Another Pig in the Poke…. Part 3?

Ok…. I’ve got to have a reason for doing this. It’s a bit like when your Mrs returns home with an expensive item of clothing like a handbag or shoes and says “They were in the sale….” and “They’re are bargain” and “look how much I saved“.
When what they should say was “I don’t really need any of this sh*t and I really don’t like the colour but they were 1/5th of their original price and I now own something useless I’ll never use!

Ahhem…. now that I have that off my chest.. I’ve gone and bought yet another MX5 (Eunos)…….
and it’s an Automatic, and it’s broken, and I’ve gone and bought it blind from eBay, and I have to get it back from Slough on a trailer!

Right stop laughing… your sides will split!

The reason for this madness…….

She borrowed my ‘Pig in a Poke (part 1)’, and had so much fun in it that she borrowed it a couple more times, and even went into Wales with the roof down with her friend, to craft fairs buying sh*t she doesn’t need. (A female trait I’m led to believe).
So as she normally drives Auto’s…….. A fabulous old Audi 80 Avant 2.0 Auto to be precise, I thought I’d buy her one as a pressie.

Now good V-spec Auto’s go for £1200+, and this was going to stretch the budget a bit for a whimsical present. This is where the Ebay scouring pays off…….

A young lady with a 1.8 V-Spec Auto in black, let her car overheat on the motorway on Sunday. (ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS LOOK AT THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE FROM TIME TO TIME!). Anyway…..she let it cook so badly that it won’t start!
So £350 later I have a broken MX5 and she has well… £350!

Stay with me on this……..
A second hand working 1.8 engine for the car is between £200 and £250.
New Radiator £60, cambelt kit £65, water pump £50….. Labour £several bottles of malt whisky!
Hey presto a working car for less than £750! In theory!

For all you non-believers… here are some photo’s.





Bargain or bag of bolts………………………….

Deja vu feeling!

Stay posted and I’ll let you know, oh and don’t tell my Mum…. it’s a surprise.



A Trip To Le Mans Classic

Waiting two years for the Le Mans Classic is always worth it. And despite changing weather conditions this year, I enjoyed another fantastic event in the Sarthe region. The organiser, Peter Auto, excelled once again and presented an enthralling set of races intermingled with bustling trader villages, distractions and fanfare for 2012 event.

After cruising down from Dunkirk to a tad East of Le Mans at Lombron (why can’t motoring in Britain be as good as this?) and getting excited in spotting a Free French Army Sherman Tank from the 1940′s on the way, I arrived with the missus at a flippin’ ginormous Chateau complete with moat, a lake, black swans, turrets, towers, a huge swimming pool and 33-acres of land. A clutch of wealthy chums of mine had invited me to the ‘little place’ they stayed in last time, and as I rolled up the gravel drive adorned with cedar trees, my 350z quickly became shameful when parking up next to an ex-Bernie Ecclestone Ferrari 456, a 4.5 litre Bentley pre-war car, a Jaguar XK120 and a Morgan. Luckily I quickly spied the maid’s 2CV and made sure I was adjacent so as to remain as cool as I could as we stepped out to greet them…

Now. Somewhere along the line, I was supposed to be on official duty at Le Mans. I am very fortunate to work on the biggest selling classic car title in Britain and across the world, and with my sales team present to host guests in their usual fashion, I was determined to get some personal enjoyment from the event this year. Although as networking champion for the brand, I had to plan a certain amount of breezing around pressing the flesh, attending the posh auctions and greeting anyone else I know out and about. Ho hum.

Day 1 – rain. Made for my posh lunch with private bank event partner EFG International rather soggy and then cut short any plans I had to venture out to the village in the attempt to NOT spend money on more stuff to fill my garage/study/office/loft etc. Boo.

Day 2 – changeable. Better for the browsing around the Paddocks and enjoying the Little Big Mans race. This is where the rich kids with enthusiastic fathers get to race in half-scale Le Mans classics including a proper old-stylie race start of running to the cars. Utter mayhem ensued with all sorts going on, cars getting in each others way, but what a brilliant spectacle. I better start saving for my son to do this in a few years. Yikes!

The Artcurial Auction was also a great distraction. It had a fine array of historic road and race metal there including one of the works Peugeot Le Mans cars. One particular favourite of mine was a lovely 275 GTB4 in Maroon that had Nurburgring pedigree. Sold for a cool €1.5 million. Very nice..

Day 3 – bleary eyed and damp. Very tired that day following a number of hours in the early Sunday morning drizzle with pal and motoring journo Adam Towler to watch some of the night races – including a TVR Grantura fireball! Well, where else can you see such a spectacle in historic racing? Standing trackside at Terte Rouge, Porsche Curves and above the Pit Lane makes for a fabulous sight. The night-time accentuates the growls, whines, pops and whizzes as each group of cars flash by. Clearly some of the owner/drivers are on it proper. There are a noticeable group of cars in the first 3-5 places in each Plateau streaming away from the rest of the field. But who cares. The noise and spectacle is terrific and remember the bloke at the back has still shelled out at least half my annual salary just to get his car prepared for the race!

There is so much to see across the weekend, though inevitably each enthusiast will chose to watch those plateaus that best feed their passion. Plateau’s 4 (GT40’s Cobras), 5 (917s, Lola’s and Ferrari 512s), and 6 (Fire-breathing 190’s Le Mans monsters!) are my favourites. Jimbo – where the hell were you..??

Things I found in my car today…

So, here we are – my first ever blog on here – about time as it seems the other founder members are at it all the time! Anyways, here we go with a tale of peer pressure and corpses…!  Until very recently I was happy with ‘just’ 3 cars in my life – the Focus, the Porsche and the source of many blogs to come, the trackday BMW, which is undergoing the final touches to major heart surgery as we speak.  At various drift days, I have always had a soft spot for MX5′s having driven Jimbos and David’s cars and always said, ‘I should get a cheap one for a bit of fun’.  Through a convoluted route of David, Jimbo and some ridiculous peer pressure, I succumbed and also bought a car I have never seen from a man I never met, on the recommendation of a good friend who by his own admission isn’t that mechanically minded…  A pig in a poke round 2, if you will.  And here she is:

Pig in a poke, take 2

In fairness, it was as described – straight, rust free and genuinely low mileage at 96000 km.  The only fly in the ointment is that the car is well…. How can I put this… Original.  Really Original.  As in original brakes (i.e. foobar’d), original clutch (again foobar’d), I think original oil (it looks like Brent crude) and it’s clear the previous owners weren’t too keen on washing it either… The interior was diplomatically described as ‘minty’ by people who saw it…  Hmmmm.  For those that know me, they will know that I like to have a clean car and as I write this I can hear the guffaw-ing from the other Teammoomoo members as they recall me stating that ‘I am not planning on spending much money on this one’…  Future blogs will no doubt justify their mirth…

David (our resident MX5 expert) had pointed out a few quick wins to spark my interest, mainly involving basics like air filters, wiper blades and giving the car a damned good clean and bless him, he offered to help, as it means a guaranteed trip to the pub and he also knows that I am busy with project ‘wallet buster’ (BMW).

Most of us have indulged at some time in our lives in plunging a hand down the back of the sofa to rescue a remote control and found rather more than we bargained for – if you are lucky, it could be a pound, or a piece of pizza – if not, then it could be something quite horrid – I shall leave that to the imagination.  David suggested that for a really good clean, we should remove the Mazda seats (and replace with a set from his garage – cleaner and black, not blue)…  ‘No worries’ thought I - but what was underneath was a surprise:

A pot of jam? Really?

And the passenger side:

Old chewing gum - charming

And David looking a little too shiny – blame the camera flash… ;o)

There was worse to come – on the left is the new air filter, on the right, the old one…  As I said – original…

And best of all…. Not 1, not 2, but FOUR (!!!!) decomposed mice (yes folks, rodents) in the airbox itself:

Tasty treats...

Not pleasant, it has to be said…

And… After a fair bit of effort, the interior now looks like this:


So – step 1 of getting the Mazda the way I like it has been completed and of course, I won’t be spending any money on it…  Ahem, Harumph… ;o)

Silverstone Classic

Ah, the Silverstone Classic.  Kinda like the Goodwood Revival but without the costumes and with fewer people getting in the way :)

Sit back and enjoy the car porn.


































Reckon the new Fuji X10 was a pretty good purchase  :)

Ta-ta for now!