Well, as you guys probably know, I bought the GTV a while back for '£1k' fixed it up and did a tour of scotland. Just done it and my mate did a writeup - all cars had breakdowns including mine which was in tip top condition when I had it all done up. I guess thats what they call the 'alfa reliability'
I am back on my rx8 for work today... This is a copy of my mates writeup which is also posted in the Scottish VAG forum
BANGERFEST - BEERS, BURGERS and BREAKDOWNS
My 3 friends and I have been talking about buying some old sheds and doing a tour of the highlands for a few years now. I bought the Mk2 2 years ago with 'Bangerfest' in mind, and the other 3 purchased their cheap exotica earlier this year. We debated for a while about when would be the best time to go, and the end of April was chosen as it's a generally drier month, and is early enough in the year that the roads wouldn't be full of german tourists. John, Geoff and I did this kind of trip in the past in our 350zs and s2000; we planned a pretty accurate route and specific spots for camping, but as Bangerfest had the potential to be a bit of a stop/start affair, we kept an open mind (with a view to camping where the worst of the breakdowns would occur!)
On Thursday night the car was packed and Dino filled to the brim with Tesco's finest
Day 1 (hooning day)
We agreed to meet in Aberfoyle at 11am on Fri. As I sat waiting at the meeting point, I got texts saying John's car needed a jump start and Terry was having idling issues. An hour later, they arrived.
From left to right: Geoff's 1.7l Puma. Bought for the grand sum of £300 (he gave back his crz hybrid which was costing more than this per month!), John's Dutton kit car complete with 3.0l Ford Capri engine and built by a bloke called Clive in his garage, Terry's Alfa GTV 3.0 powerhouse and, of course, Dino.
Day 1 was thanfully largely uneventful in terms of car reliablity. In between the two or three short showers, the sun split the skies and the roads were quiet. We set off up Dukes pass which was a great early test for the bangers; a seriously hilly and twisty road. From there we travelled past Lochearnhead and up towards Glencoe.
There was a specific photo location I wanted to visit; Dino looks just as sexy as James Bonds DB5 in the Skyfall scene shot here.
We then had a rag round Loch Leven which is just an awesome circuit (Scotland's Nurburgring?) and stopped for a few burgers by the loch
Puma, Dutton, Alfa - YouTube
The A82 then took us up to Fort William where we headed west and ended up in a wee place called Glenuig which had a great spot for camping; it's right next to the Glenuig Inn and the village hall which has toilets and showers. A couple of pints in the Inn, another BBQ, more beers then bed.
Day 2 (problems begin)
We awoke to another nice west coast day and set off mid morning. Almost immediately we had some niggling issues. Terry's alfa needed an ECU reset, the golf had an episode of power loss and was unable to rev beyond 2k (although this passed quickly) and the dutton was overheating and in need of some electricity to restart
Another Dutton breakdown
This isn't a dig at 'Clive' but its a surprisingly accurate warning
We refueled in Fort William and grabbed a Morrison's breakfest.
The dutton was a serious head turner; one Polish chap asked me to take a photo of him next to the car unaware that John was underneath cable tying the handbrake cable which had fallen off!
At this point we blasted up past the imaginatively named 'Loch Lochy' and turned left at Invergarry towards my favourite bit of the previous tour. The A87 up towards Skye is an epic drive with some amazing scenery. Sadly by this point the dutton was going through 4 litres of water every hour and the puma's rear passenger wheel was wriggling about. We decided to do the sensible thing and headed up past loch ness (no monster, the Dutton must have scared it away) and into Inverness. Geoff had called Kwik fit in advance who told him if he could be there for 4pm they could fit him a new wheel bearing as they had the part in stock. They removed the bearing which fell to pieces on the way out, and as it turned out there was no replacent bearing in stock! So Geoff's car will spend until Monday on the ramp. The drive through Inverness was particularly scary as the dutton's water temp was way off the scale and the engine was prone to cutting out, and our best battery was now locked away at Kwik fit, but luckily we plodded along to Fortrose caravan park with no further incidents.
Day 3 (breakdown day)
Geoff had to be in Orkney for a game of footie at noon on Sunday which meant being at the ferry terminal for 9am. John took him up in Terry's alfa (he chose not to take the dutton as it needs at least one support car with it wherever it goes) but the 180 mile round trip proved to be a long one with 4 stoppages due to overheating. The car eventually gave up 6 miles from the campsite on his way back. Luckily by the time Terry and I came to rescue him the alfa miraculously fired into life and we headed back to Inverness for fuel. This is where the real problems began! The alfa died again in the tesco carpark, as did the Dutton, so Dino (which was fragile already) jumped the dutton to get it from the carpark to the pertol station; it then needed another jump start - being responsible we pushed the car away from the petrol station in an attempt not to send the entire place into a jump start induced fireball. Even at a seemingly safe distance we were ushered away by an angry woman who told us we needed to push is back to the tesco car park 200 metres away round a roundabout before jumping starting the car! Thank God the dutton and alfa then both spontaneously fired up unaided and we hit the road. The plan was to come down via Braemar which is another magnificent journey but by this point we just needed to take the direct route home; down the a9
. The Mk2's stuttering began again about 80 miles from Dundee and it looked pretty ropey for a while, but stopping the car for a few minutes and firing it up again seemed to help and I made it home. Terry and John made it back to Glasgow with only one more dutton cloud of steam.
500+ mile trip!
To sum it up; an amazing trip, great camping, good beer, good burgers, good chat, great roads, good weather, and amazing cars (when not broken). Bangerfest 2 is already planned for later in the summer but it looks like the golf may need some work before then. Seems like a good time for a new engine.....