25th Anniversary Treffen.
  • The weekend saw the 25th anniversary of The
    Haflinger and Pinzgauer club uk. For some it was a camping weekend, for others
    a stay in either a B& B or a hotel.

    Me? I am quite sure if you are not a new member of the club,
    you will know that Lurch (a 1973 LWB Haflinger) and I went camping. As I had
    enough notice this year and enough holiday available, I took the Friday and
    Monday off to turn it into a long weekend.

    So setting off from Home on Friday mid-morning, Lurch and I
    trundled our way cross East Sussex and into Kent. The platform packed with
    various items related to a camping weekend, you know, tent, camp bed, sleeping
    bag, a selection of spare parts and tools to make repair if needed. Well, you
    need these things if you drive a Haflinger to a treffen. Now, I’ll share a
    little secret with you dear reader;



    If you use you Haflinger on a regular basis, you fix the
    things that go wrong, by and large, so driving a longer distance isn’t really a
    lottery that some believe. Lurch has driven to Holland and back, lots of local
    rallies and now a journey approaching 200 miles on the round trip including all
    the running around undertaken during the weekend. No breakdowns! Planned
    maintenance needs to be done for sure, Lurch has noisy transmission and a
    couple of minor oil leaks which will need attending too soon.



    Which is more than can be said for a couple of the Haf’s
    which came to the weekend. I am not saying the owners did anything wrong, just
    that use tends to make older vehicles more reliable rather than less…



    One of the vehicles had done 10 miles following a rebuild /
    restoration and suffered from teething problems, oil leaks and general bad
    running. Another which had just had some major work carried out on the running
    gear ended up having it’s clutch changed at the camp site. As luck would have
    it for the owner, another engine with clutch attached, was at the camp site on
    it’s way back home after a rebuild. For those who know what they are doing, the
    engine out, clutch out, replaced and engine back in takes a couple of hours and
    the Haflinger was back up and driving around ready for the War and Peace
    gathering!



    Yet another Haf needed a bit of attention but only in as
    much as the horn didn’t work! When sorted, the owner couldn’t keep it quite! It
    wanted to go off at every available opportunity. Turned out that to start with,
    a fuse had blown due to a duff horn. Fuse replaced, the horn button didn’t
    quite fit the steering wheel, so every time the steering was turned, the horn
    sounded!



    So all the gremlins sorted. Those people who came enjoyed a
    good road run round the local area on the Saturday. That was also the day the
    clutch was changed after it was discovered that the Haf didn’t really like towing
    a trailer. In the end, both the trailer and the Haf were each being towed around
    by another Haflinger!



    The weather was kind to us and we only had enough rain to
    keep the dust down and not turn the off road experience in to a quagmire!
    Actually, for me that was the highlight of the weekend as I got to drive Lurch
    over all sorts of terrain, up and down steep slopes which to be honest I didn’t
    think a Haf and particularly one with, for all intents and purposes, road tyres
    would manage. No body broke anything during the off-roading. I accept that
    actually driving off road at what might be considered the extremes of the
    abilities of a Haf is not everyone’s cup of tea. So there were those who stood
    around and watched. Hopefully not entirely bored out of their minds!



    There was a barbeque on Saturday night which our chairman
    had kindly organised, makes for a nice atmosphere at such a gathering. Sunday also had the club’s AGM which ensures the club runs
    for another year at least, during which the chairman handed out the chairman’s
    trophy – guess who was the recipient? I’ll give you a clue:- Lurch got to carry
    a diorama of a “Haflinger in the bush” home for having been my transport to all
    the Treffens / meetings relating to Haflingers since I purchased him.



    The trip home on Monday was not as uneventful as one would
    have imagined, Lurch and I happened upon a young damsel in great distress
    having just smashed the front of her car into a hedgerow growing in front of a
    2 foot high bank. The young lady was clearly hysterical and in shock, trying to
    make a phone call to someone. I don’t think she even knew who she was trying to
    call. I calmed her down sufficiently to ascertain she was not badly injured and
    set about phoning the Police and Ambulance services. Now the thing that I bet
    has never occurred to any of you that rely on Sat-Nav to provide you with
    directions on your journey, is having to tell the person on the other end of
    the phone exactly where you are…



    It took a long time to manage to get my Sat-Nav to not only
    tell me which road I was on, but also what the nearest place was called. Took a
    long while for the emergency services to turn up, mainly because we were in the
    middle of nowhere! Once the police had taken statements and the ambulance staff
    had strapped her down on a stretcher – she had complained of a sore back. There
    was a car to be dealt with as it was still sideways on in the road. As luck
    would have it, a skip lorry turned up just as I was about to use Lurch to try
    to tow the car out of the road, so we ended up using that. I am sure Lurch
    would have managed to move the car even though the front was rather flatter
    than it should be and both front tyres were flat.



    So all in all, an interesting long weekend!



    Drive safe everyone…



    John



    (and Lurch of course)

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