Today was another big day – transporting the bodyshell to Citwins for its major makeover. The day began with a rather bleary feel, due to the earliness of the hour. And possibly a dirty camera lens.
Now all I had to do was get to Bradford, 160 miles away. I hoped the motorway gods would be kind to me. Things didn’t start too well when one of my straps came loose before I’d even left the village. Thankfully, employing a little bit more physics soon had things safe once more.
As I eased towards Llangurig, I was astonished to see that they’ve FINALLY started work on a damaged section of the A44. It has been reduced to temporary traffic lights at this spot for several years now. I was amused to see a Renault Twizy in use as a convoy vehicle. Nice.
But, the XM was playing up a bit. Every now and then, the power assistance disappeared from the steering. I’ve had this on BXs before, and the heavy steering suggests a possible issue with the pump or flow diverter valve (FDV). Or, it could just be that it really needs a good flush of the hydraulic system – something I’ve been meaning to do for ooh, about 16 months now…
It wasn’t too bad, so I carried on. The route took me up towards Oswestry, then Chester and the start of the motorway madness – M53, M56, M6 and M62. To be honest, things were flowing beautifully, and the XM is even more relaxing at 60mph than it is at 70. Sure, it was frustrating to not be able to use the third lane when the trucks started getting in the way, but my speed was not very far from theirs, so it didn’t feel like much of a hold-up. Soon enough, it was 50mph for everyone due to carriageway widening.
The XM did feel the strain going up Windy Hill on the M62. This rises to a summit of 1221ft (372m) and is the highest section of motorway in the UK. My foot was right down to keep up 60mph, though the bountiful torque of the engine at this speed – just over 2000rpm – meant speed did not drop. Nor did the temperature gauge, which crept up towards the middle – very unusual in normal driving. Not that this climb was that normal!
Soon enough, we arrived in Bradford. Getting the body off the trailer was made much easier by a block and tackle!
I was quite anxious, but Alan Rogers (the man who is Citwins) reckoned it wasn’t that bad. Well, obviously, it is quite bad, but by the time he’s cut the rotten bits out, he reckons there’s plenty of good metal left to weld to. As it happens, he had a very similar ‘shell that he’d just finished for me to examine. Pretty much the entire bottom six inches had been replaced. Encouraging and nice to see what mine will hopefully look like before too long!
Then all I had to do was drive the 160 miles back home. Thankfully, the XM behaved perfectly this time.
This is going to be a rather long pause in proceedings I think, as there’s other work Alan needs to do, and panels need to be gathered. Don’t be alarmed if nowt happens for a while on the 2CV front. There’ll be lots of other action of course – the XM now needs a thorough service, the Dyane still needs a spot of engine fettling, and the Prelude may well be disappearing to a new home. Stay tuned!