Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Roadworthy old wreck
Such are the minor annoyances of British automotive bureaucracy.
It would have been the perfect start to the day, except that the Wreck's clutch is slipping. Fifty year old springs are not doing a very good job of keeping the plate pressed against the flywheel and it is very difficult to make the car go any faster than thirty miles per hour without a sudden burst of revs as it loses adhesion.
How unfortunate. Luckily I know another bloke in a tin shed who can help, sometime soon I'll be off to the lair of someone who is a World Expert on Wrecks and who I am sure will be able to sort me out with the parts I need.
Every branch of motor enthusiasm has a bloke in a tin shed somewhere catering for its adherents. Everyone I know with a Wreck has the World Expert on speed-dial, and similarly my motorcycles and the Turbocharged Rollerskate are tended by equivalent experts in their own fields working out of anonymous industrial units.
There is a cosy certainty to a conversation within the fold of similarly afflicted petrolheads. In the world of the true enthusiast there is no room for hierarchy or snobbery, from the rustiest Wreck to the shiniest concours d'elegance winner they are all machines and thus fascinating to the born fettler. I can no more explain the attractions of a detailed conversation about the different clutch parts fitted to pre- and post-1963 cars as I can the attraction of a Little Black Dress to someone who looks like me, but strangely they both fulfill the same function: that of keeping the brain occupied. Which is important when you are trying to stop yourself going potty.
It's been too long since I last drove the Wreck. I was worried I'd not rediscover the spark, but today has been a good one and the girl has not intruded too much. Something which given the experience of my last few weeks can only be a positive thing.