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C20Brett last won the day on July 11

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About C20Brett

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    underwater on the Somerset Levels....

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    87' Cavalier SRi Turbo

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  1. Dodged the earwigs by sleeping in the car. Great weekend thank you to everyone was great to catchup with y’all. Roll on 2022, in a Cavalier next time!!
  2. Any pubs nearby for the football on Saturday?
  3. Since joining the ranks of the unemployed masses last month I have commandeered the Tigra! Ideally I would take Dads Calibra SE2 but that’s needing fuel lines and I won’t get time to do it as I’m working away for the next 2 weeks with a mate.
  4. Yeah that or the Tigra. Probably waft up in the Carlton and see how much paint peels off on a run that long!
  5. 7 weeks, 8 countries, 4763 miles, 1 Overly optimistic owner and 1 slightly unreliable 80's repmobile. This is the story of my adventure around Western Europe in a 1987 Mk2 Cavalier SRi OK, so firstly, yes this has taken me ages to get round to writing up! A bit of background to why I managed to wangle such a long and eventful trip - I decided to quit work and spend all of 2015 travelling as much of the world as I could. Starting in May, I ended up in Thailand for 2 months, the USA for 7 weeks and then 7 more weeks in Peru, Bolivia and Chile to round it off and bring me back to the UK just after Christmas. Sandwiched in amongst all that relaxing globe trotting was something that I had always wanted to do, drive around Europe and see France, Germany and Italy. When it came to what car I should use, there was only ever one candidate. Inspired by the trip some of us Members made to Angouleme in France in 2014 I decided on myMk2 Cavalier SRi. I hope I can convey how enjoyable, and also how challenging the trip was in this blog and I hope you are in some way inspired to hit the open road abroad in your own cars, either with us on one of our club Euro trips or on your own... we wont take that personally!! March 2015 - Engine change Early on I decided I didnt want to use the C20LET/F28 2.016v turbo and 6 speed gearbox the car normally has fitted (rather more powerful than the original 1.8!) as that was going to be too thirsty and the F28 was on its last legs. I really wanted something a bit simpler in there to make running repairs less likely and easier, so I managed to buy a good 20XE 'Redtop' from GreyDJ at a great price for which I am still truely appreciative. I borrowed an F20 with a quaiffe ATB from a mate and swapped the lot over one weekend, with Paul Young putting the finishing touches like the exhaust and cambelt change to it one night in April. It fired up straight away and ran perfectly apart from an odd idle problem I managed to cure (so I thought) pretty quickly. A track sesson at the Castle Combe action day to proove the car could take some abuse showed the brakes would give out before the engine! The car was ready. Now it waited while I hit the beach and sipped cocktails in Thailand.... C20LET coming out. Its really cold and raining but its ok because we had sausage rolls. 20XE tucked in. How often is this conversion a 100bhp downgrade?! Billing to Lille & Amsterdam, July 09th -15th I decided to attend Billing and head straight for the channel tunnel from Northampton afterwards on the Sunday, as its always a great weekend with the Club. I think this year was my 14th year and I'd recommend the event to anyone. Lots of advice about breaking down on foreign roads was offered, the usual helpful and encouraging stuff we give all members about to head of into the unknown! A few of us went to a rolling road on the Friday, and the newly installed 20XE made a strong 153bhp with a nice smooth graph. I celebrated with cider. Lots of Cider. On the Mk2Cav.com stand at Billing. After Biling a quick run down to Tunbridge Wells to see a mate on Sunday night, then **** got real. Monday morning on the Channel Tunnel and the adventure begins! I got a mile outside Tunbridge Wells and a headlight bulb goes. Ideal right before you go to France (blown bulbs are a big deal over there, you have to carry spares on you at all times) So I loose a load of time finding a shop to replace the spare that I had used at the road side. It was cold and wet in England when I left and I only just made my time slot for the train...... I was looking forward to 'summer' proper in France! Folkestone - waiting to board the train. Bye bye rain! On arrival in France I make a very short journey to Lille, about an hour from Calais to stay with another friend overnight. Lilles a great city, very architectural and only and hour from Calais. The weather is no better though! Lille - Being all cultural. Ive just eaten a shed load of Carpaccio and the world is a good place. After Lille, I headed straight for Amsterdam, which took me through Antwerp where the Cav was built, alas theres nothing there of the plant anymore so I drove straight on through. In a bid to save money I was camping or staying at friends anywhere I could so I found a well placed campsite in Gaasperplas just outside the city and set up for 3 nights so I could hire a bike and see a bit of the city with 2 full days. My only other trip to Amsterdam had been when I was 19, and I'll be honest. I didnt see much nor do I remember much from that visit..... unless it was a coffee shop!! I didnt get round to hiring the bike this time either because of these pesky coffee shop places..... Theres way more to Amsterdam though, some really hilarious museums on Amsterdams other specialty in the Red Light District are also good for a proper laugh. I was planning on doing the Anne Frank House but the queue there everyday is phenomenal. Amsterdam is is very nearly unique in the developed world. I love it! Amsterdam - Check out nextdoors dustbins! Nurburgring - July 16th - 18th Nurburgring is about 4hours from Amsterdam, straight down through Nijmegen, Koln and Leverkussen. A first taste of the Autobahn and they are great! I cound'nt go fast for long though because I had to keep fuel costs under control and the digi dash scared me how fast plummeted at 120mph!! Its impressive how much faster you can cover the ground on their roads. On the way down the car nearly over heated and I figured out in a German rest stop the fan switch wasn't working. I bridged it out and ran two wires into the car for now, so touching them together turned the fan on. Of course I then went all the rest of the trip with these wires hanging by me feet, turning the fan on and off manually. Easy! Nothing to worry about, drive it on! Early afternoon I rolled into Nurburg and could hear cars pounding round the track already, and the weather had changed... it was near 30c and it stayed like that all week. Nurburgring is one of the things Ive always wanted to do, like most of us I guess. I've done trackdays in the UK but planning the trip to Germany was always a 'next year' thing. Not anymore. I was there from Thursday - Sunday giving me lots of time to check the place out and do a few laps. Heaven. Nurburgring is a beautiful track wherever you stand, set in the Eifel hills and forest, even Nurburg village is pretty with a castle high above it as its back drop, contrasted with an array of modern garages for almost every major car manufacturer in the world. I upgraded to a Hotel for this stay, and picked one right next to the track in the village and got my first lap in that evening. The Cav did get a fair bit of attention, and on Saturday it got me recognised by a chap called Danny who I used to know through the Mk2 Astra OC, I'd sold a load of parts to him when I broke my Astra GTE 16v track car. Its an odd moment when you are abroad alone and you hear someone calling your name!! The Brunnchen section of the track was where I spent most of my time when not actually on it, its a big open carpark right next to two fantastic corners. You can sit there all day and watch the track action almost non stop. Every evening it gets busy when the Tourist Laps start at 5pm (tourist laps are the laps you and I get to do, at €28 a pop! At the weekend there were car meets there and people who camped at the track side. All free of charge. Awesome. No explanation needed on this one! Pflanzgarten - very fast and there are two bumps just behind the Megane in the shot picture below that mess with your braking. I had the brakes snatch a few times while I got used to getting some speed into the bend. Brunnchen - my favourite pair of bends, on entry downhill the bend in the forground is very tough as the car wants to slide outwards towards the barriers, I saw some kiddies stack a Twingo here one afternoon. The one in the background, going uphill, is my favourtie on the track. The speed you can carry through it leaning on the diff is immense. Its a great spectator spot too. Keeping the right sort of company at the track access point carpark.... I got 6 laps in over the three days, the track is super fast, in places so steep its unbelievable and loads has been written about it so I wont go on. All I can say is that its everything its made up to be. Tourist laps that i mentioned run most week days 5pm - 7.30pm and then all day Sunday. You pay your €28 for a lap, get in the queue and drive up to a barrier. Swipe your card and up goes the barrier, 'The Green Hell' is at your mercy, weill actually as I found out you are at its mercy! I quickly found the brakes were getting so hot after each lap I couldnt do two in a row, considering Im on 308mm Vectra brakes thats pretty impressive. I decided to sit over at Brunnchen and watch the action between my runs. On the Saturday evening I did will to get 3 laps in by being first out and last in either end of the session! Im sure all the modifications Ive made to the car helped around a lap which can be brutal, but I did miss the C20LET for obvious reasons! I'll also admit I had an off.... on the first lap, which Im not sure I should be proud or ashamed off... I got overconfident and floored it going over a blind crest halfway round a bend thinking I'd gone past he apex... I hadnt! It all got a bit messy up over some kerbs sideways and onto the grass. Ive not seen it on Youtube yet! I timed my last lap on saturday at 11m.32s which in all honesty isnt bad. I wasnt on the limit nor going flat out on the straights as being realistic, the car and this journey had a long way to go and breaking it a week in wouldnt be cool! Someone actually videoed me during the Friday and put it on Youtube! Thanks to that dude! Its the bend where I had my moment on the day before and Im still trying to get it right as you can see! Video should start in the right place, is not its at 8m13s. Nurburg down to Cannes July 19th - 21st I left Nurburgring Sunday morning swearing I'd be back many more times. I had to go down to Nice in the south of France by Wednesday morning to collect two mates from the airport. We'd booked a hotel in Cannes for 7 nights to have a bit of a break in the sunshine around good food. I planned to hit the Alps and see what the fuss was about first. I joined the summer holiday flow of traffic headed to Southern France, mainly the Dutch and Danish, who all seemed to have a caravans too. Leaving Germany missing Trier due to time constraints, into Luxembourg where I stopped for an hour or so -another country ticked off! Then towards Metz, Dijon and Lyon. Final destination was Lake Annecy - picked because it sounded like a good place when i saw it on the map! The Cav made the long journey fine this time, which was really good news after little problems in the first week. It was great driving it on the open and traffic free motorways of France stopping along the way now and then to eat, stretch my legs or less great, pay a toll. I got questioned by customs police outside Lyon, thought I was headed for a night in 'le bastille' but they couldnt find any problems with the Cav! I arrived in the dark, put my tent up in the car headlights then drank some Cider from my own supply which was starting to run low. The Frech dont do cider I was discovering... Anyway, Annecy is incredible, a bit like a time warp... perfect weather at 29deg for a fresh water swim and some incredible roads. I many ways it made me think what a 1920 English seaside town would have been like, lots of people crowded on the beach and packing out gardens and parks between the shore and the road. Lake Annecy - Back in a tent.... LakeAnnecy - View from said tent in the morning... The next morning after checking the place out I got back into the car and headed high into the Alps. Destination tonight was the only site I could get a reservation at short notice and in a place called Embrun and Lac de Serre Poncon, another lake. It wasnt so great! I arrived in the dark and put my tent up in the headlights again! Dinner ended up being a McDonalds in a carpark at midnight. Most places along the trip I was trying to eat well at night, day food was cheap crap from supermarkets. Given I was back in France, this was mainly Crossiants and Pain au Chocolat's!! I ended up in Embrun because I wanted to spend a couple of days driving in the French Alps. It takes you ages to go anywhere up in the mountains and I picked what looked like a short route, but it took 8 hours including stops! I popped into Switzerland quickly to tick of another county off and spent the rest of the day going up and down mountains along windy roads and round hairpins. The roads and the scenery were epic and it was great to drive my car through that place. The Cav handled the alps well, even on the coilovers which I do have set rather low...The Quaiffe made a massive difference at times when the road was clear and I could go for it a bit, and the lack of power steering made some stints hard work. I dare not think how many gear changes I made that day! Emburn - Flattering shot of Lac de Serre Poncon... One of the mountain passes I drove along. Its still about 23deg outside and its a lovely day in an awesome place. Snow! After Embrun, for the last night of this stint I found a great campsite in the mountains above Nice which was set in an forest and had a pool, much needed laundry facilities and a place called Vence de St Paul a mile or so away where the restaurants were fantastic. I decided to learn from my mistake and pick a shorter route this time. I did cross into Italy for an hour or so when I went to check out a 13km long road tunnel. Shame about the €34 toll fee I copped for my curiosity, but I was able to confirm the car sounded great in a tunnel! I crossed back into France and headed towards a place called Gap at the advice of my Sat Nav. Which had been playing up for a few days and appeared to be about to die at any point leaving me lost up a mountain. Still, at least it wasnt the car letting me donw. Anyway, near Gap things started getting a little odd. Everywhere was really busy. The mountain roads were lined with camper vans too... Whats so great about Gap? Not the name, thats for sure. I found out a mile or so later when I saw the posters. 'Le Tour De France' was scheduled to be in town that night and climbing this hill the next day. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.... Bikes are fine. Lycra is not. I arrived at the campsite in the dark, and set the tent up in the headlights. Learning from my mistakes was going well! After a great dinner in town, I alarmingly finished off the last of my own cider supply. Time for wine! Old Train something in Italy. Vence - another day, another campsite... Gap -Sunset after I got away from Le Tour route. In Part II - Monaco, Cannes, Milan & Venice, and an oil slick to rival the Deep Water Horizon...
  6. Here we are then, part 3 and the conclusion of my trip around Europe in my Cavalier SRi. Picking up in Italy, I left Milan and Monza behind me having not broken any laws by breaking onto the track in the car..... just! Itallian organisation is something to behold. Or, sit in your old car in 35c heat in a traffic jam because they see fit to have 2 toll booths out of twenty open, all so they can rip you off for the privilege of driving on their dodgy Autostrada. Have I mentioned Italian motorway exit junctions? Clusterfuck. Thats the best way to desribe them. Whoever designed them was on drugs, or from Mars. There is no logic. Ive never taken so many wrong turns in my life. I want to forget them forever. Venice 12-14th August So Venice was nice though. Loads of art and colour which I didnt expect, and also loads of Ice Creame shops. It didnt smell in the heat of summer like many told me it would either. Watertaxis are the best way round as Gondela's are a rip off, and Cavs dont float. The hotel involved another underground multistory, which brought on flashbacks to Cannes and the oil slick I caused there. The heat by this point was getting pretty mental too, one day we went for a drive out to the coast to find a beach, and it nearly hit 40c. Parts of the Cav were not enjoying this heat, the door bumpstrips went curly on the ends and I couldnt touch the steering wheel! A traffic jam near Jesolo caused a new problem - the car just stopped idling, and no matter what I did, I couldnt get it sorted at all. Back at the hotel that evening I did whatever I could, I had a spare Idle Control Valve and tried that, didnt work. I couldnt trace an air leak. I changed the ECU (yep, I had a spare!) I changed the wiring plugs. Nothing worked. Over the rest of the trip I managed this problem, getting good at hanging back approaching roundabouts and using the handbrake. I avoided bump starting it to often when it did cut out, but it was a pain in the arse. Stereotypical Venice photo Non-stereotypical Venice photo In venice, I was at my furthest point from home, 1,096 miles and 19 hours driving by road according to my Sat Nav. Slowly things were starting to get worse with the car but I was still going - in this heat I was managing the fan myself with the wires in the footwell (from Week 1 in Amsterdam) I was sat on a load of towels as the seat had fallen apart (in Nice) and lets not even re-cap Cannes. I was still having fun though - it was so different being so far from home and having the familiarity of my own car, the freedom you have is immense. If I'd wanted more driving I'd have gone over to Hungary for the F1 race in late July, but I can save that for another day. Another underground overnight parking spot... Have I done a beach shot yet? Its 40deg in Jesolo. Munich 15th -16th August After a few days in Venice, I stopped heading away from home and started to head back. Venice to Munich didnt look much on the map, about 400 miles. Theres just the small issue of the Alps to negotiate which racks it up into a 9 hour journey that included dealing with understaffed Italian Autostrada toll booths. Again. I arrived in Munich in the dark, a return to form from earlier in my trip! So far on this trip, France had delivered what I expected and I'd loved it, Italy had disappointed and Germany was being a surprise package - I loved the place! Munich was just immense, the vibe in the City is incredible - there are properly good street music acts, the architecture has been restored post war. Its clean and efficent, the people are freindly and it trades on being Barvarian, and its football team. Pep Guardiola and Robert Lewondovski pictures were everywhere. The bars are massive, the only thing was that I was there in August, not October for that well konwn Bier festival! Bier had replaced Cider as my choice of drink while I'd been away - Cider in Europe just isnt popular - and I indulged in a little to much that night. This was maninly because we ended up in one of the cities famous gardens which had been converted into a beach - as if the ones they have built along the river that runs through the city are not enough (the river is crystal clear and people swim in it, you wont see that in the Avon here in Bristol!) There was a free band on, cocktails flowed one by one to the point that when I went back to the hotel it had moved and it took me ages to find where they had put it! Tricksters! A service station in the Austrian alps where I stopped to by a vignette (Austrian road tax) Not sure how the car is still looking so clean after about 3000 miles without one! Motorway through the Alps. Some of the road infrastructure you see around here is immense, bridges, cuttings and tunnels. The Gardens in Munich, Mojito on the go Nurburgring #2 16th - 17th August I made no apologies for wanting to go back, and cut a deal to make it so with my travel mate who didnt share my interest in all things old car or old race track. Also, it fell pretty handily between Amsterdam and Munich. Our original plan had been to do Munich to Amsterdam in a day - but after the day before coming up from Venice, neither of us fancied another full day in the car. A slap up dinner at the Piston Klaus was the price! I could live with that and a slap up steak followed two more laps the evening. I even found Cider in the local supermarket! Nurburgring was the star of my trip - if I could up and live anywhere in the world it would be near this place. The track is fantastic, as are the local roads and scenery, Koblenz and Trier are nearby and are amazing cities. When we left, we did a bit of the Rhine Valley which is spectacular. Minor traffic on the Autobahn near Frankfurt. Weather is still incredible! Wurzburg. Its just a place to you, To me its Worstburg. The worst of all the Burgs. Why? Well I drove through here in 2008 on the way back from a road trip round Eastern Europe and it was all roadworks and it took hours back then. 7 years later have the finished the roadworks and the resultant queues? Nope! I couldnt believe it! Nurburgring passed without much drama this time. Bar the moment I thought a kid in a Twingo had had his head ripped off. No, just turns out his helmet wasnt strapped on, so when the he lost it a few cars in front of me and planted nose first into the barriers, of it popped. About 10 corners later I saw a biker sliding long on his backside.... perhaps it was time to go. Got my own garage this time. Apparently tools and spares in the your hotel room shower is frowned upon on the continent?!! Amsterdam. Coffee Bar. Coffee was good. 'nuff said! Onto the final leg, and to see one of my best mates at his office in Belgium near Ghent. This turned into an exceptionally heavy night in a small belgian town called Wargem, and possibly the worst hangover Ive ever had. I was being sick in the shower at 6am..... and by that evening I would be back in my room at my parents house and this would all be over. Filming in Ghent. I made an 'In fucking Ghent' joke. People got it, but didnt laugh. I thought it was good. Thats what mattered. Le Tunnel. Horrible hangover. Im probably about to be sick when taking this photo to be honest. And then home. Done. Major ambition ticked off. We all spend ages building these cars, talking about dreams and I'm incredibly fortunate that life allowed me these opportunities. Travelling solo is an enormous challenge at the best of times, but doing it in an old car is on another level. In a year of travelling four continents this trip has both my best and worst memories, the most rewarding moments and the moments that were toughest. Ive found places I will go to time and time again. And Europe, on our doorstep is amazing, well run and beautiful. And a final word for my trusty old Cavalier. Ive spent a fortune in time and money on this car in over 10 years of ownership. This trip was always my dream. And Ive done it. The Cav took the beating of a life time with miles, heat, traffic and abuse being thrown at it and it was still turning laps of nurburgring happily enough right near the end. I could not have asked for more from it. And now I know it can do it, and what to expect while Im there.... this wont be the last Euro Trip I make in this car! An idea of the distance covered. Hope you enjoyed reading. Brett Jones
  7. love these things. keep us posted!
  8. C20Brett

    Sal's Calibra

    Nice. Dads got an L reg 16v and its an XE.
  9. Nice Cav. And love the Corsa too. Welcome!
  10. Welcome back if you are still reading my ramblings of last years trip... I will pick up from the campsite in Vence having just dodged the Tour de France, in the Alps above Nice. A couple of my mates were flying down from Holland to meet me for a weeks relaxation in Cannes and I was picking them up at Nice airport. I'd put about a fair few miles on the car problem free by now and all was going well you could say guess. I was pleased and feeling confident, when suddenly the arse fell out of the seat as I drove down a mountain side road towards the Airport. I could barely see over the steering wheel all of a sudden! The Cav hasn't got standard SRi front seats, I had a set of Ford Escort RS Turbo seats re-trimmed with the correct Cavalier fabric and modded them to bolt in years ago. The Recaro's Ford used have a fault where the support for the bottom cushion gives out after 20 or so years. Mine had picked a great time... I had to pack the gap between the floor and the seat cushion with books, clothes, and old towel and whatever else I could find then put the seat back together. I sat like this for the rest of the trip. It was nasty I will be honest, every bump went through my back some days and I was constantly having to re-adjust it. Cheers only Ford part I have on the car! ' Cannes & Monaco - July 22nd - 29th Arriving in Cannes I found our hotel and I ditched the Cav securely in their underground multistory carpark. It was tight as hell but the car was safe and I spent a few days hitting the beaches and seeing the sites. Theres a rather famous film festival based here although I can only dream of being able to afford a room when its on!! Cannes is reasonably priced for the South of France, and its got a lot of nice places to eat and drink so I was well at home. A highlight was watching the F1 with a load of Germans in an Irish bar, great banter! The beach is a bit of a let down, but at night if you want glitz, it does it with style with fast cars, awesome yachts and good wine! Cannes - theres a few hundred millions quids worth of yachts in that view... Cannes - Eating alfesco... more Carpaccio I think! Took a day cruise to Monaco. Left the Cav behind as Monaco traffic is terrible and I didnt fancy it. Its a bit of a dump unless your a mad F1 fan. Which I am. Walked a lap of the place, stood in the tunnel, saw the pit lane and generally and then marvelled at the decadence on display. A Pagani, Ferrari and an Aston parked up randomly in Casino square and €13 pints of beer. Its that sort of place really. Monaco - The Tunnel. Looking up it so the F1 cars would be coming towards you. Scene of so much F1 history. Monaco - Lowes Hairpin. Another iconic F1 corner. Monaco - the money shot! The go kart track is on the entrance to what is F1 pit lane on race weekend. After Monaco I had a few more days in Cannes before we decided one day to head into the hills and find a lake to swim and sunbathe by. Lac de Saint Croix was the best bet so we piled in the Cav and headed up there, via the epic Gorges Verdon. We had a great day in the sun, swimming in the lake, had a BBQ and watched planes come down to collect water to help with a big forest fire that was raging about 30 miles away. Lac de Saint Croix - Grubs up, my mates cooking as I was driving! And heres where it all nearly goes tits up! I broke the car. I say I, because I have to take responsibility for it. but really I think its one of those things when you've modified a car as much as I have this one. Anyway, when Sarah and Jamie (my mates pictured above) arrived I needed to raise the front suspension to stop it scrubbing because of the extra weight of people, and luggage. Thats easy enough with the coilovers and it took me 5 mins. But I failed to account for one thing - the tyre when on full lock now touched the oil cooler pipes under the drivers side chassis leg. Predictably this ended badly! Oil. Oil everywhere. This is a while after, gravel has been put down to soak up the oil, but you can see the trail and pool around the car still... The pipe let go as I turned into the hotels underground carpark which was a sharp left hander taken on full lock. Oil then started spraying out everywhere, unknown to me at this stage while I cruised down not one, but two levels underground to find a parking spot. Then I smelt it. Oil. As I braked to stop the car and see what was what, the front wheels locked up. I stuck my head out of the open window and saw oil spraying through the spokes of the wheel. A glance at the oil pressure light as I rushed to turn the engine off and its flashing like mad. Barry Bad Times has checked into my hotel. It was a total mess, the Cav sprayed the engine oil onto a gloss painted concrete floor. I'd not only fucked my car up but I turned the hotel car park into an ice rink. Oil carried on coming out and out after I turned the engine of and it left a slick all over the place - and at this stage I was considering the possibility of a massive charge for the mess in the carpark, or the logistics of having a screwed car two levels underground in a tight as **** carpark with a roof height of just 1.8m. I popped the bonnet and confirmed the problem, then pushed the car into a parking bay, confessed at reception and went out into Cannes for some €8 Cider. Lots of €8 Cider. The next morning I got up, and faced up to the mess and the headache I'd earnt myself trying to get over it at the bar that night! I'd decided to find some oil and some pipe, fix the problem and then fire it up again to see what happened. I foind both at a nearby garage... €45 for 2 meters of 1/2" rubber hose mind! Anyway, the hotel said not to worry about the oil which was really a big surprise the actually said they felt bad that my car was ' so broken and so far from home'. So I got on with fixing the car... the carpark was like an oven, I have never sweated so much but after an hour it was all sorted, new pipes now safe away from the wheel on full lock. I put oil back in slowly as I'd no idea how much I'd lost, in the end it was about 3 litres but I estimate maybe 1 litre of that came out after I turned the engine off. The moment of truth came when I fired it up, dont mind admitting I was nervous as hell. The top end was noisey for the first few seconds but then it all sounded perfect. A quick spin round the block confirmed I had been a very very lucky man, it was a massive weight of my mind after a stressful 36hrs. If that pipe had gone on the open road..... The road trip was back on! As a side note, the hotel not only didn't charge me for the mess, they forgot to bill me for the carpark at all... €80 saved! Mid Repair in the Sauna... Vence - 30th July - 9rd August When my two friends headed home, it was back to the Campsite in Vence. I wanted time to drive the car on quiet roads and make sure it was right, before another friend came down to join me for the rest of the trip. I found a local brand of Cider, and enjoyed chilling out in the sunshine. I bled the brakes on the car one day too, they had been horrid and spoungey since Nurburgring and I had my Eezibleed kit in the boot.... Versatile these Cavaliers are, here its a washing line! Milan, 10th - 11th August After Vence, we headed to Milan. One of the great European Cities. Great Rip-off cities more like! I didnt warm to the place and was glad we were only there for one night. It took a 3-4 hours to head over from France, through some great tunnels and along some dodgy Itallian Autostrada. Fuel was also massively expensive. I was flashed by a speed camera. I paid €10 for a glass of coke. That sort of place!! That said, the Dumo (central cathedral) is pretty impressive and made from solid white marble. The fashion shops are everywhere, immense and expensive. Another playground for the well off! If you are into Sport, the then Milan has two things - the San Siro stadium and Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix. I made a point of seeing them both. The Dumo, dont buy a drink here! The San Siro, home of AC Milan and Inter Milan football clubs. Monza then.... Another world famous race track, home of the legendary banked oval and host each year of the fastest F1 race. Its set in a vast park just outside the city, and of course has a link to the humble Cavalier Mk2 which is known as a Chevrolet Monza in South America. I managed to climb a fence and get onto a restored part of the historic track... its steep. Really really steep - I had to shuffle back down on my backside, you cant walk back down. Honestly, the guts the racers in the 1930's and 50s had to go flat out on this track must have been incredible. Proper modern history infront of me, Fangio, Ascari, Moss, Hawthorne and many more names stand out. The modern track is more sanitised, its still fast. Meeting Italys usual levels of security, I managed to drive the cav through security, take pictures by the entrance sign for the track and then drive into the paddock. Hot laps were on sale!! I nearly wet myself at the though of doing a lap in the Cav, but nope. I can be a passenger in a Jag. Not really the same. A small debate occurred between me and my mate regarding me driving through the unlocked gate onto the track and stealing a lap - Apparently she wasnt going to come bail me out if I was caught. I decided to take her advice this time...... On the banking at historic Monza This is a popular shot with the South Americans! I may not have taken the car on track, but I did hop the fence and get this one looking up the start finish straight! Racetrack carparks, Italian style. No muddy field like Silverstone here! Next in Part 3 - Venice, Munich, Nurburg (erm yeah, again) Amsterdam, Brugge, Spa and home again in a car that will not idle.
  11. might try and bring a Chevrolet grille back with me from my next adventure! Nice car Gabriel!
  12. Digidashes come in Astra GTE 16v or Kadett GSi 16v where you are! fairly easy wiring job to put them in. if you buy one make sure you get the plugs with it, and most importantly the transducer which screws into the gearbox in place of the speedo cable.
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