Pig in a poke part 3… the update!

The general idea with the Pig in a Poke 3 (PIAP3) was to get the car home and have my mate Jan whip off the head and send it off for felting. It would (hopefully) come back shiny and new and then be reunited with the block. Add a sprinkling of new water pump, cambelt kit, (ahem Jimbo) and radiator….. a quick polish and……. Ta Da!!! The big reveal.

Well Jan’s been very busy of late, and with one thing and another PIAP3 has been left in the yard getting covered in bird sh*t.

Wednesday 22nd August dawned and I decided that it was time that the stalled project was given a kick up the arse.

Cylinder head off…. it’s only a few bolts!

Well I wont bore you. Suffice to say I did the job with the help of a borrowed ramp from QR Sport. All the mechanics were off playing at Oulton Park and I was swimming on my own in the deep end.

I do not and never will rate myself with a spanner in my hand, but acquiring the everyday expertise of a mechanic would have made the job twice as fast. But…. the head is now off being crack tested and skimmed and fingers crossed…….. we should have a running car in a few weeks, providing the bottom end hasn’t taken too much of a battering.

Oh the cause of all this hard work……. beware my fellow MX5 owners, was a very big split in the water pipe directly below the airbox! Then when the cars out of water, carry on driving like it doesn’t matter.

I slept very well that night!

Thursday 23rd August dawned. Happy 7th Anniversary Mrs W.

What should I do today? I know I’ll go and clean and polish the dirtiest car in the World!

Words fail me on the state of the car. But a few before and after pictures may do the talking for me.








Interior Before….



Interior After….

More shiny shots….


Leather Seats have come up nicely …All thank to Gliptone…… And lots of scrubbing!


Oh and finally….

Mikey…. you thought you found some ‘interesting stuff’ under your seats…….



After (well not quite). I forgot to take a photo of after so this is from my green one… You get the idea though!

Amongst all that crap was;

A school report, a tote ladies umbrella, hair bobbles, chips, nuts, railway tickets, medication, two notes from friends, car park tickets, and £7.37 in coins and 2×100 yen coins!

Well I took the money and bought Mrs W a slap up fish and chip dinner with it for our Anniversary meal! Who says I don’t know how to treat a lady!

Jimbo catches another break

Another car broke down, and yet I’m classing it as another lucky win … but why, I hear you ask.  Why, Jimbo, why are you being so upbeat about a mechanical failure?

I’ll tell you why.

I was on my way to the pub for dinner with the boys, after which I was heading to the cinema.  The route to the pub is motorway, then 5 minutes on side roads.  The MX5 safely negotiated all the motorway and died on the Odiham bypass, where there was plenty of room to stop and have a think.

Not only did the breakdown happen in pretty much the only safe place of the trip (rather than the motorway), but it was within walking distance of the pub.

NOT ONLY THAT, but one of the other chaps was already there in a nice big car that we could all fit in.

NOT ONLY THAT, but I wasn’t actually hungry and was only going to eat dinner because everyone else was, so as things turned out I could forego the meal and wait for the recovery truck instead on a very pleasant August evening, then walk to the pub and have a pint before going to the flicks.

NOT ONLY THAT, but the truck came and took the car away to a local garage that was close enough to my house for me to walk to when it was fixed.

NOT ONLY THAT, but it turned out that the cambelt (timing belt) had snapped, which is nearly always fatal, but in the case of a Mk1 MX5 it’s just a matter of fitting a new one!

And I still got to see the film and got a ride home into the bargain!

I am officially the luckiest breakdown-sufferer in history  :)


Another French Adventure

Pigs in pokes will have to wait a while – like Mr Benovich, I also enbarked on a French adventure, albeit on a slightly lower budget than him (not being a director of a certain classic car magazine – ahem..). I have always wanted to do the Le Mans classic and in fairness, it is everything that folks say it is – top tips coming later.

Coincidences are a great thing – whilst plotting our planned invasion of France, Jo (future Mrs C) spotted that the Tour de France was going fairly close by to Le Mans so enroute to La Sarthe, we managed to catch a stage of the greatest bike race on Earth:

Whilst this isn’t the most flattering shot, you have to understand that we were in a small French town where things go a little nuts for the Tour:

Those crazy French… Cool car though

Not so cool and not quite sure what its for

More nutty vehicles:

Oh yes – and the bike race itself…

Annnnnnyyyyyywayyyyy – I digress – isn’t the point of Team Moo Moo about cars?  Eventually we reached Le Mans and frankly I thought I had died and gone to heaven – I have always loved the place (I did 4 ‘proper’ Le Mans when I was pratting around in motorsport) and this just brings all the greatest elements of the race together.  Now, let’s be clear, whilst the French might be a little crazy:

France and indeed the French are actually ACE – the food, the wine, the roads, the fact that they LOVE cars, cool or otherwise.  The Le Mans classic is real evidence of that – basically, every significant race car EVER was there and I could have (and did – ask Jo) spent HOURS in the paddock looking at car porn – specifically, 1970s car porn… Why?  Not because of the lamb chop sideburns and bad plots (I’ve come to fix your fridge etc etc), but because the 70s and Le Mans was what got me into motorpsort in the first place – Dickie Davies and World of Sport..  So, stop your grinnin’, drop your linen and enjoy…

I nearly fainted when I heard this running



Beautifully prep'd BMW


Capri RS2600


My 2 favourite things - old Porsches and Swiss Choccy...


The car that changed my life...

There are many many more shots that I could bore you to death with but suffice to say, after a few hours wandering around the paddock, I started to do this:

There is of course a whole area outside the paddock to wander round and this where we learnt all of our practical tips for Le Mans classic races:

1. Take plenty of cash – EVERYTHING is a rip off

2. Take a waterproof and sun cream

3.  Learn to say ‘Fecking HOW much???!!!???’ in French – it really helps for point 1.

Jo found something she liked (apologies for the shot, I had a scoop or 2 by this stage):

Jo's favourite - extra point if you guess what it is!

I have also decided that I want one of these:

Honda Monkey!!

And I quite fancy one of these too:

Looks cute until it trys to bite your face off - just after I took this shot - lil' fooker!

So lots and lots and lots and lots of fun – and even better, in France you can stay in places like this that no one knows about:


And of course, this blog wouldn’t be complete without a shot of the car that was our companion throughout:

The only other Porsche Turbo 2 I saw at Le Mans (and I looked REALLY HARD) was this one:

Porsche Turbo S with 1100km... Oh my...

Does this mean that my car is getting rare????  See you there in 2014 folks! :o )

We don’t like Filthy Women! (Pig in a Poke part 3 cont.)

In order to collect my third MX5 purchase in a year required an early Sunday morning rise, the borrowing of a van and trailer, and a bag of sweets and lots of motorway boredom.

Four hours later (at 10am) I arrived in Slough. What a picturesque place that isn’t!
The owner of PIAP part 3 met me and seemed a presentable lady. She said “hello” in her soft Irish accent and apologised for not cleaning the car.
I told her that I had bought it as a broken car and didn’t expect it vacuumed out!
What I didn’t expect was what can best be described as a filthy, abhorrent, smelly, tip of an interior that you would not want to get into, never mind travel any distance in.
I know that this may be a subject that divides some TMM members from others, but for me a clean car is the only way to have it.
When I noticed that the stereo front was off, I asked her where it was. She replied “I’m keeping the stereo“. I thought, thanks for telling me before hand and I said to her “You’d better take the rest of it out then”, she seemed to think that the front of the stereo was the stereo! Unfortunately she wasn’t able to so I’ve been asked to remove it and post it to her and she will quote, “Pay me the postage through paypal!

She then gave me two keys, one that worked and one that doesn’t really! Oh and only one immobiliser fob which has a broken plastic case so it can’t attach to the key ring. Her phrase “Maybe you can solder it or something!” will stay with me for ever. Anyone good at soldering plastic? Answers on a postcard to………



P07 8TO!

So, once I loaded the car onto the trailer and returned home through torrential rain, I fell through the door at home and fell fast asleep.

The following morning I took the car to QR Sport.
A quick crank over revealed no compression. So it’s cylinder head off and top end rebuild time!

Now it’s shopping time, Radiator, head gasket set, water pump, cambelt kit, etc. etc.

Stay posted for the on-going saga and for the pictures of what’s under the seats (when I get around to removing them!)

Until then… here’s a little taster of the general condition of how minty the inside is… Kim and Aggie we need you!!!!!!