl-Gunnar Noren, Jason Paterniti, Stephen Riley, James Platt, Paul Warren, Bob Attwater, Alistair Calvert and not forgetting Keiran Johnson of Free Spirit 4x4 for putting together a great route in The Peak District.

Magazine Editors’ Jonathan Hanson (Overland Journal USA), Rick Pewe (Petersens 4x4 USA) Simon Ward- Hastelow (LRW) Hils Everitt (4x4 UK) and Nigel Fryatt (4x4 UK) for kindly running Press Releases and articles relating to the trip.

Jonathan Mansfield at Web Design Works for creating an excellent web site.

Chris Jennings at Noodle Doodle Design for designing the logo.

Paul Gowan at the RAC for arranging the Carnet de Passage.

Mariana Uzunova and Matt McHale at SeaGo Line for arranging the shipping from Felixstowe.

And finally my partner, Jo Halford, for putting up with me and proof reading all articles, press releases and text.

The next Blog report should be from Cairo!


  1. karl-Gunnar Norén7 March 2012 at 19:37

    Thanks Toby for this wonderful report. Now you have given me a problem. Thank you for that as well. Solving the problem leads humanity forward.
    But not this problem. You said in June last year, the necessity of owning a Jeep. I bought a jeep and crossed fingers that it would turn out well. It went well. My dear wife liked the jeep, as it was red, not olive drab.
    Now brings you the desire to own a Land Rover 101.
    A vehicle that barely even exists in Sweden. And that definitely does not exist in my dear wife's habits of mind.
    We'll talk more about this in the desert under the stars. I am really looking forward to these talks. In my opinion, you not only a great entrepreneur. Without even a good interlocutor.

  2. Looking great (especially the 101!) Matt looks like the Jeep's going to nudge his head; good fit in there. Looking forward to Cairo blog. Bon chance!

  3. Karl-Gunnar. I have heard there is no limit to how many toys a man can have!

  4. I shall be folowing this adventure with great interest as my late father served in Y patrol of the Long Range desert Group. Good luck

    1. That's great 'pieface' He would have been a true hero!

    2. Thank you for your reply, it is appreciated. Your Blog made me dig out his photo album that I hadn't looked at for a while.
      Photos of 30 cwt Chevys & Fords up their axles in sand, particulary Y12 "Cock of the North". I still have his silk escape map of the region. If you want to see any photos let me know.

  5. Blimey Pieface. That could be a treasure trove. I/we would LOVE to see these. I'll be in touch at the end of April.