Skip Channel4 main Navigation
Explore Channel4
Food
4Homes
4Car
News
Sport
See All

TEXT ONLY

Salvage
Home The team The vehicles Find out more Credits Forum Squad
* Stolly    
*
 
Stolly before repairs, in a Newbury farmyard

 

Introduction
Cold War delivery
Swimming gear
Sealing the gaps


Introduction

The Salvage Squad first find the Stolly (Alvis Stalwart High Mobility Load Carrier) marooned in the mud of a farmyard near Newbury in Berkshire. Their task is to get the amphibious truck going on land and water. They have just one week to do it.

 
 
Inside the cab there are controls for land and water
 
Cold War delivery

The Stolly was built in 1968 and was designed as an artillery limber – a vehicle used to transport ammunition and fuel to the Royal Artillery's Abbot self-propelled guns. Designed for use during the Cold War in Germany, where rivers like the Meuse, the Rhine and the Oder are formidable obstacles, its six wheels with independent suspension and swimming ability meant it could cross almost any terrain.
The Royal Artillery agrees to help with the restoration, which means that the Squad have to adapt to the military way of doing things.
The main task is to get the Stolly swimming again. Unfortunately the army removed the swimming equipment from every Stolly because it was too expensive to maintain. So Lee Hurst has to trawl through military scrapyards all over the country to find the right parts.

 
 
The dismantled swimming gear must be reconstructed
 
Swimming gear

The Squad then have to attach all the rescued swimming kit. This consists of two bevel boxes, which transmit the drive from the wheels to the propellers, two rudders and four long steering arms, which run from the cab to the back of the Stolly and help steer in the water.
The bevel boxes bolt on without too much trouble, but Jerry has a real headache with the steering rods. The bits that Lee has found are not a complete set, so Jerry has to cut them to size and also swap the left-hand threads for those on the right.

 
 
The rubber seals must be replaced to make Stolly watertight

Ready for a swim, anyone?
 
Sealing the gaps

But the biggest task that the Squad faces is making the Stolly watertight. The rubber seals are over 30 years old and have perished; the metal clamps holding them in place are only good for scrap.
Lee has found a set of Stolly seals, still in their original wrapping. But as they have been coiled up for 30 years they are full of kinks. The Squad try to stretch them back into shape but in the end they borrow two huge bins from the army kitchens and fill them full of boiling water. The seals are placed in the water and left to soften for a couple of hours.
Claire Barratt manufactures new clamps to hold the seals in place. The clamps are metal brackets which have bolts through them, holding the seals to the side of the Stolly. Claire has to bend the metal strips in a press so that they are exactly the right shape. Boltholes are then drilled and Claire has to braze the bolts on to the clamps using copper solder to ensure that the holes will be watertight.
The seals are then bent around the doors on the back of the Stolly and clamped into place with the newly manufactured brackets. The Squad also use Bostik glue to make sure that everything is firmly fixed.
Their hard work is tested to the full when the Stolly is taken for a swim – with the Squad onboard.