2012: Year in Review

Well, it’s easy to think 2012 was a crap year, thanks to recent appalling weather. However, it was a good year for me, if not consistently so.

The year started with the last ever Raid Sportsmans Arms – an event we’d taken over the running of. This was in January and there was a great turnout as 2CVs convoyed to the Highest Inn in Wales. The Sportsmans Arms has since closed down, so very soon, we’ll be convoying to the new Highest Inn in Wales!

2CV’s in the sunshine back in January

I almost made it to the end of January without purchasing another car, but failed dramatically when a ‘bargain’ Ford Maverick cropped up on Ebay. I bid at £500 with 2 minutes left and was somewhat startled to win it. It became a stalwart of the 2012 fleet once I’d sorted out some of its issues though, and now lives across the valley from me, having survived a creditable 10 months in my ownership. Not many cars make it past six months.

Maverick was a bargain, but needed a fair chunk of work…

That led to a short spell writing for 4×4 Magazine, which has just come to an end – seeing as how I don’t own a 4×4 anymore! It was a great buy and I had a lot of fun in it. Arguably more fun per mile than almost any other car I’ve owned. I only clocked up about 2000 miles in it, but easily spent most of my time at the wheel in low box, testing it’s impressive off-road ability.

The Maverick led to me having to urgently sell a Peugeot 309 that was on the fleet at the start of the year – not a car I really bonded with at all, though I did appreciate the sharp handling, comfy ride and the fact that it really should have been a Talbot.

Then the fleet entered something approaching stability. I had the 2CV, the Maverick and my Mk1 Citroen BX estate project that was getting better all of the time. I was worried it wasn’t up to the summer of travelling I had planned though, so when my old BX estate came up for grabs in May, I had to have it. She’d been chronically abused in the 10 months she’d been away, covering 30,000 miles with barely any attention at all. A bit of reviving TLC and she served me well though, taking in the International Citroen Car Clubs Rally in Harrogate and leading an impromptu BX Birthday convoy at that event, before heading to the CXM Rally and a long-awaited trip to Bletchley Park – home of the codebreakers during the Second World War. A fabulous place, well worth a visit.

May also saw a momentous event for me and my 2CV. 100,000 miles together! We celebrated that milestone on the return from the excellent La Vie en Bleu at Prescott Hillclimb.

Hoon! 2CV at Prescott Hillclimb, before we celebrated 100,000 miles together

Few cars make it past six months with me, as I’ve said. Elly the 2CV was just the latest of a long line of 2CVs (the 14th in five years in fact!) when I purchased her in 2000 for the sum of £450. She somehow won me over, earning herself a restoration and she’s been in regular service since. I now can’t see me ever selling this car. By contrast, my wife has been in my life for only nine years though happily I can’t imagine life without her either.

The absolute highlight of the year is definitely the International Citroen Car Clubs Rally though. It was immense. Superb cars, incredible entertainment (The Demon Barbershop Roadshow and Ukulele Orchestra highlights there), wonderful company and yet more superb cars. A credit to all involved and Classic & Sports Car’s event of the year! Honourable mentions must also go to Shitefest – where we celebrated the worst cars of history and I got to drive an FSO Polonez – and 2CVGB’s Registers Day. That was a nightmare to get to due to rain, pretty horrible while we were there due to rain, and pretty horrible on the way home too due to everything being soaked. Yet it was still a lot of fun – it takes a lot to dampen the spirits of 2CVers.

Car purchasing got a bit silly again in August and September, but a fleet cull now sees me with just three cars, two of which work and one of which is being revived – the 2CV, BX Turbo Diesel and BX Green Tiger.

As for the blog itself, I’m not sure where it’s heading for 2013. I shall simply go against the grain and will therefore make no promises at all! Happy New Year and thanks for reading.

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