As many of you will know, this was my 2nd truck in the BJS empire and if i’m honest I think it was also my favourite. Don’t get me wrong I loved the airbrushed Mercedes Atego I had, but with the little MAN 8.163 I did so much work and spent far more time away in it than the Atego (nights away), so I think that’s what made the bond stronger. The other thing I liked about the MAN was that I customised gently and very gradually. and really made her my own, whether you like the style or not, i’m not to fussed, it would appear that certain things didn’t go unnoticed by all.
After the a while hard working trucks tend to loose there new look and shine, especially bodywork built by a bunch of blind hedgehogs in a bag. So it got to a point that the rear bumper was fairly rusty as the very thin paint had be eaten by the road salt and weather. It so happened that the factory paint on the prop shaft had gone the same way, so one weekend me and my Dad thought enough was enough and I reached for the sander, primer and tape. The rear bumper was a no brainer I thought i’d try the chevron look, please see above. But what to do with the prop shaft?? Well I thought i’d do something a little different…a barbers pole if you will. So as I drove along it would spiral down to the back…….I cannot tell you how hard it was to get the masking tape to stay evenly apart as I wound it round the pole (oo er Vicar!). If I remember correctly it was even nearly all the way down apart from one little 6 inch stretch.
Back in the day I could list on both hands the number of people who commented and noticed on the barbers pole, so these days I just see it as a bit of fun and also what made the truck individually mine, but today I had a comment on the blog that made it all come flooding back and made it seem all worth while.
Comment Author: Matthew Morris
Comment: “I was always a fan of your 7.5 tonners, especially the MAN L2000. I remember it having an interesting “stripey” prop shaft! We still own a P reg L2000 with the 224 hp engine. Still a pleasure to drive and sounds awesome with a straight through drag pipe!”
You see I did have a fan! If I’d started a BJS fan club, I think it’s fair to say Matt could probably have been member 001. How I wish I could have my own Tonka Toy again, but times change as does the haulage industry. Perhaps one day. Any way in the mean time i’ll leave you with a photo of the smart back end I ended up with. The chevroned rear bumper didn’t last as the paint soon rusted up again. About the same time the cheap nasty rear door handles had virtually fallen off. The truck was sent to the best body builder in the country, Colliers Truck Builders, and new rear doors, new ally shiny handles and poles and I also got Colliers to rub the bumper back to the metal and paint it back in chassis grey. Boring but smart. The barbers pole stayed.