IF we hadn’t left it all to the last minute then it wouldn’t be any fun would it? Well, at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Our Bangers4BEN problems have stepped up a notch this week – not in any small part helped by the mag’s deadline falling today adding to my already heightened stress levels.
At the start of the week we had a car that was a few hundred miles away, in various bits, with no MOT, no tax, no insurance and no decorations.
And when I say ‘we’ had a car what I meant was the car’s manufacturer had the car and was frantically trying to get it fixed in time. The planned ‘fettling’ was taking on a whole new meaning…
Faults weren’t huge. Ok, so the brakes didn’t work, there were ‘issues’ with fuel leaking and (major disaster) the stereo was bust – but all were on the manufacturer press garage’s To Do list.
Monday and Tuesday came and went with no news from up north, then Wednesday I had a call. Our steed had failed it’s MOT. Second time. Bugger.
But not to fear – the manufacturer who I owe more than a beer to – was busy fitting new discs to our motor and then ‘it would fly through’.
True to form our banger sailed through its MOT late Wednesday afternoon. And I breathed a sigh of relief. But that was then…
The press office promised to send the MOT and log book back to us special delivery for arrival yesterday. Unfortunately due to us being lazy and not opening the office until 9am we missed the postman.
We had one of those annoying ‘We Missed You’ cards popped through the door with a ‘pick it up in 24 hours’ note on it.
What do you mean 24 hours?! Knowing (at that point) a postal strike was likely for today we hot footed it down to the sorting office to plead with a postie to give us the docs.
Some kind words, a promise of a pint and the words charity mentioned no less than 15 times and we had the package in our hands – the relief that lifted off my shoulders was huge.
Slowly, the pieces of the jigsaw were falling into place.
I also had a call from our friends at Autologic, the transportation experts. My contact Steve Hanwell, who has worked tirelessly to organise picking our car up and dropping it off, was ringing to tell me the car was on its way back.
He’d collected it from the manufacturer – which is remaining anonymous for the time being as we’re supposed to keep the cars we’ve bought a secret – and it was on its way back to our ‘car artist’ in Southampton.
ARTIST AT WORK
Yesterday evening I had the call I had been waiting for from Phil Voller of Artistic Licence. Well sort of…
‘It’s here – but it won’t start,’ he said.
My heart sank. Won’t start? It can’t be true – surely there must be some mistake. Then it hit me – the bloomin immobiliser. This might reveal the car’s identity, but it’s got one of those annoying key pad ones and I’d forgotten all about it.
Luckily I’d saved the code in my phone – knowing that when I sent the car by the time we got it back I’d have forgotten all about it. I’m smarter than I give myself credit for some times.
And then, hey presto, I heard her fire into life in the background as we chatted.
Today, Phil is getting to work on the design – if it looks anything like the drawings they’ll be no one who’ll not be able to tell who’s driving this banger…
It’s certainly been a nail-biting week, but hopefully it’ll be worth it in the end. The amount of work our car’s had on it will make it a very canny buy for someone – it’ll be practically like new.
In fact I might just be tempted to put in a bid for it myself!
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