HOW MUCH EFFORT?
A Labour of Love
Such a restoration project has to be a labour of love (else why would anyone do it!?). The amount of time and effort you put in is crazy, and has to be weighed up against not spending that time on other loves and passions in your life, not to mention with your family and other loved ones. On that note, doing such a project without the total support and blessing of your family would be asking for trouble, and thankfully my wife and daughter are fully onboard with me tackling this challenge. In fact, at times I think they are even more passionate about these old Landys than I am...
So far, this project is in the process of teaching me two very important life lessons. The first is that to do such a long-term endeavour requires bucket loads of PATIENCE! You cannot rush a quality job, and the amount of work is staggering. Furthermore, you are at the mercy of Covid-19 lock-downs, a non-availability of parts, and only so many hours in a day, so before you know it, days and weeks have passed. Now, those who know me well will understand that I am NOT a patient guy.... I like to get things done, and get them done TODAY! Every day I draw up a list of 30 things to do, and get frustrated at the end of the day when I have only done ten. This restoration is teaching me to take things slower, not to get frustrated when I cannot complete a task, and rather to just move on to the next item until such time as I can come back and complete that task.
The second lesson I am being taught is that you just CANNOT take short-cuts with a project like this! Whilst I generally like things to be of exceptional quality, I am usually ok with letting certain things slide, or be of (slightly) less quality, if (and only if) it means completing the task and being able to move on to the next one (to get my 30-items-a-day done!). However, if one is going to spend a few years duration, and thousands of hours of effort, restoring a Landy to pristine condition, and this Landy is going to be kept in your family for generations(!) and be the pride of braai-side conversations, one cannot compromise even slightly on the quality of work. A gearbox strip-down (for example) requires every little component to be stripped, inspected, and replaced if not up to standard. If you take the chance and choose not to replace one tiny little pin because the old one looks reasonably ok (and the above lesson-in-patience is not sinking in...), and that pin happens to fail once you have assembled the gearbox, installed it in the vehicle, and bolted the other thousands of pristine parts back on around it, you will be doing the vehicle strip-down and gearbox overhaul all over for a second time! You just have to do it right the first time.
Having said all that, it is fairly obvious that one cannot count the hours you put in to such a job. It is a labour of love, and if you spend your days agonising over the hours put in to it versus what other activities you could be doing with that time, or over the "cost" in terms of time invested, then you will drive yourself mad. I have decided that I have limited time on this planet, and it should be spent doing the things you want to be doing, or that give you "energy", and the cost cannot be measured in monetary or time-based terms. However, the analytical part of me would like to know (i) what was the total effort that went into the rebuild, and (ii) how was that time split over the various phases and components of the project. To that end I am keeping a (rough) log of time spent each day, and will share it on the website (updated periodically) just for information and interest. It may be useful to others doing similarly crazy stuff, or who may be considering it (and need to be persuaded otherwise!). So, here are the stats to date....
The project started on 17 February 2020, and at the time of publishing these figures, it was 29 Oct 2020. So a total duration of just eight months. To give context, to date there is a a fully drive-able vehicle in the shed, with just the front wings and bonnet to be added, and the instruments and electrics to start. The time put into achieving all this (to date) is 686 hours, odd. The breakdown of where that time has gone is outlined in the chart below.
So, am I enjoying the time, and finding it incredibly fulfilling...? Absolutely!!