17 years. 76,000 miles. Probably 5,000 of those on track. The head gasket had to go in the end. It’s a K Series. That’s what they do.
And so it was, that I set off in the Elise from High Wycombe on a sunny Tuesday evening, and noticed the temperature blinking 102 at me before I’d got to the M40.
If any of you were reading nearly 3 years ago, you may remember my rosy view of my last breakdown. That day I fondly observed how, in terms of breakdowns, it was really rather painless and surprisingly convenient. Again, luck and the sunshine were shining on me in equal measure.
Let’s count the bonuses.
- The sun was shining and the roof was stowed.
- I noticed the high temperature *before* reaching the M40, so I was able to cruise gently into the Frankie & Benny car park and not get in anyone’s way and (hopefully) before it did any proper damage to the engine.
- Speaking of Frankie & Benny, I’d had lunch there earlier, for the first time ever, so I was still full and could while away a few hours without even thinking of eating my own arm.
- Usually I have Tuesday Night Plans, but because of the lunch I didn’t this week, so I had nothing to cancel.
- I had plenty of charge on the phone, so even though it took 20 minutes to get through to Green Flag, I had no battery anxiety.
- I had the laptop with me, so I was able to watch a film in the car while I waited.
- Even though the truck couldn’t get into the car park because of the low barrier, the car park was downhill so I could roll the Lotus out to the truck.
- It turns out the traffic on the roads at rush hour was AWFUL, but I missed all of that because I was sitting in the sunshine watching a film.
- I was due at Donington the next day. Bloody glad it happened the day it did rather than at the track.
- I don’t have Home Start on my policy, so if it had happened at home, I wouldn’t have been covered for recovery.
So apart from the fact that the head gasket failed, which, let’s face it, was wildly overdue to happen anyway, it all ended up pretty damn well. I call that a result.