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ISSUE 242: Last week, I did something that I haven’t had the opportunity to do for several years – visit a local scrapyard that’s still operating by the traditional ‘buyer dismantles’ method. I needed a gearknob and lever gaiter for a Škoda Octavia I’d acquired in part-exchange. On arrival, I ‘checked in’ at the office and was informed there were three Octavias in the yard and told roughly where they were. Eventually I located all three Octavias. One had no gaiter or knob, another just a gaiter, and the third had both, though they were filthy having been exposed to the elements. Condition, though, seemed okay. Just one problem; it was on top of a Land Rover Discovery that was definitely lacking in the foot-hold department. Access was obtained though via the traditional scrapyard method of piling up three wheels and then clambering/supporting as best I could. Fortunately the actual dismantling was straightforward – pull the gaiter up, cut through a securing clip round the base of the gearknob and then pull it off, and the two pairs of pliers and one set of Molegrips I’d brought with me were sufficient to do the job. That was fortunate as a sign confirmed that the classic scrapyard ‘no tools lent’ rule was still in force. In the end, I took the knob and gaiter from one car, plus the gaiter from one other – total cost £5. So overall, a very traditional scrapyard experience – and it’s good to know that places like this still exist, despite all the rules and regulations governing such places these days.

Peter Simpson, Editor in chief

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Changes to the way the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) works have come thick and fast recently, first with the closure of its regional offices, then the abolition of the paper tax disc and the introduction of a new system for paying for and transferring road tax.

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