Thursday, 22 July 2010

Never mind this camping lark, what about the car?!!

So, what about the car? Well, it's my current pride & joy, it's a 1973 BMW 2002 touring, the “original” Hot Hatch (NOT the golf GTI!) It weighs about 1 metric tonne & has a 2 litre engine.
My previous pride & joy was a 1985 BMW 525e, but this wanted too much work for the ultimate value of the vehicle, so I got rid of it, solid though it was, it was also just a bit too big for me, which is a shame as I love big cars, but most of my driving is around the city of Bristol, & a big, automatic, 2.7 litre saloon car was just too impractical.
So, when my injury claim came through, back in April, I decided to buy another car & eventually sell the big red 5 series. That's where my friend Mark comes in, he's a hopeless BMW addict, it's his fault I bought the first one, & I was trying to keep my options open when he persuaded me, once again, to go for another BMW. He also assures me I will “never” lose money on this car, mind you, I never lost anything on the last one either.
So, you may be expecting me to present some shining, concours example of a 37 year old BMW? Well, you would be sadly mistaken. My car is, to put it kindly, solid where it counts. Which means the chassis is solid & the engine, transmission & drive train are also good. What my car needs is some “cosmetic” work, which is fine for someone who likes to do car body repairs in his spare time, unfortunately my expertise is more with the engine, drive train, transmission & electrics, which are all fine, but I'm always willing to learn new skills when it comes to repairing cars.
I love my old '02 (that's what they're called to the enthusiasts, it's pronounced two-double-”O”-two, NOT two thousand & two, hence the abbreviation to just “'02”). I've been warned that this car will need some money thrown at it, but I will find it somewhere, for now my money's being spent on this French adventure.
I prepared the car for this holiday by flushing the cooling system, replacing 6 of the 9 coolant hoses, replacing the plugs, points, distributor cap, rotor arm & air filter. I also took the exhaust apart & re-aligned it so it no longer rattles against the body-work. All of this was done in the final 4 days before I set off on this adventure, so I do have some faith in my skills, & I had my dad there to supervise where necessary (& teach me how to replace the points!) I had one leaky hose the day before I left, which was soon rectified.
Anyway, I'm sure you'll notice her in the pictures, & maybe I will take some of just the car, for the enthusiasts who are following this. Some may think I'm mad taking a classic car on a trip of this length, but I know how simple this car is, & I have enough tools to do most rudimentary repairs so I'm not fussed. I also have as many spares as I could carry, & know enough to keep a keen eye on the temperature gauge.
If anyone has any further questions about this car, feel free to leave them in the comments section.
Also, Mark's girlfriend, Claire (also a friend of mine), usually insists on cars being named, & as yet this little beast has no name, so feel free to throw in your suggestions for that as well.
Let's just hope she stays as reliable during the remainder of this holiday as she has proved already, she really hasn't missed a beat, even in this relentless heat, not bad for 37 years old (I'm not telling you her mileage, a lady should never have to reveal such things).

Fingers crossed.........

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