Thursday, 12 April 2007

The Joy of Old Cars

It is difficult to escape the thought that the perfect car would be designed by the French, Italians or British and assembled by the Germans or Japanese. I wonder if the worst car would be a French one built by Italians. My Citroen has been running badly because of its Italian Webber carburettor. This morning it was ticking over at 4,000rpm which did not bode well for the drive to work. Thank goodness my local garage open early and were able (with judicious use of WD40 and a hammer) to fix the problem. After work I lovingly oiled all the moving parts on the carburettor. Now the accelerator pedal moves more smoothly and I am sure the car runs better than before.

Maybe the effects are psychological but it is a common phenomenon for anyone running an old car. As worn out parts finally fail they get replaced and there is a noticeable improvement in the way the car works. It is a slow process and probably more expensive in the long run than just buying a decent car in the first place. But it is also a satisfying process if you have the right frame of mind. By getting to know how your car works you become more than just a driver – that is someone who merely drives – and become a motorist.