After getting Albert back from the Forest of Dean where he had been residing for some time I've started to get things moving by getting him a new set of tyres and making sure the tracking is adjusted so at least he'll go in a straight line. That's not to say he didn't but the old tyres were showing some uneven wear so better safe than sorry.
Anyway once the tyres were sorted I drove over to see Damon (who knows my mate Alex), his dad Tony and his brother (Bruv) who run a classic car restoration company called Classic Carr (now there's a surprise) for an opinion on Albert and to find out what they thought of what I may need to do to get Albert and myself to Mongolia and back.
I think their first thoughts were; drive that to Mongolia? he must be a nutter. After chatting about my plans their worst fears were confirmed. I am a nutter, was going to drive that to Mongolia and was actually looking for another nutter to accompany me. Neither Tony, Damon or Bruv were up for it which was a pity as taking a mechanic along makes good sense.
Once they got over their initial shock the lads had a good look over Albert and gave me their verdict which wasn't as bad as it could have been. Basically he's reasonably sound and will need a little bit of work here and there to fix up his floppy bits. We will need to do some modifications to protect his sump and other exposed parts. Also will need to do some interior 'updates' to give him more range and ensure I have everything to survive such as cooker, fridge, bed and en-suite (I think at this stage they were taking the mickey a little).
I've decided that, for the moment, as long as the bodywork is sound there isn't much point in doing too much restoration work but probably leave it until we get back from the trip but until then do the minimum and just enjoy getting back into the swing of driving.
After leaving a bemused Tony, Damon and Bruv I decided to take Albert on a little run to clear his tubes and took Young Ron (he's only 64 so next year will become Old Ron) to collect a photographic award at the East Anglian Federation Exhibition in Suffolk. We left home at around 11:30 and with getting lost managed to arrive in time for the exhibition at 2 which wasn't too bad but since I forgot to make a note of the mileage had no idea whether this was good or not. Travelling home was a little easier as I knew where I was going and got home in around 1 hour 45. Albert did really well keeping a steady 50 to 55 on the main roads without a problem. No vibrations, horrible noises or unexpected clunks and clanks and I think everything that left got home OK. Round trip was 191 miles and according to my calculations he averaged 39 miles per gallon which according to my research is pretty damn good!!!