The 4 weeks are up, and the engineering firm I'd lined up to mate the engine to the box were able to make a start. So I spent an evening strapping the engine onto a pallet (actually half a pallet). Took a surprising amount of time to unpack the crane, clear a space on the garage floor, get everything on and lined up properly.
I hired a van for the 10 miles or so to the engineering shop - everything went in easily enough, it was a bit tight for headroom with the crane, but no real problems.
When I arrived though, I found that the engine had slipped sideways off the blocks I'd carefully strapped it down on - apparently I wasn't driving quite carefully enough, despite really tip-toeing around. For the journey down to Dax I think I'll have to run some long bolts down through the engine mounts, the wood blocks, and attach them to the pallet underneath. No harm done anyway.
Anyway, the chap seemed quite happy with the whole thing. There was a Lotus Cortina, Chevette HS, and two modern rally cars in the workshop so I guess they know what they're doing. I do have an inkling that it's going to cost a bit more than I was hoping, but that's the price of doing something different I guess.
Apart from that I've done almost nothing car-wise. I ordered some bits and bobs, most notably some special anti rust treatments and paints to do the sierra parts with. I've gone with the POR-15 stuff from Frost Auto Restoration, which seems to be highly rated, but we shall see. It's certainly highly priced, but then I don't mind paying if it works. The last thing I want is to have bubbling paint in a year or two. I haven't decided on a top-coat colour yet, but I'll be able to get everything treated and protected now, and can spray the final coat when I've decided which colour the car is going to be.
Whilst the engine and box are out of the way, I've also taken the opportunity to repaint the garage floor. I've taken several largish chunks out of it whilst dismantling the alfa so it makes sense to sort it out now, before there isn't any room to move in there...