On Friday 1st March after a haggle I managed to get the ambulance for £2500. Pictures below; they are rough as I had to use my phone because I’ve misplaced the charger for my snapping camera … (one suspects it has been boxed in error, and placed in the lockup). They will suffice for examples sake. I didn’t get a second test drive, as the dealer thought my absence since the first look more than a fortnight ago, meant I’d decided not to buy it, so he tucked it back into a corner.
I had hoped to get it for £2300, however he’s done his research as well as I have, so he had a fair idea of the value of the blown air heating system and panelling to someone like myself, and therefore wouldn’t budge. He even had the cheek to say he was going to advertise it as a conversion option on Gumtree … now we’d suggested it. It has sat in his yard for just over a year, and no one could find a use for it. It has too few seats to be a minibus, and too many to be a van, couple that with the panelling and the only person likely to show an interest is me … or a serial killer looking for some sound proofing … hmmmm.
Do I think I’ve got a good deal? The jury is out. We are taking a risk, quite a big one in fact. The equation breaks down like this.
Van already panelled with high quality materials (could do with a valet, but it’s by no means shabby).
No major rust, no rust inside doors seals
Easy access to the rears of the sound proofing/insulation panels, for augmenting the insulation.
Floor already floored.
High level cabinets (not wipe clean medical white … this is a good thing).
Diesel blown air central heating (needs to be shifted.
Four tinted sliding windows in the rear panels
Semi High top with full height rear opening doors
3.6 metres of internal length
Sliding side door (unglazed)
90% of the body is in very good nick (bubbly rust round one rear window, not a biggy)
Secondary 12v systems installed and adaptable
Five pages of service history
Roof light fitted already, direct replaced by the ones we bought for Moho Mk1 last year.
Clutch, Alternator, starter motor, Disks and pads,
Cam belt kit all easily available, and relatively inexpensive (and looking at the layout all relatively easy to access).
Parts generally available widely, some Nissan, and Renault parts are 100% like for like (the Renault Master and Nissan Interstar are the same vehicle).
Our man Paul at Blackdown has converted at least four of these units and thinks they make a great base vehicle (as Renault, Nissan and Movano … The unit he’s just built is a 2012 Movano).
300.000 miles on the clock.
Bubbly rust round one rear window (badly patched up … see line above, to do it properly I need to take the window out).
Poorly removed blue light near and offside rear, and poor patch up of area (needs to be done properly and it’s very visible).
A ding that looks like it could be part of the sliding door run at the bottom of the sill (it would fool a stupid person … ahem).
Air suspension, compressor (this may have to be removed).
One could say that one has a bias towards the for’s (rose tinted glasses), however if one looks at the Against then purely in terms of cost they probably cancel each other out. However if the 300k miles bites us in the arse it could get quite expensive short term. If the worst came to the worst I will just have the engine reconditioned top to bottom no questions asked.
I hope to pick it up on Saturday 16th march, I’m off for a week after that and I shall root through it with a fine tooth comb, book it in for a service and cam belt change and give it a clean and wax.