AKA Mechman - Back
in the Alfa fold!
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Well, an eventful journey home!
Made it to London without any problems, though a fallen tree delayed me sufficiently that the Post Office had closed, so I couldn't tax it.
First impressions of the car are that it needs the clamshell repaired or replaced, as the lower portion of the little grille surround has broken. The front and rear bumpers need repainting, as they have gone purple, and I'm not sure they will compound back. The hood latch panel also needs repainting - somebody has done it in the past, but it's an awful job!
The seat obviously needs repairing, but that's not too much of a problem.
The radio is shot, and the heater fan doesn't work on any of the settings.
The airbag light is on.
Mechanically, it's fine, though in desperate of front discs and pads, and one tyre needs replacing.
The main problem was that the battery terminals were not tight at all - the positive came off within half a mile, when I stopped for petrol, so I had a dead car for a minute or so until I figured out what the problem was. I couldn't get them tight properly, and it came off again near Bristol. First job this morning will be to tighten them properly!
One of the hood cables is a little frayed where it connects to the end above the battery.
Apart from that, it's fine!
I was very impressed by the refinement of the car with the hood up - cruising at 85/90 is a quite a subdued affair, with hardly any wind or hood noise.
The main event of the journey home was being one of the first to come across an accident between junction 12/13 on the M4. Traffic was slowing for where the motorway goes into one lane (for no apparent reason either) and an elderly lady seemed not to have noticed the end of the queue and she piled her little Panda into the back of a BMW.
The Panda was a real mess, but it seemed to have held up very well - the drivers door was still able to be opened, but the front of the car was utterly destroyed, as was the rear of the car she hit. Fortunately she seemed to be OK, other than being very dazed and seriously confused. She also had a terrified dog with her, who was in a bed on the rear seat. Difficult to tell if it was OK or not - the worry was that it had injured it's back.
I phoned the emergency services, who arrived pretty quickly. They closed the motorway straight away - one lane had been passable with care, and dealt with the aftermath. A couple of us spent some time with the driver of the Panda, talking to her, etc, and also to the occupants of the BMW, who were a bit disorientated as well, and eventually it was time to resume my journey.
As I said at the start, quite an eventful evening!