I am astounded at the length of time it has been since the last post (again), however, the blog did seem to be turning into a ‘look what’s gone wrong now’ type thing, which although is part & parcel of owning a 43 year old car, it just seemed a bit of a downer.
So this post will be the ‘downer’ post, and the next few at least will be about the good times we have!
Perhaps I will start with a little picture…
That would be Martha without an engine.
Yes, on 24th September 2011, Martha pegged it. As yet, we aren’t sure of the (many) causes of the break down, but it was a MAJOR breakdown – un-drivable, new engine required breakdown. Just in case you wondered, the old engine is the one on the hoist.
I managed to acquire a refurbished engine from a local fella (known only as ‘The Engine Man’), and on 14th October, my lovely friend Matt Tomkins travelled up from Oxford to help me put the new engine in.
Matt worked so hard all weekend, the poor lad, and I did what women are best at, I scrubbed the engine bay, and painted it a lovely gloss black with Hammerite (it prevents rust, don’t you know).
As well as the engine being buggered (to put it politely!), the majority of the fittings had to be replaced too, so it ended up being rather expensive as you can imagine! Having just started university, it was important that Martha was back on the road as soon as we could manage so I could actually make it there! It was touch & go as to whether it would happen or not…! Being a 43 year old lady, as happens to us all, a lot of bits had siezed up on the poor old girl, making things take a little longer than they probably should have done!
After going on for 24 hours worth of work, the new engine was finally in!
Thank goodness! It was a hard weekend, I did my back in and could barely walk on the Monday, but I’ll tell you what, it was worth it to have the beast back on the road!
Matt, you’re my hero! xxx
First of all, I realise there had been a bit of a drought when it comes to posts, for which I apologise profusely!
On Monday 18th July, I started a new job in Tamworth. Martha was in the garage for the whole of that week, which not only meant I had to be up at 5.30am for 5 whole days, but also that I missed her far too much than can be considered healthy.
So, where to begin?
As you know, Martha was in because her gearbox had gone. On Saturday 16th July, I dropped her off at the local garage with a new old gearbox, hoping I would have her back for Tuesday.
Alas, things are never quite so straightforward, are they?
The new old gearbox was also shot, and the guys at the garage discovered that the clutch was extremely badly worn & needed replacing. Double whammy!
Luckily for me, I have some very kind people close to me, and one way or another, we were able to get the money together for a refurbished gearbox and clutch kit which the lovely guys at the garage were able to fit with no problem.
So, on Saturday 23rd July, ater a WHOLE WEEK without her, I went to pick Martha up from the garage, and I’ll be honest with you, readers, she is like a completely different car! She purrs like a (…n asthmatic) kitten! She is much smoother and much, much less noisy, and even more beautiful to drive, if that is even possible!
The spending didn’t stop there, however. When I got her, the front tyres were badly worn, and yes, I had put off getting new ones due to lack of money, but as I had started the new job in time for a couple of weeks worth of pay, I went and splashed out on 4 new tyres for her. Not just any old tyre, either, but NITROGEN filled tyres (all together now, say ‘oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!’). Apparently the nitrogen means that the tyres stay inflated for longer as the miniscule particles do not ‘escape’ through the tyre wall like hapens with aire filled tyres. Which is good, it means I don’t have to pay 20p for air. TWENTY BLOODY PENCE FOR AIR?!!! What is the world coming to?!
Since being back with me, we are really racking up the miles, travelling to Tamworth & back each day, which totals around 60 miles each day. She has no problem at all, although lorries seem to have a problem with her. As do BMW & Mercedes drivers…
I do enjoy having a long dive, and I have seen (and honked & waved at) a few other classic car drivers (it’s impolite not to, you know!). There is one car I have seen a couple of times in Wilnecote – a red Beetle, driven by a lady. I think it may be called Gloria… If, by any chance, you hapen to be reading this post, I’m not mental, I just get overexcited when I see other nice cars 🙂
Also got a lovely smile from a gentleman driving a Mini today. Seriously, I think all these people just think I am insane. I wouldn’t tell them otherwise…