For those new to the blog and the whole Morocco or Bust adventure, here is the previous post on this :
What happened, what went wrong, have we missed the epic adventure of men and machine battling against all the odds to get to Morocco or Bust ?
The short answer is …
there was too much work to do.
For the long answer read on …
Having bought the 4L and being full of enthusiasm for a new project Alexander and I embarked upon the long list of jobs I had created to make the car suitable for the adventure we had in mind. The first and probably the worst job was crawling about underneath the car to rustproof and paint the chassis and underbody. We managed to achieve this in one weekend but it was horrible messy work and I had hammerite tattoos on my back and arm that lasted two weeks.
Close examination of the car revealed that it was surprisingly sound – some corrosion at the front end of the chassis rails but these are not a key structural element and not a CT failure point. This is just as well as repairs to the chassis require the body to be removed which I was not planning on doing.
There is no doubt the 4L has bags of character and as a local runabout it oozes charm and gets lots of thumbs up from the locals and is perfectly suited to this kind of use. The brakes are unassisted drums all round and are terrible – but if you remember to give them a mighty shove they do actually stop the car. The trombone gearchange is totally bizarre but actually works very well, the steering is light and reasonably accurate. Plenty of room in the back for trips to the dump or collecting a new washing machine. Yes it is noisy and the suspension is harsh with no load and the doors don’t fit properly but these things only add to the charm.
The real issue for me came down to this :
“Will the 4L manage the 5000Km trip to Morocco and back?”
The answer to this was “possibly” and to change that response into a “probably” or even a “yes” would require a strip down and rebuild of many of the mechanical systems on the car. Having been through the car and made a list of all of the work I would like to do in order to feel comfortable doing that journey, I began to question the whole idea. As a local runabout none of these potential issues would be a problem as you would most likely be able to make it home, order the parts and fix it – the parts are readily available and the car is mechanically and electrically very simple. On some deserted mountain road miles from anywhere it would be a different story…
Bear in mind that although the Quatrelle I bought is a 1986 model from near the end of the production run (a 33 year old car), the actual design and manufacturing setup for the car was from the 1950s with the first car produced in 1961 – which makes it about a 60 year old car in terms of technology. If we were entering the 4L trophy then we would have to put the work in to make the car reliable enough to complete the event – but as we are just planning to follow some of the route and get to Morocco at our leisure the 4L may not have been the best choice of vehicle. On the positive side I did sell it for more than I paid for it….
So now begins the search for a suitable alternative to allow the Morocco or Bust challenge to become reality…
Lots of pictures here :