Episode 1 – Trip to Normandy

Nice find in the deep of the internet, a truck garage in Normandy has two Fiat V8s for sale. Hard to get some email contact, the secretary on the phone doesn’t know what I’m asking for, and the commercial guy didn’t call me back. Time for a 1000 km round-trip and just show up at their place. Halfway there, control point of the French Douane (customs) … two young guys in an old 80’s Merc with Luxembourgish license plates, no luggage … suspicious enough. Well, officially we were now on our way to have a look at an oldtimer car.

Finally arrived at the truck garage … No, we can’t help you … Wait, I’ll ask the senior boss. Old school guy, no computer in his 70’s style office, just handwritten stuff. Let’s have a look outside … next to the garage, behind some rusty trucks, two complete Fiat V8s with Eaton/Fuller gearboxes. The guy knows Luxembourg, loves Luxembourgish wine, has a friend with a truck garage close to Luxembourg and knows someone who delivers stuff just next to Luxembourg with his semi-truck on a regular basis. We got a good deal on the engines with a delivery just next to our front door … Jackpot.

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3 weeks later … our engines got shipped, and we could pick them up at a Mercedes truck dealership, just over the French border. Is it worth going there with a big truck? Those engines with the gearboxes didn’t look that heavy. Let’s take a friend’s light truck with the trailer. On the highway down to France, checkpoints in both directions … Douane, Police, Army, automatic guns, … coincidence? At least the engines were perfectly stored in a dry garage, just next to brand new Mercedes parts and trucks. The garage’s forklift was at it’s maximum load capacity, loading the engines on the truck and trailer … we won’t take the highway home. Time for some sightseeing in French suburbs and on country roads.

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Sarcasm ON … Unloading the engines with a front-end loader and bringing them in the workshop was no problem, and wasn’t the entertainment for the whole neighbourhood that evening … Sarcasm OFF.

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