Martha has been off the road since 7th December 2011. Yes, it has broken my heart to hear how great these cars are in the winter and I have not been able to experience this, but we are on the way to getting her fixed.
I say ‘we’, I mean my hero, Ashley, came down yesterday (in the rain and hail) and got to work on getting the beast back in working order.
The halfshaft had broken as I was coming down a big hill full of potholes, leaving me stranded on a very busy roundabout (big thanks to the two police cars that drove past me by the way).
It was very interesting seeing the inner workings of the rear axle, which I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise (gee, thanks Martha! Educational or just plain annoying?!). The part in question had shirred off about an inch from the top, which was pretty impressive, in all honesty!
So, Ashley got out all the bits he needed to, and Martha is on the way to recovery!
Then it is the dreaded MOT which is a very scary prospect! EEP!!
So this is the heater out of the car and drying in the bath after the matrix being flushed (eat your heart out Neo!).
I spent the majority of the day trying to remove a badly corroded bolt from the exhaust strap, without success, so Martha is, once again, laid up on the drive. The rest of the exhaust replacement should be a doddle, but this bolt is currently pissing me RIGHT OFF!!!!
Today I picked up the new bits for Martha!
New exhaust and fitting kit, and while I was at it, I finally bought the new gearstick gaiter! This is something I have been wanting to sort out since I got her, so she will be happy (and I will stop getting a draught up my arm!)
I didn’t have chance to do any work on her today as I helped my mum move house (she has been living with me & Jones since April, so as you can imagine, I didn’t mind moving her out & not doing the car…!!!). Tomorrow, however, I am going to replace the exhaust, and hopefully get around to taking out & stripping the heater (finally) in preparation for winter! As well as replacing the gearstick gaiter, of course!!!!
Onto other news, Martha & I have been getting a little fame this past few weeks! We are featured in the September issue of Minor Monthly ! We have a whole page to ourselves, and it is quite a lovely little piece, I must say 🙂
Then this Monday just gone, we were on This Morning!!! The show had asked for people to send in pictures that summed up our summers, so I thought it would be fun to send in this pic:
Martha has made my summer, she has enabled me to meet some wonderful people, and of course, I learned to drive in her, so she will always mean a lot to me.
Anyway, they only bloody showed the picture!! I didn’t know until Steph Holloway called me to ask if I had been on TV!!! (Should you wish, it’s on the ITV Player, Monday 5th September, at around 1h 7m)…
Fame at last, eh?!
Sunday mornings are generally the time when I like to go & have a tinker with Martha, I get little chance the rest of the time.
This morning, as is usual or a Sunday, I was awake before 8am (seriously, it’s a Sunday, why can I not have a lie in? Why does my body hate me so???!!!), so I decided I’d go down & take the bonnet flash & bonnet lift handle off so I caould give them a good clean, pain the bits that needed painting, and wack them back on again. No problem, easy little job!
So off they came, in pretty good nick really, not rusty, but very dull, and the handle is quite badly pitted, but a polish would make them nice enough until I get new ones!
So off I went to put them back on, this is where the trouble started! Putting the bonnet lift handle back on, the screw shirred off, and so won’t stay put! The screws on the flash wouldn’t tighten properly either, so that was flopping about a bit, but at least it was on.
After a particularly terrifying drive yesterday, where the gear shift kept sticking in between 2nd & 3rd, I decided I would definately have to check the gear box oil. I have been meaning to do it since I got her, but never got around to it!
Unfortnately the tool I had wouldn’t fit in the little hole properly to get the screw out, so a trip to Maplin was on order to buy a socket set!
Happy days, £4.99 spent, and the largest socket was not big enough to fit in.
So I still haven’t been able to top up the oil in the gearbox.
When I was out, I also noticed that a bit of metal was coming off the side of the bonnet, and when I was driving along, the glove box surround at the drivers side came off. Crazy day!
However, I did have a bit of a clean up in the engine bay, and the sump now looks very clean, and I even found a bit of metal underneath a lot of grime.
I polished the bumper too, but then found the boot won’t lock.
Ce’st la vie, and all part & parcel of owning a classic car. So if anyone has a spare boot catch, lock handle & bonnet lift handle lying around, you know what to do…I have cake…