Friday, 30 May 2008

From the ashes....Scarlets back !

After several weeks of anticipation i got to see the results of AW body repairs efforts to get Scarlet back on the road.And boy was it worth the wait !.
The old saying goes "A picture says a thousand words", and so here are a couple of before and after shots to give you an idea of just what those talented fellas at AW's have managed to do.Thanks go especially to Rob, who I am informed was the main man involved in bringing the car back to life.

Click on the pictures for a better view:

Now all we need to do is get back to the point at which we were at a few weeks ago !namely sorting out the wiring on the trailer/car, getting more sponsors logo's onto her, then making preparations for our visit to GTI International on the 21st June.
Talking about GTI International, we are pleased to announce that after a recent conversation with Neil Birkett, the editor of Autometrix publications Volkswagen/Audi Car magazines, we have been promised a special VIP ticket which will enable us to get right into the fray of things during the show.....and perhaps a run down the strip ?Thanks Neil :-)

Monday, 26 May 2008

New Scirocco in Group win @ Nurburgring 24-hour

News just in this weekend is that the new Scirocco has cut it's teeth convincingly by winning its group at the Nurburgring 24-hour.

For more information about this and other VW Motorsport news items have a look at this site:

Friday, 23 May 2008

What a month!!

Well where do I start?

April wasn't a very good month for either me or Andy as it turned out. On the 14th I was admitted into Maidstone Hospital having had a particularly nasty flare-up of my Crohns disease and was promptly laid up for 3 weeks. 3 days into my stay whilst feeling
'quite rough' I was visited by my wife who was carrying pictures of the newly 'folded' Scarlett in her hand. I was devastated to hear the news but thankful that both Andy and his children were ok. I was even more surprised and thankful to hear that Andy was looking into having the car repaired by AW repairs. At first glance I thought the car would be a write-off!!

A few weeks later and I was discharged from Hospital and able to speak to Andy for an update. I was ready to offer an inventory of what parts I had to offer for the repairs, but once again Andy was on the ball. He had already sourced the parts require
d and arranged for the car to be repaired again. Good work that man!! I must admit I felt quite useless at this point as I had done nothing and was finding it difficult to even get around my own house! I suppose its at times like these you realise how fragile health can be and how lucky I am compared to some who suffer with truly horrific pain and discomfort in their lives on a daily basis due to whatever illness they are unfortunate enough to have been afflicted by. And this makes me all the more determined to do my best in raising money for these charities.

I have already stepped up my efforts by visiting Holland for the excellent Roadstar event and advertising S2M on a display I made for the rear window of my Rocco. Although I still felt a bit rough for the duration of the trip, it was a really enjoyable few days with an excellent atmosphere and very friendly people. My display attracted a lot of attention, and I have had one or two promising offers from some new friends, including help spreading the
word further around Europe perhaps even to VW themselves! I have also added two videos of Roadstar on youtube and added an ad at the end of each to plug S2M. The links to these are below if you want to watch these.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Gelert becomes newest sponsor of S2M

One of the world leaders in camping equipment supplies has now become the newest member of the "We support Scirocco 2 Morocco" club !.

After I had made initial enquiries only a few days ago, they have now generously offered to supply myself and Glen with a couple of tents for us to use on our 4000 mile adventure.But these are not just any tent.....these are the sort made for people like me who find pitching a normal to say the least !...these are Gelert "quick pitch" tents, and boy are they an answer to the prayers of lesser mortals (such as me !) who just want to "pitch and crash" as you do after a long journey without the arduous task of putting in too much effort :-).

Thanks to those nice folk at Gelert ! :-)

Monday, 19 May 2008 "temporary" Scirocco

Imagine my delight after the disaster of the recent accident, when a member of the Scirocco Register offered to "give" me a car so that I could stay on the road whilst Scarlet is in the repair shop.

You know the old saying "you don't get anything for nowt", well i can categorically dispute that now...and with some degree of qualification, such as.......

No dashboard !

No headlining

No heater

No door panels

No stereo

No Petrol gauge 8-0

No temperature gauge

No centre console

and No sun visors !

Yes, you can certainly get a lot of Nowt for...well nowt really :-)

On the upside i can honestly say that i have not driven a car for a long time that makes me smile quite as much as this one.....and the looks on peoples faces as they stroll past..have a quick look...walk back..have a better look...comment to either themselves or anyone nearby (content of comments is currently unknown but probably includes several expletives !) then smile/laugh/point and go merrily on their way, is worth a million..erm..things !.

To give you a better idea i thought it pertinent to post a few piccies, as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words...most of them far to rude to post :-)...enjoy !

Of course the plus side is that if anything goes wrong on the inside of the car it's not very difficult to find, and you don't have to remove panels to work on them. To be honest most of the missing panels are safe and the garage or the "half Roc" trailer !
On a serious note though, can i just say a great big thank you to Rick for getting me out of a tight spot regarding transport after the accident by letting me have the car and delivering to me so quickly.....cheers mate ;-).
P.S. If anyone would like to buy Chuggaboom over the next week or so, she will be for sale as soon as Scarlet comes back from AW's.MOT only until 6th June,tax until September.£100 donated to one of our charities and she's yours ! :-)

Friday, 16 May 2008

Hope your having fun Glen !

So here I am in sunny (ish) Blighty whilst my friend and Co-driver Glen is off partying in Holland....alright for some eh ! :-).

Seriously though, i hope that he has a great time over there with Rachel as he has just come back from a short stay in one of those posh NHS hotels...sorry...hospitals, and deserves the break.

Glen and Rachel are attending a show near a town in Holland called Boekel, which is held annually (this is the 20th year!) and the event is called "RoadStar".

Every year upwards of 400 Scirocco and Corrado owners have a bit of a get together for a nice quite chat,some poetry reading and lashings of ginger beer........Ok, so it's loud music,lots of fun and gallons of the local (rather excellent) brew (beer), but you get the idea :-).

In an attempt to cover up this blatant excuse for a knee's up Glen is going to be attempting (between drinks ?) to sell some fundraising "53" and "Scirocco 2 Morocco" stickers, and gain some sponsorship from our European friends (Glen...wait until later after the beer kicks in and people are feeling more generous !) and fellow Scirocco owners.

Anyone reading this blog who would like one of the said stickers, they are still available on Ebay
priced at between £1.49 and £2.49 (free postage !).Also we are now advertising our Scirocco2Morocco T-Shirts.The first 3 have landed with their new owners and their feedback has been very positive.

Anyway, if you would like to see what these blatant party animals ...sorry, "Over sea's sponsorship coordinators" are up to, have a look at this video that Glen made of last years bash....dirty stop outs :-)..mumble,mumble !

Oh...and here are some pictures of this years bash.....looked like fun for all :-)

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 :-)

Friday, 2 May 2008

Scarlets new look !

The other week it was time to pick up Scarlet from AW's after they had completed her refurbishment, and along with the car they also presented me with the newly resprayed "Half Roc" trailer...awesome !.

Andy Walsh must have thought that my face was about to split in half with the size of the grin that filled it when i went over to collect the car.Thanks go also to Mick the manager (sounds like Bob the builder !) and his team for doing an absolutely first class job on the paintwork.Looks like i owe some more people even more drinks now !

To say that they had done an excellent job would not be enough, they had transformed the car into a real head turner, and the trailer, which had only a few weeks previously been part of a derelict car on a drive in Derby, was now certainly a joy to behold, and is sure to make people "sit up and pay attention" when we drive by !.

Thanks go also to Lee of Custom Vinyl Graphics for his hard work in getting the Logo's onto the car in superfast time and also for sorting out some charity stickers and T-Shirts for us to sell to raise even more funds for our challenge

Now we have to carry out some finishing touches to Scarlets mechanicals,decals and the trailers electrics (need wiring up !). No rest for the wicked eh !