hrorne, sweet chrome
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Devizes' answer to the Sistine Chapel, this customised Scammell, awaits a new owner, but you won't find any clues in Glass's. Brian Weatherley explains
RE'S A Christmas connunr m for all the family. What's four wheels, is silver and h ome all over, is part Buffalo, na is liable to cause any selfpecting traffic policeman to 3 ch for his notebook?
he answer, of course, is the V ltshire Showman — a 1968 c mmell Highwayman belong' to Jeremy Collett of Devizes, r ose Wiltshire-based company
undway\Welding Services p cialises in steel fabrication
n repairing bulk grain, cattle n tank bodies of local hauliers. ourteen years ago PHW 541G began its life in Bristol as a contract hire vehicle for the local Leyland dealer. Eighteen months later, and after a change of engine from the Leyland 680 to 680 super plus, it moved to Allied Chemicals in Avonmouth where it pulled tank trailers.
In 1970 it caught the eye of Devizes fairground operator Jack Jennings, who painted it crimson, called it the Pride of Wilts, fitted it with a Gardner 6LW generator and used it to pull Dodgems around the South of England.
By 1981 it had begun a wellearned retirement in a quiet corner of the Jennings yard and would have remained there but for Mr Collett.
"I saw it standing in the weeds every time I drove past and the idea grew in my head to restore it." The temptation finally proved too much in November 1981, when, £400 lighter, he became the new owner of the Highwayman.
"It was generally run down and the cab had been knocked, but it was still running."
Pausing only to remove the generator, he drove it back to Roundway where he began to work on the vehicle. "It took us two days with a steamer before we even got it clean!"
The cab was removed and the Scammell was stripped down to the bare chassis. "Everything was shotblasted before the major rebuilding began, and aluminium parts were bead blasted."
To Jeremy's delight the running gear was in "superb mechanical condition," especially the engine, which had only recently been rebuilt.
By now the old Bristol Leyland dealer had become part of the Lex Tillotson group, but they showed great interest in the project as did Stamp of Avonmouth who, being former Scammell operators, had parts catalogues and spares.
"The only problem I had was getting new door-rubbers," said Jeremy.
Working in his spare time, his new-look Highwayman began to take shape, with improvements like a retrimmed cab, a separate sleeper box behind the cab, and a new external filter system using chromed Buffalo parts.
Next came the paint — silver metalflake and lacquer, costing E1,300 for materials alone. The airbrush murals on the doors were done by a local artist who based them on fairground pictures supplied by the previous owner.
Finally, renamed the Wiltshire Showman, the' Scammell was finished in April this year, and has been doing the rounds of local carnivals and custom car shows, where it has attracted many customers to Jeremy Collett's business.
However, some men are never satisfied; the Wiltshire Showman is now up for sale and Jeremy is already looking forward to his next project. "Something a little smaller this time, like an invalid carriage!"
The cost of the Wiltshire Showman is a mere £7,000. Want to buy a new motor, John?