If your tastes do not run in the direction of motoring lost causes then you may choose to move on, for I'm about to describe my weekend to come and it's going to include a lot of oily things. Writing about cars as therapy for girl fog.
A little over five decades ago a factory somewhere in Warwickshire produced a small car. It was sold to a couple in Devon who owned it for over thirty years before age forced them to give up motoring. At that point it nearly went for scrap, but for a lucky intervention from a mate of mine, like me one of a select band of individuals who share an interest in such cars, who spotted it and bought it. His problem was that he already had more of them than he had room for, I can just imagine his wife's reaction, so he had to find a buyer rather quickly.
At the time I was young, geeky and gullible, so I parted with the cost of some seriously attractive wardrobe and drove away in one of the slowest cars I'm ever going to own.
Running a quirky old car has its moments. The glacial acceleration and lacklustre braking are not the high points, but Saturday mornings on an empty B road make up for those shortcomings. If you are bored with the characterless boxes we surround ourselves with today then something that doesn't corner on rails and in which you can't just rely on bottomless acceleration to get you out of any missed gear changes is likely to put some fun back in to your motoring and a grin back on your face.
I ran that car for over a decade. Sometimes as my only car, other times as my spare. Then as sometimes happens to we tech workers, I lost a job and the car lost its clutch, so it had to come off the road. Since then it's gazed accusingly at me and my occasional attempts to keep it clean and rust protected have not assuaged my guilt over its abandonment.
So late last summer, I decided to do something about it. I got it on the ramp, fixed its brakes, replaced hydraulics, gave it new ignition components and a second-hand clutch, so by November it was driveable. Fantastic! Of course, that wasn't enough to put it on the road. In the UK we have a mandatory roadworthiness test for cars over three years old called the MOT test and there was no chance my car would pass one without a bit of welding.
Which brings me neatly to the present. This weekend I'll spend my time in the sun getting myself filthy grinding away five decades of other people's bodywork repairs including some horrific work I did myself before doing my best to replace them with something that could last another five decades. By Monday if I'm lucky all the car will need for an MOT will be a set of new tyres. At which point I'll be very happy indeed.
I may not have the car on the road by the end of the month but I'll give it a damn good try. And who knows, if I wear the right garment from my grubby old t-shirt pile I might even go some way towards erasing my farmer's tan. Which, as I'm sure you'll appreciate, will be the icing on the cake.