As classic car owners, we are probably all used to the simple act of kindness from fellow owners that has helped us out over the years: a straightforward push to the side of the road when things have gone awry, some help with the diagnosis, a lift to a local garage or petrol station, or even just a bit of like-minded company until a recovery truck arrives.
Now and again however, people go above and beyond the call of duty and exceed all expectations. This happened to me when I announced my intention to make a 'flying visit' to Blackpool to collect the freshly painted Scimitar (except the engine bay, which I am keen to black myself).
Out of the blue, I received a message from a fellow owner in Lancashire who announced that himself and a couple of other chaps would be taking the day off work and pitching up to help me carry out the essential parts of the re-fit so I could hit the M6 at a reasonable hour for a Friday afternoon.
My initial reaction was one of "don’t worry – thanks, but it will be fine". After all, the ONLY things I had to do before loading up the trailer were to fit the windscreen, slot in the rear windows and bolt the doors in place. Simple. I thought it would be rather nice to have a bit of company and support in addition to those in the paint shop though, and so didn’t refuse their kind offer.
And I'm glad I didn’t. As it turned out, I underestimated the 'simple' jobs and have no qualms in admitting that until the gents from the South Lakes’ Noggineers arrived, I was faffing like a South African choosing from a Biltong menu.
They came in, took charge and directed the re-fit admirably. It is not overstating the situation to say that had they not turned up, the car would not have been on the trailer back south that day, or, if it did, it would be very wet inside due to the lack of glass. And doors. And tailgate.
They asked for nothing in return, even helped out by bringing replacement bits for those that I had broken along the way and stayed right until the Scimitar was on the trailer. Hell, one of them even strapped it down for me to ensure that it was properly safe! Above all, their attitude and spirit meant that despite a 460-mile round trip that started at 5am, the day was actually fun. A similar sense of humour and a shared enthusiasm for an odd plastic car from Tamworth meant that there were laughs aplenty even while the serious stuff was going on.
So my huge thanks go to Dave Palfreyman and Keith Smith, but especially to Dave Clarke who originally got in touch and spearheaded the operation throughout the day. They all went to great lengths to ensure that a fellow owner and enthusiast had a successful day and proved that human kindness is alive and well in our hobby.