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Glenns Saladin 115411
I was first introduced to military machines by my father who knew almost every plane that flew in WW2.
I became an avid model builder of first planes and then tanks.
My father showed me a Ferret at Liverpool in Sydney in the early seventies and asked should he purchase it. I always wondered when it would happen, but it didn't, so I had to have a vehicle and get it myself.
My first and still a desire, was a Sherman tank, but this proved hard to obtain so at 19 years old I purchased a 1944 ford jeep. Eventually that was gone so I looked at small tracked vehicles and almost purchased a Scorpion from a museum in 1989 but my wife convinced me we had no room nor could we afford the transport. This just made me desire a turreted vehicle that I could drive on the road. In 1991 I tracked down and saw an immaculate collection and a British Saladin. I was so excited that this vehicle had been created for me I had to get one, there was another which was in poor condition, only driving on its middle wheels, I felt sorry for it and wanted to make it better but the price was too high and it was in Victoria and I lived in QLD. I kept my eyes on it and eventually after moving back to Sydney I visited vehicle owners and one day there was my Saladin at Bob's backyard, he told me who the owner was and I became the proud owner in 3 days. My wife hated it from that day to this. That was in February 1998 and its first big outing came in March at the 50th anniversary of Reserve Forces in Australia. I noted here that it needed more than 2 wheels to drive it. So I paid to have it transported back to Bob's place where he got the front wheels to drive also.
Since then I have chased parts in Melbourne, Castlemaine, Wangarrata, the Gold Coast, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Tamworth, Sydney, every disposal store on the east coast and on the net in England. Now the exterior is complete except for a .30 cal tripod mount.
Wedding at Parramatta.
NRMA motor fest Australia Day.
Since I have had my Saladin I have replaced the engine, turret traverse mechanism, replaced wheel bearings, hub seals, reconditioned the starter motor, replaced the Hydraulic lines from the pump to the reduction valve, redone some wiring, painted the outside, refurbished all the storage bins, replaced fan belts, reconditioned the radiator, put in a 24 volt petrol pump only to replace it again with an original mechanical petrol pump, put in original working communications, lost skin, fallen off the vehicle, dropped tools where the light donít shine, bathed in oil grease sweet and tears. Hit my shins and every other part of me, cursed the thing, loved the thing, sat in it for hours, slept under it ( on hard ground), talked to her nicely, yelled at her abusively. STILL I COME BACK FOR MORE!!!
What is wrong with me? We have been on numerous outings, to N.R.M.A motor fest, 3 Reserve forces days, Eastern creek classic 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002. Concorse winner on 2 occasions, third settlement days, school fetes, School of Military engineering at Holdsworthy open days. Anzac day at Parramatta RSL, Avalon beach RSL. 1/15th Barracks at Parramatta, Soccer open day, Barker College cadets Parade, year 10 school formal where the gentleman got voted best vehicle and most impressive arrival. At a wedding where the best man and the groom rode in my Saladin and the bride and bridesmaid rode in a Saracen to the Church. Plus many more service trips to Bruce's back yard for work.
I still have a lot of interior work to do she was completely gutted when I got her but a lot has been replace with a lot more to do to keep me off the streets out of the Pub and at home with my lovely forgiving wife Michelle, my two boys Laurence and Warwick who also love the vehicle and my mistress a Saladin called Bronwyn. Named after Bronwyn Bishop (an Australian Politician) who climbed in and said she loved it too!
Garden Gnome for the boys.
At Eastern Creek Classic 2002.
P.S. An intersting note, regarding the picture near the War Memorial in Sydney, this attracted the original commander of the vehicle, it served in A squadron 4/19th Light horse in Melbourne from 1961 untill 1966, he was very sentimental seeing it still running, he now belongs to the Woolongong Morris car club (I think), unfortunately I lost his contact details. He has photos of it on the range and doing some other very amazing things which I shall add later.
My thanks to Glenn.
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