1973 Sheldon High Top Camper

Discussion in 'Show Us Your Ride' started by tommygoldy, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Back in a bay having made a rather rash eBay purchase, pressed the "Buy It Now" button despite the listing info being very vague (no mention of an MOT, even). Full service history was claimed and for the money it looked solid, honest and usable. It was fairly local - so I thought, why not?

    "Ernie has had all the major welding done underneath and new fuel tank and battery plates,now needs cosmetic paint work and interior done. Good reallaible engine that runs well and has only circa 16k miles on it. Comes with all 240 Volt links, fridge, gas cooker, CD etc. We have had great fun, but due to foot operation can't drive a manual now."

    Pictures from eBay below:


    Having spoken to the owner on the telephone it turned out that she had failed to notice that the MOT had lapsed. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as she then got it MOT'd (needed a few small bits and bobs) so it came with 12 months ticket.

    I went to check it out / pick it up on Christmas eve. Large wedge of cash in my pocket and butterflies in my stomach. Initial impressions were that it wasn't too bad. Got underneath right away and found pretty much what I was expecting - the bus was pretty solid but had evidence of quite a few welding repairs over the years, some neater than others. Despite some flaws, the bodywork was in pretty good shape for the age (and the price) with very little evidence of filler and the previous paint job (from over 10 years ago) holding out well.

    It probably goes without saying that the mileage was incorrect, but I don't think it's done more than 116,000, and there are receipts to show that the engine is a Vege unit with around 30,000 on it. The van came with a large folder of history including photos documenting a previous restoration/paintjob and recent welding repairs. If the receipts and paperwork are anything to go by it's been looked after fairly well over the years.

    The engine ran well, no smoke or nasty noises and any oil leaks appeared to be very minor. On a brief test drive I was impressed. The van drove really nicely, although the brakes were initially pretty scary - probably because the van has been sat for a while. The grubby interior was better than it looked in the pictures and it turned out the fridge was almost new.

    Despite the errors in the eBay listing I couldn't really complain, and I had already fallen for the bus... I handed over the cash and drove it home.


    The van made it back with no issues apart from an intermittent indicator and a slightly high idle once warm. There was no heat in the cab, but then I had already noticed that the heat exchangers had had it.

    I'm itching to get working on the van, tidy it up and give it a service and some general TLC. Family life being what it is, and the days being short, I've had an hour so far and started at the top. So the previously filthy roof is now clean. It needed a good scrub but came up fairly well, and the good news is the grubby looking gutters are all solid, despite being full of plant life and compost. There's a little surface rust on some of the edges but nothing that can't be dealt with fairly easily. I didn't have time to hose it down after (hence the streaks in the picture below) but the gods were smiling on me and it rained.

  2. Nice. My first one was a sheldon high top. Good luck with it. Nice to have another dubber in north london. Hopefully see you down the ace cafe with it at some point..
    tommygoldy likes this.
  3. Welcome to the fold :beer:
    tommygoldy likes this.
  4. rickyrooo1

    rickyrooo1 Hanging round like a bad smell

    someone on here has a REA ***L reg van, it might be @Zebedee ? I forget
    edit it's not his but deffo someones on here with similar reg
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
    tommygoldy likes this.
  5. I`d change the fuel hoses asap...:thumbsup:
    z4alfie and tommygoldy like this.
  6. Welcome

    I'd enjoy it and not dig too much, it can get pretty scary when you start stripping back
    YellowDubDude and tommygoldy like this.
  7. Clean roof! Nice van
    tommygoldy likes this.
  8. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Administrator

    Happy days :thumbsup:
    tommygoldy likes this.
  9. What a thrilling account! Made me want to go buy another. Welcome from southernmost Kent!
    But can we discuss the shoe on the windscreen wiper?
    tommygoldy likes this.
  10. It's the latest " must have " owls are sooooo last year...
    tommygoldy likes this.
  11. Yeah, think I saw it in the for sale section. Must admit the reg spoke to me before I pressed the BIN button.

    The shoe was nowhere to be seen when I went to view. Perhaps I should get another. It had new wipers for the MOT, maybe the shoe caused the failure?

    Gonna go see if the post office is open now - hoping they'll let me change it to a historic vehicle (free tax) with just the new keepers supplement. Not dealt with the road tax yet - strictly under the new laws I should have re-taxed it as soon as I bought it, but I'd rather not pay for tax when it should be exempt. There's tax on the van and I can't see how anyone would be able to tell that there's been a change of keeper as the logbook won't have arrived at the DVLA yet.
  12. He's right ...:thumbsup:

    They look old..:confused:
    tommygoldy likes this.
  13. Took a bit of persuading but I managed to get the Post Office to change the vehicle class to historic and issue 12 months road tax at zero cost. Insurance was cheap too (Footman James). Fully legal now - just parking permits to sort!

    :thumbsup: If I get a chance I'll have a look this afternoon. Got some carpet shampoo too...
    vdub brvs and minirob like this.
  14. My opinion of fuel hose is if its not cracking and you have fuel filter in the correct place stick to what you got.

    Current hose seems to be rubbish and breaks down in under a year including R9 hose.
    tommygoldy likes this.
  15. Don`t change them ,if the engine catches fire blame @Razzyh ..:D
  16. Yep, I've had the same issue with modern hoses. I'll have a look. If the current one is OK, it's OK... In the brief half hour I've had so far today I left the engine bay alone and have been fiddling about inside the van, cleaning moss out of the window runners in the high top, and generally trying to work out what's what. Oh for a full day to get stuck in...
  17. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Looks like a mish mash of hose.
    I'd change the lot, you don't know how old they are. Overbraided stuff is dodgy anyway and you want to move that fuel filter out of the engine bay.
    art b likes this.
  18. Mish mash sounds pretty standard on any old vehichle tbh... Both my other cars have a similar mish mash (although on my 73 saab I replaced all the older stuff to be safe). Halfords still sell overbraided hose btw, I used some in the Saab, can't see an issue with it other than it's hard to see when it's cracking up. All the same probably sensible advice to replace, it's cheap stuff and I don't want an engine fire.

    Hadn't considered the location of the fuel filter, again both my other cars have one fitted in the engine bay, and I've never heard anyone take issue with it before. You've got me thinking now... Is this a bay specific thing? Presumably you're suggesting I stick the filter closer to the tank, behind the firewall?
  19. Some people have issues with the location ,me I like it in there so if the van breaks down I can tell if there is petrol,without undoing clips....

    Just ask these guys "which oil?"
    tommygoldy likes this.
  20. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Nothing wrong with a mish mash but I dont understand why people don't change their lines. Rubber is a) crap and b) cheap; so to me its a no brainer.
    Halfords selling over-braided is not exactly a mark of quality, in fact quite the opposite. ;-)
    The filter introduces 2 more joints (possible leak points) in the engine bay. Put it after the tank outlet up over the gearbox.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
    tommygoldy and Razzyh like this.

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