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Reader DIY: Happily Ever After

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Words & Images Danie & Joan van Tonder

One day, a client towed a battered old Bedford truck into my workshop yard in Knysna and asked if I want it for spares. The truck gathered dust for about three years, until one day when we didn’t have a lot of work to do and my worker stripped down the load body and battered cab from the chassis.

After a good look, my fiancé and I saw some potential in the old truck. I got hold of a very good cab with no rust, at the aloe factory in Uniondale, and we started refurbishing the old Bedford.

I’ve always had a soft spot for old vehicles, and thought that this would be something special.

We had the brake system and pipes overhauled completely. We removed the front axle and fitted new kingpins, and the leaf springs were re-tampered. New shocks were fitted front and rear.

Then we completely overhauled the old 330 diesel motor. We fitted new lights all around, and new wiring. We cleaned and painted the cab, assembled the chassis… and just like that the truck looked like new.

Then we built a new load body with light steel, just to get it roadworthy. We fitted bucket seats and new carpeting and redid the headlining.

We brought the “Old Lady” back to her glory with the new engine, chassis and load body and cab.

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