’Snot bad is it? Sorry, I mean, it’s not bad is it? Very possibly, this could be one of the first fresh coats of Limeflower to grace a fine Austin motor car since the glory days of British Leyland. And hopefully, it won’t be the last.
What’s taken so long? Well apart from His Royal Madness, deciding to remodel (ie practically demolish) his house in the middle of Project Landcrab, a large dose of convincing needed to be tackled. Mark loves his rally replicas, and he was sorely tempted to convert this snorting twin-carb fully seam-welded Landcrab into an homage to the old Works Tartan Red ’Crabs. But…
This would mean scrapping the MkII’s interior which, is nothing sort of splendid. Works Crabs came with black interiors and this MkII’s interior was as Limeflower as its exterior. Arguably, Tartan Red is more conventionally tasteful but then it is a bit predictable.
A fair few phone calls and a lot of figurative arm-twisting then ensued. Our argument – naturally – was a simple one. 1) There’s a growing retro band who are bored with ‘tasteful’ resprays which just aren’t period (think of all those BRG and red MGs and Triumphs out there) and they don’t get more period that this extra large docker’s oyster. 2) You can’t really judge Limeflower because there are so few well-maintained examples around. More often that not, they are tired, oxidised, wearing blobs of red oxide primer and come with at least one non-matching door. 3) Well, we thought it would be a good laugh.
Luckily, the rally replica idea started to die a death when Mad Mark realised that he’d built a car which was far too good to rally. You only have to look at the extent of the paint and the sheer hours, which have been put into this 1800’s shell, to realise that to chuck it down a gravel track would be crying shame.
Already there’s a pattern beginning to form when people encounter the ‘Phlegme Fatale’. It goes: shock, several wisecracks, awe and then – and this is the surprising bit – reluctant appreciation. Little did we realise that a fresh lick of Limeflower is a cracking colour to behold, but it is, and we’ll give anyone who disagrees a Chinese burn.
The plan is to create a Seventies take on the go-faster 1800S by giving it a white roof and possibly co-ordinated pin-striping, to show the world that this isn’t just a minty ’Crab, it’s a performance ’Crab with real drive.
Since these pix were taken, the engine and gearbox have already been installed and fired up, so it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing if this snot-green coloured special runs as sweetly as a toddler’s nose with a cold.
We’ll be back with more soon.