Wednesday, 14 May 2008

First the good news....

At this moment in time I am at a loss as to what to write about!Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of news to report about the progress of our challenge...but unfortunately not all good I’m afraid :-(.

I suppose it would make sense to start (As they say) at the beginning, and in this case that would be a week ago,the location is AW Body Repairs in Sleaford and I have just been driven down to their premises by Teresa to see for the first time the newly resprayed Scirocco a la Trailer combination.
The guys at AW's have done something that many fail to do every day of the week...shut me up!, I am pretty much speechless at the sight of a "straight from the showroom" Scirocco and matching trailer...absolutely gob smacked is the phrase that springs to mind....absolutely speechless and, I wont deny it, almost shedding a tear in admiration of the transformation to this 21 year old "Vintage car" that only a few months earlier was destined for the breakers.
Andy Grinned (he's very good at that!), and asked if I was happy with the result? Of course the answer was pretty much written all over my face and the huge smile that I was wearing was hard to disguise :-) "That is bloody fantastic mate" I mumbled, "absolutely bloody brilliant".
Shortly after having a good look at the car I went over to the trailer and yet again I was (initially) speechless, it too was just as we had envisaged it, just as the "virtual" trailer that Glen had made looked so many months ago, and this looked 110% better than the image because now it was the real thing.
After my delight had subsided again It suddenly occurred to me that even though I now had an immaculate Scirocco, I currently had no way of towing the equally immaculate Trailer home as I had forgotten one small detail....I had yet to fit the tow bar !....what a plonker !, so after arranging with Mick (the manager) that I would get the tow bar fitted the next day, and then to return to the compound for the trailer I went back home and planned for the next days (hectic) proceedings !.
Saturday morning arrived and I was up with the lark (or perhaps the sparrows!) and was soon busily drilling holes to fit the tow bar. All went well, but then I got to the point of wiring the electrics and realised that I had absolutely no wiring diagrams at all.....this was going to be fun!
A few emails and posts on the owners club website prompted several replies, amongst them was a very useful "idiots guide" which even I could understand. Well most of it anyway.
The afternoon saw me driving over to Lee Ballands home to let him fit our new (improved?) logos, and on the way I stopped of at a very nice fella’s house in Walcott to pick up free plug and extension lead for the trailer electrics (Cheers Dave!).
Lee spent around 1 and half hours fitting the logos, and at around 6.25 PM I headed back to Sleaford to get some tea and do a little blogging.
On Sunday I was up at 5.35 AM and by 06.05 was busy completing the install of the tow bar electrics on the car. At 08.20 myself and Andy Jr (Mini Me!) set of to navigate our way to Santa Pod drag strip and our first "official" fixture for 2008 which was the GTI Spring Festival were thousands of VW enthusiasts congregate to drive their cars down the 1/4 mile (if it's not wet), buy parts for their cars and get mugged by villains masquerading as chip and milkshake sellers!.
After a very wet but interesting few hours of chatting, eating chips (£2.00 for a tray the size of a very small flip-flop !) and chasing my mad al 5 year old son around, it was time to say our fond farewells to the other Scirocco register members, and drive the 80 miles back to sunny Sleaford.

Now we get to the not so good news section of this weeks update....and boy is this BAD NEWS>

I took the car to work on Tuesday without drama, she ran great (as usual) and was attracting a lot of interest from other drivers on my way to Mansfield and also folk who saw it parked up at the hospital. Now for Wednesday.

I had arranged to take my 2 girls to my parents on Wednesday, and as usual we were running a little late after leaving home at around 07.20.The trip was uneventful really, and we arrived in Mansfield Woodhouse at approx 08.17...then the world went bang...or rather it made a sort of screeching, mettalic screaming sound as we had an almost head on with another car after stalling the car whilst turning right at a crossroads...

I remember seeing the car coming straight at us, I was already executing the turn but at that moment the engine revs dropped and it stalled so i dipped the clutch to start the engine and all I could do then was to wait for the impact. That came violently in that weird sort of slow motion way that these things do....slow and deliberate, and there was nothing I could do but brace and wait. There was a sound of breaking glass, twisting metal and then silence...except for my heart which was now well and truly lodged in my mouth.
I remember trying to open the door and finding it was almost seized shut checked the girls were alright and then stumbled and squeezed my way though the door which was now the size of a letterbox slot, then I remember telling the other driver how sorry I was and then my legs buckled. I knelt on the road in the middle of the crossroads for what seemed like an eternity, contemplating what had just taken place, the emotion was raw, my mind was spinning and I felt faint, but somehow I got back up and after apologising again to the other driver I squeezed back into my Scirocco shaped post-box and with another screech of metal I reversed her back then parked her on the side of the road. I looked again at the damage and felt sick, the front appeared to me to be almost gone and the beautiful resprayed Scirocco 2 Morocco vehicle looked shattered and destroyed.

The next couple of hours were spent making the obligatory calls to my insurers, my wife and work to explain why I was late. The most difficult call was the one I felt compelled to make to Andy Walsh (AW Body Repairs), when I had to inform him that the fantastic job he had completed on the car only a few days earlier was now looking as though it had been hit by an express say I was gutted was possibly the understatement of 2008.

Andy was incredibly upbeat about the whole thing, and, after ensuring that myself and the children were ok, he arranged for the collection of the Scirocco and afterwards to explore the possibility of repairing her. The insurance had all but said that based on the age of the car it was "almost certainly a right off", but with a little luck, a lot of help from Andy and his staff the Scirocco 2 Morocco challenge will be back on the road once more.

Update: The car is now being repaired by AW body Repairs in Sleaford, and will be back on the road in the next few weeks. In the meantime I may be seen driving another Scirocco around, rather an interesting Blue one that a member of the owners club has donated to me whilst Scarlet is in the say it is rather "lightweight" would be something of an understatement, mostly due to the fact that almost all of the interior fittings are in the boot....if you see the car around have a look...if you want a laugh :-)

Note: Anyone or any business that would like to help us out with our challenge, please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to link to your websites,stick a few logo's on and mention you in our dispatches :-).

Remember that from perseverance comes character,from character comes hope, from hope comes faith and with faith anything is possible.....take care :-)

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