Category Archives: cars

Bang, and the bolt is gone!

There are some who swear that the best and fastest way to remove seized nuts and bolts on a Land Rover, is to use an angle grinder, and then just replace the bolts afterwards.

I say nope. Use the right tools and most of the time the fasteners will free up.

Don’t use the angle grinder as your ‘go to‘ fix it all…

Especially if the bolts are holding on the fuel tank and are covered in fuel, and the metal they are bolted through is also saturated in fuel…

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Sure, the angle grinder *will* remove the bolt, but it will also, vigorously, remove the fuel tank, most of the rest of the vehicle (from itself), sections of garage and garden, limbs and most definitely any body hair.

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Watch “FRANK LIVES!!!” on YouTube

It’s taken 18 months of an hour here, an hour there, but finally Frank the Tank has blown the dust out of his figurative lungs and grumbled into life.

Me and a few friends pulled him apart primarily to fix a broken ring gear, but then additional tweaks were carried out. Purely functional ones, like the new manifold and stainless exhaust system, and new hand brake.

A little bit still to do (obviously!), but this was a great day!


IHOOT – I had one of those

UPDATED:

I figured I’d see if I could list all the motor vehicles I have owned – with pictures – for Alex. The pictures are stock web pictures (apart from the Supra and the MZwhich are mine). I didn’t take pictures of all of the vehicles I owned, and do have some regrets.

I wouldn’t have written this blog, but after a few moments thought I realised I have owned a fair few vehicles – so well worth a blog entry!

Honda H100

I started out with a Honda H100 motorbike. I had this for a while before getting my drivers license. It was a nippy 2 stroke 100cc bike whose engine blew up twice. I holed the piston by using the wrong petrol…. in other words I used the fuel recommended by the idiots at Motorcycle city specifically for that bike when I bought it (new).

Austin Mini 1000 (in baby poo brown)

I have vague recollections of what order I bought these vehicles in. Once I had passed my driving test I ran cars and bikes at the same time.

As with a lot of people at the time I started out on the driving route with a Mini.. an Austin Mini in baby poop brown… It was slow and sluggish… and I never got a chance to drive it as I owned it to learn in, but had to sell it before I got my licence. I found out why it was slow though… it had rusted out under the front floor pans, so the previous owner put in some bin bags and filled in cement over the top!

1275GT Mini - Great fun!

1275GT Mini – Great fun!

I liked the idea of the Mini, so after I passed my test I bought a souped up 1275GT from my nephew. Just because they are family doesn’t mean you should trust them…. This Mini 1275GT had a fibre-glass bulkhead where the old one had rotted out and a gearbox that had been put together by a chimp. It held together for a while – in fact my first trip out once I got my licence was into London at night in the rain. It had an odd trick of filling the rear bumper with un-burnt fuel…. now and then it would back fire on a down change and the rear end would light up like an old fashioned camera flash!

It died one day when they poorly rebuilt gear mechanism decided to punch out of the gearbox case and empty its oil everywhere… So ended my Mini adventure…

With no lessons learnt about the Austin/Leyland range of cars I went and got an Austin Metro… I bought it from Yorkshire under the instruction of my then brother-in-law. He was an Army mechanic, so what could go wrong?

I left Yorkshire and didn’t even get to a motorway. The engine died. Brother-in-law came out and towed me back to his place where we proceeded to pull the engine out at the side of the road. New piston rings, re-ground valves… and good to go! All on the roadside….

Austin Mini Metro - Not a boat

Austin Mini Metro – Not a boat

The fun didn’t stop there. The petrol tank developed a leak because the metal was so old and porous. I decided it needed welding, but not being an idiot I figured it needed to vent for a while before any work was done to it. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the car and put a metal fuel can in the boot. I then fed a fuel pipe to the engine from the can in the boot. This enable me to open up the cars fuel tank to vent until I got around to repair it.

One day during some floods in the South East I had to stop as the flood water was blocking my lane. The oncoming traffic flashed me to go around… and then decided to drive at me anyway! I had to move back into the flooded lane, where the car started to bob around…. I floated into a ditch and slowly sunk. The water came 12″ up inside the car and the funny thing was that the fuel gauge started to fill up as the tank filled with flood water as I sank! Luckily there were some Gurkha’s out in an Army Land Rover. Great guys towed me to safety. I cleaned the points and the engine started up with no problem! The car was pretty wrecked in general, so it went off for scrap in the end.

Bullet proof Honda CB100

Bullet proof Honda CB100

During the Metro days I also had a Honda CB100 that I had bought from a neighbour. Typical bullet proof Honda! One day I had it steaming at 80mph and the engine seized on me. The wheel locked up, so I grabbed the clutch and coasted to a halt. I left it to cool for a few minutes and it started up again. Brilliant!

Astra/Bedford Van

Astra/Bedford van

With the Metro gone I needed new wheels – or at least wheels that worked. I bought a Vauxhaul Astra Mk2 van in white. It was a shed, but it was a laugh! I used it a fair bit shifting equipment for a band I used to help out. Funny story with this shed was when I was working the Night Shift at Dan Air. At around 5am I was on my way home and I was stopped by the Police. I was a young kid at the time, so they were a bit suspicious at the time I was out on the road. They looked over the van and told me I needed new tyres. A few hours later I picked up a nice set of alloys from a breakers yard. I had no time to fit them, so into the back of the van they went until the next day when I could fit them.

Mk3 Escort - Smoking Steering wheel

Mk3 Escort – Smoking Steering wheel

After the next shift I was driving home and second day on the trot the Police pulled me over. They looked over the van and asked me to open the back…. where a lovely set of alloys were sitting – too nice for this old van! I had to explain that I was pulled the night before and bought these to fix the problem…and I was so sorry that I was driving on the old tyres as I really should have changed them before driving again. They let me off as they saw I was trying to do the right thing!

I went from the van to a Mk3 Ford Escort that I part exchanged with one of the guys I was an apprentice with. It was a pretty good car in all – until it decided to blow oil out the top of the engine and smoke poured up and around the steering wheel! I had to drive home Ace Ventura style, hanging out of the window!

Suzuki GSX250E - Glasgow Rattler

Suzuki GSX250E – Glasgow tedium

I was pottering around on a Suzuki GSX250E at this time. A great solid bike that I bought from a guy at my work. Yes, not something you’d want to do normally, but in this case it was a great buy. He used to buy up and rebuild these Suzi’s, so I figured I was in safe hands. I only sold it when I changed to a bigger

bike – but until that day it didn’t skip a beat. I rode all the way to Glasgow and back at 75mph (once more helping a band out). Not a great looking bike, but faultless.

Polo... No hole. Poor pun.

Polo… No hole. Poor pun.

The Escort went on its merry way and was replaced by an old VW Polo Formel e. The worst that could be said about this was it was brown and smoked like a steam train. Pretty economical and practical, but not much of a story. Funniest thing was the rear wash/wipe squirter jet. I rigged it to squirt the passenger. No idea why, but it was quite funny….

Honda CB500T (Rude Dog)

Honda CB500T (Rude Dog)

My bike needs lead me to a Honda 500T. This was nicknamed Rude Dog because of the way the licence plate looked (RHO 660P or something). I had loads of fun with this! Some of the girls I knew loved me taking them out on it as it went like stink, and being a twin cylinder had a great thumping engine (I guess they liked the sound……). I lost the Dog when I had to trade it to get a car fixed. The guy stitched me up, so before any paperwork was done I stole her back (it was still in my name, and no work had been done on my car – it was an all out rip off deal). I then sold her on to a guy who wanted to do a restoration. When I sold it on I had to sell it with no fuel tank, as some butt munch had stolen it!

The car/s Rude Dogs sale money went on for repairs were both Ford Mk3 Cortina Estates. I bought one and thought it was great fun, then a second one turned up a little later so I bought it for spares. In the end I used the first one for spares for the second one. I recall one story that a girlfriend at the time needed to get home, but it was raining. I didn’t really want to drive as

Ford Cortina Mk3... I owned two!

Ford Cortina Mk3… I owned two!

the Cortina was out of tax. I had a real bad feeling that night, but I couldn’t let her walk in that weather (it was bad). I was getting tax for it the next day, so figured I might get away with it… but to belt and braces the situation I grabbed Rude Dogs tax (which expired the next day). As I drove my girlfriend home I saw a guy jump into the road….. a Policeman with a speed gun. I was a little over the limit, so they decided to do a full check on the car.

Now bear in mind I had just got the car – the paperwork hadn’t fully gone through. I was stood at the side of the road with the Police sorting it all out. As you should do, I kept the talking simple and polite. The check went well and I was sent on my way…. but as I went to pull away the officer tapped my window and pointed at the tax disc….. and pointed out that it would expire the next day – so “keep an eye on that“…. JEEEZ!!! I was lucky there – and yes… the next day all the taxes were sorted out!

This was the first car I had that someone tried to steel. They smashed the lock and broke the ignition barrel… which was crazy, as I had forgotten to lock it and the keys were on the passenger seat! Even after the thieves had smashed into it, they couldn’t get it to start! Muppets!

CX500 - the underdog that barked

CX500 – the underdog that barked

The first bike I chopped was a Honda CX500. It was an MoT failure I picked up cheap. The rear suspension was shot to heck, so I hard tailed it, raked out the front end and made a new seat and panels for it from scratch. I am upset that I never took a photo of it – it was a really nice bike – Midnight blue and had great lines. I enjoyed riding it around, but had to get rid of it in the end due to house moves and money. If you ever get one, keep an eye on the oil/water seal, and ALWAYS get it fitted at a garage, because when it goes wrong being fitted (and it will go wrong), at least they will have to replace it for free – and it is an expensive seal! The photo isn’t mine – but it gives an idea of what mine looked like… although mine was lower at the back.

Yes... thats me on my chopped MZ250 ETZ

Yes… that’s me on my chopped MZ250 ETZ

Next along was the MZ250 ETZ. It cost me £50 and was a heap of crap! I ripped it apart, lowered it, chopped it and painted to look like an old Russian Army bike… I’ll give it its due, it went like stink – but it was less than comfy as I had hardtailed it! MZ’s were laughing stocks, so I never intended for it to be taken seriously – but so many people thought it was some old classic Soviet machine it got beyond a joke!

The MZ was joined by a cheaper form of transport – an old Honda C90. It didn’t last long, but did what it had to do for a while… until it simply died! I ride that around two up with a buddy of mine. We’d go to gigs and all sorts – it was a laugh, but a bit on the scary side as anyone who has ridden one will know! The C90 was the second bike that some thief had a go at. They couldn’t break the steering lock though, so I fond the bike 50 yards away in a bush. Gits.

The Honda 90 died and I robbed it to keep the MZ on the road…. yes… not a great idea, but I was into make do and mend! The MZ exhaust was shot away, so I swapped over the one from the C90. It didn’t work… It was a 4 stroke 90cc pipe going on a 250cc 2-stroke….. and it choked it so badly it would only do 22mph….. I cut the end off of the pipe to reduce the choking effect… and then I started to remove the baffles… and eventually the MZ was going pretty quickly.

The C90 - Who hasnt?

The C90 – Who hasn’t?

The day I did the exhaust mod I had to go into Guildford (via country lanes) as a friend of mine was in a bad way. I rode off into the night and after 30 minutes the Police came up behind me and pulled me over. They said they had been looking for me for a while, but the bike was so noisy and the sounds were reverberating around the woodlands they had trouble finding me. It didn’t sound too loud from the saddle,

Volvo... thats all....

Volvo… that’s all….

but sure enough, as I stood behind it the din was incredible! I had pretty much put a megaphone on an already load bike! I had to turn around and go home to fix it – the Police just didn’t want me riding it further than I had to! Very understanding!

During this time I had a Volvo 360… yes, a biker with a Volvo! it was…. erm… rugged… did what it had to do… and was actually quite fun. Small, but with a 2l engine and rear wheel drive…. but it didn’t last long as the gear lever and box fell off…. pah! You get what you pay for with cheap cars!!!

The Undying Passat!

The Undying Passat!

The Volvo was replaced by the crappiest looking car I had ever owned! The interior was a mess, the sunroof was a welded on metal panel… the panels didn’t match up… I bought it cheap from a great guy I was working with. He had used it to tow caravans over Europe. He had blown it up and fixed it in a way it wouldn’t break again! I had it with 186,000 miles on the clock and the engine was still tight as anything  – VW’s are one of the strongest cars I know. So well engineered.

This was the VW Passat Estate from Mad Max! It didn’t have a top speed as it just kept slowly getting faster and faster! It didn’t drink much fuel, it had loads of space, it was comfy… the only thing that killed it was the rear suspension collapsed. The car wasn’t worth repairing, so it was scraped.

Bad, bad car..... Very Bad....

Bad, bad car….. Very Bad….

This great car was replaced by the tidiest looking car I had owned up to that date… and by far the crappiest car I have ever owned – a Renault 5. I bought it as it looked tidy and would probably be a better thing to turn up at a girlfriends parents house in… as it was I lived next door to her and her parents, so they’d seen the Passat anyway (ha ha!). The Renault 5 was the worse handling, poor performing piece of junk ever! It felt unsafe, it just didn’t grow on me. My Brother in law bought it from me at a really low price under the knowledge that

Another great Honda - The XRV750 Africa Twin

Another great Honda – The XRV750 Africa Twin

I hated it and thought it had dire problems (I was very honest and fair). The brother in law didn’t really get a chance to experience these problems as some half wit thief stole it from him.

Somewhere in this mix I bought a Honda Africa Twin. I wanted a bike that would suit me as a 6’4″ male – and the Africa Twin was spot on. It deserves its own blog as I still own it – and I have had some great adventures on it – from deer hunting to drag racing a street racer on a Honda Fireblade at a Hells Angel event…. and winning!

Long and Low... the CB750 hardtail chop

Long and Low… the CB750 hardtail chop

At some point I had several bikes – and in that mix I had a genuine low rider chop based on a Honda CB750. A real bone shaker and tricky to ride. I just wanted to have owned one. It was a bit of fun, but not something I’d want to do a long trip on.

I’m now left with just the Africa Twin when it comes to bikes. I’m getting to the stage where I think the roads are no longer safe enough to go out on a motorbike on.

Range Rover - With Disco TDi lump

Range Rover – With Disco TDi lump

After the rubbish that was the Renault 5 I bought a Range Rover Mk3 with a Discovery Diesel TDi engine in it. What a great car! One of the best I have owned! Comfly, solid and pretty cheap to run actually… back then. I had to do a clutch change on the side of the road outside my house once. A friend helped me…. it was one of those jobs you really don’t want to do, but was a great experience all the same. We didn’t have the correct tools, so it was all done with blood and sweat! Had a scary moment in this car once as a BMW flashed me and pointed at the back wheel…. I had a puncture and didn’t even know!

A great car - Single turbo 3l Supra

A great car – Single turbo 3l Supra

I pulled over to fix it, but I had over sized wheels…. and the jack didn’t go high enough to lift the car! I had to use what ever I could find at the side of the road to build the jack height up! I loved that truck, but really got the hankering for a sports car… I was going to be starting a family, so I figured I wouldn’t get then chance to own a sports car again for a long time…. so along came the wonderful ‘89 Toyota 3l Turbo (single) Supra. A car I genuinely miss…. but a family was starting, so we had to get something else.

The Supra was a real bargain at a shade over £1000. Owned by an elderly lady who thought it looked nice. The whole car was immaculate and went like stink…. On a track it reached over 150mph with more to spare. I have  theory that sports cars are safer for every day use because they have better brakes, better handling and have power to get you out of trouble – I have never felt safer than when I was wrapped in that Supra. The Supra suffered a warped head (a standard problem – and one that had been missed on this one). I was on one final drive before putting it up for sale… I may have put my foot down a little… and I noticed the temperature guage start to

Zzzzzzzzz Toyota Carina zzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzz Toyota Carina zzzzzz

climb quickly. I pulled over immediatly and got dropped home on a breakdown truck. I sold the car as was – and got what I paid when a chap who races them bought it off of me. He was going to pull the head anyway, so wasn’t worried about that. Good news all round.

The Supra went, and in came the Toyota Carina…. It was a car. That is the best that can be said of it…. It was a car. It went… it stopped… Meh! It was so dull that you could park it in an empty car park and STILL forget where you parked it… and…and…. and yet it was still a million times better than the Renault 5. It went in favour of the more practical Bernie…

A Citroen Berlingo yesterday. Maybe.

A Citroen Berlingo yesterday. Maybe.

“Bernie” as Chris calls the Citroen Berlingo is the longest serving of any of my cars. I don’t really like French cars, but Bernie has gone some way to changing my mind. Even Jeremy Clarkson rates it as a great car… and it is on the cool wall on Top Gear! Bernie can handle anything! I’ve moved beds in it! I’ve moved 3m decking planks in it… and unloaded it whilst still sat in the drivers seat! Alex loves it, Chris loves it… I… I think it is a Swiss army knife of a car – very practical and reliable (Oh I’ll regret saying that now….)

Ford Mundane-o...erm... Mondeo

Ford Mundane-o…erm… Mondeo

Finally we move on to a couple of oddities… not really mine, but mine anyway… Company cars. I had a Ford Mondeo estate to start with (which fitted into the same category as the Toyota Carina….).

The Mondeo just wasn’t up to the task I was hired for, so after thorough research the Fiat Multipla Eleganza was purchased.

It was the face life model (thank the Lord!) and it was fantastic! It seated 6 easily and still had a massive boot space, yet was smaller externally than a Ford Galaxy.

Fiat Multipla... Brilliant. Gone.

Fiat Multipla… Brilliant. Gone.

In fact it was a bit like a Vauxhall Zafira on the outside and Mini-bus on the inside… the type of car Doctor Who would drive….. The handling was crisp and car like too – and it had a fair amount of get up and go. I really recommend one if you want an MPV… and once more, it is liked by Clarkson.

We are now left with Bernie, as the company cars went back when I changed jobs… and we need a second car. In a few years I’d like something a bit different – but in the meantime I need frugal and reliable… and that can only mean a VW. I’m thinking an old VW Golf Diesel… good economy and cheap to pick up.

All of these vehicles have lots of tales to tell – and maybe I’ll write them down now that I have opened up my memory by listing them…

More to follow… The 1 week Alhambra, the awesome that still is the Series 3 Land Rover and the…. Citroen Xsara Pigasshole.


Seamus Grassick – Grassick Motors

An update from http://www.whatsmycarworth.com…

Following on from my previous post: https://moretimespace.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/second-hand-car-problems-again/

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Second Hand Car Problems… Again

I’ve been here before, and last time the garage I dealt with split up.

Many people who had been mistreated by certain people within that garage stepped forward due to my write up, and the person who sold the car to us purchased it back.

The funny thing was that due to the number of hits that my website gets, my website came up FIRST on Internet searches like GOOGLE when people tried looking for that garage. That meant that they first thing people read was how bad that garage was, and straight away they looked elsewhere. Additionally other people used my site to put together information and track other bad dealers down.

Well it all resolved quite nicely & I really didn’t fancy having to do it again. I mean if I had to do it again I have made lots of good contacts from last time, but I think I’d rather just go direct to the courts & hit hard. I don’t like being messed around.

ANYWAY… The old Audi died and I purchased a used SEAT ALHAMBRA from Seamus Grassick of GRASSICK MOTORS LTD (GRASSICK HOLDINGS) in Wokingham.

He seems a very nice chap, and very helpful. He even fixed some ‘little’ faults that were on the vehicle when I went to buy it… Well, the flat tyre had to be mentioned a couple of times, but it got changed… as did a second tyre that went down whilst they were changing the first tyre… You know… so it was safe to drive.

One recurring fault has seemed to cause a problem, and although I am well within my legal rights to get a refund, I thought I’d let him sort it out.

The fault meant the car kept stalling. If I was at speed it would buck & restart (bump start under its own momentum), but at slow speeds it would shudder to a halt (as happened trying to leave a junction & turning across oncoming traffic into a garage.

On one occasion the jolt of a restart caused the wheels to spin on a roundabout. Most definitely not safe. On each occasion (apart from the roundabout) my 7 year old son was in the car with me.

I’ll let you make your minds up by leaving my text messages here for you to view.

Do you think I’m being fair with him?

Click on the photos to see them full size.

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For general information, you might find this interesting… SALE OF GOODS ACT 1979 (Amended).

One other thing is that his website and the cars he has on AUTOTRADER have incorrect mileage listed compared to some of the cars I looked at physically at his sales forecourt, but surely that’s an innocent mistake?

After all, we all make mistakes. It’s not like they’ve been clocked, is it?

He said that my cars mileage was just a simple error because someone put the mileage the cam-belt was changed on the advert as the current mileage. Oops! Fair enough.

The thing is, after walking around his sales forecourt with his website open on my iPhone, it turns out that quite a few cars have had a similar mistake made on their adverts… Make your own minds up.

Probably just another simple error, yes? (Click for full size image.)
NOTE: AUTOTRADER only host the adverts & pictures as supplied by the seller. They take this sort of misleading information (intentional or ‘in error’) seriously.

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I do hope I’m being fair. I’ve always considered myself fair.

****** UPDATE: I’m too fair. *******

Seems Seamus Grassick has apparently done a runner & cleared out his forecourt.

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I’ve contacted Hampshire, Surrey & Thames Valley Police & they are looking into the matter. I have explained that this was simply a case of wanting my money back, but upon seeing this review site today – with reviews FROM today – saying he’s fled, I wanted to check if it was true & if it was true, then I would like to step forward with evidence & assist. Also if it’s true I shall be pressing for legal action against him.


Goodwood Revival 2012

The Revival was upon us again….

So a few years ago I got to sit in a Jaguar XJ13 whilst talking to Norman Dewis – and that was a Revival meeting that is hardly ever to be topped… but this year came close. (See that 2009 write up HERE).

Over the years more and more people have decided to don period clothes and dress for the occasion that is one of, if not the world leading classic motor sports events. Last year we didn’t dress up, and that was the year that we felt more out of place for not dressing up, than if we had dressed up…. So this year we went in style…

Chris went in a military style, as did Alex, and I went as a 30’s racing driver.

As usual, the entire day was fantastic – that’s pretty much standard for the Revival, but this time we were invited as guests, so got a little closer to the action, sounds and smells of the racetrack.

It was astounding. Driver changes and pit stops within arms reach! Cars worth hundreds of thousands, even millions, of pounds, were racing as if it was 1960 all over again.

We’re not talking sedate demonstration laps – We are talking foot to the floor, spinning out on corners and sharing paintwork style racing…. Exactly what these cars were designed to do. When you see a Ferrari GTO rub up alongside an Aston Martin, or a £10 million Maserati spin off and slam into a tyre wall, then you know these drivers are in it to win, and not to show off the looks of these often unique historic cars.

What was the value of all the cars there over the weekend? I’d hate to think! Even a parade of classic Ferrari GTO’s must have topped 10’s of millions!!!

GTO’s are surely a pricey car…. but then I saw this line up…

The most expensive car total value on the track at one time must belong to the German ‘Silver Arrows‘…. The original German bad boys of motor racing.

The pre-WW2 silver Mercedes and Auto Union ballistic racing cars that dominated the sport… V16 engines, rear mounted, meticulously built with typical German detail and precision. Even now, these cars are a marvel of engineering. Just looking into the engine bay you can’t believe that these are 1930’s racers!

Not just cars though – The track was filled with vintage motorbikes, tearing around on the ragged edge of their limits… and beyond! Vincent, Norton, Rudge, BMW, Ariel, Honda… so many types – and the noise was all enveloping!

For a motorsport enthusiast or just for a fun day out to see all the events and sideshows, Goodwood Revival really is second to none. For me, one of the highlights was the pit stop that was that arms reach away….

I say ‘one‘ of the highlights, because as I walked around after the racing had ended, I saw a Tojeiro chassis Jaguar D-Type. Much like today, many racing cars used to be custom built to suit certain specifications.

Quite often a standard car was modified to suit a particular need, and Tojeiro used to work with Jaguars to produce some top racers of the day. Trojeiro’s work eventually lead to the monster Shelby Cobra, so he has a pretty substantial claim in the racing car hall of fame.

7 GNO : Year of Manufacture 1956 : Date of First Registration 19 04 1956

Anyway, several Trojeiro models were racing, and after the day of racing ended I went to have a closer look. One of the best looking (in my opinion) was the first Trojeiro, based on the D-Type Jaguar (which was a stunning car in its own rights, and one of my all time favourites). Luckily enough, 7GNO was at Goodwood on this Revival Sunday…

…and…

Well…. If you don’t ask….

There are MANY more photos and films HERE!!!

.


You Idiot…

Tired out from a mix of work & lack of sleep…

I finished work today, happy to have got an important analysis sent off to an important customer… I crossed the road from my office & clocked out in the admin building, then strolled to my car, which I had parked in a back road behind our building. I do this to avoid the traffic snarl ups that can occur on the main road in front of our building…

As I rounded the corner I became aware that the nose of my car wasn’t where I expected it to be… I walked on and there was an Audi sized space, but no Audi. I Felt sick….

I looked for any sign of towing due to illegal parking, but I wasn’t parked illegally… ARGH!

I dialled the first few digits for the Police, then stopped, swore at myself & walked back to my car, which I had walked past with my boss a few minutes earlier when we left the building. I was parked next to him….

Oh yeah… I’d parked out the back the day BEFORE….


Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck(ed) the big one…

Another Update (November 20 2011):

It must be said that the responses to the blog that I originally wrote were mainly people having trouble with Max Emmerson-Fish. I don’t think anyone else had trouble with Glenbourne Motor Company apart from me. Both of these companies/people were operating under the umbrella of Farnham Carriage Company at the time, but have since moved on.

My last update (October 2011… below) was due to Martin Dawes from FCC contacting me. Within it I wrote that:

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back…

Well…. I received a call the other night from the owner, and he offered that very deal (or some other arrangement if we wanted). Now this does nod in Glenbournes favour, as even though this problem has gone on for a couple of years, they have not just brushed it under the table.

They have now followed it up to give me, the customer, the satisfaction I require. We have yet to discuss the finer points, but I want to get this blog updated to at least show they have stepped up to the mark, and to separate them from the Max Emmerson-Fish fiasco that a lot of my blog readers commented with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I will go back to a company time and again if they offer good service. If they make a mistake, or something goes wrong, I won’t automatically walk away and never use them again IF they deal with the situation calmly, honestly and politely. If they ignore me, or blank me… or tell me to piss off…. then sure, I’ll not recommend them and I’ll spread the word around…. but if they do all they can to help, then that’ll gain my favour.

Faulty products happen. Sometimes they can’t be helped, sometimes wires cross, sometimes a company might just try to get away with something and get caught out…. but as long as they front up and DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, then I’d rather go to them, than go to someone with a better product and NO customer service.

Windows offer sod all customer service – or at least a customer service that is near impossible to deal with… yet the pricier Apple have customer service that is second to none. Honestly, they bend over backwards to delight the customer – even if it is the customers stupid ass mistake if something went wrong in the first place. They KNOW that any money lost in this type of event will come back in multiples if they give a good follow up service. I know this first hand – See HERE for details.

 

UPDATE (October 11 2011):

Okay – A strange thing happened tonight. I step out of the shower, throw some clothes on and the doorbell chimes.

The man on the doorstep is Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company.

This is the company that in 2009 caused me a lot of problems (on going), and prompted me to write a blog entry. The blog entry gained momentum….

I was half expecting the visit at some point – and was in fact planning to call him up regarding this blog. I had a feeling that changes were in motion after receiving a response over the original write up (Aug 2009 – below). – THE RESPONSE

You see, this blog entry about his company has had so many hits that it ranked higher than the company itself.

I

This gave me a warm feeling inside – a victory for the man on the street…

…but as Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company now explained from my doorstep, not only has Max Emmerson-Fish left the Farnham Carriage Company site, but so has Glenbourne Motors.

This means that Farnham Carriage Company has removed these tumours from site – and Farnham Carriage Company themselves would like to distance themselves from the past problems caused by the other people they shared the site with.

The thing is, I don’t want to remove this blog entry, and explained to Martin that, seeing as I have been getting more hits than Farnham Carriage Company itself, that as a gesture of good faith I would write this new introduction. After all, people searching for FCC will still land here, and from here they can click the link below to Farnham Carriage Company itself, happy in the knowledge that things have moved on, and that the people who caused my problems have been removed…..

As Martin said in a comment response in September this year:

Farnham Carriage Company would like to thank Max Emmerson Fish and Glenbournes for leaving the Farnham site. Please feel free to use this blog if you have any complaints regarding FCC and we will try our best to resolve any issues you may have, or telephone us on 01252 711900 anytime.

… oh yeah, they’ve gone all right…. but just in case you want to contact them… Just in case you have outstanding issues with them… Martin included their company details too. After all, free advertising cuts both ways.

So… Click link for the Farnham Carriage Company (now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Glenbournes):

Now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Purdy

If you have outstanding questions (etc, etc….) with either Glenbournes or Max Emmerson-Fish (Auriga), then I am sure that they’d be more than happy to hear from you at their new sites…….

Glenbourne Motor Company – Twelve London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5HN

Glenbournes…. Just so you know

Max Emmerson-Fish can be found at Auriga Autos, Bowenhurst Golf Centre (apparently).

Oddly enough Auriga Autos only has a phone number, with no address. A car dealership who won’t say where they are? Am I the only one that thinks that is a bit odd…. It seems like someone is trying to stop their past catching up with them… but that’s probably just my strange way of thinking, and might not mean anything….

Address…. yeah…. erm….

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back for, lets say £995. It still drives poorly, the engine still misbehaves and we have to keep nursing it due to intermittent faults (which we are still trying to fix). Yes, that would be a turn around for the books – a phoenix from the ashes…. a fat chance of ever happening….

Hell…. whilst I’m dreaming… they could really get huge kudos from me if they gave me an old Discovery or Land Rover in exchange for the continuing nightmare of the purple Fiesta! As if….

That original blog:

Remember, Farnham Carriage Company are mentioned below in the original blog, but the group within FCC that caused all of the problems in the blog & the comments after the blog, have moved on (Glenbournes/Auriga). As far as I am aware, FCC are now a good company to deal with. Credit to Martin Dawes for coming over to see me to explain the recent history.

So… step back in time…

Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck the big one…

Allegedly….

August 23rd, 2009

The Purple Fiesta died again…. due to a mistake that could only have been made by a mechanic used by a Farnham car dealership.

Lets start at the beginning…. Due to some unobservant idiot driving into our Citroen Berlingo and sending it to the car graveyard we were forced into buying a replacement car in a very limited time.

Death of a work horse

Death of a work horse

We found a Purple Ford Fiesta with low mileage and in superb condition at Farnham Carriage Company.

It was purchased with 3 months warranty and a service. I had looked over the car and found the handbrake a bit slack, and a spark plug hanging out. Not to worry, Farnham Carriage Company said it would be serviced before I picked it up.

I picked it up… got home… spark plug still loose… handbrake on end of adjustment.

Mechanic said spark plugs in Fiestas have a tendency to do that (can you smell that? can you?)

60 miles later it blew its guts out on the M3…. head gasket had blown…

Theyll do that...

They

Oh yeah, they’ll do that if the temp gauge doesn’t work – a known issue – Missed at service.

So they fix it – In the meantime I chuck money on top of the purchase price as I have to get a hire car for a week – which Farnham Carriage Company don’t pay for.

We get the car back and it doesn’t sound right. The sales ‘robot’ says I’m being over sensitive and just picking out faults. He says it sounds fine for a car of that age. I say it may sound fine for a car of that age, but it sounds bad compared to how it was when I brought it… 60 miles earlier.

Getting fed up of trying to get the smug numpty to even admit there may be a fault, I accepted to drive away and give it a go.

Less than 8 weeks pass and it blows its guts out again. It turns out that the mechanic hadn’t fixed a pipe back properly and it had worn through on a drive shaft. Water emptied everywhere. Car had to go back to the warranty garage at Farnham Carriage Company… and I had to get a hire car again…. yet more money!

The mechanic tries to use sticky tape to do a temporary repair…..it chucks water out again… funny that.

I tell him I’ll leave the car there until he gets the parts in.

We have to pay half of the bill under warranty conditions, even though it’s the fault of the repair THEY carried out last time. Bloody cowboy criminals. Half the £100 bill…. which doesn’t cover the £200 hire car…. Their £50 is no way half of the costs these repairs have cost me. Thieves, if you ask me.

Farnham car salesman yesterday

Farnham Carriage Company yesterday?

They even tried to say the pipe might have been like that all along! That’s a bunch of arse – No way a rubber pipe would last 60,000 miles bouncing on a drive shaft! Maybe 1000… which is what I had done since the head gasket repair was carried out…. what a coincidence… Yeeee haw!!! COWBOY! You don’t need to be ‘engineeringly minded’ to realise this doesn’t add up.

So they fix it… ahem. Chris drives it home. The thing is filthy orange from all the rusty water that has sprayed all over it… and they didn’t even bother cleaning it. Chris then notices a big scratch where something has rubbed hard against the wing whilst at the garage.. bloody shoddy workmanship, and no care for the customer vehicles.

Hoik spooot!

Where

She then pops the bonnet up and sees…. NO WATER in the car again! She calls the garage and they say that sometimes after a repair like that, the water needs time to settle and get the air out of the system! Once more the flaming cowboy alarm goes off! I have done car and aircraft maintenance, and I know that after topping up reservoirs and systems you BLEED them.

You don’t give an unfinished job to the customer and try to fob them off with some half arsed lame tale, because according to other technicians I know, and general engineering common sense, that’s exactly what it was – an excuse.

I did double check with a couple of well trusted auto technicians I know…. and they said that you would never return a car like that. One even said that he would bleed the system fully, but also tell the customer to check the level once they got home just in case there had been an air block. The Farnham guy mentioned nothing.

There you go – If you are looking for a car or mechanic, then stay clear of Farnham Carriage Company if this is anything to go by. Seriously.

I am honestly thinking of legal action, as the car fails to meet SSG act limitations.

LATEST NEWS: Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL – It goes on – Still haunted by FCC

On the plus side, I was forced into getting a second car sooner than I had envisaged.

We always needed the two cars as I need one for work, and Chris needs one for here weekly tasks. I had a list of things to look for in a car, and number one was it had to have the VW TDi engine…. so that meant a VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat….

I had been looking for some time, but no cars matched my criteria – and if they did they were in Scotland or some other far flung location. The day the Fiesta blew its pipe I was desperate to find a car as I needed reliable transportation to do my 110 mile round trip to work each day.

My luck was in this day… Whilst waiting to pick up the hire car I carried out an Autotrader.co.uk search… and there was a ’96 Audi A4 only 7 miles away… in my price range…. with a service history that was so anal it was untrue! This car has been so well looked after! It appeared to be owned by a person who would replace a whole engine if an air filter needed changing! A quick test drive and a look through the records and I was off!

Mr Audi

Mr Audi

The only problem was a mismatched alloy wheel – but £30 later and eBay got me 5 second hand A3 alloys with good (nearly new) Pirelli P6000 tyres… only 5 miles from my place of work! A little bit of luck was due our way!

The fan belt was on the way out though – but one chat to my auto technician friend, a Haynes manual later, and a trip to Camberley Autofactors and I was elbow deep in the engine bay.

Haynes said remove the front bumper and associated parts, and jack the car up, use axle stands, two people etc….. I managed with opening the bonnet and cranking a 15mm spanner to swap the belt over! (with a third hand from Chris to keep tension on as I fed the new belt in). This was thanks to advice from the technician I use – and can’t rate highly enough!

I took the new Audi (or Mr Audi, as Alex calls it) to T.J Services – who I trust. I wanted to get a service done to make sure it is all up together. He looked over the history and was taken back by the work the previous owner had carried out. Most of the expensive bits that haunt any car… all of them had been replaced already! I had spotted a gem of a car! Trevor (T.J) simply said he’d see me at the next MoT, as no work was needed yet. Hurrah for honest tradesmen!


Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck(ed) the big one…

Another Update (November 20 2011):

It must be said that the responses to the blog that I originally wrote were mainly people having trouble with Max Emmerson-Fish. I don’t think anyone else had trouble with Glenbourne Motor Company apart from me. Both of these companies/people were operating under the umbrella of Farnham Carriage Company at the time, but have since moved on.

My last update (October 2011… below) was due to Martin Dawes from FCC contacting me. Within it I wrote that:

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back…

Well…. I received a call the other night from the owner, and he offered that very deal (or some other arrangement if we wanted). Now this does nod in Glenbournes favour, as even though this problem has gone on for a couple of years, they have not just brushed it under the table.

They have now followed it up to give me, the customer, the satisfaction I require. We have yet to discuss the finer points, but I want to get this blog updated to at least show they have stepped up to the mark, and to separate them from the Max Emmerson-Fish fiasco that a lot of my blog readers commented with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I will go back to a company time and again if they offer good service. If they make a mistake, or something goes wrong, I won’t automatically walk away and never use them again IF they deal with the situation calmly, honestly and politely. If they ignore me, or blank me… or tell me to piss off…. then sure, I’ll not recommend them and I’ll spread the word around…. but if they do all they can to help, then that’ll gain my favour.

Faulty products happen. Sometimes they can’t be helped, sometimes wires cross, sometimes a company might just try to get away with something and get caught out…. but as long as they front up and DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, then I’d rather go to them, than go to someone with a better product and NO customer service.

Windows offer sod all customer service – or at least a customer service that is near impossible to deal with… yet the pricier Apple have customer service that is second to none. Honestly, they bend over backwards to delight the customer – even if it is the customers stupid ass mistake if something went wrong in the first place. They KNOW that any money lost in this type of event will come back in multiples if they give a good follow up service. I know this first hand – See HERE for details.

 

UPDATE (October 11 2011):

Okay – A strange thing happened tonight. I step out of the shower, throw some clothes on and the doorbell chimes.

The man on the doorstep is Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company.

This is the company that in 2009 caused me a lot of problems (on going), and prompted me to write a blog entry. The blog entry gained momentum….

I was half expecting the visit at some point – and was in fact planning to call him up regarding this blog. I had a feeling that changes were in motion after receiving a response over the original write up (Aug 2009 – below). – THE RESPONSE

You see, this blog entry about his company has had so many hits that it ranked higher than the company itself.

I

This gave me a warm feeling inside – a victory for the man on the street…

…but as Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company now explained from my doorstep, not only has Max Emmerson-Fish left the Farnham Carriage Company site, but so has Glenbourne Motors.

This means that Farnham Carriage Company has removed these tumours from site – and Farnham Carriage Company themselves would like to distance themselves from the past problems caused by the other people they shared the site with.

The thing is, I don’t want to remove this blog entry, and explained to Martin that, seeing as I have been getting more hits than Farnham Carriage Company itself, that as a gesture of good faith I would write this new introduction. After all, people searching for FCC will still land here, and from here they can click the link below to Farnham Carriage Company itself, happy in the knowledge that things have moved on, and that the people who caused my problems have been removed…..

As Martin said in a comment response in September this year:

Farnham Carriage Company would like to thank Max Emmerson Fish and Glenbournes for leaving the Farnham site. Please feel free to use this blog if you have any complaints regarding FCC and we will try our best to resolve any issues you may have, or telephone us on 01252 711900 anytime.

… oh yeah, they’ve gone all right…. but just in case you want to contact them… Just in case you have outstanding issues with them… Martin included their company details too. After all, free advertising cuts both ways.

So… Click link for the Farnham Carriage Company (now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Glenbournes):

Now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Purdy

If you have outstanding questions (etc, etc….) with either Glenbournes or Max Emmerson-Fish (Auriga), then I am sure that they’d be more than happy to hear from you at their new sites…….

Glenbourne Motor Company – Twelve London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5HN

Glenbournes…. Just so you know

Max Emmerson-Fish can be found at Auriga Autos, Bowenhurst Golf Centre (apparently).

Oddly enough Auriga Autos only has a phone number, with no address. A car dealership who won’t say where they are? Am I the only one that thinks that is a bit odd…. It seems like someone is trying to stop their past catching up with them… but that’s probably just my strange way of thinking, and might not mean anything….

Address…. yeah…. erm….

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back for, lets say £995. It still drives poorly, the engine still misbehaves and we have to keep nursing it due to intermittent faults (which we are still trying to fix). Yes, that would be a turn around for the books – a phoenix from the ashes…. a fat chance of ever happening….

Hell…. whilst I’m dreaming… they could really get huge kudos from me if they gave me an old Discovery or Land Rover in exchange for the continuing nightmare of the purple Fiesta! As if….

That original blog:

Remember, Farnham Carriage Company are mentioned below in the original blog, but the group within FCC that caused all of the problems in the blog & the comments after the blog, have moved on (Glenbournes/Auriga). As far as I am aware, FCC are now a good company to deal with. Credit to Martin Dawes for coming over to see me to explain the recent history.

So… step back in time…

Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck the big one…

Allegedly….

August 23rd, 2009

The Purple Fiesta died again…. due to a mistake that could only have been made by a mechanic used by a Farnham car dealership.

Lets start at the beginning…. Due to some unobservant idiot driving into our Citroen Berlingo and sending it to the car graveyard we were forced into buying a replacement car in a very limited time.

Death of a work horse

Death of a work horse

We found a Purple Ford Fiesta with low mileage and in superb condition at Farnham Carriage Company.

It was purchased with 3 months warranty and a service. I had looked over the car and found the handbrake a bit slack, and a spark plug hanging out. Not to worry, Farnham Carriage Company said it would be serviced before I picked it up.

I picked it up… got home… spark plug still loose… handbrake on end of adjustment.

Mechanic said spark plugs in Fiestas have a tendency to do that (can you smell that? can you?)

60 miles later it blew its guts out on the M3…. head gasket had blown…

Theyll do that...

They

Oh yeah, they’ll do that if the temp gauge doesn’t work – a known issue – Missed at service.

So they fix it – In the meantime I chuck money on top of the purchase price as I have to get a hire car for a week – which Farnham Carriage Company don’t pay for.

We get the car back and it doesn’t sound right. The sales ‘robot’ says I’m being over sensitive and just picking out faults. He says it sounds fine for a car of that age. I say it may sound fine for a car of that age, but it sounds bad compared to how it was when I brought it… 60 miles earlier.

Getting fed up of trying to get the smug numpty to even admit there may be a fault, I accepted to drive away and give it a go.

Less than 8 weeks pass and it blows its guts out again. It turns out that the mechanic hadn’t fixed a pipe back properly and it had worn through on a drive shaft. Water emptied everywhere. Car had to go back to the warranty garage at Farnham Carriage Company… and I had to get a hire car again…. yet more money!

The mechanic tries to use sticky tape to do a temporary repair…..it chucks water out again… funny that.

I tell him I’ll leave the car there until he gets the parts in.

We have to pay half of the bill under warranty conditions, even though it’s the fault of the repair THEY carried out last time. Bloody cowboy criminals. Half the £100 bill…. which doesn’t cover the £200 hire car…. Their £50 is no way half of the costs these repairs have cost me. Thieves, if you ask me.

Farnham car salesman yesterday

Farnham Carriage Company yesterday?

They even tried to say the pipe might have been like that all along! That’s a bunch of arse – No way a rubber pipe would last 60,000 miles bouncing on a drive shaft! Maybe 1000… which is what I had done since the head gasket repair was carried out…. what a coincidence… Yeeee haw!!! COWBOY! You don’t need to be ‘engineeringly minded’ to realise this doesn’t add up.

So they fix it… ahem. Chris drives it home. The thing is filthy orange from all the rusty water that has sprayed all over it… and they didn’t even bother cleaning it. Chris then notices a big scratch where something has rubbed hard against the wing whilst at the garage.. bloody shoddy workmanship, and no care for the customer vehicles.

Hoik spooot!

Where

She then pops the bonnet up and sees…. NO WATER in the car again! She calls the garage and they say that sometimes after a repair like that, the water needs time to settle and get the air out of the system! Once more the flaming cowboy alarm goes off! I have done car and aircraft maintenance, and I know that after topping up reservoirs and systems you BLEED them.

You don’t give an unfinished job to the customer and try to fob them off with some half arsed lame tale, because according to other technicians I know, and general engineering common sense, that’s exactly what it was – an excuse.

I did double check with a couple of well trusted auto technicians I know…. and they said that you would never return a car like that. One even said that he would bleed the system fully, but also tell the customer to check the level once they got home just in case there had been an air block. The Farnham guy mentioned nothing.

There you go – If you are looking for a car or mechanic, then stay clear of Farnham Carriage Company if this is anything to go by. Seriously.

I am honestly thinking of legal action, as the car fails to meet SSG act limitations.

LATEST NEWS: Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL – It goes on – Still haunted by FCC

On the plus side, I was forced into getting a second car sooner than I had envisaged.

We always needed the two cars as I need one for work, and Chris needs one for here weekly tasks. I had a list of things to look for in a car, and number one was it had to have the VW TDi engine…. so that meant a VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat….

I had been looking for some time, but no cars matched my criteria – and if they did they were in Scotland or some other far flung location. The day the Fiesta blew its pipe I was desperate to find a car as I needed reliable transportation to do my 110 mile round trip to work each day.

My luck was in this day… Whilst waiting to pick up the hire car I carried out an Autotrader.co.uk search… and there was a ’96 Audi A4 only 7 miles away… in my price range…. with a service history that was so anal it was untrue! This car has been so well looked after! It appeared to be owned by a person who would replace a whole engine if an air filter needed changing! A quick test drive and a look through the records and I was off!

Mr Audi

Mr Audi

The only problem was a mismatched alloy wheel – but £30 later and eBay got me 5 second hand A3 alloys with good (nearly new) Pirelli P6000 tyres… only 5 miles from my place of work! A little bit of luck was due our way!

The fan belt was on the way out though – but one chat to my auto technician friend, a Haynes manual later, and a trip to Camberley Autofactors and I was elbow deep in the engine bay.

Haynes said remove the front bumper and associated parts, and jack the car up, use axle stands, two people etc….. I managed with opening the bonnet and cranking a 15mm spanner to swap the belt over! (with a third hand from Chris to keep tension on as I fed the new belt in). This was thanks to advice from the technician I use – and can’t rate highly enough!

I took the new Audi (or Mr Audi, as Alex calls it) to T.J Services – who I trust. I wanted to get a service done to make sure it is all up together. He looked over the history and was taken back by the work the previous owner had carried out. Most of the expensive bits that haunt any car… all of them had been replaced already! I had spotted a gem of a car! Trevor (T.J) simply said he’d see me at the next MoT, as no work was needed yet. Hurrah for honest tradesmen!


Goodwood Revival – The other bits…

This year we didn’t see much of the racing. We spent most of our time taking in the static cars and aircraft, the shops and stalls… and the fun fair.

Alex (5) wanted to go on the rides. He started small and moved up to the Dodgems with me…. and then a family ride on a violent Waltzer! Alex is very keen to go on a roller-coaster, so I figured a few smaller rides would see how he coped.

I thought the Waltzer would be too much for him, but he watched from the side and still wanted a go. He loved it….. so it’s roller-coasters next year!

As in my previous post, the SPITFIRES stole the day…. Not a lot could contend, even though the event had plenty to offer.

Anyway… here are a few photo’s… (with more in full size HERE)

There are plenty more photos – in FULL SIZE… OVER HERE on FLICKR


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