LAW488W – A fantastically sensible car for a student in the City of London! Ex-military standard 2 ¼ petrol engine, twin tanks under the seats and fully strippable in the summer. When not stripped and doors off, screen down, I ran it with either a full canvas tilt, or with a cab top from a salvage yard. It was great party wagon to cram people into and had a good no-nonsense presence in the city. I stripped the military hand painted drab olive back to the ‘birmalite’ and resprayed it in a dark grey metallic, added some big alloys and tyres, wheel spats and an overdrive. Other than that I built a series of stereo boxes that I was never happy with, but that was it.
I once drove it from Dartford to Liverpool, foot to the floor at 65-70mph, running dry the twin tanks under the front seats – a stunning 8mpg from memory – luckily on expenses from a work placement. Whilst there I left it at the rather upmarket Atlantic Towers hotel, I did offer to park it but the doorman said he would – getting out the car I put it fully into neutral, hi-lo, overdrive, main shift, the lot, it was still parked in pride of place at the front the next morning and of course I left the forecourt a little oil.
This car was broken into twice – once in Bedford where on the drive at home someone undid the canvas tilt and climbed in from the back to steal the cheap stereo. One amusing aside was they never tried the doors as it didn’t have locks! The second time was when I was on a workplacement nr Dartford – this time they used the door – stole the stereo and all cassettes/CD’s but I was slightly insulted when they just left one Kylie CD behind.