Friday, 25 March 2011

Bad to the Bone

I mentioned before that I'd sold the Honda 400/4 and the CM125 and used the money to buy the single most disastrous vehicle I ever bought.
I'm gonna keep this one brief, as I didn't get to drive it, much.
With the thousand quid I bought my partner a red Triumph Spitfire.
It came from a young poshish bloke in Port Talbot, and while it looked a little battered the soft top was sound, everything worked, or seemed to at least, and it had a years MOT (For all five of my foreign readers, thats a certificate of roadworthiness. Brit cars need one ever year.).
We both loved it, it was rorty, and classy, and tarty, made a racket, and theres nothing like getting the top down on an empty valleys road, with the sun streaming through the trees, and giving that accelerator pedal a good hard boot, feeling the back end fishtail a bit, ragging it into a couple of bends and flooring it again out of them.
ok, so imagine this a year older, rustier, tattier and sagging in the middle

Not a lot of the panels fitted, and everything creaked a bit. Things broke, but on a 20 year old Spitfire, what do you expect? We bought our own wheel clamp to stop the scrotes from having it away. Parts were easy to come by, and it had a nice 1500 engine, with two gulping carbs sucking in house bricks, pheasants and small children through minimal air filtering. Only did about 25 to the gallon, but fuck it, eh?

I didn't get to drive it much, but when I did, it stirred the blood.
But when winter came, a decidedly loose Spitfire with tolerances in cubits, an ill-fitting soft top and a minimalist heater was not what you needed on roads that where several inches deep in snow a good part of the time.
And then we'd had it a year, and took it for an MOT, and found that thing was a bit lethal. Chassis, body, steering components etc, were pretty much shot away.  There was no way on earth it had got through an MOT a year before - the level of rot implied it hadn't been roadworthy for years, and we could only assume Junior had bought the certificate down the pub.

So it was sold, for a few hundred pounds, to a young lady I had just met on the university course I was enrolled in, though she did get sight of the fail certificate first.
And the poor lass ended up having to spend more than two grand putting it right. Something I do still feel guilty about, but amazingly enough, she still talks to me despite this.
(I would point out, K m'dear, if you are reading this, that I don't feel guilty enough to give your money back.)

And that was my one brush with a British sportscar. As a motorcar it was great. I often consider getting another, just for devilment. I'm thinking of an MG Midget this time.

But let me give you one piece of advice. If your relationship is a bit rocky, and you are spending a lot of time at the typewriter, and your partner is the sort of person who wears short skirts and works later than they really have to, do not buy her a red soft top sportscar that is rotting from the inside out.
For some reason such a vehicle will make her enormously attractive to other men.  Especially her gin-soaked aging lothario of a boss.

You'll be lucky if your relationship lasts longer than the track-rod ends....

Oh lordy. You can hire them out for weekends...

Classic Car Holiday Hire

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many's the time I've felt your pain, as my preferred driver is a nearly 30 year old Alfa Romeo Spider. I've owned it for 16 years, eight of which were spent shaking the bugs out. They're nearly gone.

Unfortunately, it doesn't draw the maidens to me in the way that the Spitfire drew the "gentleman". I suppose my bride should be grateful for that.

I enjoy your blog immensely. Not sure how I found it but I'm glad I did.

Alff in Kansas Ciuty