The old but astonishingly reliable D1310 Inter 8-seater 4WD petrol-powered van we used after an appalling run with Land Rovers had few creature comforts – a lukewarm heater was all. But its maintenance costs were near zero, so I loved the thing. But it stopped for no apparent reason one afternoon as we shuddered and shook our way toward Merti Merti before roads existed there. The firewall-mounted battery had somehow shaken itself loose, and on inspection was resting on top of the dislodged cap of the distributor. The one spare I didn’t have was a rotor button, and sadly that had been smashed.
I radioed the crew to keep going, told them I’d be a while but would catch up. After probably four hours I’d whittled a rotor button from two bits of shrubbery. When the two bits were clamped together with copper wire and epoxied, they fitted the shaft snugly. Another short wire epoxied in place across the top of the timber was gently bent to get timing right. It held together for another week.
- Lloyd Junor.