It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here! The fabled Capri is back on the streets! I can engage my Professionals fantasies again!
I can’t even remember when I last drove it, but it was *many* years ago. Surprisingly it’s not in bad nick considering it’s been parked outside for at least five years without going anywhere to speak of. It’s been from Hinckley to Guildford to Droitwich to Ottershaw. It’s had the magical hands of Copsons junior and senior fitting the new brakes and giving it a good old fettling, and the reliable boys at Lakeside Engineering have seen it through its MOT. Now, finally, it’s back in Hampshire where it’ll be staying for the foreseeable future.
Driving it feels completely new. I’ve done a few track days in it long ago, but I really don’t recognise the driving experience at all. It took forever to get it going at Lakeside and it was bone dry of fuel, but £75 of V-Power later it’s happy to start first turn now and has obediently carried me over 100 miles so far with no issues.
Well, I *say* no issues. The passenger door mirror’s hanging off. The water temperature gauge doesn’t work. The cigarette lighter socket doesn’t work. The blower doesn’t do anything. The windscreen washer doesn’t operate. It has three slow leaks in the tyres which I suspect are down to porous pepperpots (the wheels) … but nothing that stops it from *going*.
I’ve only been tickling around so far, surfing on the huge waves of torque – I’m building up confidence both in the reliability and the trust that it isn’t going to go hedge-hunting if I boot it. Mileage will create a bond.
I’m starting to *get* the whole idea of a classic car now. Every trip is an event – you have to plan ahead, allow extra time both on the road and before the journey to make sure everything works, and you’re never quite sure if you’re going to make it to your planned destination. But everybody’s happy to see it – it gets exclusively positive roadside reactions. Fathers on bikes stop just so they can point it out to their small sons. When it was being trailered to Droitwich, the Marussia F1 truck passed and gave us a little hello honk on the horn. People *like* to see it around.
I’m sure if it lets me down I will suddenly lose the rosiness, but until that day, it’s all going rather well.
Welcome home, old friend.