Dart fun, shuffling the fleet and a call to the AA

| 6 Jul 2011

It’s odd what you put your faith in sometimes. 


Last Tuesday I cheerfully set off on a trip to my MOT man in a 44-year-old Vauxhall Viscount that probably hadn’t been used for more than two thirds of its existence.


It made it happily to the 11am MOT appointment but didn’t return to my car shed (or is that shed shed) until seven hours later, all for want of a cracked rotor arm, on the back of an AA truck. I find the AA great normally but this time they cocked it up big time. 

I waited two hours for a patrol to turn up (who really tried his best) and another two hours for a recovery vehicle, an out sourced local firm who sent a guy who hadn’t been told the car couldn’t be towed on its back wheels because it was an auto. 


Finally another driver arrived with the stricken Viscount pulled along on its front wheels with the steering locked up by a strap. With a new rotor fitted next it fired up straight away. 


For the MOT it needs a track rod end and a pair of front shocks, which are on their way. Plan is to sell it and find a barge based estate of the Zodiac/Super Snipe ilk. 


No movement on the Fulvia and 230TE although I will sell the later to fund the above. 


Had a great couple of days in a Daimler Dart. With seat belts and overdrive this car is brilliant fun on a fine day. We did Swindon to Hayling Island to Goodwood and then to London on seemingly £40s worth of fuel, so it’s doing at least 30mpg.


It sounds fantastic, is surprisingly comfortable, has a big boot for a sports car and everyone loves it. 


At Hayling Island I was intending to buy a Zephyr MKIII Farnham estate but ended up coming away the proud owner of a 1978 XJ-S...hmmm. Never had much luck with these but it looked pretty rust free and I have developed an interest in the early XJ-S. My friend Max in Italy might end up with it; he said he wanted one last time I saw him in Milan. Shows you should be careful what you wish for. 



Later we parked outside the White Swan in Twickenham on Saturday evening and returned to the car to find two Australian girls taking pictures of each other sat in it! Cheeky buggers. 


On Sunday I collected my son from Paddington in the car and took him across town to his digs at Manor house. Despite dire warning from the Daimler’s real owner Richard Stevens that the Dart hates traffic jams it didn’t miss a beat although it was clearly getting a bit hot. 


On the way home we convinced ourselves that one of the tyres has a bulge in it, manifesting itself as a wobble/vibration so I will look into that this afternoon and give the thing a wash before putting it away.


I have the Cedric back now although it is going to a new owner on Thursday. 


My friend Tod ( 6ft 9 owns a Lincoln) went back to Australia for the foreseeable future with his family and sold me his Alfa 156 V6. What a car! Six speeds, air con, no rust, taxed and tested...far too good for me. 


So I gave it to my ex partner Catherine (who, as I have mentioned, hates the Cedric...) and she’s made up with it. Major Brownie points to Buckley. Believe me I need them.