has your car done you proud? - Amin_{p}
Just as a matter of interest, we have all (well most of us) done crazy things with our cars which after we done it we wondered how the car didn?t fall to bits or rather blow to bits. One thing that I never forget is that last year I had a long running dispute with my opposite neighbour on parking issues and meanwhile I was doing some building work so I had things come and go. One day I had a skip (midi size- ones about the size of your normal car) and the driver could not steer the truck into my drive so left it of the left hand side of my drive gate. Then surprise-suspire, within microseconds, the said neighbour comes out saying that in order for him to get into his drive he has to ?bank? on the side of the road on my drive to get clearance on his entrance and that the skip was blocking his way although the skip was on my side of the road!!. and he was bragging on and on and on and on about the skip blocking his way. I had to go to university fairly quickly and had no time to call back the skip driver and yet had to do something about the skip, so in a moment of utter madness and stupidity, I did the only thing that came to my mind, used an ?adequate? rope to tie the skip to the back of my (tiny, rattly, flimsy, and frankly glued together with spit , but for some reason adorable and cute) AX Diesel and was absolutely determined to move the skip. For some initial several minutes nothing was going on except smoke coming out of EVERY ORIFICE of the car and the car feeling as if the front end was being stretched and any minute I would see it peeling away (of course at the time none of it mattered, the thing was to get the skip moving), then the diesel torque prevailed and the clutch held it together and the driveshaft did not warp and the head gasket remained loyal and alleluia, the skip started to move together with the most loud noise of metal being pulled on tarmac !! I pulled the skip about 20 meters to take it to the other side of my drive gate. The skip was empty but it was big enough to put the car inside it and of course being on no wheels and made from 5mm steel I can only guess how much it weighed. I think I got away with it because so many things could have broken/snapped/melted/burnt (for one, the cam belt that was in the car whilst I was doing this ?operation? had done 70k already!!). anyway, its over to you, have you ever done anything with your car after which you thought to yourself ?was I lucky or was I lucky? :-) cheers - Amin
has your car done you proud? - peterb
As a very new driver I once went 'round parliament square (in an old-shape Megane). The van in front of me suddenly speared left leaving me heading for a temporary "roadworks" sign just in front of a hole in the road.

I lost as much speed as I could (no room to go left or right) and clouted the sign at c. 5 mph. To my amazement there were no dents or scratches!

In many ways it was a lousy car, but I was always grateful for its sturdyness that day.
has your car done you proud? - THe Growler
My 1959 Bedford CA Van, - WSP688 - bought from Wivelsfield Garage in Sussex for £95 in January 1965 following a stint with a Scottish vegetable dealer. Its speedo didn't work so I had no idea what mileage it had done. It took me and my cousin across Communist Europe, through Bulgaria, Turkey, the appalling corrugated dirt roads of Iran, Afghanistan and India to Nepal, where it was sold for 3,000 Nepalese Rupees in August that year.

Most of the time we stayed at camp sites or if there were none just parked in the desert and slept in it. I remember not wanting to exchange precious USD for Greek Drachmae for fuel just to get us a few miles to the Turkish border, so we were able to get about half a gallon in exchange for 2 tins of my cousin's Nivea Cream. We repelled armed robbers near Samsun in Turkey by hiding in the van and locking the doors, and it carried 4 slaughtered wild goats after a shooting outing with some friendly Iranians near Bojnurd. The smell never quite vanished.

The bumper was taken off after I rammed a taxi in retribution in Tehran in front of the British Embassy on Avenue Ferdowsi. It was stoned by rabid Shi'ites in Masshad, Iran because we ventured too near their holy shrine.

During May temperatures across the Afghan desert on the then recently built Russian concrete road between Herat, Kandahar and Kabul the red temperature light stayed on all day and precious drinking water was employed in topping up the radiator while it was boiling, with apparently no ill results.

What we didn't know was that the new road bypassed all the towns so that we missed the gas stations enroute (many of which had simple handpumps located on 44 gallon drums of Russian petrol, which the AA Guide to Motoring In The Middle East of the time informed could be as low as 56 octane. None the less that old Bedford started, knocked, pinged but still ran on whatever was put in the tank. If you never smelled that old Communist petrol it had an odour like the smoke from a coal burning power plant. In some E. European countries, Yugoslavia as I recall, you had to buy coupons in advance to get it).

Running out of gas in the desert where temperatures can reach 60 C is not clever but we managed it. Were it not for a passing American USAID philanthropist in an International 4WD based near Bost we might still be there. He told us we were nuts but gave us gas and the first Budweiser I ever drank.

Through the Pakistan Punjab to Delhi, Agra and eventually over the Rajpath mountain pass to Katmandu. The hand-written note in the Nepali border guard's record book showed us to be the 32nd and 33rd foreigners who had entered Nepal that year.

The only other problems we had were a vapour lock near Thessaloniki in Greece and a puncture in one of the six quid remoulds bought via Exchange & Mart on the very last day of possession when the buyer came to pick up the van. The small end rattle I was worried about when we left, was still there and no worse all those miles later.

On a return trip to Katmandu in November 1967 I spotted the old Bedford, 2 rows of seats in it, plying the road from Katmandu to Bakhtipur as a minibus!
has your car done you proud? - Pugugly {P}
The old Defender.I've owned it now for nearly 12 months, bought in a moment of alcohol induced weakness in a bar in rural Catalunya during last year's summer hols and driven home, has done sterling service without anything (noticable) falling off or breaking. And as a bonus it still hasn't bored me.
has your car done you proud? - Amin_{p}
Growler, I take my hat off to you, to your car and even to the brave soul who accompanied you. My little skip adventure pales into insignificance upon reading your tale of epic proportions. I would hesitate to fly over Afghanistan, never mind drive, truly courageous on your part. I am beginning to see where you acquired your esteemed status in the backroom.
has your car done you proud? - wemyss
Growler, If you ever write a book I will be first in the queue to buy it.
Have you ever considered it?.
has your car done you proud? - 3500S
I was going to say when I seriously overloaded my first car, a 1.0L Polo and it just made it up a 1:4 hill in first but after Growler's contribution, forget it.

I've done some travelling, getting held up in Jaipur was the highlight but it's trivial compared to that; one hell of a great story Growler.

Make that two in the queue for the book.
has your car done you proud? - Amin_{p}
count me in for the book too. anything to get away from Mr.H. Potter........
has your car done you proud? - mab23

Growler, that's a serious case of wanderlust envy you've just induced with that story!

has your car done you proud? - THe Growler
Well in those days, while travelling conditions were a lot tougher, paradoxically travel was easier, countries were more welcoming and life was freer than it is now. There weren't any package holidays and if you wanted to go wherever you hitch-hiked if you didn't have the money or did what we did. On that particular trip we just left UK without much of a plan. First night in France my cousin said she wanted to go to Egypt, I said I want to go to India. We tossed a coin and I won.

I did a lot more trips as mad if not madder than that. But to the thread topic: all the vehicles which have really done me proud have been old and battered ones and the kind about which people said "you're nuts, you'll never do that in that".
has your car done you proud? - harry m
was that wivelsfield green garage you mentioned if so they have knocked it down and are building a church there now!
has your car done you proud? - PhilW
Can't possibly compete with Growler but his last words did remind me of the early '80s. My wife and I had got into the habit of slinging a tent in the back of our Renault 4 and setting off to spend the summer in Greece. By the early '80s and following a holiday which consisted of putting up and taking down a tent in the pouring rain with two kids aged under 4 crawling around in the mud we decided that a caravan was the answer. By this time we had also graduated (?) to a Renault 5 GTL (1289cc). Anyway we found a caravan that it would (theoretically) tow. after a moment of panic when picking it up when the car wouldn't move (caravan handbrake left on!) we set off to Greece, had an idyllic 3 weeks by the sea on a nearly deserted beach (plus a week to get there and a week back). Returned via some friends we had met in their home in north Austria. Some of their friends came round and we were chatting away. I thought he asked where we had been - he in fact asked where we were going, not realising we were on the way back. When I replied "Greece" he said something akin to "Your nuts, with a Renault5? You are lucky you got this far" He had, by the way just spent hours telling us of all the modifications he had made to his MB camper van - extra lights, uprated suspension, special air filters, an extra fuel tank (to get cheap diesel in Hungary) bull-bars etc, etc.
Anyway, the little Renault took us the 2000 miles to Greece another couple of times and the only problem I remember was having to switch the heater on full blast and stop once to allow the engine to cool going up a very long steep hill in the Black Forest.
I suppose we were nuts really, but we had some b***** good holidays in that little car. It's reg was VRJ 327S - anybody seen it??!!
has your car done you proud? - Amin_{p}
Just remembered another funny thing with one of my ?old bangers? (of course on a much less grand basis than other sorties floating about in here!). Years a go I had a 78 VW Polo coupe, with the 850cc engine and when I got the car the reverse gear was not working. I didn?t think much of it and used the car for almost 6-7 month without the reverse, or so I thought. When I finally had enough of having to open door and reversing with pressing my foot on the road, I decided to have a look to see what is the problem. Then surprise suspire, I found out that not only I didn?t have reverse, but 1st and 2nd where gone too!! The linkage joint had gone from the gear stick to the gearbox rod, and the gearbox was not changing column, so all the time for about 6 month I only had 3rd and 4th!!! No wonder its was making noises comparable to a jet engine every time I was pulling off from rest!! I always thought the clutch had gone or that the engine was just too small. After that I was surprised nothing had gone wrong with the car after such abuse for so long!! Good old German build quality !!....

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