Port's life as a trailer queen


Author: Martin PortPublished:

Mr Clements and I have just spent the best part of an hour securing the Scimitar to a trailer in preparation for its journey to the bodyshop. It took that long because neither of us was particular certain of the best way to tie it down – mostly because I am using a different trailer and straps – and oddly this made us even more nervous than usual.

I’ve had a fair amount of practice at towing and am the first to admit that there is a fine art to doing it well. At first I was far from competent, but even then had more experience than some thanks to a previous stint as a lorry driver. Even so, remembering to turn the wheel ‘the other way’ than you want the trailer to go can still prove challenging.

One of my first towing experiences was a baptism of fire. There's nothing like pulling a 15ft 6in long AC round the M25 behind a struggling Mark I Land-Rover Discovery to get you acquainted with the fine art of ‘tugging’.

My most memorable moment came when I collected a 1955 Morris Minor that was gifted to me as another restoration project. This time the tow car came courtesy of sister magazine, Practical Caravan and was a Kia Sedona.

The trailer belonged to the owner of the Morris and was a rather expensive closed affair and so I allowed him to direct me to the pick-up location. “There’s a narrow bridge just up here, but it’ll be fine”, came his voice, shortly before it became apparent that there were several inches width to disagree about.

My inability to reverse into a very tight spot proved of immense frustration to both myself and the growing queue of oncoming motorists, so, in desperation, we unhitched the trailer and pushed it by hand into what turned out to be Kate Bush’s driveway. That isn’t a euphemism for anything dirty either.

Since then I have improved – especially with the arrival of my own Land-Rover, but I suspect that is something to do with the all-round visibility when the roof is rolled up... as well as the reduced speed of any manoeuvre. I was even complimented on my towing ability recently when I reversed the trailer into a tight spot between two spaniels and an old A-series engine.

And so to this weekend’s efforts. The Scimitar is going to Blackpool for paint and I will admit that this time I am leaving my Series IIA in the car park. I am staying true to the brand though, and have borrowed a brand new Discovery with lots of electronic things.

Part of me is disappointed that I am deviating from my classic devotion, but the thought of Berkshire to Blackpool at 45mph and no more than 15mpg is making me feel a little better about accepting Land-Rover's largesse.

Let’s hope the north isn’t as grim as it has been of late – yes, I am talking about the weather.


Valve Bounce

That reminds me, back in the 70s I used to dream about Kate Bush's driveway on a regular basis. I think we need more detail did she come out and offer to push? Offer tea? or maybe chase you away with dogs?


That jockey wheel looks a bit low, you should wind it up between the frame.
Remember to take jack and brace if trailer has a spare or a can of squirty stuff.
Re securing, remember if you stop too suddenly physics says the back of the car on the trailer will try to lift rather than move forward so most important check is rear wheels are tied down vertically. Then secure all 4 wheels front and back as it looks like you've done. If you only have 2 straps then secure just one side - not diagonally.

Pre 80s TVR

If it's going to Blackpool then I am assuming it is a job for Surface and Design - great choice. They really know how to paint fibreglass cars, you'll love the result.

Don't bother worrying about the weather, it's always cold in Blackpool. I once went to see the Sprint up the prom in May, frozen all day but still mmahnaged to get my arms sunburnt...




TVR Car Club Pre80s Editor


Kate Bush would never set her dogs on you.  The Hounds of Love maybe...

Martin Port

Oliver - yes, Surface & Design are looking after the car for me. They know their way around a glassfibre car. As for the towing, all went well and the car didn't budge at all on the trailer. The Discovery was an excellent towing vehicle but there were too many buttons and gizmos to distract me on such a long journey!

Art Editor, C&SC

Fylde Scimitars

As the name suggests there are a few scimitars on the Fylde Coast.
The paint boys and the car engineers at the old TVR site are all known to us as we have been getting some of our cars sorted there. Great engineers who know their way around fibreglass cars.
The paint lads do some incredible work and I'm sure what ever colour you choose will be great.
Once painted if you need any help getting it all back together come back to us. I'm sure we could get 3-4 cars to come down for comparison purposes.
Look forward to seeing it painted.

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