The Van

The van is a 2001 Mercedes Sprinter 311 CDI, medium wheel base, 2148cc engine. It has (officially) had 6 previous owners, predominantly trade I suspect. The guy I bought it from was a tradesman and at some point the van has belonged to a metals company (as you can still see the writing under a poorly done paint job!). It had 185k miles on it at the time of buying, which is not at all bad for a 14-year-old van; most that age I saw had 2-300k+. This Sprinter also had amour plated locks installed, so that was a nice bonus! (I got a stereo with it too).

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After researching what van I might want, I found this one on gumtree nearby Manchester where I was in my final year of university. Being pretty dense when it comes to the technical side of vehicles, my mechanically-apt friend Matty agreed to come and view the van with me. To put the disparity between our technical knowledge into context, Matty build an old Volkswagen Beatle pretty much from scratch when he was 15 – he can do things to cars that I can’t even pronounce. As for myself, I couldn’t even get an electrical charge from a potato in the simple physics experiment that everyone does in school around 15.

The van worked, engine and crucial parts seemed fine, and I sealed the deal for a very modest £1440 (thanks student loan).

Since I’m lazy and incredibly disorganised, I never took ‘before’ photos that showed the extent of the cosmetic, er… inconveniences (see: holes in roof, crumbling wheel arches and doors), so here’s the best I’ve got –

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And like nearly all Tinder pictures, this is a pretty overly-complimentary shot of the van in its original state. See my first post: initial jobs for more details from the beginning, check back for updates, and when it’s finally converted, this page will display just that!

Jamie

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