b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Cars » Page 16 | Search
This is a question Cars

"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, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Possessed Citroen Diane tried to kill me...
Just after I passed my test I was presented with a shiney old Citroen Diane (like a square 2CV) by my generous parents. It was very slow and unconfortable etc, but hey, it was a car.

The best thing about the car was you could roll the soft top back. There were two modes, all the way tightly rolled like a sardine tin lid, and folded back on a hinged bracket about 1/2 metre from the front.

When in the rolled back mode you had to make sure that the hinged bracket was fastened down, otherwise the following might happen.

1) Young driver (me) on his way to Whitby in the sunshine with a bad hangover and two mates in the back sat on the rear portion of the roof. On the roof, not on the top of the back seat.
2) Gathering speed the onrushing air catches the unfastened hinged bracket and flips it backwards at speed.
3) Hinged metal bracket swings through 270 degrees in a split second and makes contact with the back of my head. Hard. Doing 65 MPH. On a country road.
4) I struggle to maintain my vision and consciousness whilst swerving all over the road.
5) The two idiots in/on the back could only cling on for dear life and laugh as they thought the whole thing hilarious.

Never trusted it after that.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 11:49, Reply)
Charlie lived in Melbourne and in his youth was a surfer. So he owned a van.
It was fairly large and he would camp in it beside beaches.

One day a colleague not long married asked Charlie if he would mind helping shift furniture to the colleague's new home on a Saturday. So he arrived about 9 on the Saturday morning to find the colleague not there, but his wife said that he would be back soon, he'd just gone out to get something.

The something turned out to be a far larger van than Charlie's, big enough for dual wheels on the back. So between the two of them they moved everything in one trip.

When it was all in the new home and the woman was out of earshot, the colleague asked if Charlie minded following him while he returned the big van. "You can come in too, but don't say anything".

So Charlie followed the big van. Right to a used commercial vehicle sales yard.

"Thanks for the test drive mate but the missus and I have decided it's too big, we're going to buy that one over there off this bloke."
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 11:25, 2 replies)
Parking woes...
I'm sure we've all done it - parked up in a multi-storey car park, and wandered off, safe in the knowledge you've memorised what floor and the location of the car etc.

T'was September 19th last year (that's 'Talk Like A Pirate Day'), and I had a date with the lovely Wendy. And so, off I drove to Cambridge to meet her, parked up, met up and a great evening was being had.

At one point, Wendy went off to check out the facilities and I sat there wondering why everyone was dressed as pirates - then it dawned on me :)

And so, if you really want to make an impression on a date, I suggest the following:

1) When your date returns from the loo, talking like a pirate without first explaining why causes some confusion...
2) At the end of the date, failing to find your car in a car park (even if it is a big green Galaxy nicknamed 'Shrek'), spending 10 minutes going up and down levels then finding it parked not 10 feet from your date's car doesn't put you in a good light...

I lost the bloody thing in long stay parking at Stansted one time too - how can anyone lose something that big and ugly? Twice.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 11:18, 1 reply)
Black Mini MNB 671P #4 and final.
The car had sensed that it was due for imminent replacement so had one last try at killing me.

Driving over to Congleton to hit Rafaelles the regions premier nightspot I heard a clunk followed by an almighty rumble that can only mean one thing. Exhaust has fallen off. Pulling over and taking a peek underneath revealed that indeed it had split in half and the back end with the silencer was dragging on the floor. It was rotted through.

A few quick pulls and the offending back box was removed and thrown into the weeds.

Driving back home sounding like a monster truck was tedious as without the back-pressure from the exhaust the power from the engine was miniscule and I managed to use 1/4 of a tank of petrol.

After rearranging a lift the night ended up a boozy success.

The next day my father took a look at the exhaust and informed me that the remaining part of the exhaust had been blowing hot exhaust fumes directly over the petrol tank for my 20 minute drive home and reckoned the petrol would have been pretty hot by the time I got home.

Devil car that, I tells ya.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 11:05, 1 reply)
The mobile car park
A guy I used to work with (not the sharpest tool in the box), having not long passed his driving test, decided to go for a drive. He unwittingly found himself in London, and lost. Panicking about the traffic and how to get home, he decided to park up, get a cup of tea and calm down. Joining a queue, he made his way into a car park, found a space and parked.

Getting out of his car, he was somewhat startled to feel the earth move under his feet.

It wasn't a car park, it was the Woolwich Ferry.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:43, Reply)
My hire cars
Canada. Contract stated that the car must only be driven on metalled roads. I took it up the logging tracks on Vancouver Island and it really looked like I had been rallying in it so I had to put it through the car wash before I returned it. It was still dripping wet so I'm sure they knew.

Northern Ireland. Even though things were better than they once were I decided my English number plates perhaps were not ideal and I would hire a local car so I wouldn't stand out. The hire company had registered the car they gave me in Northampton.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:41, Reply)
When I were a babba
I got myself out of my seat, climbed up onto the ledge and tried to get out of the car window. Whilst we were on the motorway.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:30, Reply)
The time I accidentally drove to Canada, eh.
For shame, I used to drive an SUV. One day, I was entrusted by my sister to pick up some free furniture in Detroit and drive it to a less murder-y part of the state.

Not paying attention, I found myself careening towards Canada – I was approaching the Ambassador Bridge, with no way back. I was accidentally driving to Canada! Well, I couldn’t turn around, so I drove to customs, thinking I could just pay the fee, do a U-y in Canada, wave at a moose and a hockey player, then drive home.

Not wishing to admit that I was really quite dim, I said that I was only there to ‘visit’ Canada and some Canadians, maybe eat some maple syrup donuts from Tim Horton’s. I’ll just be a couple of hours, I said, trust me. Sensing the bullshit spewing forth from my maw, the officer pointed at an SUV loaded full of furniture and beckoned me to the side.

My car was searched and I was questioned. Eventually I had to admit my crippling idiocy. They scowled at me and, after deciding not to plant drugs in my SUV, allowed me to pack everything back in as best I could. Which was, of course, badly.

I still had to pay the customs charges for free furniture I was delivering as a favour on what turned into an accidental whistle-stop tour of Canada.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:27, 2 replies)
I once took my very young kids to see the local banger racing.
One was still in his buggy. As the spectator area was a bit rough, just a field really, I walked the kids up a bank so they could see better.

Halfway up, we heard a few screams and looked round just in time to see a wheel that had flown off a banger bounce UP the hill towards us, miss my son in his buggy by inches, glance off a young man's behind, and roll off in another direction.

We knew the young man and rushed over to commiserate. He was shaken but unhurt, and had lost the back pocket from his jeans where the wheel had ripped it off!

That was enough banger racing for me. I didn't go back.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:11, 1 reply)
One for the top tips too
I went with a mate many years ago to pick up a car, a Vauxhall Firenza 2.3 if you're interested, and it didn't have any petrol.

Whilst my mate was handing over the dosh and filling out the paperwork, he asked me to syphon some fuel out of the car we'd come in. Now I hadn't actually done this before, but knew the principle: bung one end of the hose in in the petrol tank, get my end of the tube down low and suck until I get the taste of petrol and then quickly stick the end in the petrol can and hey presto, it should pour out. Except on this occassion it didn't, so his girlfriend and I took turns in trying to get a good flow going (stop writing your own jokes!).

By the time my mate came over to explain that we should blow down the tube first, to make sure the other end is actually in the petrol, we were both pretty well gone and laughing like loons from inhaling the fumes of good old four star.

Length? about 5 minutes to go from sober to feeling completely pissed without touching a drop...bargain! except for the banging headache later, it's definitely not recommended.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:02, 1 reply)
More than once I have lost my car.
It's bad enough in a supermarket car park. Don't use other vehicles as reference points. They tend to have left by the time you come back.
I watch a bit of stock car racing and some of the tracks are not easy to find so I have a tendency to arrive a little bit late. The car park is often a field. You arrive on a lovely summer's evening. Racing over you exit into a pitch black field. "Where's my torch? In the car." There are then hazard light flashing everywhere as you and many others are walking up and down the rows pressing your plipper to try and identify your car.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 10:01, Reply)
I've had three car keys snap off in the ignition, most inconvenient.*
The first time, in my Peugeot, the then Mr Quar dug out the barrel, destroying the ignition. He then had to wire up switches on the dashboard to start it. We then had no steering lock or security on the car and relied on a crooklock to stop any passing scally from driving it off.

Second time, a Citroen AX, the second Mr Quar carried out an identical operation. I have photos of the dashboard with the old wall light switches from my kitchen on the dashboard.

Both times, I could have kicked myself for being stupid enough to let these 'experts' help me out, and the cars were eventually scrapped as nobody would've bought them in such a state.

The last time, in my old Rover, I refused to let the other half interfere and had a dodgy garage sort it. Cost me £40-odd and was perfect.

*I am puzzled about this as I always handle keys carefully and never use them to , for instance, lift the boot or tailgate.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 9:58, Reply)
Leslie Grantham, the erstwhile Dirty Den of Eastenders fame, was in a play at our local theatre.
One night he left his big posh car across the road on the well-lit car park. One assumes he'd had one over the eight and cadged a lift back to his hotel.

Come the morning when he arrived to collect it, he found it surrounded by fruit'n'veg and knicker stalls, having unwittingly left it on the market square. He couldn't move it until the market packed up.

The person who told me this story was a stallholder who saw it happen. Our Leslie was not best pleased!

She had a similar story herself: she'd sneaked onto a Devon field one summer evening, car full of kids and camping equipment, intending to stop for the night and then sneak off before the farmer caught her.

They were woken very early by a whoosh! Whoosh! noise. A hot air balloon was being inflated next to the tent!

They watched it take off, went back to sleep, and got up a few hours later to find a car boot sale in progress all around them. Oops.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 9:46, 1 reply)
Black Mini MNB 671P #3
This car was out to kill. This time it wanted the blood of two souls.

Driving home one day with the girlfriend riding shotgun the radio casette player started to pop and crackle and the dashboard lights started to flicker.

A few moments later and the engine took on a rather irregular note.

Not coming from Alabama I immediately ruled out alien abduction so pulled over to see whether things would settle down, which they did.

Resuming the journey a few miles down the road and the symptoms started again, except this time the girlfriend looked behind and noticed quite a lot of smoke coming out of the rather miniscule boot.

Pulling over sharply and dashing round I carefully opened the boot and received a facefull of smoke.

In those old Minis the battery was in the boot covered by a flimsy piece of what looked like laminated cardboard. It had come loose and the metal petrol canister I had in the boot had found its way across the + and - terminals causing it to short circuit.

Quite impressively this resulted in 2 perfectly round and very charred holes burned right through the canister where the terminals were.

Good job I'd run out of petrol the week before (us crazy kids) and the can was empty.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 9:25, 1 reply)
My Uncle
went to the local shop to buy a copy of the Radio Times and came back with a Fiat Panda. The original version. My Aunt was not impressed.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 9:09, Reply)
Bentley, Parked In Hull... Asking For it!
Stumbling across a car park after a particularly hefty night on the babychamps we came across a lovely, brand spanking new, Bentley Continental Coupe, the only car at 10.30pm ( at the Theatre, don't you know....posh twats ) in the whole car park....we wouldn't have noticed it too much were it not for the 5 parking attendants* all gathered around it, tossing a coin to see who would write the ticket for it, parked about 2 inches outside the white line....i have never been so happy to see a parking attendant*..made my night that did....

(* for parking attendant see CUNT in the dick-on-harry )
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 8:59, 1 reply)
Is it late enough in the week for an unashamed pea?
From the Schadenfreude QOTW...

The M69. You'd think from being numerically blessed with the most mutually generous of sexual positions, it would be a motorway that couldn't fail to take you to a happy place. Well, you'd be wrong - in one direction it takes you to Leicester, and in the other it takes you to Coventry.

I can only imagine that when the motorway was first opened, the inhabitants of both cities flocked onto it, desperate to escape for a better life elsewhere, only to end up bitterly disappointed at the other end. It's the road that proves that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Anyhow, the one benefit of having a road with no enticing destinations is that it's usually quite traffic-free, allowing for some speedy East-West Midlands migration.

Usually, that is, except for the one day you want to get somewhere. Back when I worked in Birmingham, one day I needed urgently to get to a client in Leicester (why the fuck anyone would urgently need to get to Leicester is unfortunately lost in the haze of time now). I was therefore disappointed to see queues of traffic as I joined the M69. I can only assume the "M" on the sign was obscured, and everyone was blindly following a promise of mutual oral satisfaction.

Evenutally, the traffic changed from a total standstill to gradual movement. This should have improved things, but it actually just played into the hands of the true cunts of the motorway - lane-weavers.

You know the sort - the dicks who believe that their journey has higher priority over those of everyone around them, and so will happily cut you up with inches to spare, in order to get them to their destination two seconds earlier. I'm sure there's a special place in hell reserved for them, just between people who ruin the endings of films you haven't seen yet and whoever was responsible for commissioning Horne & Corden.

After about five of these twunts had swerved across the front of me, getting closer and closer to the bumper of my car, I was starting to get a bit pissed off, so when the traffic started to pick up pace, I was happily thinking it was over. At this point, a sixth fuckstick hove into view, seemingly from nowhere, causing me to hit the brakes and give him a blast on the horn.

Had I realised that said fuckstick was an undercover policeman, I probably wouldn't have been quite as vociferous in my reaction. I didn't realise, however, until he pulled across into the next lane, slowed down until I was level with him, and then showed me his warrant card and beckoned towards the hard shoulder with a look of pure smug satisfaction on his face.

Thankfully, that look was quickly wiped off his face. Whilst concentrating on searching for his warrant card and looking smugly sideways, he failed to notice that the traffic in his lane had come to a stop, and he casually drove slowly into the car in front of him.

Laugh? I almost shat a kidney.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 8:51, 2 replies)
I taught my dog to shit
with the 'quick' command, so it's not a very good idea to tell him 'quick' when crossing the road in a hurry, otherwise he's liable to stop mid-crossing and shit in the middle of a very busy high st. with buses, lorries and all other manner of angry drivers tooting their horns and shouting while he quietly finishes his business.

It doesn't seem to bother him much, mind.

I wish I had his confidence.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 8:46, Reply)
I don't own a car neither have I ever owned one.
Neither do I feel the need to justify my dangerous arrogance on internet message boards. I might go out and wave a knife around and blame everyone else for running into it though.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 8:40, 7 replies)
My uncle left his house once just at the exact moment a car crashed
Telling me about it later, he said "I opened the door and a car went past on its roof. I thought it was a stuntman going on holiday!"

(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 8:36, 3 replies)
The Baroness' story reminded me of this
Some time ago I was caught doing 48 miles an hour in a 30mph limit road. It was sunny, clear and dry.

I went to court rather than pay the fixed penalty (I quite like the argument with things like this, in court you can put your side across properly - this was one of the few times I went to court and didn't come away a victor).

My argument being that I was taking a pregnant woman to hospital - which was true; she give birth less than 2 hours after dropping her off!

However, they simply scoffed at the idea, so I argued that if an officer of the law thought that I was putting people in danger, then instead of simply taking my photograph, he should have stopped me - public safety being part of his remit - and by not doing so was complicit and perhaps even aided me in the crime. They didn't go much on the second argument either, and gave me 4 points.

At that point I offered twice as much as the fine in return for a clean licence, as "We are all aware that it's for raising revenue, so let's cut to the chase...". They didn't go much on that either, preferring to maintain the illusion that the limits are there for safety rather than for dosh. Long story, cut short, I refused to hand over my licence and eventually had it 'revoked' for a year (meaning I could still drive??? WTF??).

I still maintain that I was right. If I'd gone on to run a kid down or similar, then the copper, having seen me break the law and doing nothing about it apart from taking my photograph, is surely as much to blame through dereliction of duty.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 7:52, 2 replies)
The Volvo 340 sleeper
I bought an old Volvo 340 as my second car, to replace the Volvo 340 my Mum had given me when she bought her Fiat Regatta 100S Weekend (green, 1600cc twin-cam, all the toys, and one of the worst cars I've ever driven). The green Volvo, my first one, had rusted along the front chassis legs and was threatening to drop the engine into the road at any minute. The second Volvo was a little bit newer, much more solid, and had been one of the local garage's loan cars until the engine had blown up. No problem, I thought, I've got a rotten one with a good engine and I can borrow a big shed and a tractor with a front loader to lift the engines out and in. Car duly purchased (100 quid if memory serves), engine swapped, insured, tested, taxed and I was on the road in my second car for less than 400 quid. Awesome, especially considering the ink was barely dry on my licence. So there I am in my maroon Volvo 340, with big comfy seats, big stereo, sunroof and electric windows in the front. It looked pretty good, it went well, and it was very affordable. That last part was good, because I had bugger all money.

A few months later and it's becoming clear that all is not well with the Volvo 340 of Doom. It's misfiring at idle, but not too badly once you rev it. Getting worse though. Oh cock. Compression test reveals that the number 3 cylinder has almost no compression. "Oh cock" isn't quite strong enough a term. Cylinder head off, and oh - there's a crack between the valve seats. I stuck the head back on, figuring that it would have to do until I could find (or indeed afford) another engine. Wait a minute, I know a guy with a scrapyard, and he wants some electrickery sorted on his bike.

So off I go, and as I poke the bike wiring into life I recount my tale of cracked cylinder head woe. "Ah, hmm," says my mate, "I'm sure there's something here. Must be. Ah! Here we go, head, manifold and carburettors off a Renault 5 GT, that's the same engine. Stick that on and see how you go."

Off with its head! And out came the 17mm socket. Dropped the new head in place (with a new gasket this time). Hm, that carb really is quite a bit bigger than the old one. Have to make up a new linkage to go around it. Oh, now the air cleaner doesn't fit - oh well, at least the bonnet still shuts. A bit of fiddling with the timing and mixture (this is what is meant by "tuning", not sticking plastic crap all over a shitbox Clio) and it was running pretty well. Test drive time!

Ye ghods. Either the old engine was particularly bad, or the new head made it particularly good, or (more likely) a bit of both. What was once 0-60 in about 20 seconds was now 0-60 in 10 seconds. It didn't slow down on hills, either, just kept pulling like a train. It wiped the daft grins off the faces of a few boy racers. I wish I hadn't sold it now...

Length? Don't worry about it, it won't be hanging around for long.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 7:50, 1 reply)
anyone else find that as nearly everybody's indicators are broken when they approach roundabouts that they have no choice but to assume they are going straight on (as they are indicating by not indicating) and pull out on them all the time?

Indeed, my Ex's grandfather bought an up-to-date copy of the highway code, as he assumed that the rules had changed with regards to indicating on roundabouts (seriously, this bit it true - he actually thought that you no longer were required to indicate, seeing as no-one does any more, and being the fastidious type, thought he ought to be up to date with the rules. He was quite shocked to find that the rules were the same as they 'used to be').

Oddly, my indicators work (even if I am approaching a roundabout), and I drive a BMW!

I do get some funny looks when people see the strange, unfamiliar little yellow light flashing on the side of my car.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 7:33, 8 replies)
I need a new car
As the insurance has finally paid out for the crash I was in back in February.

I've been considering getting a second hand Honda Accord. Is this a good idea, or is it a great idea?
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 0:26, 6 replies)
Spinning gently on its roof
Some years back I was driving along the A27 to a client's branch office, and was negotiating the thrilling string of roundabouts on the Chichester bypass. I gaily floored it around one of the innumerable things, only to slam my foot on the brake pedal as I saw a little red hatchback twirling merrily on its roof in front of me.

I stopped to see if anyone was hurt and if I could render any assistance, but no-one was hurt and by that point all I could do was wait for the coppers to arrive to take my statement ("No, officer, the car was already on its roof. I didn't see the collision happen.")

I never got the full story, but it didn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce what had happened. A couple of teenage vermin chavs were out joyriding in someone's car (it might even have belonged to one of them, but it's unlikely), and the driver had completely ignored the rule in the Highway Code which suggests delicately that one might wish to give way to traffic already on a roundabout and approaching rapidly from one's right. Their vehicle hurtled onto the roundabout, straight into the front wing of another car with a delightful old fellow at the wheel and then, by means undetermined by me, managed to flip itself onto its roof whereupon it daintily pirouetted on the tarmac.

A few weeks later I got a letter from Sussex plod asking me to make myself available for a court appearance (date to be determined) and to provide a written statement ("The car was already on its roof. I didn't see the collision happen.") about the event. I never got the follow-up invitation to court. I guess the Crown Prosecutor sensibly figured my testimony would be useless.
(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 0:23, Reply)
Speeding workshop catchphrase of the day
I had to sit through one of these for getting caught going 37 in a 30 zone.

Old geezer on constant repeat about speed limits.

'Remember it's a limit. Not a target'
(in an Partridge voice)
(, Wed 28 Apr 2010, 23:56, 9 replies)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Latest, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, ... 1