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"Here in my car", said 80s pop hero Gary Numan, "I feel safest of all". He obviously never shared the same stretch of road as me, then. Automotive tales of mirth and woe, please.

(, Thu 22 Apr 2010, 12:34)
Pages: Latest, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Need a prank that I can do to an EG civic
My housemate put a naked photo of me on the internet recently and I need to get revenge. He's bringing his pride ang joy, a 1992? EG civic up from home next week so obviously its my target.

Ideas I've already had include borrowing an impact wrench and leaving it on blocks, flour in the fans, removing a bunch of parts and leaving them in his bed a la the horses head in godfather 1, telling the police he's dealing drugs near a school out of it and so on.

I have a friend who can hotwire older hondas so i dont especially need keys but ut would help - do't want to have to pop the door to get in etc...

Has anyone any ideas? I dont have a great deal to spend either but i want it to actually cause him hassle without costing money to rectify


/edit: an anoying noise? hide a cheap phone behind a door card/ part of the dash with a weird ringtone and continually ring it! Any ideas for a tone and where to put it?

also the car is going on donedeal,craigslist,adverts etc...
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 16:47, 47 replies)
Audacious Audi theft!
At the gym where I worked, an Audi-driving member was followed into the changing rooms from the car park.

He'd parked and locked up as usual and only vaguely noticed the large van that rolled up right behind him.

As he flashed his card at the gym entrance, the bloke following him was seen by staff to vault the barrier and walk, strangely unchallenged, into the locker room. Apparently people thought he was a member who'd popped outside for a fag or something.

He then apparently noted which locker the Audi driver used, waited in the bogs until the coast was clear, cut the padlock off and stole the car keys.

A few minutes later he was back outside, unlocking and driving away his prize, followed by his accomplice in the van.

The driver didn't know he'd been robbed until after his workout, by which time the thieves were miles away.

I had to deal with the driver when he found his locker open and just his keys gone, with his wallet, phone and other goodies left untouched. It was obvious that the car was the target but he still had to get his house locks changed just in case.

He was very upset indeed, especially as the gym's only CCTV camera was trained on the till to deter staff from pilfering!
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 16:30, 2 replies)
Speeding
I like listening to people try to argue about speeding tickets. In Hull, there's a short inner ring-road called Freetown Way which has a 30mph limit. A surprising amount of people think it's a 40mph just because it's a dual-carriageway. My driving instructor once told me that another learner would not accept it was a 30 zone because her boyfriend said it was a 40 and the instructor couldn't convince her otherwise.

A guy I know got flashed and received a ticket for 39mph. That tells me that he saw the camera and did 39mph to avoid getting caught. He took umbrage when I asked him what made him think it was a 40 limit when there was nothing to say it was. He then went into a rant about why it should be a 40mph limit.

However, I think I won the debate when I pointed out that the road is only 1000yds long and has lights at either end, plus 3 sets of light inbetween and a crossing as well. I showed him that even with a flying start and green lights all the way through, doing 30 instead of 40 would only save him 18 seconds.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 16:19, 9 replies)
My mum.
My mum hit a bear with her mini-van.

That's, uh, pretty much the entire story.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 16:19, 4 replies)
Best car I had
I once had occasion to run my own car for business. Looking through the local ads I came across an Omega MV6, just the thing - right price, right size (I was going to be doing serious international mileage)full service history and low mileage.
I went to see it and fell in lust. You see, it had been modified by a company that was trying to break into the supply of 'modified' vehicles for the police. A very trick injection system, fast rack, bilsteins all round, competition clutch - the full monty for a pursuit vehicle. It had been demonstrated to three constabularies and had only 11000 on the clock.
What a motor!
I'd only had it for a week when I was hurtling down the A14 at somewhat above the limit (early morning, very little on the road) as I had to pick up the boss so we could get to Vesoul in eastern France ASAP. In my 'Oh shit I've got to make it to Dover in a ludicrously short time' frame of mind, I overtook a police car that I hadn't clocked. Bugger. Looking across at the driver, he took one look at me and urgently waved me on as if he thought I was in hot pursuit. I didn't need telling twice so I got the hell out of there.
It transpired that the DVLA hadn't quite got round to registering the car as mine, he'd checked the reg as I came up behind him and saw that Hertfordshire police were still the registered owners (as I found this out later from a mate in the fuzz).
A very lucky escape for me.
I don't speed now*


*Compared to, say, the average F1 driver.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 16:08, 2 replies)
Top Trumps: Nissan Micra
I drove to Mongolia, the hard route - the one that Ewan McGregor and Thingy took. The one that went over mountains and deserts and through swamps and rivers. Forget Land Rovers: the ultimate off-road all-terrain vehicle is a Nissan Micra. The worst thing that happened was that the back bumper fell off.



I'm willing to bet that a Micra could beat up a Honda Accord.

(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 15:49, 11 replies)
Not me my boss.
My boss was late into work one morning. He'd been involved in a car crash.

He was driving down the road towards work, and this utter twunt just pulled out on him, he went straight into the side of them and pushed their car down the road.

Fault was completely the other person. He just didnt look at all and pulled onto the road.

The other guy was pulling out of a car showroom... in his brand new T Reg BMW.... On the very morning the T reg came out. I dont think theres a word to describe how gutted he must have been. My boss thought it was hilarious.. He was just in his company car and ironically had a brand new T reg car delivered the same day for him to use instead :)
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 15:41, 2 replies)
Never drive a Geo Metro.
Sure, they’re inexpensive, you can lift them with one hand and unscrew the lug nuts with your fingers if you need to change a tire, but they don’t get that great of gas mileage, they’re uncomfortable, girls think they’re mong-mobiles, err, REALLY ugly, and they have no crumple zones so when some yuppy hits you from behind your lower back takes all the energy (1 ½ years of physical therapy from that one).

It eventually died and was replaced with a lovely Jeep Grand Cherokee. Oh, and Geo Metros cannot climb mountains or get through a Minnesota winter.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 15:25, 5 replies)
Not me but my husband...
Don't worry this is more interesting than my last post.

My husband is a service engineer like myself, and as such sometimes ends up out on the road at some god-awful hour.

He had just come back from a call-out and stopped by the office to drop off some parts, and was merrily, but tiredly (if that is a word), making his way home for the last half hour.

Threading through the back roads to pick up the A428, he suddenly has a silver BMW hurtle past him and stop sideways, blocking the road in front of him. Naturally stopping, he didn't really react for a minute as the four dark-clothed, hoodie wearing men got out of the car and approached him until through the fog of fatigue his brain suddenly clicked 'they're gonna take my car', and switched from '....' to 'FUCK THIS'.

The first one approached ahead of the others and just put his hand on the driver's door handle when SMACK! The hb kicked the door open hard, straight into the guy's nose. He staggered back, blood all over his face and the hb slammed the car into gear, flooring the accelerator and clipping one of the others as he kerbed it to get around the BMW.

He told me everything when he came home, and was worried that the Old Bill would show up, but something told me a group of car-jackers would hardly put in a complaint to the police.

Nothing ever showed up in the papers, no visit from the boys in blue so I guess he's off the hook. Not that the fuckers didn't deserve it.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 15:22, 43 replies)
In an ancient Ford camper van
converted from a tipper truck, in the depths of Wales, with your mate sitting beside you criticising your driving, it's great fun to say 'Well YOU drive then!' and hand her the ignition key.

As it's a Perkins diesel engine which needs no electrical input it'll run perfectly well, while your mate pees her pants laughing.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 15:11, 2 replies)
Fords
#1: The Ranger

What a pile of shat. For those of you unfamiliar, the Ford Ranger is a big 4x4 pickup. With an underpowered 2 litre engine it did 0-60 in a fortnight and the handling was shit. No word of a lie, the fucker skidded across a lane on a roundabout at the break-neck speed of 20 mph.
It drank fuel like it was going out of fashion, and was as rough as hell. Tyre pressures, water, oil, checked and double checked adjusted, fuel cleaner/additives out in nothing would make that car run smoothly.
Parking was a nightmare, I use to park at the far end of any car park as I was worried about hitting other people's car.

#2 The Ka

Thankfully not mine, I was driving my trusty Renault Laguna (a mark I) and I stopped in a bit of a hurry - the Ka behind me didn't.
The guy got quite arsey with me until I asked him about stopping distances. I pulled my car forward slightly to take some pictures for the insurance claim and started laughing.
His Ka had had its bonnet pushed up and crumpled, and his front pushed in slightly, certainly not driveable.
My Laguna had some scuffs on the bumper. I dont think it improved his temper when he saw it.
I drove off and didn't even bother claiming, but as I did he was on the phone to Mummy telling her the nasty lady had wrecked her car (I dont think she was buying it).
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 15:07, 1 reply)
Get out of the F*!"*£&ng Car!
Ok, on the way to download festival about 4 years ago (Donnington for the older generation).

Headbanging away to some machine head we go past a fosters tanker, my "mate" thought it would be a great idea to stick a toy gun at the driver and shout pull over, now.. it was clearly a toy gun. it was blue with and had a red cap on the end.

Half an hour later I was pulled over by 7 Police vans with 5 armed officers in each van. With 14 Shields and 21 MP5's shared between them.

I had to sign a declaration to have my toy gun incinerated, that cost me 2 quid! Good start to a messy festival though
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 14:36, 6 replies)
800ks of terror
A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Mrs Hound's folks in the heart of Russia - about 800k from Moscow.

Flying from Manchester to Moscow via Zurich, and somehow arrived to manage on schedule at 2:30am local time with the most ferocious hangover known to man. Is it just me who goes on monster piss-ups the night before flights?

Now all we had to do was an 800k drive.

In Moscow central the roads are "fine" but the rest of the roads further out are constructed from a combination of potholes and evil.

In Russia there are three types of people who wear seatbelts: Pussies, Foreign Tourists and seatbelt salesmen. When you buy a car with seatbelt alerts, friends will gift you little metal tags to insert instead of the actual seatbelt to stop the annoying 'ping ping' noise.

There are a mixture of very old cars (which putter along at 60ks or so on the correct side of the road) and the very new and powerful cars (which are *constantly* in an overtaking manouevre at 160+). The net effect is brown-trouser terror for 800ks as you realise that you're hurtling towards oncoming traffic which is hurtling towards you as fast as it can go.

When something gets in your way - unlike anywhere else I've ever driven - people do actually let you back in, which is basically done by jamming on the brakes at the last possible moment, and swerving in front of whatever is there.

Imagine racing towards a truck at 180ks, and swerving in just before you slam into it. Now imagine doing that for 7 hours or so. Terror is not the word. Actually - Terror describes it quite satisfactorily.

After a few hours I mentioned to the driver that this wasn't quite how we drove in Sydney. A gruff "well if you think you can do better" and I'm behind the wheel, on the wrong side of the road, after bugger all sleep and nursing both a throbbing head and an asshole that was twitching like a rabbit's nose.

Highlights - driving over a bridge while it was being repaired (no railings). Driving over a 16km road that hasn't been repaired - driving towards trucks at a speed of 160kph and swerving at the last moment to get out of their way.... and my favourite - driving on a road as it was being built. Literally, behind the earthmover scraping the way - removing the rubble of the old road - the driver just waved me to carry on, and I did like it was perfectly normal.

Two weeks later - it all seemed completely natural. Russia would be a great place to live if you have a very, very fast car or wanted to go out in an enormous fireball.

The words don't quite catch the terror, sorry for length, etc..


Hound.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 14:19, 7 replies)
Mandy the Landy and the story of how I found the Camel (or it found me)
I was living in Gibraltar and came back to England to find myself a Land Rover to take me across Africa. I loved Mandy the Landy from the first moment – she was an amazing find as expedition prepared Land Rovers are pretty thin on the ground in Surrey. Because of her African service history nobody wanted to touch her and the trader let me have her for a pittance. I really didn’t have to do to much to prep her for my own African trip – some electrics and a second battery for the fridge, a roof tent (with duvet and 3 pillows), and of course the shower… I spent a couple of months prepping her then we spent a lovely summer in Scandinavia ‘trialling’ the set-up. Never was a car better prepared for the journey. On my return I picked up Richard and we set off for Cape Town via the Portsmouth Bilbao ferry. 70km into Spain we got lost, ended up on a deserted country road, did a U turn, and then came around a corner to find a little Spanish car heading straight for us. Yes, despite living on the continent I’d switch to the wrong side of the road. I tried to pull onto the verge, but the dozy old duffer just kept on coming straight at us with his faze frozen with surprise, so I flung Mandy into the field to our left, and watched the world go round.

It could have been a lot nastier, I picked up a few cuts, Richard didn’t get a scratch (but it buggered up his attempt to give up smoking), Mandy was a mess though, and worst was that all our dreams of Africa were shattered. We stripped Mandy down as best we could, but not before some thieving Spaniards had pinched the entire back axle with wheels. We packed everything we owned into a hire car and I drove home to Gibraltar. It’s funny how things work. Gib is a small place, and when news of my accident got around I found that my ideal car had been tucked away in a garage there all along. It was as if we were fated to meet, the Camel and I. That’s how, in the words of a friend, I got to set off for Cape Town in a car I bought yesterday. And because the camel was, like most camels, and unruly beast, the trip became an adventure.

Mandy, or at least part of her, got all the way around Africa and back to England – I had some of the windscreen glass removed from my hand a couple of years later, but I still keep some small shards buried deep in by metacarpals as a memento. I also discovered that patience and perspective had also somehow become embedded within me. We all learned a lot of lessons that year; you can be too prepared, but where’s the fun in that? The best friendships are tempered in the fire of adversity. And travelling isn’t about the vehicle, but the journey.

www.camelworld.com
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 14:18, Reply)
HGV numpties.
Working as a lorry driver for a few years, i've seen some really, really daft shit happen to drivers, accidental or otherwise.

Idiots leaving their kettle on inside their cab then going for something to eat and coming back to a wagon on fire.

Guys pissing someone off at a lorry park and driving away in the morning only to discover that their 5th-wheel pin has been pulled whilst they were sleeping, and their fully-laden trailer is now sitting on the car-park tarmac.

HIAB operators taking shortcuts by not extending their outriggers properly and tipping the lorry over (then needing another HIAB to get them upright again).

Guys taking 'women of the night' into their cab for some lovin', only to wake up with all of their shit gone (including their trousers) and chasing said lady across the lorry park in nothing but y-fronts.

Some of the accidents involving lorries are pretty fucking hairy though. One of the drivers I worked with went through a period of trashing every wagon he touched. The worst one was when he tipped his cab (driving too fast round a slip road with adverse camber) and blocked both lanes. We all heard it on Radio 2 and it was causing some serious tailbacks, but it turns out that the cunt was lucky to survive. He ended up in the hospital with some major head injuries. He wore his seat-belt all the time after that one.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 14:03, 6 replies)
Turkish non-motorway
I may have posted this before, I can't remember. About 20 years ago, the company I worked for at the time, sent me to Turkey to install a demo system in the Turkish central bank in Ankara. It was a great 10 days and was more like a holiday than actual work. After the demo, we had some kit to transport back to the office in Istanbul, and my colleague thought that all the time he had been working in Turkey, he had seen little of the country. So he decided (and I was quite willing to go along with him) that we should hire a car and drive to Istanbul on the main highway, like the M1 but in foreign. So we loaded the car up and started our trip, me, a young Londoner not very world wisely, and the other fellow, a scouse salesman. Between us we could order a couple of beers but other aspects of the turkish language were a complete mystery. The road from Ankara started off as you would expect ie 3 lane motorway, but once we were into the countryside this quickly settled into two lane blacktop. However the scary part of this was when we approached some roadworks where they were widening the road. There were plenty of signs warning us of the impending construction work, what we weren't prepared for was the change from tarmac to rough unsurfaced road with oncoming traffic coming on all sides. It seems in Turkey that once you are off road, all road laws cease to exist, we had lorries driving straight at us even though we were as far over as possible and technically in the right. It was very scary but thankfully over after a couple of minutes. I was scared and a small bit of wee came out in my pants.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 13:18, Reply)
Cars I have known Part 1 The 60s and 70s
I passed my driving test in 1967 and the first car I ever owned was a 1954 Morris 1000 convertible it cost me the princeley sum of £10 (that was a lot of money back then)I should have cottoned on things were not right as I had never seen it with the roof down, but hey this was the swinging 60s I was young and carefree, got the vehicle home it was a hot sunny day so I thought lets get the roof down, roof was nicely stowed opened the drivers door this was followed by the sound of tortured metal as the car began to sink slowly in the middle and the only thing that was holding it together was the roof.
So what to do, jacked it up level slammed the doors and put it up for sale guy who bought it wondered why the doors wouldn,t open, told him locks were busted so he beat me down to £15 and left a happy man.

I saved my pennies and bought my first mini, no speedo just a calendar (well thats what it felt like) my mates Fiat 500 was sporty by comparison, so it was pretty easy on fuel consumption but seemed to need constant servicing vowed I would never buy another.

Then came the flame red Allegro all round a good car but not the most stylish hangs head in shame.

My mate Dave had this really tatty Ford Anglia which never seemed to go wrong, was giving me a lift home one time, this Anglia used to emit odd smells at the best of times as he had a couple of dogs who pissed when the fancy took em and that included inside the car, slowly crawling through the traffic I swore I could smell burning Dave says imagination and I ignore it, put a tape on says Dave they are in the glove box muggins opens said box only to be confronted by a sheet of flame, I am out of that car so fast, who cares if it is moving we stand at the roadside watching the wiring loom burn like a cheap firework.
What did we do, called a breakdown truck and head for the nearest pub.

Alfa Romeo 2000GTV stunning car handled like a dream didn't like the British climate tho every time it rained it resembled a seive the interior could grow mushrooms and after 6 months it developed serious rust and bits started to drop off, after protracted arguments with the dealer during which I suggested adverse publicity that I finally got my money back.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 13:05, 3 replies)
Not mine, but read in the paper about 6 years ago
A woman in America was pulled over for drink driving. When the officers looked in the window, they found 3 empty bottles of Listerine in the passengers seat.
How desperate to get drunk to you have to be to drink 3 bottles of Listerine?!
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:59, 4 replies)
School run drivers.
If you can't park it, or reverse it, DON'T FUCKING DRIVE IT.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:57, 5 replies)
Joyriders 1 - 0 Police
I went to stay at my parents a year ago to look after my sister whilst they were on holiday. I had a bit of a headache one night so I went to lie down for a bit whilst her friends were round. I got after an hour later and sat in the front room.

Whilst sitting there I heard a noise and someone shout 'shit' and saw someone in grey run past the window, but didn't think anything of it. I went out to the corner shop, on the way out, looking at the car, I thought something looked off about it (it had been moved forward), but again didn't really think anything of it. 5 minutes later I'm back from the shop and do a massive double take - car is gone.

My sisters 14/15 year old friends have stolen the car. Have to phone the older brother as my sister is out and I have no idea what to do. He drives over, calls the police, who do not give a fuck. They have been told that a group of 14 and 15 year olds are driving about in a 2 litre, and do nothing about it.

3 days later my parents are back and my brother turns up saying that he's actually found the car. We phone the police but it's a Sunday so they don't do anything about it. As the kids still have the keys we have to leave the car where it is and it gets moved again.

We later find out that on the day it was stolen someone called the police to say they'd just seen a group of teenagers getting out of a car and was suspicious as clearly none of them were 17. Again the police did not bother to follow it up. Despite the fact that there was no way it could have been anyone else - the keys were stolen from inside the house, and two people had given descriptions fitting my sisters 'friends' - the police took about a month to go round and speak to the boys, by which time, according to the policeman who went round, they had clearly been told what to say.

Eventually we did get the car back, but as it was an automatic lock car it had to go in to repair for about 6 weeks and we were left without a mobility friendly car. The police were absolutely useless and should have done more if they knew there were a group of kids driving round in a high powered car.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:49, 1 reply)
Mentalist
One day, the girlfriends brother (Dave) - fresh from a divorce and a raging argument about child care - is driving home and truth be told is not paying as much attention as he should. He accidentally pulls out in-front of somebody and they have to put the brakes on, not slam their brakes on mind, they just had to slow down a bit.

The driver behind then blares the horn at him and, looking through the rear view mirror, Dave can see him gesticulating in an animated fashion. The brother-in-law, not in the best state of mind, flips him the bird and drives on. The guy in the other car is now REALLY pissed off and is telling him to pull over for, what can best be described as, fisticuffs; Dave is now shitting himself. He of course isn't going to pull over, he's not a big guy and isn't winning any fights and is conceded to the fact that his day just can't get any worse...

There's a small queue of traffic at the junction in-front of him. Both cars come to a halt and the guy in the car behind is getting out and he is MASSIVE. He's striding over to Dave's car and Dave has nowhere to go except, in a moment of genius, left-field; Dave starts slapping himself repeatedly on both sides of his completely bald head, screaming "I'LL DO IT AGAIN! AHHH! I'LL DO IT AGAIN!" and rocking backwards and forwards. The guy's face was an absolute picture, i've never seen a man go from insane with rage to "fuck this! i'm outta here!" in an instant like it before or since and I don't think I ever will. He ran (actually RAN) back to his car, rounded Dave's car (the junction in-front of which is now clear) and sped off.

[email protected]
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:40, Reply)
Not me but...
a bloke who used to do body repairs for a company I worked for many, many years ago.

One evening he'd narrowly avoided hitting a car that had been parked up and suddenly pulled out without any indication. Obviously he let it be known that he didn't think a great deal of the drivers ability and this upset the four young blokes in it and they started to follow him. He'd tried losing them without success and ended up driving down a dead end track, obviously thinking he was in for a kicking.

He decided he wasn't going to make it easy for them and started looking around the car for something suitable to protect himself with but this was his other halfs car so no work tools.

When he stopped, the other car pulled up alongside and as they did so, he raised a toy gun of his Son's up to the window. Understandably they reversed pretty sharp-ish and disappeared.

Obviously not a recommended course of action, certainly not these days (and this was in Manchester) but hopefully that's 4 people who won't try intimidating other drivers again.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:37, Reply)
It started well...
... but ended up with me looking a total knob.
The day before I married my amazing wife she surprised, nay flabergasted, me with an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. It was to be mine for the whole weekend. Words could not express how extatic I was. Needless to say the wedding went out of my head immediately, I had an Aston to play with!

The loving wife had also arranged that I had nothing to do all day on the Friday. Off I went, not giving a care to the scornful looks of those in the village as I roared through the village (ooh the sound!). And so it was for the whole day until a spirited drive up the Rugely bypass with a mate. POOF! and we are surrounded by smoke. Ballsocks! There is no way to describe the thought that you have just killed an 80 grand car.

Trundling to a stop outside a school (at home time no doubt), with a bus and lord knows how many cars stuck behind me. I felt like the worlds biggest plank, but still grinning ear-to-ear because I was in an Aston!

Will cut it there as it does go further, with discussions with the rental company etc. It did end "happily" of a fashion. The guy ended up grovelling to me think he had messed up the whole wedding!
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:34, 2 replies)
Why I don't drive a 4x4
I once went to pick up a hire car at an airport in the USA, and the bloke behind the desk asked me (as they do) if I wanted to upgrade because they had a special deal on. Instead of the standard car I'd booked, they had a special deal on SUVs (it was actually a good deal - an extra few dollars a day) and I could upgrade right now.

"No thanks", I replied. "I don't like SUVs".

"You don't like SUVs?" replied the Alamo man. "Gee, you're the first person I've ever met who's said that".

But it's true. I don't. I hate that high up driving position that everyone else seems to love. It seems to take away from the feeling of control in bends, and as such makes me feel less safe. I don't like the way they bounce around, and I'm always disappointed at the lack of interior space in such a big vehicle. Also, as a stereotypical Scot, the higher fuel consumption pisses me off.

So why is it that they're so popular? Is it just fashion? Or arrogance? Or what? I need to know.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:32, 10 replies)
hitchhikers guide to the m20
My Dad used to hitchhike down to London from Leeds a lot whilst he was at university to attend gigs because it was the 60s and noone had told them yet that there was a 100% chance of death by paeodophile if you spoke to or accepted a lift from a stranger.

He used to start off hitchhiking with his mate Big Albert but they'd ussually split up because it was easier to catch a ride like that. If this happened they'd meet up at a certain pub in London and one of them would have to wait however long for the other to turn up.

Apparently one time when they did this their journeys were so evenly timed that they could order their first pints together at the bar. I think that's pretty impressive considering I cant time my trips to the local that well even though it's 5 minutes walk and I have a mobile phone.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:26, Reply)
Watch out if you're in the US on holiday
American cars, at least the mass market crap that they give you as hire cars over there, are uniformly shit.

A few years ago, we were on holiday on the west coast of the USA. I picked up the hire car, a Chevy Malibu. On paper, it was quite nice - 3.5l V6 engine, big comfy seats, etc. But the engine seemed only loosely connected to the wheels via the (auto, of course) gearbox, and made a huge roaring fuss about setting off at anything faster than a crawl. The seats were not anything like as comfortable as they appeared, and in fact made my back hurt badly.

We drove over 4000 miles in 3 weeks in it, but after a couple of thousand, one morning we got in and the engine seemed a bit noisier than usual. So I stopped and checked the oil. Just as well. The dipstick was dry! It took 2 pints of oil just to register on the stick, but that sorted out the thrashy noise. Later, the gearbox started making a whining sound when coming down steep hills. During which time the tyres would squeal if I attempted to go round a corner any faster than my grandad would. And he's long dead.

But this was a brand new car. We'd picked it up with only a few hundred miles on the clock (and handed it back with nearer 5000!) and I hadn't been thrashing it. Driving briskly, yes, but no more so than I would in my own car.

Americans - please learn how to make decent cars.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:23, 6 replies)
Back just after Christmas in 1996 when I owned a clapped out old Fiat
I had just been over at a mates house in Barnet (London), pizza, a few drinks and a couple of films, a nice and cheap way to spend a Saturday night. I had driven over and had been drinking beer, so I stayed over and slept on the couch.

Waking up the next day and feeling a bit groggy, I was alarmed when I couldn't find my carkeys in my jeans pocket, nor were they on the coffee table in the lounge. A quick search of the house yielded no clue as to their whereabouts. I went to check outside to see if I had dropped them somewhere, and found to my great annoyance that I had managed to lock them in the car. Balls.

I wasn't too concerned however, as my mate was a bit of a car expert, and claimed that he could get into a car no problem with no more than a coat hanger (still not sure if this is possible). So nipping back inside I explained the problem. "No problem" he says, and disappears coming back with a wire coat hanger. Out we go to the car, and he procedes to try and wedge the coathanger in the door.

After about 10minutes its clear that he is not getting anywhere, and he gives up. "Call the AA" he says. At the time fortunately I was a member, so I give them a ring, and they tell me they'll be there in 20minutes. Nothing to do then apart from have a quick cup of tea and wait for the man in the high-vis jacket.

20minutes later, the AA turn up, and I sheepishly explain the problem. "No problem" says the AA man, and disappears into his van and pulls out a screwdriver'esque object for fiddling with the lock. In my hungover state however I have managed to forget that on New Years Eve had decided to give me the present of half a tube of superglue in all of my door locks- rendering the screwdriver do-wacky totally useless. The AA man, slightly put out, tells me I'll have to get it towed to a garage where they can take the window out/door off. This is terrible news- being just after Christmas I was totally broke and there was no way I could afford this sort of thing- and I needed my car to get to work so it needed fixing!

In was pretty pissed at this point- the apathy of the hangover being replaced with sheer annoyance at the situation, and in a flash of anger, and needing something to do, proceeded to start kicking the door of the car with as much fury as my hungover body could muster.

At this point I realised that there was a tapping on my shoulder, and I turned round to find a member of the Territorial Army coming back from the centre up the road. "Any reason you're kicking that car mate?" he asks. I quickly explained the situation to him. "No problem" he says, walks up to the car, turns and rubs his leg against the door. Then he pulled on the handle, and the door swung wide open!

"Wow!" I said, "How the hell did you do that?"
"Ah" he replied sagely, "Khaki trousers".

/coat
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:22, 2 replies)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Mate had a knackered old fiesta that he use to drive into the ground on a regular basis, when it fell to pieces he would have to wait until payday to get it repaired. One day when driving through town something went clunck, it spluttered and he safely ground it to a halt at the side of the road. Somehow he ended up parked just off the double yellow lines and in a marked bay. He was off on holiday that weekend so decided to leave it where it fell. So two weeks in Magaluf later he came back to find the car gone. But it hadnt been towed away.

He had forgotten that the car was left in Colchester. He had forgotten that Colchester is a large army town. He had forgotton that this was at the height of the IRA bombing campaign. He had forgotton that about 3 doors down from where he had parked was the army recruitment centre.

The entire town centre was shut whilst a robot carried out a controled explosion on his orange fiesta, destroying it even more than his lack of maintenance had done. And from memory controled explosions aren't covered by third party fire and theft. Luckily all he got on his return home was a visit from a friendly MPC rather than an orange jumpsuit and a one way trip to Cuba that he would have got today.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 12:21, Reply)
Mrs Bof... harbinger of doom
Mrs.Bof is not what can be described as a good driver.

Part 1:
When she wanted to learn, I gave her one lesson in my car during which she wanted to attempt a 3 point turn.
OK, says I… as you can see, just a bit further on is a cul de sac so you can turn there without interruption, but please note that there is a tree bent out over the road so you do not want to turn there.
Off she goes and stops the car next to the tree.
“I see you have chosen to turn right next to the tree. You will have to be extra careful”
The first part was executed ok and then she starts to reverse.
“Tree…”, “Tree…”, “Tree!…”, “Tree!!!…”, “TREE!!!…”
*Crunch*
I didn’t lose it, I kept calm but she did say that my shouting “TREE!!!” had upset her.

Part 2:
God alone knows how but she passed her test a few weeks later and promptly bought herself a lovely little Micra (2 years old, 7K on the clock and automatic (I forgot to add that she can’t drive a manual, its too complicated)). Off she goes shopping with her sister and returns 3 hours later with the front hanging off the car. It had met with a concrete pillar in a multistory car park.
That lovely little car was destined to be brutalised by the worst driver in the world.
In the space of 3 years the Micra has had 14 minor bumps to which I can add the 3 that she has put on my car.

Part 3:
Once she was driving me to work. Her road positioning and awareness of other users is somewhat random.
In my passenger seat, I was screaming… like an 8 year old in an Irish orphanage…
“Why are you screaming?” she asks
“I’m trying to harmonise with the bloody cyclist you are about to kill, now pull out a bit!”

Dear God… she scares me to death, and if she wasn’t such a beautiful person, I’d probably shout at every bump, scrape and near miss… life’s too short to get stressed or upset my own personal RTA.
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 11:57, 5 replies)
Wally of the Week Award #452
When I used to work at Marconi's in Basildon, there were a few large builds spread around. The building with the canteen was about a 10 minute walk from our building.

One particularly wet lunch-time, an apprentice in my department announced he was driving down to the canteen for a change, as it was pouring with rain.

An hour later he turns up soaked. We asked why.
"It's raining" he replied in a sultry tone.
"But you took your car to avoid getting wet" I said.

The look on his face was priceless. He'd forgotton he'd driven down and had walked back. Now he had to walk back again to pick his car up!


It was almost as good as when people left their sunroof open. They came in via the back door, which was locked when work started. If it rained, you could see the inside of their car getting wet, but they'd have to run all around the (large) building to get to it.

Hearing "Oh bugger!" when they noticed it was raining ment you had a good few minutes to line up by the windows, to see a wet, breathless loon run up to their car furiously trying to close the windows.

If they'd forgotten their keys it was even better :-)
(, Tue 27 Apr 2010, 11:50, Reply)

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