Project OMG: I like it!

Here we are then!

All looks good. Some rot on the rear doors, and very little on the rear arches. Had a qtick drive around the block around and all seems well. We’ve even polished the headlamps.

There is a smell of diesel, which I reckon is the pump. It’s not dropping any though. Exhaust has a hole in it. Hopefully that can be welded up.

We’re hoping to make it to an earlier MOT so more news later.

Project OMG: City Life

The drone of a tired wheel bearing was overcome by polite conversation as we headed out of Wales and into England. 

Traffic levels were relatively light, until we left the motorway and headed towards Filton.

This classy Jaguar XJ 40 was about as good as spots got, as we crawled our way through the busy streets of Filton.

Then, just before we reached my stopover, the mother of all spots. Who doesn’t love a decrepit Volkswagen LT?

I’m now out for food – Grounded on the Gloucester Road is very pleasant. Many thanks to Jasper for giving me a lift. He is playing with Songdog on the other side of Bristol tonight. If folk noir is your thing, head to The Thunderbolt tonight. 

I’ll be retiring to my AirBNB with Rebus to keep me company tonight. It’s Tooth and Nail, where Rebus will head to London and and feel totally out of his depth. Wondering around the hectic streets of Filton this evening, I know how he feels…

The new car: Project OMG!

I was going to try and hide the identity of my new car from you, but leaks have started to appear in my attempted secrecy. So, here you are. My first Vauxhall!

Yup, I've acquired me a Vauxhall. Almost.

Yup, I’ve acquired me a Vauxhall. Almost.

That picture represents all I’d seen of the car when I agreed to have it. I knew it had been off the road since the summer of 2015, parked up with a minor fuel leak. It’s a 1997 Vauxhall Omega Elite TD auto estate, so pretty darned high-spec. Not my usual thing at all. In fact, I’ve never owned any Vauxhall, perhaps hoping that I might one day begin that adventure with a Senator. I love Senators.

By 1997, this was the Senator equivalent. The Omega replaced the Carlton (I like those too) and Vauxhall attempted to overcome the horrors of the Carlton diesel by borrowing BMW’s M51 six-cylinder turbo – the same engine that was also used in the Range Rover P38, several BMWs (badged tds) and, oddly, the UMM Alter (though possibly not in the UK). It’s an old-school, indirect injection diesel, with two valves per cylinder. That’s sounding much more like my cup of tea. Because Vauxhall’s automatic transmission is not very robust, the engine is detuned in this application, to 130bhp (from BMW’s 180). Mind you, they detuned it for the Range Rover too, so maybe BMW just kept the power for itself…

More photos have since surfaced of the car. Disappointingly in some ways, it has been cleaned.



Mind you, to be fair, the owner has also ensured it runs and drives after its lay up, which leaves me feeling at least slightly comfortable about Friday.

The story so far is that I’m heading to Bristol with a friend on Thursday. I’m staying with a complete stranger that night, courtesy of AirBNB. Then, the owner is picking me up on Friday, while a chap I bought a car from five years ago will be joining us in Bath. We’ll do the paperwork, check the car over, fix a few small things (sidelight bulb out, check how bad a reported diesel leak is) and hopefully take the car for MOT at 2:30pm. If it’s a pass, then I shall drive home triumphant. If it’s a fail, then I don’t really have any back up plan at the moment. Too many variables. We could find ourselves carrying out minor repairs, or it could be something major that scuppers the caper. I’m not going to bother worrying about it. The ultimate fallback is to catch a train home.

It certainly promises to be exciting, and I’ll do my best to Live Report along the way – apart from when I’m driving, obviously. If it all goes quiet, well, hopefully that means I’m driving it home. Naturally, a video will be forthcoming. Already, excitement levels are rather high.