Bala Drivng Day June 2001
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BALA DRIVING DAY 17TH JUNE
What better place to start our off roading again than overlooking lake Bala? The short notice for the event was, naturally enough, because we were waiting for the all clear which duly came at the start of June.
The distinctive aroma of gas wafted across the site as a veritable plethora of LPG powered Land Rover V8's and Jeep straight sixes arrived on site. LPG certainly seems to have put a smile on the faces of a lot of petrol heads, though I do wish they would stop reminding those less well endowed than themselves just how much they are saving over their unleaded brethren! Bala site is currently being cleared of its Rhododendron bushes and it is amazing just how much difference that makes in terms of space, a benefit not lost on those looking for the harder routes through the centre of the site.
Whilst we can truthfully say we get just about every make type size and age of 4x4's on our various events it is still always nice to see something a bit different. A brace of G Wagens off roading in one place is unusual, an Ibex perhaps less unusual these days, though banana yellow livery makes it more so. A hardened Suzuki GV2000 is unusual and Mike Line has made a very neat job of it. Well sorted and a good looking bumper, raised suspension and bigger tyres all make it look the part as well as be the part from what I saw of its perambulations.
To prove it isn't just the armoured off roaders who frequent these events there were plenty of Discos, Nineties and Troopers amongst others happy to be off road. The Trooper crew from Cumbria do have a slightly eclectic approach to off roading. If it feels good, do it, seems to be their accepted way. There can't be many, indeed I'd chance my arm and say any, Troopers in the UK with a front locking differential to complement the standard rear limited slip one. Put in some suspension mods, skilled and spirited driving and you have a real storm Trooper.
The Greaves Land Rover, I hesitate to say whether it is a 2A or a 3 as I'd get it wrong, spent a large, very large, proportion of its day sunk up to the door hinges in gloop. The plan was to test ground anchors, snatch blocks and teamwork as far as I could work out. Tested they were but despite the legend, '88" of pure pleasure' emblazoned across the rear hard top there didn't seem too much pleasure being had towards the latter part of the recovery operation. They did however, succeed!
The arrival of an old Range Rover isn't a real event of note, it happens regularly enough, but this one was different. The registration seemed very familiar, GAC on a Y which convinced me it was a Land Rover demo vehicle in its youth. Not just any old demo but one that I had in my possession in the early days of Off Road magazine. So convinced in fact that I spent an hour digging out copies of Off Road and Four Wheel Driver. The old memory cells may be waning but they're not yet dead. Success. The front cover of Off Road and Four Wheel Driver magazine, May 1984 is features a Nevada Gold 4 door auto Range Rover registration FAC 207Y with a full on and off road test by yours truly. OK it is a different motor but FAC instead of GAC, when it was exactly the same spec and colour Range Rover, is close enough for me to call that a victory for my memory. Anorak time over now.
Old acquaintances were renewed, views enjoyed, photo's taken and last but not least, a light hearted challenge from me saw three difflocked 4x4's tackle a short, steep, jagged rock incline. Richard Ibberson's Ibex, Darren McGuinness' 90 and Alan Wormald's G wagen. None of them made it in one go, but two did clear it. My lips are sealed!
Once again Club Off road enjoyed the hospitality of Landcrafts site and went away feeling better for the experience.
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