I woke up to the sound of rain hitting the roof hard above my head. I didn't care at first as I turned back over onto my side whilst pulling the duvet of my comfy bed that I had just spent the first night in a week in.
It was cosy, warm and I desperately wanted to drop back off to sleep but the morning held a job that was a week overdue in the doing already, so with a gentle sigh I flipped the covers back letting in the cool air and dragged myself upright to start the day.
The week's holiday we have just taken was lovely. Lots of Spanish sun and far too much good food and drink had been had by all but reality had kicked back in as I sat nursing my morning brew looking out of the front window into the typically British rain.
I wondered whether The 110 would start after sitting so long, the battery had been a bit on the low side when I moved it last week but I guess there was only one way to find out.
I chucked on my rain hat along with my coat and headed out into the downpour with the landy keys in my hand. After removing all of the various anti theft measures that are put into place because there are so many thieving buggers about hungry for any Defender they can get and also because you could nick one using a wet sponge, I hopped into the drivers seat dripping water all around the cab.
The key was pushed home into the ignition and with a quick flick of the wrist the engine roared instantly into life.
"Bugger me, it started" I thought to myself hoping that this was going to be a good omen for the day. What was I forgetting though? Oh yea, the big box of tools that I had set up ready in the garage before going off on our jaunt to Spain. I wandered back down the driveway grabbed the box out of the garage and promptly popped it into the back of the motor.
I needed diesel so the first bit of a drive was to the local petrol station about a mile away. Much to my surprise we made it there without any breakdowns...
"Going a bit too well this" I thought moodily to myself because this now meant in my head that the engine would probably explode on route to the MOT centre.
Fuelled up and paid for I was once more travelling along the road building up a steady speed keeping an ear on the new noises that The 110 was making. Seeing as this was our first trip out together I was unsure of it should sound like but seeing as everything was still moving as it was supposed to with nothing falling off I figured all must be well.
Our speed built up steadily to 55mph and this seemed fast enough while all of the new components from the rebuild settled down into their own rhythm. The noise though! Wow! It was like sitting inside the exhaust of a B52 Bomber plane that nose diving towards the ground at a ludicrous speed.
"Need to sort out some insulation then" I figured mentally adding that to the list of future work to do.
The distance passed quickly enough and before I knew it I found myself parking up outside of the test centre. I handed over the keys and wandered out of the way enough to keep an eye on what was happening with the old boy.
I have to admit I found myself smiling thinking that even if it failed it still looked bloody good!
The MOT guy meandered back over a fair while later to give me the news...
It had passed!
Grinning from ear to ear I couldn't believe that I was going to be able to start having a play finally in The 110. The next list of jobs to do came alive with the next stage of it's transformation into an Overlander. This next section though can be and will be done over a much longer period of time with no rush involved.
I bimbled home without a care in the world wondering how long I would get before it broke down but no! today he wanted to stretch his legs as much as I did. I will admit to missing the odd gear here and there but apart from that there were no issues at all.
He needed a name now he was alive once more. I thought of "Pukka" at the start of the build using the letters from his number plate but no that just did not suit. Over time on the build I had caught myself calling him "Mator" the same name I gave the Series 3 I rebuilt. So after some careful nosing around online trying to remember where I had seen the recent pictures of the old series 3 I found that the name sticker had been removed and a few other mods made to it.
So bugger it, I introduce to you one road legal, taxed, mot'd and insured Mator Mk2 and quite frankly, I have never been so pleased to see the back of a rebuild in all of my days!
I would like to take a moment to say a huge heartfelt Thank you to all of those people that put themselves out for me and this build especially over the last year which has undoubtedly been the toughest of my life.
Thank you somehow doesn't seem enough to say or do but I will pass on the help you have all shown to me as and when the opportunity arises in the future.
Life without friends that support, encourage, love but most importantly still take the piss out of you when you are down would be no life at all.
So this motor, The 110, Mator Mk2 has been a labour of love. It has driven me mad had me seething in rage wanting to sell it or burn it but it has also kept me busy when I needed it most. It gave me time to think and reflect on my own and time to spend with my friends as they pitched in helping hold me up when I needed it most.
You see these Land Rovers are special. They are fun. They are frustrating. They are money pits. They are also beacons to pull folks together from all walks of life with a common interest that always seems to end up somehow in laughter quite often with a couple of beers in tow.
Oh and I am never ever ever rebuilding another one!